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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.

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Luke Westaway, Andrew Hoyle
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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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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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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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Note the curve on the front. That's designed to match the curved screen on Samsung's latest TVs.

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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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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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