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Samsung Ultra HD Blu-ray Player and 4K TV Pick up Awards at IFA

8 Sep, 2015 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Samsung’s new Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player, the industry’s first, is the talk of IFA 2015, the big global trade show for consumer electronics that ends its five-day run in Berlin Wednesday.

The player picked up a Top Tech of IFA award from Digital Trends, the big tech website that as of August was getting more than 20 million visitors a month, while Samsung’s accompanying 4K TV was named Best of Show.

Tom’s Guide, another popular tech website, also lauded the Samsung player — expected to be available for sale in early 2016 — on its Best of IFA 2015 wrap-up.

According to Digital Trends, “Samsung will allow 4K UHD TV owners to finally enjoy the very best picture quality their TVs can produce — and we’re not just talking about higher resolution; we’re talking about more color expression and high dynamic range (HDR), the likes of which can’t be matched by any modern streaming service. With backing by major movie studios, the flow of 4K content will soon transform from a trickle to a roar.”

Leading the major movie studio roar is 20th Century Fox, which on Sept. 3 announced its intent to release upcoming movies on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc on the same day as standard Blu-ray and Digital HD. The studio will also put recently released films on Ultra HD discs, including Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Life of Pi and Fantastic Four.

“When my colleagues and I at Fox first saw the side-by-side comparison of Ultra HD with High Dynamic Range versus HD, it was reminiscent of the difference between standard-def and high-def,” 20th Century Fox President Mike Dunn said in Berlin. “This is a massive leap forward for the consumer experience.”

The arrival of Ultra HD players and software is likely to lead to a resurgence in Blu-ray Disc sales. As Tom’s Guide noted in awarding the Samsung player its “Best Home Entertainment” award, “The 4K Blu-ray discs have four times the resolution and 64 times the color accuracy of 1080p Blu-rays. … Users can even pop in their old DVDs and Blu-rays and see them upscaled to near-UHD quality. Streaming services come and go, but the UHD Blu-ray player will let you keep a permanent collection.”

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