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Panasonic shows off prototype 4K Blu-ray player

05 Jan 2015 | Rasmus Larsen |

While we are waiting for a 4K Blu-ray format, Panasonic gave us a preview of the first 4K Blu-ray player ever. However, it is still a prototype and no launch plans were announced.

Not ready for the market yet

A 4K Blu-ray standard is expected to be ready by late 2015. Many had expected an announcement at CES 2015 but so far nothing. However, something is happening behind the scenes.

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Along with its new Ultra HD TVs, Panasonic also showcased the first 4K Blu-ray player. To be clear, Panasonic has been selling “4K” Blu-ray players throughout 2014 but these are not capable of playing real 4K content, only upscaled Full HD.

Panasonic says that it is a “working prototype” but the player still looks very rough and does not appear to have the actual disc drive inserted yet. Still, it suggests that Panasonic is indeed working on 4K Blu-ray - or Ultra HD Blu-ray which seems to be the official name - hardware ahead of an official launch.

Panasonic also announced that it is a member of newly-founded UHD Alliance; a group of manufacturers that aim to advance video quality beyond 1080p with HDR (high dynamic range), WCG (wide color gamut) and other initiatives.

Panasonic shared a few details about the UHD Blu-ray format. It will support 4K at 10-bit colors and HDR (high dynamic range). It will use HEVC and support the Rec.2020 color gamut. However, it refused to say when it plans to launch the player, but there is still hope that we hear more tomorrow when the CES show floors open. We will keep you updated.

Here is what we know about the 4K Blu-ray standard so far.



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