The world's first Ultra HD Blu-ray player is likely to go on sale in spring 2016 with a price tag "under €500" according to a Samsung spokesman.

Samsung stole a march on its 4K opposition with the announcement of the world's first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBD-K8500, at IFA in Berlin yesterday. 

Information on the release date of the UHD Blu-ray player was vague, while there was no word at all on pricing, but a Samsung spokesman at IFA tells What Hi-Fi? it's likely the UHD Blu-ray player will be released in Spring 2016 and cost under €500 (£365). 

Back in May, Ron Martin, VP of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, had told What Hi-Fi? that 4K disc players were likely to be "two to three times the cost" of existing Blu-ray players, so this seems to fit with that information.

MORE: Ultra HD Blu-ray - everything you need to know

The Samsung UBD-K8500 player supports HDR, the HEVC codec, 10-bit colour depth and has a "UHD Up-scaler" for non-4K video.

3D is also mentioned, despite not being part of the official spec, so we assume this means it will play standard 3D Blu-ray discs.

Other features on the player's spec sheet include a "Multiroom Link", dual band WiFi (2.4GHz / 5GHz), Samsung's Smart Hub, Screen Mirroring and a web browser.

There's a USB connection, which promises "Disc to USB", plus a digital optical output. We'll go ahead and assume there's an HDMI output on there, too.

More after the break

After an increasing amount of noise around Ultra HD Blu-ray this year, the Samsung UBD-K8500 is the first sniff of any hardware that we've had. 

We also saw the first 4K discs, with the Ultra HD Alliance confirming Kingsman would be the first release and 20th Century Fox promising all its releases would be on Ultra HD Blu-ray as soon as the products were in market.

Martin suggested back in May that 4K discs would be "price comparable to existing Blu-rays". 

Despite Panasonic's desire to be first to release an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, there's been no sign as yet of any UHD Blu-ray hardware from Panasonic, nor any other manufacturer, at IFA.

MORE: IFA 2015 news round-up


Tropi's picture

What Hi-Fi should follow Blu-Ray Disk Association's lead

Is the BDA the only organization with the guts and integrity to use the honest UHD term?

I'm delighted to see some details of the first Ultra HD Blu-Ray player. Even more dlighted to see it clearly described as "Ultra HD" or "UHD" and NOT the perfidious 4K term! The disks will be UHD Blu-Ray disks too, NOT 4K.

johnjay's picture

For the sake of a relatively

For the sake of a relatively few less pixels that we cannot possibly notice on a 16:9 TV & being a DCI format which wouldn't natively fit our TVs anyway. Almost 4 years ago TV manufacturer's have adopted 4K UHD-TV for their TV resolution format  as 3840 x 2160 pixels looks like it was the nearest they could get to 4K using a 16:9 format & the BDA have gone with UHD-BD, no big deal, not hard to live with...

If you want to feel you have a less sinister set up, you can always buy a Sony 4K projector which uses the required amount of pixels & then get a screen with an aspect ratio that conforms to native UHD material upscaled to  4096 x 2160.

Bringing up this sort of old news only complicates a system that put the cart before the horse a long time ago  & as usual didn't reckon the customer was inteligent enough to work any of this out. Enthusiasts don't count as there are not enough of us to affect their precious market... 


LedHed's picture

High Res Audio

No mention of any high res audio playback in the article.  I am assuming almost all UHD players will support 192/24 and DSD at this price point, but would like confirmation.  Looking hard at this player.