With friends like Panasonic and Samsung, the 4K / UHD Blu-ray format might stand a chance of being successful. Or, at least, maybe eventually being as "successful" as regular Blu-ray. This morning Panasonic announced it's launching a 4K Blu-ray player in 2016, and now Samsung is trying to jump ahead of the whole industry by revealing that its own player is going up for preorder today.
An increasing number of studios are already pledging support for the discs, so it wouldn't be an ill-advised purchase if you're looking to upgrade your home theater before everyone else you know. Twentieth Century Fox will release "more than 30" 4K discs this year (with HDR) including The Martian, so there's your obvious choice for demo disc. Samsung also notes that the UBD-K8500, as it's so elegantly called, will upscale your existing Blu-rays and DVDs, though it still won't be as good as a proper 4K Ultra HD disc. Samsung's player will begin shipping in March — probably around the time that some of Samsung's latest TVs also go on sale.