Samsung used IFA 2015 to show-off the future for UHD home entertainment, revealing its Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
Technically speaking, this is the UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player and the first player announced that will play UHD Blu-ray. Why is that significant? Because prices of UHD TVs are falling, and there's a dearth of content out there to take advantage of them.
With the Ultra HD Alliance having set the specification for ultra high definition on optical discs, we're getting closer to the day you'll be able to buy movies in UHD for the highest quality, rather than streaming, which is the only real current option.
While many are embracing a pay-as-you-watch home entertainment world, with everything streamed, there will be plenty of movie fans who want to guarantee that they're getting the best, rather than the variable bitrate of streamed content.
The details on Samsung's Ultra HD Blu-ray player are a little light at the moment. Because, although this has been revealed, there's no price or date for it to become commercially available. Additionally, we also spotted labelling on Samsung's IFA 2015 stand suggesting that this is really a concept design, so what hits the shelves might look a little different.
Samsung has used a curved design, making it match its huge line up curved SUHD TVs, as well as the matching soundbars. We're sure that in the future there will be a straight UHD Blu-ray player too, but when you're showcasing the future, you want it to stand-out.
Beyond the fairly minimalist curved design, there's the HDMI and optical output on the rear, as well as USB on the front. The HDMI offers 2.0a compatibility, the specification that will carry high dynamic range.
The player also supports HEVC and 3D, offers UHD upscaling for your regular Blu-rays, and has Wi-Fi for network connectivity and includes a web browser.
So this is a vision of the future in many senses. It's going to bring you both UHD and HDR and the looping samples that Samsung demoed on the showfloor looked might impressive.
It was also announced that the first title to be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray will be Kingsmen: The Secret Service. Again, there's no price on Ultra HD Blu-ray, but we'd expect they'll be carrying something of a premium.
We're expecting to hear more about Ultra HD Blu-ray over the coming months, but we suspect CES 2016 in January will see the big push for new devices for you to buy.
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