Australian Review: Samsung 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player (UBD-K8500) – First in

The K8500 looks great. Well, to be specific, content played through it looks great. 4K isn't a feature that everyone is going to care about (I know far too many people still happy watching standard definition video on their massive TV), but if you've got a sizable display, it's noticeably better than 1080p. I flicked back and forth between the 1080p and 4K versions of Deadpool while testing the player, and 4K version just looked so much crisper. From experience, you do however really want a reasonably big TV – at least 55-inches – to make the most out of 4K content, and even then, you want to be sitting reasonably close. At 55-inches, you probably don't want your couch too much more than two metres away.

4K content is great if you have a 4K TV (and it's close enough to your face), but you'll want a HDR capable TV to justify plonking to down dollars for the K8500. A HDR display has a higher contrast ratio than a typical 4K TV display; essentially, the difference between how bright it can go and how dark it can go. HDR promises deeper blacks, and brighter whites. This also results in a wider colour space, which means images displayed by the TVs aren't just capable of going brighter, they're also more vivid. In short, a HDR TV is all about providing a more detailed, true to life image. For a more in depth explanation of HDR and the various competing standards, have a read of my primer "WTF is HDR".

I tested out the K8500 with Samsung's 65-inch KS9500 SUHD 4K HDR TV, and if I were to hazard a guess, more people would be able to tell the difference between HDR content and non-HDR content then 4K and high definition. I flicked back and forth between 4K HDR versions of a couple of movies and non-HDR high definition copies throughout my tests, and in some cases, it was like day and night.

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