The new player allows users quick access to The Maze Runner after purchasing an Ultra HD disc.
Prior to this innovation, users of 4K TVs were limited in their use of the device. They were only permitted to a few titles (like House of Cards) on streaming services, plus whatever the studios have supplied on those hard drives.
The new Blu-ray player also comes with DVDs and regular Blu-rays (which top out at 1080p resolution).
It also supports TVs capable of displaying high dynamic range (HDR), the same tech that ensures photos don’t lose detail when there’s extremely bright and dark portions of the same frame.
USA Today Fox announced it would be making several titles available in the Ultra HD disc format.
Among the movies are Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Life of Pi.
The announcement of a new disc format and player feels like an odd throwback in the age of Netflix and HBO Go, but where 4K is concerned, it makes some sense: 4K video is more difficult to stream reliably over today’s networks, and while YouTube, Amazon and others have more or less sorted out the technical details, there’s still little streaming content available in the ultra-high-res format.
Discs on the other hand guarantee 4K quality and don’t depend on network access at all. They’re also much easier to distribute than hard drives since there’s already a huge retail system in place to support them.
Samsung plans to release the Ultra HD Blu-ray player in Europe and the U.S. early next year. Although it didn’t give a specific price, the company said it would cost “under $500,”.