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Panasonic 4K Blu-ray Player Prototype

Panasonic today announced it has developed the world’s first Blu-ray Disc playback technology supporting 4K and High Dynamic Range, which are expected to be adopted in the next generation Blu-ray Disc standards (ULTRA HD BLU-RAY). A prototype player will be on display at the 2015 International CES (Las Vegas, NV, United States) January 6-9, 2015.

This prototype integrates video processing and optical disc drive technologies that Panasonic has refined over many years, making it capable of reproducing 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixel)/60p[1]/10-bit[2] high resolution video, and supporting the latest technologies such as High Dynamic Range[3] that marks a major leap in the brightness peak from the previous 100 nit3 to 1,000-10,000 nit to improve the power of expression; wide color gamut standard BT.2020[4], which greatly increases color reproduction; high-efficiency video compression technology HEVC (H.265)/ Blu-ray Disc playback at a high bit rate of 100Mbps[5].

This marks a major advance in picture quality over current Blu-ray Disc players, and paves the way towards allowing consumers to enjoy the crisp, true-to-life quality of amazing 4K Ultra HD content in their own homes.

Since the announcement of the Blu-ray Disc standards in 2002, Panasonic has consistently taken the lead in standardization. In 2004 it released the world’s first 50GB Blu-ray Disc recorder capable of double-sided recording, and in 2006 the world’s first recorder capable of playing BD-Video, as well as being the first in the world to develop the technology to play back full HD 3D image data recorded to the Blu-ray Disc in 2008. With these and other achievements, Panasonic has constantly led the industry in developing Blu-ray devices.

Panasonic is now further redoubling its R&D efforts to bring its customers products that deliver amazing experiences and emotional impact. Panasonic will also participate in the newly-formed UHD Alliance4 to contribute to the progress of whole 4K (UHD) industry.

  1. As of January 6, 2015, for a Blu-ray Disc player supporting the latest technologies (e.g. 4K (Ultra HD) and High Dynamic Range) to be adopted in the ULTRA HD BLU-RAY next generation Blu-ray Disc standards.
  2. The next generation Blu-ray Disc standards are being formulated by the Blu-ray Disc Association and have not yet been finalized. The technology to be adopted may change in the future.
  3. Luminance per square meter (cd/m2)
  4. The UHD Alliance is a global coalition of leading TV brands, film studios, content distributors and technology companies that aim to create a unified criterion for premium UHD platforms, from devices to content.

Specification Notes

[1] 4K / 60p
High speed display in 60 frames per second of 4K video (3,840 x 2,160 pixels – Ultra HD), which has four times the resolution of Full Hi-vision, for highly detailed videos with extremely smooth movement.

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[2] 10-bit gradation
Previous Blu-ray Discs displayed the color signals (Y, Cb, Cr) in 8-bit gradation each (256 gradations). By expanding this to 10-bit gradation each (1,024 gradations), even minute signals can be faithfully reproduced to realize richly textured video.

[3] High Dynamic Range
A technology that drastically expands the brightness peak from the previous 100 nit to 1,000-10,000 nit, marking a significant leap in the dynamic range of the picture. Bright light sources (e.g. lights or rays of the sun) and reflected light (from metal or water) that up to now were difficult to display can now be shown in rich textures.

[4] BT.2020 wide color gamut
Compliant with the ITU-R BT.2020 wide color gamut signal formulated for 4K/8K broadcasting. Enables vividly rich coloration not previously possible on Blu-ray discs (BT.709 standard).

[5] HEVC (H.265) / 100Mbps
Support for the highest 100Mbps video signal using the latest high-efficiency video compression technology. Compression efficiency and high bit rate far beyond previous Blu-ray discs (MPEG-4/AVC (H.264), maximum 40Mbps) enabling outstanding playback of high quality video with 4K/60p/10bit, High Dynamic Range, BT.2020, etc.

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