According to Samsung Australia’s new VP of Marketing Philip Newton the new player will launch with access to Ultra HD Content. He also said that Samsung had witnessed a “massive” click through of consumers registering for Netflix who is already delivering Ultra HD for Australian subscribers.
The UBD-K8500 is capable of providing four times the resolution and 64 times higher colour saturation compared to standard Blu-ray and can upscale content to provide UHD resolution for any disc. UHD streaming services are also available through the box, which features a curved design.
Samsung didn’t specify any pricing, but it is expected to sell for over $700 in Australia depending on the dollar.
At the launch in Berlin executives from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment were on hand, committing to a simultaneous release of the first batch of Fox movies in Ultra HD Blu-Ray with high dynamic range (HDR).
“We are now preparing our recent releases … in 4K Ultra HD to be available in conjunction with the launch of your Ultra HD Blu-ray players early next year,” said Mike Dunn, president of Fox Home Entertainment. “We are committed to releasing our slate of movies going forward in Ultra HD with high dynamic range, day and date, with the Digital HD and Blu-ray release. We believe it is critical to have rich, compelling content available to consumers as the UHD TV market continues to grow.”
Initially, these titles will include Exodus: Gods and Kings, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fantastic Four, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, Life of Pi, The Maze Runner and Wild.
Ultra HD Blu-Ray is a new Blu-Ray format that supports 4K Ultra HD resolution, as well as provides support for certain flavours of HDR, meaning that it has a wider range between the whitest whites and blackest blacks. There’s growing interest in home entertainment to provide 4K and HDR.
In an effort to have orderly rollout and sidestep a potential format war, companies including Fox and Samsung also participate in studio and manufacturer coalition UHD Alliance, which is working to create an agreed-upon, consistent and inter-operable quality specification for home entertainment. (Standards bodies including the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers are also doing related work.)
“We’ve made a lot of progress. We’re getting close to finalizing our technical specifications, as well as our certification and logo programs,” reported Hanno Basse, chair of the UHD Alliance and CTO at Fox, who was on hand at Samsung’s IFA press conference. “Since the announcement of the Alliance earlier this year, we’ve almost tripled our membership, and we now represent a large segment of the device and content industry from around the world. And we hope to share a lot more details in the coming months on the launch of our licensing program and the availability of new products in the market.”