When the first season of HBO’s Westworld hits the home video market next month, the already lavishly produced series will make a bit of history for video and audiophiles. The release will mark the first scripted TV series to ever be released in 4K resolution on Ultra HD Blu-ray (the only other TV series to get this honor were nature documentaries)
Explains showrunner Jonathan Nolan: “From the beginning, we wanted to shoot in film — the traditional format for the Western. I grew up with my brother [director Christopher Nolan] shooting on film, and felt it remained the best image capture system available. But it’s hard to reproduce the beauty of what we’re getting in a broadcast environment. I’m very excited about the presentation we were able to do on HBO, but with UHD and HDR we were able to do something that’s much more faithful to what we’re shooting and get closer to the texture and density of colors of the film that we’re making.”
While Netflix has streamed some shows in 4K resolution — like House of Cards and Breaking Bad — Westworld marks the first time a show coming to home video has been made available in 4K UHD across the board in all formats.
On the sound front, the release is also bleeding edge. Jonathan Nolan had a sound team remaster the season’s entire score from scratch for the Dolby Atmos format.
“Atmos is pretty extraordinary,” he explains. “If you want to buy 28 speakers for your home and hook them all up, you can, and Atmos will figure out how to divvy up all the channels and figure out the most immersive version of the soundtrack.”
The Emmy-nominated series comes to home video on Nov. 7.