Contrary to what some may think, the launch of the UHD (4K) version of Blu-ray players in March will accelerate the use of OTT services.
This is because more people will buy 4K TVs to play 4K Blu-ray discs on their new UHD Blu-ray players.
The installed base of 4K TVs will boom because UHD 4K Blu-ray players can only play in 4K on 4K TVs.
They can also play 1080p Blu-ray discs but existing Blu-ray players cannot play in 4K on 1080p HD TVs. All the 4K sets that UHD Blu-ray players will drive will give users access to all the OTT services, which already have large libraries of 4K content. All Blu-ray players come with Internet access and many OTT apps.
Samsung’s UBD-K8500 UHD Blu-ray player is available for pre-order on Amazon. Funai has said it will offer a Philips brand player at about the same time as has Panasonic, both of which showed UHD Blu-ray players at CES 2016. Other CE makers may follow if sales of UHD Blu-ray are strong.
Samsung and Philips have priced theirs at $400. Panasonic has not announced its pricing. Current Blu-ray players typically sell for less than $100, which will keep the pressure on prices for UHD Blu-ray players.
A company called Oppo is said to be planning to offer its BDT-101CI UHD Blu-ray player later this year at a shockingly low price.
Oppo’s BDT-101CI UHD Blu-ray Player
In general, because of the limited speed of most homes’ broadband and home network, Blu-ray content looks better on TVs than OTT services do – and that will certainly be even truer for UHD because it requires at least twice the speed of 1080p.
The UHD Blu-ray players will also be able to display two new features that have recently been added: High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG). It’s said that HDR adds as much to 4K viewing as 4K does in comparison to 1080p HD.
In short, although the picture will be …
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