Philips will launch a $400 Ultra HD Blu-ray player next month

And then there were two.

Even as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs continue to trickle out, in the US there's only one option to play them -- Samsung's UBD-K8500. That should change next month as Philips introduces its own Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Available in two colors the BDP7501 (brushed aluminum) and BDP7301 (piano black), will cost $400, it supports HDR and also includes a second HDMI-out for audio receivers that aren't quite 4K-ready yet. It has Dolby TrueHD Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio support included and should be able to pass through Dolby Atmos or DTS:X encoded audio tracks. Its apps will also stream 4K from YouTube and Netflix.

Right now the price only matches Samsung's UHD player, but hopefully a little competition will make players more affordable. The Philips brand in the US is manufactured by Funai, so we wouldn't expect to see this player available elsewhere under the same brand name, but Panasonic has already launched its own Ultra HD Blu-ray player in the UK, and we expect to see it in the US later this year.