Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 14 Old 01-13-15, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

Over the last year we’ve detailed various 4K sources as they’ve arrived, which has wholly included hard drive and streaming options. But the enthusiast world still has keen eyes and ears for the purity of high definition bliss offered by the ole physical disc, and there has undoubtedly been an interest in seeing Blu-ray’s next iteration. That makes the official arrival of 4K capable Blu-ray players big news for movie fans and Home Theater geeks alike.

Panasonic's prototype UHD Blu-ray player.

Last week at CES 2015, Panasonic announced it has developed the world’s first Blu-ray player capable of playing discs carrying true 4K media. This player, and others like it, will officially be branded Ultra HD Blu-ray Players. Yes, Panasonic merely unveiled a prototype and, no, it won’t be for sale next month. But we are now primed for UHD Blu-ray players and movies to hit store shelves sometime late this year or early 2016. That is practically fact. As detailed by Consumer Reports, Blu-ray Disc Association spokesman Dan Schinasi spoke at CES and said that UHD Blu-ray specifications are on the verge of finalization, which means that licensing and production could very well begin in a few short months.

There have been many speculations about the potential for 4K on Blu-ray, including the necessary gear to make it a reality. Unfortunately, the hope for a simple firmware update to standard Hi-Def Blu-ray players was just that: a hope. Anyone wanting to play UHD Blu-ray discs will need to buy a new player. The good news is that current Blu-ray discs will be playable on new UHD Blu-ray players. Most likely, these UHD players will carry the ability to upscale standard Blu-ray material, which is an ironic twist for a format that graciously up-converted our old DVD discs for the last decade plus.

If you read our 2014 Year in Review, then you’re well aware that physical discs are losing the battle against streaming. The dollar figures say that streaming is hitting stride and physical media is beginning to stumble. So with 4K streaming (pseudo-4K or not) ramping-up and a consumer base clearly choosing laziness over quality (I jest, of course…), what makes UHD Blu-ray special enough to survive? Will Hollywood studios embrace the format? In answer to the second question, The Digital Bits’ Bill Hunt says that his sources indicate that the big players in Hollywood are excited about the format. That’s good news and bodes well for the survival of Blu-ray…at least for the foreseeable future.

The answer to the first question is slightly more technical and may very well contain performance components that average consumers will shrug-off and ignore. Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will not only offer higher resolution (4K, 60p), but also will deliver BT.2020 wide color gamut (amazingly richer colors), 10-bit gradation (smoothly detailed and textured images), High Dynamic Range (significantly improved image contrast), and HEVC (fast data transfer rates – up to 100Mbps – for better video quality). Those four qualities should definitely get some attention from videophiles. Pair them new display technology and it would appear the 4K era will mean more than just added pixels.

Stay tuned for more UHD Blu-ray updates in the coming months.

Image Credits: Panasonic, Sony, Blu-ray Disc Association
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-14-15, 01:39 PM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

I'm lovin this news! 2016 is going to be a hot year for Audio / Video.

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-14-15, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

This is GREAT actually is changing my relatively ho-hum attitude about 4K. It already has me thinking about the possibilities of a 4K projector.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-15-15, 09:30 AM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

I will probably pull the pin in 2017 after the bugs are ironed out
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-15-15, 05:00 PM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

I just got my Sony 40es. I'm out.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-18-15, 08:28 PM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

4k tv......yes
4k Blu-ray.....yes
speakers on the ceiling......a big and ultra fat NO.

I'll replace my pre/pro with one that supports DTS-X if and ONLY if DTS-X can be utilized with the existing 5.1/7.1 channel bed.

"There is one who comes after me who's sandals I'm unworthy to unloose." John the Baptist
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-19-15, 08:23 PM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

Sneak preview of Panasonic's Ultra HD Blu-ray player.



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post #8 of 14 Old 01-19-15, 09:06 PM
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Robert Zohn wrote: View Post
Sneak preview of Panasonic's Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Enjoy! -Robert
Oh no…more blue lights! Must resist the temptation!
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-19-15, 09:13 PM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

They'll always be a market for physical media, especially when it carries the highest quality possible, I mean they still sell vinyl.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-20-15, 09:59 AM
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Re: Panasonic Unveils the World's First UHD Blu-ray Player

Well... if the whole world moved to streaming then the internet providers would capitalize on that and charge for more usage.

I'd prefer a physical media over anything else.
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