The Ultra HD TV world has gone without content long enough, and if you joined the UHDTV revolution early, you can finally find content for your newish TV.
It’s certainly taken its time, but Ultra HD content is finally here, beyond either the “you can find some trailers on YouTube” and “Netflix has some shows in 4K” arguments that manufacturers and pundits had been using for the past few years.
After years of talk about what sort of medium 4K movies would be transmitted in, and a hope that a fibre-based National Broadband Network could let Australians see 4K video due to the size, optical media has been turned to once again.
Yes, Blu-ray has come to the rescue, delivering salvation to movie studios keen to get films in higher qualities to customers ready for it armed with TVs that can make it happen.
Already, JB HiFi is listing 13 titles that offer the goodness of 4K video, including the likes of “The Revenant”, “The Lego Movie”, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and “The Martian”, as well as “Deadpool”, with seven more on the way that we know of.
Unfortunately, your standard Blu-ray player just won’t cut it, with support for larger data amounts on the disc and new formats, so you’ll want something new for that.
Fortunately, Samsung and Panasonic are ready with models, or two at the moment, with one from each.
First there’s Samsung, with the UBD-K8500, a Blu-ray player offering a curved design to match the televisions Samsung would like you to spend money on, and also support for the Ultra HD resolution of 3840×2160 the TVs handle, too.
The player handles HDR content — just like the TVs — and will even play back those standard Blu-rays and DVDs, upscaling the imagery to 4K for the TV.
Panasonic is the other manufacturer with a 4K Blu-ray player in Australia, and it has the UB900, a model that much like the Samsung can handle the 4K content on the newer 100GB discs, though Panasonic is claiming access to a lab in Hollywood for the processing of discs to achieve more vivid colours. Part of this intention comes from the THX certification the UB900 has, so all you need is a THX setup at home and you’ll get the proper cinema experience.
Aside for the 4K Blu-ray support, Panasonic is also supporting high-resolution audio with its Blu-ray player, supporting FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and DSD out of the box through a simulation of vacuum tube sound with up to 192kHz upsampling, handy for those of us spending the money on high resolution audio as well as high resolution video.
“As demand for 4K video continues to expand, the DMP-UB900 offers a new video viewing experience for those who demand uncompromised quality in picture and sound,” said Maetham Roomi, Senior Product Manager for Panasonic’s Home Entertainment division.