September 4, 2015
As 4K UHD TVs slowly come to market, and streaming services continue to introduce support for 4K and high dynamic range programming, Ultra HD Blu-ray is the next logical step. During its press conference at the IFA trade show in Berlin yesterday, Samsung became the first company to officially announce a 4K UHD Blu-ray player. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 supports HDR, offers 64 times the colors of standard Blu-ray, and plays UHD content at up to 60 frames per second. 20th Century Fox is providing content for the player, and plans to issue all its new releases in 4K Ultra HD with HDR.
“When my colleagues at 20th Century Fox first saw the side-by-side comparison of 4K Ultra HD with high dynamic range, and compared that to just regular HD, it was reminiscent of the days between standard def and high def,” said Mike Dunn, president of president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “This is a huge step up for our industry.”
“Samsung’s Ultra HD Blu-ray player is curved to match its TVs, and also includes a number of UHD streaming services,” reports Engadget. “The other news today at IFA is that Samsung’s TVs will be the first ones getting a software update to support HDMI 2.0a, necessary to receive HDR info from the new Blu-ray players.”
“The new player is also capable of upscaling content to provide UHD resolution for any disc, as well as for 4K streaming services,” said Michael Zoller, VP of visual display for Samsung Europe.
According to Digital Trends, the player is slated to launch next year in Europe, while pricing and a U.S. release have yet to be announced.