For years now, directors that wanted to take their film to the next level of sharpness would shoot in the 70 mm film format. Never heard of it? Sure you have, it's better known as IMAX, and it's most often seen at science museums across the country for documentaries. The picture is seriously vivid, and the screen is humongous.
So how can Blu-ray take it to the next level? Recall that Blu-ray discs are 1080p, which translates into just over 1000 lines of resolution, assuming your HDTV can display this format natively (smaller HDTV's are 720p which are still HD but display less lines, and standard TV is 480 lines of resolution in case you're wondering). At any rate, when a film gets scanned for a Blu-ray disc, they need to grab at least 1080 lines. Generally they do more, in fact a lot more, and the current standard was 4000, which ensured more than enough info to manipulate and compress down to the 1080p format.
Now that your head is spinning with numbers, a new film, Baraka, is using the "Ultra HD Format." While your Blu-ray player can still only put out 1080 lines of resolution, and your HDTV can only display the same, that's not stopping these serious scanners from wringing every last bit of picture from the original film, that was 65 mm. This new method scans the film at 8192 lines of resoulution before manipulating it and compressing it. Reportedly, this process creates a very lifelike apprearance for the ultimate in HD. Let's hope that more films get scanned via this method for the best image possible.