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Samsung to release Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player this year

Samsung Electronics has confirmed plans to release an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player this week. The new company did not reveal any details, but reaffirmed that leading makers of electronics are on track with devices that will playback 4K video later this year.

Yonhap News reports that a representative of Samsung Electronics in South Korea made the announcement this Wednesday, but did not provide any launch dates, details regarding prices as well as technical peculiarities of the players. The only thing known – Samsung’s Ultra HD Blu-ray players will be available this holiday season – indicates that the company will likely demonstrate the new hardware at IFA in Berlin, Germany, in September. The consumer electronics giant could use its own Exynos 14 Octa system-on-chip for its Blu-ray player.

Earlier this month the Blu-ray disc association finalized the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification and said that it will formally begin to license it this summer. A representative for Panasonic and BDA said last week that his company and other leading makers of consumer electronics plan to release UHD BD players by the end of the year. He also indicated that initially such players will be two to three times more expensive than standard Blu-ray hardware.

Samsung BD-F7500 3D, Ultra HD-capable smart Blu-ray and DVD player

The Ultra HD Blu-ray disc supports video in up to 3840*2160 ultra-high-definition resolution with up to 60 frames per second and maximum data rate for video and audio of 128Mb/s. The UHD BD format features high-dynamic range (HDR) with 10-bit colours as well as Rec. 2020 colour gamut. The new standard is compatible with emerging object-based sound formats, including DTX: X and Dolby Atmos. The UHD BD format uses high efficiency video coding (HEVC, also known as H.265) technology with 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. Commercial Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will feature 50GB, 66GB and 100GB capacities.

Prices of Ultra HD Blu-ray movies are expected to be comparable to prices of regular Blu-ray titles.

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KitGuru Says: Manufacturers of consumer electronics will likely all release their Ultra HD Blu-ray players this year simply because architecture of such devices is not completely new to them. It is clear that UHD BD players are not BD players on steroids, but a lot of work has been done already. What remains to be seen is what content providers will offer. Will they just increase the resolution, or proceed with HDR, new audio formats as well? It will be something very interesting to see.

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