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Panasonic presents its first 4K ultra HD Blu-ray player for US market at CES 2016

by on January 5, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – January 05, 2016

The future of 4K ultra HD Blu-ray disc entertainment is very close to finally arriving in the flesh (or microchip more so) and Panasonic is one company that’s making sure its technology is there to embrace the new medium ahead of the curve.

Mainly, they’re doing this in the form of a new 4K Blu-ray player that can finally do what the company’s prototype machine promised at CES 2015 last year. Thus, CES 2016 is finally the unveiling ground for a piece of technology first previewed a year ago, as of this morning’s Panasonic press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Furthermore, Panasonic promises that the new player will hit the U.S consumer market in 2016. The company has already started selling a similar and 4K Blu-ray capable media player on the Japanese market, but this other device was sold only in very small quantities and was limited to sales in Japan. Not to mention, it cost roughly $3,300 US dollars, a steep price indeed for the world’s first 4K Blu-ray player.

In any case, The ultra HD Blu-ray standard is finalized and the discs themselves are on the verge of coming out thanks to media companies like Sony, Warner Bros, Fox and even smaller content providers like Shout Factory, with its upcoming IMAX feature films on Blu-ray in 4K, all of which will be offering HDR and enhanced color in their disc editions. Thus, Panasonic’s new US player is very likely to support all of these display technologies as well.

Panasonic competitors like Samsung are also releasing their own 4K Blu-ray player models

Panasonic competitors like Samsung are also releasing their own 4K Blu-ray player models

We can also be sure that the company’s competitors like Samsung, Sony and others will be working on their own versions of 4K UHD players as well. Samsung in particular has a concrete thing going with the 4K Blu-ray player they also unveiled to the world at IFA 2015. However, neither Samsung or Panasonic have yet released price and specific availability details for their devices.

So far, what we can however be sure of is that 2016 will definitely be a year for some considerably more interesting consumer 4K ultra HD video choices existing on the actual consumer market, instead of just in corporate planning sessions.

Story by 4k.com

5 comments
 
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  • Gadgety
    January 6, 2016 at 2:32 am

    $3300 and it doesn’t do 3D.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 6, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Hello Gadgety. the 4K UHD Blu-ray player that was put on sale in Japan in November of 2015 was the model which sold for $3,300. The new Panasonic model that’s coming for the U.S market in the spring will likely cost quite a bit less due to the competition we can definitely expect from Philip’s and Samsung’s 4K Blu-ray players and likely a Sony model later in the year. However, no we don’t yet have a firm price for the U.S Panasonic player.

      Reply

      • Gadgety
        January 7, 2016 at 2:19 am

        OK, thank you Stephen. Would you know what that Japanese model does differently to warrant the price differential? Or is it just a premium for being first? The $400 Philips model you showed today seems reasonable, and actually looks good!

        Reply

        • roxics
          January 7, 2016 at 11:04 am

          I belive and I could be wrong, that the Japaenese model has a hard drive and tuner in it so can also act as a DVR.

          But yes I’m also curious if these models support 3D HD blu-rays.

          Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          January 7, 2016 at 11:54 pm

          Hey there Gadgety. My impression is that the Japanese model got pegged at that price more out of deference to it being the first of its kind. Furthermore, it could have something to do with pricing vagaries in the Japanese market itself (I’ve seen this before, where electronics sell for far more in overseas markets than comparable products in the U.S). However, I’m not 100% sure. From what we’ve seen, the Japanese model isn’t really superior to the new offerings coming to the U.S in 2016. Furthermore, Samsung’s new 4K Blu-ray player is already available on pre-order. It offers many of the same essentials as the Philips model and is also selling for just a nudge under $400.

          Reply

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