Ultra HD Blu-ray has been called "the last disc format" but the manufacturers still believe there is a market for it. Panasonic was first to announce support, and the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, Samsung, will also put its weight behind it.
First player coming in 2015
HD Blu-ray has never reached the same heights as DVD for several reasons, and this time around the new disc format has to compete with streaming.
Back when HD Blu-ray was introduced, most observers expected every major manufacturer to support the initiative, but this time around there has been a fair amount of uncertainty. In 2013, Sony said that it believes more in internet distribution for 4K content than a new disc format, even though the company was one of the strongest proponents of HD Blu-ray. Sony has yet to confirm support for Ultra HD Blu-ray. LG and Philips have not commented either.
Panasonic, on the other hand, has not had a moment of doubt and was quick to announce its support for the new format that it believes will set new standard for picture quality. The company has already demonstrated a prototype player.
And now Samsung has made it official, too. The Korean manufacturer has confirmed to local media that it will release its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player this year. The launch is currently scheduled for the “end of the year”, so we expect to hear more at IFA 2015 in September.
The new Blu-ray standard has more to offer than just 4K resolution. It will also deliver better colors through a wider color space, better motion through HFR (high frame rate), better sound through Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and better contrast through HDR (high dynamic range). Hollywood is currently preparing the first titles for release.