Panasonic Unveil 4K Blu-ray Player Prototype at CES 2015

Vincent Teoh

Panasonic has just unveiled the first 4K Blu-ray player prototype at its press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas. The Japanese manufacturer also announced at the same time that it is a member of the newly formed UHD (Ultra High Definition) Alliance, an organisation of consumer electronics brands, film studios and content distributors who want to establish a new standard for next-gen video technologies including 4K resolution (and higher), wide colour gamut (WCG), high dynamic range (HDR) and immersive 3D audio.

Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player prototype

Since the advent of the 4K TV movement, videophiles have been crying out for a high-quality physical disc format, such as the next generation of Blu-ray. Although Netflix 4K and similar streaming services have quenched the thirst somewhat, at the end of the day it is limited by bandwidth and the necessary compression that ensues, something that UHD Blu-ray will resolve.

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has been slow to announce details regarding the launch of 4K Blu-ray, but at IFA 2014 a spokesperson stated that the body is aiming to finalise the framework by the summer of 2015, with actual hardware arriving at the end of this year. The unveiling of a prototype 4K BD player by Panasonic signifies that things are on track, so maybe video enthusiasts won’t have to wait much longer before getting their hands on true, mildly compressed 4K content that’s not restricted by broadband speed.

Details about Panasonic’s 4K Blu-ray player prototype remains scarce, but we know that the brand will definitely incorporating HDR (high dynamic range) support, though it remains to be seen whether other properties like 120fps high frame rate (HFR) or Rec.2020 colours will be on board. We will bring you more info when we visit Panasonic’s showfloor at CES this week.