February 20, 2019

Samsung Confirms Blu-ray Player Exit

Samsung's first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBD-K8500

Greg Tarr


The move seemed to put the long-term future of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format in some doubt. Despite this, most AV enthusiasts recognize it remains the best way available to watch movies at home in 4K resolution.

Samsung was the first company to introduce both a Blu-ray player and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player in the United States. It had been an active promoter of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format as a high-quality video source for the playback of native 4K movies with high dynamic range (HDR), including the dynamic metadata HDR+ profile it has championed as an alternative to the rival Dolby Vision profile.

Both dynamic HDR profiles are included in the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications for “voluntary” support for player manufacturers and disc distributors.

Samsung’s apparent departure from the category leaves Sony, LG, Pioneer Elite, Panasonic and Funai/Magnavox as the primary suppliers of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players with products still in the U.S. market. However, some of those companies are not shipping in large volumes, and Funai showed no new models at CES 2019.