Universal new Blu-ray player suggestions? (July 2021)

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4-earredwonder

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This is the one I also have, inexpensive and does the job well, very small height so doesn’t take up much room. For my dedicated Blu Ray player I have the Panasonic DP UB9000 PK. Both together cost about $1300.00, and when stacked on top of each other about the height of a single OPPO.
The reason I added the Panasonic Blu Ray it had better reviews for Blu Ray function so I was getting the best of both worlds. Not sure it was necessary but I did it anyway.
I purchased both from Amazon US.
When I purchased my OPPO 205 Universal Player I ensured it was ALL region as I have a slew of British BD~V imports which are Region B. Only added $150 to the cost. I'm NOT a DIY and was hesitant to buy the all region kit which would've been the cheaper option.

Thankfully, ALL UHD4K discs are REGION FREE but when buying imports, the included BD~Vs which include all the bonus features are sometimes still Region locked.

BTW, Markie, does your Panasonic UHD Universal player include HDR10 and Dolby Vision? Just curious. The OPPO 205 added those features via WiFi firmware update after I purchased the initial 'modified' 205....and the 205 eliminated the HDCD decoding option but ADDED MQA decoding .... wish it still had the HDCD, however, as well!
 
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Chris Gerhard

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I think any of the Sony universal Blu-ray players should be a good choice. I own the UHP-H1, UBP-X800 and UBP-X1000ES, all have been rock solid. The replacement models UBP-X800M2 and UBP-X1100ES add Dolby Vision, but as far as I know otherwise are essentially the same as the earlier models. The UHP-H1 doesn't play UHD 4K discs so I guess it shouldn't be considered a universal player these days. The UBP-X800 & UBP-X800M2 don't have front panel displays or analog stereo outputs.

It is my hope that Sony continues to manufacture universal players, there have been no affordable universal players from any other company since the introduction of 4K players. If the tiny niche market for universal players don't buy Sony, I don't see any coming from any other company and Sony will bow out as well. It may already be too late since I haven't seen an announcement from Sony about upcoming players.

As far as all region Blu-ray playback, a hardware modification is the only option and I can't imagine that will change. I have a modified Panasonic DMP-BDT460 but it isn't a universal player and I think any of the Sony universal players would be a better option for the mod.
 

Chris Gerhard

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Region locking: More of governments giving in to selfish producers art the expense of consumers.
The reason I see for region locking DVD and Blu-ray releases, for a given title, different companies may own the rights for different regions. If the companies can't negotiate an agreement for an all-region release, the movie or TV program would never see the light of day anywhere without region locking. We won't see UHD 4K releases when no agreement can be reached since that isn't an option. The region locking option doesn't mean it has to be used, a big majority of releases aren't region locked.

We can blame governments for a lot of things but I sure can't see how this is one.
 

boondocks

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Two things about the Sony X-800 (and m2): they won’t play burned at home SACD-R nor DVDA-R, only commercial SACD and DVD-Audio.

They can be made region free (for DVD and blu-ray) relatively cheaply (50€) by buying a kit from RattleByte, but installation (I’ve done it) is pretty involved and requires good soldering skills, a fine tip iron and a magnifier! (It will obviously void your warranty)
So as someone who occasionally authors DVDA, just what it is that would flag a DVDA as being other than commercial, I wonder? I suppose it might determine a burned disc vs one glass mastered (I have no idea myself but never ran into this problem). Anyone know?
 

DuncanS

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So as someone who occasionally authors DVDA, just what it is that would flag a DVDA as being other than commercial, I wonder? I suppose it might determine a burned disc vs one glass mastered (I have no idea myself but never ran into this problem). Anyone know?
I believe at the start of any disc there is an embedded preamble code (which I think gives the disc type) and this is used by a DVD Read-Writer so it can determine the correct maximum Write speed, so I imagine the player reads this and just says No, probably down to the wonderful legal world of copy protection, or laziness on the manufacturers part!
 

boondocks

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I believe at the start of any disc there is an embedded preamble code (which I think gives the disc type) and this is used by a DVD Read-Writer so it can determine the correct maximum Write speed, so I imagine the player reads this and just says No, probably down to the wonderful legal world of copy protection, or laziness on the manufacturers part!
Makes as much sense as anything I can think of. I'm guessing SACD would be much the same. I have authored SACD-R as well but with such a Sony influence it never even occurred to me to question how, I suppose revealing how I feel about Sony.
Anyway a subject for another time.

Maybe my next disc player will be....none. Or at least until mine die. We'll see! All my stuff is ripped but there is always more coming....
 

neil wilkes

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The reason I see for region locking DVD and Blu-ray releases, for a given title, different companies may own the rights for different regions. If the companies can't negotiate an agreement for an all-region release, the movie or TV program would never see the light of day anywhere without region locking. We won't see UHD 4K releases when no agreement can be reached since that isn't an option. The region locking option doesn't mean it has to be used, a big majority of releases aren't region locked.

We can blame governments for a lot of things but I sure can't see how this is one.
The mandatory Zone locking on Blu-ray discs is at the behest of Sony, who own the format outright.
With actual players, it is the DVD Forum who insist that to be logo validated & certified all players must contain Zone locking.
Cambridge Audio used to do this the best -0 they sent their players to be certified with the zone circuitry included, but then left it off all production models - nobody complained, and if anybody had spotted this they would simply have blamed a factory manufacturing error where someone 'forgot' to install the circuit board, as their setups were separate plugin boards whereas most of the big manufacturers have this in a chipset soldered to the board.
Hollywood pushed very hard for this - it was not governmental, for once but commercial greed of film studios.
 

neil wilkes

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So as someone who occasionally authors DVDA, just what it is that would flag a DVDA as being other than commercial, I wonder? I suppose it might determine a burned disc vs one glass mastered (I have no idea myself but never ran into this problem). Anyone know?
That's easy - it is a slightly different type of disc and it is indeed declared as a WORM type disc (Write Once Read Many).
It's playback is prevented in the player firmware.
It's incredibly rare to see ANY Sony player that actually has DVD-A access even switched on - most of them ignore this altogether.
 

boondocks

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That's easy - it is a slightly different type of disc and it is indeed declared as a WORM type disc (Write Once Read Many).
It's playback is prevented in the player firmware.
It's incredibly rare to see ANY Sony player that actually has DVD-A access even switched on - most of them ignore this altogether.
Thanks, Neil.
 

neil wilkes

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You is welcome, my friend.
The truly, unutterably fucked up component to all this 'will it, won't it play DVD-A' fiasco is that when you consider all Blu-ray players have mandatory support for not only PCM at up to 7.1 @ 24/96 but also mandatory support (albeit in stereo only) for Dolby True HD - which is MLP Lossless with an AC3 core audio stream hidden away & generally inaccessible - meaning it is actually quite possible to have the Dolby True HD lights on yet only be hearing AC3 audio......it all starts to get seriously messy & screwed up.
In reality, almost all players successfully output the 5.1/7.1 MLP Lossless component of Dolby True HD streams, making the lack of AOB support a politically motivated decision on behalf of the manufacturers and for no other reason than they do not want you playing DVD-A.

My advice?
Any Blu-ray player that cannot output from a DVD-A disc should be absolutely & publicly boycotted, and emails sent to the manufacturers and all online forums you can find explaining why. Just don't encourage the bastards.
 

ubertrout

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The mandatory Zone locking on Blu-ray discs is at the behest of Sony, who own the format outright.
With actual players, it is the DVD Forum who insist that to be logo validated & certified all players must contain Zone locking.
Cambridge Audio used to do this the best -0 they sent their players to be certified with the zone circuitry included, but then left it off all production models - nobody complained, and if anybody had spotted this they would simply have blamed a factory manufacturing error where someone 'forgot' to install the circuit board, as their setups were separate plugin boards whereas most of the big manufacturers have this in a chipset soldered to the board.
Hollywood pushed very hard for this - it was not governmental, for once but commercial greed of film studios.
That isn't my understanding. Sony is part of the licensing pool for the BD (and UHD) disc patents - About - One Blue

A condition of receiving a license is to region lock. That may be enforced less aggressively, though, especially with no region coding on 4k discs.
 
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@ 4-earredwonder
I took your advice and just ordered the Sony X800MS universal player from 220 Electronics. Appreciate it! :)

Thanks everyone for your input in this thread. It will be nice to have this region free player and not overtax my Oppo 83 for all my optical needs (it's been in storage for several years though). I also just upgraded my old B&K Ref50 pre/pro by ordering a Marantz SR-7013 surround receiver (w/preamp outputs). This will finally give me HDMI capability and a future Atmos path. I plan on using my old Krell KAV three channel amp with this new Marantz for the front Thiel speakers. This new receiver and X800 player will provide a lot more flexibility for me. Thanks again for the comments...
 

surroundophile

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When I purchased my OPPO 205 Universal Player I ensured it was ALL region as I have a slew of British BD~V imports which are Region B. Only added $150 to the cost. I'm NOT a DIY and was hesitant to buy the all region kit which would've been the cheaper option.

Thankfully, ALL UHD4K discs are REGION FREE but when buying imports, the included BD~Vs which include all the bonus features are sometimes still Region locked.

BTW, Markie, does your Panasonic UHD Universal player include HDR10 and Dolby Vision? Just curious. The OPPO 205 added those features via WiFi firmware update after I purchased the initial 'modified' 205....and the 205 eliminated the HDCD decoding option but ADDED MQA decoding .... wish it still had the HDCD, however, as well!
 

surroundophile

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When I purchased my OPPO 205 Universal Player I ensured it was ALL region as I have a slew of British BD~V imports which are Region B. Only added $150 to the cost. I'm NOT a DIY and was hesitant to buy the all region kit which would've been the cheaper option.

Thankfully, ALL UHD4K discs are REGION FREE but when buying imports, the included BD~Vs which include all the bonus features are sometimes still Region locked.

BTW, Markie, does your Panasonic UHD Universal player include HDR10 and Dolby Vision? Just curious. The OPPO 205 added those features via WiFi firmware update after I purchased the initial 'modified' 205....and the 205 eliminated the HDCD decoding option but ADDED MQA decoding .... wish it still had the HDCD, however, as well!
Does anyone know if any of the new universals that are still being made (Reavon, Sony, Panasonic) decode HDCD cds?
 

4-earredwonder

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Does anyone know if any of the new universals that are still being made (Reavon, Sony, Panasonic) decode HDCD cds?
AFAIK, NO. The OPPO 103/105 were the last OPPOs to include HDCD decoding. The 203/205 series excluded HDCD in favor of MQA decoding.
 

musicmemorabiliashoppellc

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Hi everyone I haven’t used my Sony UBP-X800M2 Universal Player in quite some time and when I’ve tried to play any of my Criterion Blu Rays they won’t play…. it gives me the error as follows

“Mismatch between disc and player region codes. See disc packaging for details.”

Seems as though it is only a problem with the Criterion discs only….anyone else have this problem?

Anyone knowhow to fix this issue?

Thanks in advance
 
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ProgRules

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Try unplugging it for a while for a soft reset. Fixes a great number of inexplicable problems on all these computer-based gadgets- esp. disc players. No guarantee but always an easy first attempt.
 

JediJoker

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Anyone knowhow to fix this issue?
Try unplugging it for a while for a soft reset. Fixes a great number of inexplicable problems on all these computer-based gadgets- esp. disc players. No guarantee but always an easy first attempt.


There should also be a menu item somewhere in player settings to clear persistent storage and/or BD-Java data. Try that, too.
 
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