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Samsung's Ultra HD Blu-ray player flies the flag for the 4K sequel to Blu-ray discs (pictures)

Ultra HD Blu-ray is, tech companies assert, the natural successor to the Blu-ray format. We take a look at Samsung's first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, on show at IFA.

Luke Westaway
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones | Photography | iOS | Android | Gaming | Outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Luke Westaway
Andrew Lanxon
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1 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

BERLIN -- What comes after High Definition? TV makers are hoping shoppers will be enthralled by 4K, also known as Ultra HD -- a resolution that packs roughly four times as many pixels as a Full HD 1080p image.

The trouble, however, is that currently there's not much 4K stuff to watch. Samsung's new player could change that, as it plays Ultra HD Blu-rays, the sequel to Blu-ray. Click through to check out our hands-on photos.

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2 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The formal name for this player is UBD-K8500. All you really need to know is that it'll play Ultra HD Blu-rays.

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3 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Ultra HD Blu-ray is going to be the sequel to the Blu-ray format, which itself is the sequel to DVD.

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4 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Note the curve on the front. That's designed to match the curved screen on Samsung's latest TVs.

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5 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The headline feature of Ultra HD Blu-ray is that it plays in a 4K resolution, though Samsung says the format will also bring improvements to picture quality.

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6 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Expect to see this player on sale next year. There's no fixed price yet, but Samsung says it's aiming for a price tag of less than $500 in the US (that translates to roughly £325 or AU$715).

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7 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The bigger question is whether this new disc-based format can really gain traction, bearing in mind the popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, which offer enormous convenience -- even if the resolution is usually lower.

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