You might be able to get your hands on Samsung’s new 4K Blu-ray players tomorrow, first sales start Friday
Stephan Jukic – February 4, 2016
4K movie fans in the U.S who really want to finally see how the first 4K Blu-ray players work and deliver video might not have to wait until March it seems, at least if they live in some areas.
The first of Samsung’s new 4K Blu-ray players, the memorably named UBD-K8500/ZA, will be going on sale as of Friday, February 5th at Video & Audio Center in Santa Monica, California.
These new players, which were first definitively showcased at the 2016 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas at the beginning of January were originally expected to hit the consumer market no earlier than March, in tandem with other similar 4K disc players from Philips and Panasonic, as well as in time for the arrival of the first 4K Blu-ray discs from retailers like Amazon.com.
Now however, Samsung is possibly looking to tease consumers a bit more directly by making a limited quantity of their new players available only in the L.A area (at least for now, but who knows where else they might unveil them in the next three weeks) as of Friday.
Consumers in the rest of the U.S will have to wait until an indefinite date in March for a chance to buy the UBD-K8500/ZA in stores, though they are already available on pre-order from Samsung’s own website.
The new UBD-K8500/ZA is equipped to handle 4K ultra HD Blu-ray disc media at 60fps via HDMI 2.0a to all compatible 4K TVs and also offers wireless streaming of 4K content from Netflix and other select sources of UHD entertainment. Additionally, the new player comes equipped with HDR-compatibility for content and TVs that also feature this new contrast and color enhancing 4K video format.
According to Video & Audio Center chief technologist Tom Campbell, “This player is phenomenal. With it consumers are ready for the future.” Of course a staff member of Video & Audio Center would say such a thing since the company is the first ever to start selling these players in-store, so we’ll reserve our own judgement on the UBD-K8500/ZA until a firm review can be made.
However, speaking from a look at the player’s specs and experience with Samsung 4K technology to date, we can be fairly confident that the new machine will indeed offer a superb content viewing experience, with 4K movies and shows on disc format likely looking considerably sharper than their streamed 4K counterparts with HDR.
Interestingly, since the first 4K Blu-ray discs aren’t available for delivery for at least three weeks or more, consumers who manage to buy the Samsung UBD-K8500/ZA at this early date will have to contend themselves with trying out its streaming 4K abilities, smart interface and playback of upscaled conventional HD Blu-ray discs on their 4K TVs for the time being. In other words, the crowning feature of the player is missing from its core until the first 4K disc movies such as The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road arrive.
Story by 4k.com