Digital hipsters will tell you that optical discs are already dead, but Ultra HD streaming on a Friday night is still a pipe dream for many Australians.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Slowly but surely, after years of waiting and angst, 4K is becoming a thing. Ultra HD Blu-ray discs are already available in stores around the country -- at a moderate price premium over a standard Blu-ray or DVD -- and Netflix's repertoire of 4K content is growing and growing. The Panasonic DMP-UB900 is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player that not only promises amazing improvements in picture quality, but also the best sound, including for 7.1-channel home theatre systems, as well as a design that'll be at home in the most distinguished and serious home theatres.
Panasonic's DMP-UB900 was the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player to be launched in Australia, but when it's released onto store shelves later this month it'll be more expensive than its Samsung competitor, thanks to some higher-quality audio components and apparently superior video output. Internationally, Panasonic now has two new 4K Blu-ray players launching that -- if they come to Australia -- should be pretty damn tempting, and provide stronger competition at for anyone looking to get into the new format without breaking the bank.
If you're thinking of buying a new Ultra HD TV, then you're obviously investing that little bit extra because you want it to look its best. To do exactly that, you should also invest in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and some new 4K Blu-rays. Here are our 10 favourite 4K discs, all of which you can buy right now.
The guy next to me huffed loudly -- an explosive grunt of displeasure that had me halfway between amusement and horror. We were in a meeting room at the Hilton in New Jersey, seated in front of a giant TV with a giant sound system, and we'd just seen footage played back on Panasonic's UB900 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray player. Compared to the competitor, it had performed well and everyone in attendance was eager to get their hands on one for testing at home.
Chimichangas. (I'm told that's a thing.) Deadpool is one of the first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs that you can buy, and it's definitely the newest theatrical release that you can get hold of. As well as just being a good -- if brutal -- movie, it's also one of the two 4K movies that you should go out and buy if you want to justify your big expensive 4K TV to your friends. Of course, if you already have one.
The arrival of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs heralds the end of the much-hated region coding that has long prevented Australian consumers buying movies from overseas. Until now, discs made for one geographic market wouldn't play on machines coded for another, but the new generation of players just released abandons the old system, leaving movie buffs free to buy from the US Amazon site, for instance, with full confidence.
High Dynamic Range continues to prove its importance as Samsung's UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player lands on Australian shelves.
Panasonic jumped the gun recently in order to announce Australia's first Ultra HD Blu-ray disc first player -- I've already put the Panasonic player through its paces, but it won't actually be on sale until September and judging by overseas pricing it's likely to sell for at least $1000. Now Samsung has thrown its hat in the ring with a $599 player that hits the shelves this month.
Here's the first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that you can actually go out and buy. Along with the discs that are already on sale, the Samsung UBD-K8500 is your first -- and only -- option to watch the new 4K Blu-rays that are by far the most detailed, lifelike and colourful movies you've ever seen.