Panasonic offered a preview of the new 4K compliant Blu-ray player alongside the company's new 4K TV range, as the company used the conference to also launch the UHD Alliance, a trade group that will help set standards and promote Ultra High Definition video. The group consists of CE manufacturers like Panasonic (and LG, Sony and Samsung), as well as other stakeholders including most of the major movie studios, and Netflix.
The alliance aims to promote more than just 4K video, with the group pushing for other video and audio quality enhancements, such as high dynamic range, wider color gamut and immersive 3D audio.
But for now, 4K is the main focus, and while 4K streaming (such as via Netflix) is seen by some in the industry as the future path for adoption, Blu-ray discs may still represent the fastest path towards making 4K mainstream. The Blu-ray Disc Association has all but finalized the 4K Blu-ray specifications, but commercially availability is still months away. As such, Panasonic only demonstrated a very early development model of their upcoming 4K Blu-ray player range, which will use the much more efficient H.265 codec to store 4K content.
The company also announced that it's working on a 8K display.