Panasonic outs 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, confirms first curved LED TV range

posted on Tuesday, 6th January 2015 by Steve May

CES  Blu-ray  4K 

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Panasonic has adopted a leading position in the development of 4K Blu-ray at this year’s International CES, with the unveiling of a prototype 2160p Blu-ray player. The brand also confided to Inside CI that it would be launching curved LED TVs for the first time into the European market later this year.

The Blu-ray prototype is the first working example of the next-gen format. The format, now dubbed Ultra HD Blu-ray, supports 2160p 10-bit video and has High Dynamic Range support  between 1,000-10,000 nits and next generation colour, in the form of  BT.2020. 4K BD discs will be encoded in HEVC h.265 and playback at 100Mbps.

Player Under Glass

Panasonic TV product manager Craig Cunningham told Inside CI that the brand was also expanding its 4K streaming content options. “We’ve just added Amazon Instant Video to our TVs in the UK, we’ve never had it before. The relationship’s there, so hopefully we’ll be able to offer Amazon 4K too soon. That will join Netflix 4K”

Cunningham revealed that all 2015 Panasonic 4K sets would have HEVC decoders onboard, regardless of whether they were premium or entry-level models. “We have a really strong line-up for TV in the UK next year,” he said.

The company is also joining the curved clique. “Yes, we’ll have some curved options, but it’s important to say that we will also have some flat alternatives. You won’t see us with smaller curved screens, but with larger sizes you can tell the immersive story.’

The brand says that it also hopes to improve the consistency of its picture performance. ’For 2015 we’re going to a full VA panel line-up for the first time,” reveals Cunnigham. “That’s a decision we’ve taken locally. In Europe there will be some IPS options, but we’re now in a position where we can dictate our own range. It just seems that the benefits of a VA panel are more appreciated in the UK, where black level performance is rated above wider viewing angle.” Panasonic also announced that is was adopting the new Firefox TV OS for its 2015 Smart range. The brand will continue to offer Freetime Catch-Up.

Panasonic 4K TV

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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