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Samsung Readies 125GB Blu-ray Discs For 4K Streaming

Posted by: , 06:02 AEDT, Sat January 11, 2014

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Samsung says a 4K Blu-ray disc and player can be here this year if a video codec standard is chosen, while Netflix believes disc formats are an outdated solution to the 4K problem
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Samsung is ready to bring to the market a four-layer 125GB Blu-ray disc, and players to play these discs, for 4K streaming by the end of the year.

Speaking to The Australian newspaper, Philip Newton, Samsung Australia's VP for consumer electronics, says that the only major hurdle left for a standalone 4K Blu-ray player is choosing the standard for video compression.

Google's foray into the 4K space by promoting its VP9 codec as its 4K codec of choice, a format that is also backed by Samsung, has muddied the waters in recent weeks. VP9 will go head to head with the International Telecommunication Union backed HEVC/H.265 format, the natural successor to the industry backed H.264 format currently used for HD Blu-ray movies.

Once a standard is chosen, and this could include the support for both VP9 and HEVC, Newton says Samsung will be at the ready with its four-layer 125GB Blu-ray discs and players to read these discs.

For now, Samsung is pressing ahead with its own 4K content plans by providing 20 movies and 30 documentaries on 3.5-inch hard drives.

Other companies believe that the future for 4K does not necessarily belong on an optical disc.

Users with suitably fast (16 Mbps of faster) Internet connections and a new 4K TV by Sony, LG, Samsung and others will also be able to view 4K content straight from Netflix, the company announced at CES. Netflix will use the HEVC codec and new TV equipped with the HEVC decoding chip will be able to access Netflix's fledgling 4K content library immediately. 

"People are recognizing that disc formats are yesterday's solution," says Netflix's chief product officer Neil Hunt.


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