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Purchasing Advice: 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player?

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JediJoker

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I'm about to step into the world of 4K TV ownership, so the time is right to get a 4K disc spinner. I have an Oppo BDP-103D to handle all my audio discs (unless any come out on 4K!), so I'm really just looking for a good video transport that will also bitstream immersive audio correctly. Audio will be handled over HDMI either directly to my Marantz SR6014 or via eARC to the Marantz from my TV. I don't need advanced networking or streaming features, but an Ethernet port is a plus and preferred to wireless for disc connectivity.

What player would you recommend for my use case?

UPDATE: The player should support all current high dynamic range video formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG.
 
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mrcond

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I'm about to step into the world of 4K TV ownership, so the time is right to get a 4K disc spinner. I have an Oppo BDP-103D to handle all my audio discs (unless any come out on 4K!), so I'm really just looking for a good video transport that will also bitstream immersive audio correctly. Audio will be handled over HDMI either directly to my Marantz SR6014 or via eARC to the Marantz from my TV. I don't need advanced networking or streaming features, but an Ethernet port is a plus and preferred to wireless for disc connectivity.

What player would you recommend for my use case?
I have the same question so I hope you get some good responses. I plan to hold onto my Oppo BDP-83SE as my universal player but will need something that plays 4K with at least the important specs (HDR? Dolby Vision?). It would be good also if it has the ability to play FLAC 5.1 through a USB drive like later Oppo models do (sadly, the 83SE does not). For that reason I am looking at reasonably priced Sony models such as the Sony UBP-X700 or X800, which I understand to be able to play 5.1 FLAC files. Anyone have any experience with those?
 

andi-999

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I'm about to step into the world of 4K TV ownership, so the time is right to get a 4K disc spinner. I have an Oppo BDP-103D to handle all my audio discs (unless any come out on 4K!), so I'm really just looking for a good video transport that will also bitstream immersive audio correctly. Audio will be handled over HDMI either directly to my Marantz SR6014 or via eARC to the Marantz from my TV. I don't need advanced networking or streaming features, but an Ethernet port is a plus and preferred to wireless for disc connectivity.

What player would you recommend for my use case?
Hi,

I was in a similar situation some months ago. I have a very good universal player from Marantz but it not capable of playing UHD Blu Ray. After intensive research it turned out that it is very difficult to find an affordable player which also plays 4K UHD. So I kept my Marantz for all kinds of physical media and bought a "cheap" UHD player just for this purpose. The player supports HDR and Dolby Vision.

 

ProgRules

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I wanted another universal player as a backup for my Oppo 103D, given that universals players are likely to become extinct or only available in high dollar units in the near future. I bought a Sony UBP-X800M2 on sale for $199 that I've been very pleased with. It doesn't have a front display or any outputs other than 2 HDMI and 1 coax- to keep expenses down- and is built very solidly for such an inexpensive player. It puts out a great picture for UHD and BD discs as well as the few streaming apps it has. It is DV capable- but that brings us to the only drawback I've seen: it has no auto-sensing for DV; it must be switched on manually before starting a disc. It does auto-sense HDR- and if you play a DV disc w/o switching to DV it will play back as HDR-10. You can see in the onscreen info that the input is DV and output is HDR, but you have to stop the disc and go to setup to switch DV on.

While it's irritating and a mystery why Sony would avoid something so simple to implement, it's far from a deal breaker for me. Avoid the inferior X700 or the previous version X800, which have had serious reliability issues. The X800 M2's are much more reliable; I've never had any freezing issues yet.

It does have an Ethernet input which I use, so I can't comment on wifi performance, but no problems with streaming or online updating. It will handle all audio codecs up to and including Atmos and DTS:X. It does have a usb input on the front panel. I've only ever used it to watch media from my smartphone, so I can't comment on how it handles FLAC or MKV's, etc. But you can get plenty of info at AVS, SHF or blu-ray.com forums for this machine. Regular price $249, often on sale for $199.


I use it for most of my surround discs- to save wear and tear on my beloved 103D- and it plays them all w/ aplomb, though it did fail to recognize a 4.0 dvd-a recently that plays fine in the Oppo.
 

salsdali

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Nvidia Shield will play 4k ripped iso's from a computer drive so that is an option to not needing a 4k disc spinner. The shield also plays the iso's from an external HD so there is no disc spinning during the movie hence less noise.
The shield bitstreams everything via hdmi including atmos.
 
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JediJoker

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Nvidia Shield will play 4k ripped iso's from a computer drive so that is an option to not needing a 4k disc spinner. The shield also plays the iso's from an external HD so there is no disc spinning during the movie hence less noise.
The shield bitstreams everything via hdmi including atmos.
Interesting idea. Unfortunately, I'm currently storage-poor and without the space to store all my 4K discs ripped. That, and I'd need a new disc drive to rip them. For me, there's also the tactile factor of pulling a disc out of its case and putting it in the player.
 

ubertrout

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Sony X800M2. Easy call. Only annoying part is that you need to manually enable/disable Dolby Vision for discs that support it, otherwise it sends a Dolby Vision signal for everything.
 

JediJoker

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Sony X800M2. Easy call. Only annoying part is that you need to manually enable/disable Dolby Vision for discs that support it, otherwise it sends a Dolby Vision signal for everything.
Does it support HDR10+ or HLG, though? Sony website doesn't specify.
 

ubertrout

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As far as I can see, Dolby Vision and Atmos have captured most of the market for extended bit depth and object-based audio. Youtube uses HLG, so it's nice to have. There's no "perfect" option but for anyone on this site the X800 is by far the best option, with full SACD and DVD-A support. Even if you have an Oppo 103 it's nice to have a second device for playback, both for longevity of the Oppo and to check another player if a disc is being finicky.
 

JediJoker

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I think I may have found my player: the Panasonic DP-UB820-K. It supports all four HDR formats and includes superior onboard video processing (something Panasonic are known for), plus it has 7.1 channel analog outputs fed by a good DAC. It doesn't play DVD-A or SACD, but I have my Oppo for that. It's not "cheap" at $500 MSRP, but it's half the price of the top Panasonic DP-UB9000, while being driven by the same SOC. My Oppo was $600 and it has been a more-than-worthwhile purchase. I can't see this one being any less worthwhile.

Anyone here have this player?
 

riskylogic

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If you don't need to play DVDAs, the x700 is a decent option too. I have both that and an x800m2 in different systems
 

bluelightning

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I second the choice of x800 MkII. I have the original x800 and have had no issues with it. I am not sure how useful HDR10+ is going to be. Most new discs have both HDR10+ & Dolby vision .
 

HomerJAU

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I'm curious what the future of 4k ripping will be, too. I can do it, but I very specifically bought a drive for which someone had written firmware that allows it. I'm not sure if that hole will remain unplugged forever.
I think the latest 4K rippers use an intermediate software driver that allows them to work with all (or nearly all) 4K UHD BD drives. MakeMKV uses this driver.

Edit: Added ‘4K UHD’ to last sentence
 
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