Meet Panasonic’s new Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray disc player: The first of its kind

by on October 6, 2015

Stephan Jukic – October 06, 2015

Going on sale for the first time ever next month in Japan, Panasonic’s new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player will apparently be the first of its kind in the world. The new player is coming out in eager anticipation of potential sales of the new and also soon to arrive 4K UHD Blu-ray discs that lots of consumers, tech watchers and 4K fans have been waiting for all year.

Up until today, the only ways by which most users can get commercial 4K content is either via a small group of internet streaming content services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Ultraflix and BT Sport along with YouTube and even Vimeo, or via set-top media players with preloaded content, such as the Sony FMP X10 4K media device with access to the Sony 4K content network and its hundreds of hours of movies and shows.

Now we’re also expecting content from the 4K UHD Blu-ray discs that have been in the works since at least May of 2015, when the companies behind the technology finalized the standards for ultra HD content to be on the discs. This is the format that the new Panasonic disc player will support.

And with that said, the new player goes by the catchy name of the DMR-UBZ1 and will go on sale on the Japanese market as of November 15th 2015. It has already been presented to the public at the Ceatec electronics show near Tokyo this past Tuesday and admittedly, its overall look gives a distinctly retro impression. The player is more reminiscent of technology from the early 90’s than of something you’d expect to see in 2015 and designed for playing the latest and most advanced hard disc media in the world.

the Panasonic DMR-UBZ1 4K UHD Blu-ray player on display

the Panasonic DMR-UBZ1 4K UHD Blu-ray player on display

The new player is also definitely larger than some other recent Blu-ray disc players we’ve seen but also isn’t exactly a space hog either. Besides, it packs a very hefty and very un-90’s 3TB internal disk drive for recording of terrestrial and satellite TV shows into its storage. Furthermore, the DMR-UBZ1 supports high dynamic range 4K content as long as it’s connected to a compatible 4K TV with its own HDR support.

We’ve also heard that Panasonic plans on releasing just 500 of these new players per month for the time being, and selling each for the U.S dollar equivalent of $3,320. This is certainly a steep price but we’re virtually certain that other competing products will soon force retail costs down as 4K Blu-ray (hopefully) settles into the consumer 4K content landscape.

For example, Samsung is also releasing a 4K UHD Blu-ray disc player but their smaller and more modern looking model will not be going on sale until 2016 and we don’t yet have price details for it.

In addition to the DMR-UBZ1, Panasonic is also going to start selling a new model of extra-thick HDMI 2.0 cables that can carry as much as 18Bbps of data. These are aimed squarely at transmission of 4K content at least 60 frames per second.

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