Samsung’s Ultra HD Blu-ray the best in 2016??

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016


Samsung UBD-K8500

It would have been easy to pick LG’s gorgeous B6 series OLED for this year’s Best Home Theater Product of 2016 (it’s still one of two runners up), but here at Digital Trends, we’re not about easy. After a great deal of consideration, we ultimately decided Samsung’s UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player deserved to take the prize.

Not that long ago, we thought discs were dead. It seemed streaming would be the wave of the future for next-gen video delivery, with promises of 4K Ultra HD content right around the corner. But then the Ultra HD Blu-ray player came along, proving the internet isn’t ready to deliver the best quality home entertainment experience just yet.

It’s certainly impressive that today services like Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu offer an increasing amount of 4K Ultra HD content in one or both of two HDR formats (HDR 10 and Dolby Vision), but the quality of that content and its availability both leave something to be desired. Streaming 4K Ultra HD content in HDR, while a significant leap forward from where we were just two years ago, is still significantly compressed, thus reducing video quality. And despite that compression, it’s still a bandwidth hog – there are many folks across North America who simply don’t have the internet access or bandwidth to support streaming 4K Ultra HD video.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray disc provides superb video and audio quality at high bitrates and with more color depth and a minimum of compression. The picture nizagara and sound is very visibly and audibly superior. Plus, it doesn’t require any internet connection for delivery.

Now, with studios increasingly mastering their movies to take full advantage of Ultra HD Blu-ray’s capabilities, we can view the most stunning pictures ever seen in our homes, rivaling that which we see prednisone at the theater.

While we’re clearly praising the format here, the fact is Samsung brought it to us first. The company was ready to bring Ultra prednisone HD Blu-ray into homes starting as early as February of this year, and the UBD-K8500, while not perfect, is the best player available in 2016. Thanks to Samsung, the very best TV’s can be truly taken advantage of with the very best content – everything else is a compromise.

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