Question 4K UHD Player - Which one?

RatJones

Active Member
Hi All

Sorry if this is a lazy question but I've just ordered a new 5.1.2 system and want UHD player to go with it, there seems to be a lot out there and some of it looks a bit ludicrously priced?

I just want something that outputs a clean unaltered signal both for sound (for my receiver to process) and video (without any enhancement) when watching a UHD disc and it must support Dolby Vision? (I'm confused as review sites make statements like 'grand sound' 'sound could be better' 'punchy image' - what on earth does the player have to do with the sound and image?!

What do you recommend and is there anything else I need to consider? (sorry I've been out of the BR-Disc Transport game for a while!) (It will be connecting to an LG OLED CX77 via an Arcam AVR30)

Thanks :clap:
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Hi All

Sorry if this is a lazy question but I've just ordered a new 5.1.2 system and want UHD player to go with it, there seems to be a lot out there and some of it looks a bit ludicrously priced?

I just want something that outputs a clean unaltered signal both for sound (for my receiver to process) and video (without any enhancement) when watching a UHD disc and it must support Dolby Vision? (I'm confused as review sites make statements like 'grand sound' 'sound could be better' 'punchy image' - what on earth does the player have to do with the sound and image?!

What do you recommend and is there anything else I need to consider? (sorry I've been out of the BR-Disc Transport game for a while!) (It will be connecting to an LG OLED CX77 via an Arcam AVR30)

Thanks :clap:
Low budget
Panasonic UB450 or Sony X700

Mid Budget
Panasonic UB820 or Sony X800M2

High End
Panasonic UB9000 or Pioneer LX-500

For your requirements you could basically choose the required budget and flip a coin (best out of 5) to choose the player. Personally I'd recommend the UB820 as the best overall for the cost only for the reason that it will auto select Dolby Vision vs the X800M2 where DV has to be manually selected and toggled on or off unless you want to play every blu-ray/UHD in forced DV.
 

Sebinho9

Active Member
To hijack this, I love the idea of super hi definition sound and audio for movies, but want to stream. Is there a better option than Apple TV 4K for this or am I limited to physical Blu-Ray discs? Do some of the above stream as well? Thanks.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
To hijack this, I love the idea of super hi definition sound and audio for movies, but want to stream. Is there a better option than Apple TV 4K for this or am I limited to physical Blu-Ray discs? Do some of the above stream as well? Thanks.
Most streaming services are limited to Dolby Digital Plus and any Atmos metadata contained within the audio stream. This is still a lossy format and is slightly better than SD Dolby Digital. To get full HD audio then blu ray or 4K disc is still the primary source.

As far as video quality goes then streaming 4K is still under the bit rate that you will find with blu ray video and more often than not is inferior especially if you have a very good TV that can upscale. 4K from disc can look outstanding.
 

Sebinho9

Active Member
Thanks very much. You correctly assumed I meant video and audio! I had a hunch that would be the case. Just not sure I can take the plunge on a UHD player though given I do not like to rewatch content. Thanks again for the response.
 

RatJones

Active Member
Low budget
Panasonic UB450 or Sony X700

Mid Budget
Panasonic UB820 or Sony X800M2

High End
Panasonic UB9000 or Pioneer LX-500

For your requirements you could basically choose the required budget and flip a coin (best out of 5) to choose the player. Personally I'd recommend the UB820 as the best overall for the cost only for the reason that it will auto select Dolby Vision vs the X800M2 where DV has to be manually selected and toggled on or off unless you want to play every blu-ray/UHD in forced DV.

Thanks, I thought that this might be the case, I think the Panasonic at £299 might be the clear winner then, if it can toggle things then fantastic. I assume the budget one (UB450) won't have this feature vs the UB820?
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I thought that this might be the case, I think the Panasonic at £299 might be the clear winner then, if it can toggle things then fantastic. I assume the budget one (UB450) won't have this feature vs the UB820?
It does have it, but doesn't have other features the UB820 has in particular the HDR Optimiser which can give a better PQ on lower nits displays like Oleds and Projectors.
 

RatJones

Active Member
It does have it, but doesn't have other features the UB820 has in particular the HDR Optimiser which can give a better PQ on lower nits displays like Oleds and Projectors.

Thanks. Interesting as I was in the school of thought that the image shouldn’t be tinkered with. Worth a try I guess! I should ask in the thread for this player what people think. Do you have one?
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Thanks. Interesting as I was in the school of thought that the image shouldn’t be tinkered with. Worth a try I guess! I should ask in the thread for this player what people think. Do you have one?
With HDR an image has to be tinkered with. No domestic display has the dynamic range to show what may be on a HDR UHD without tone mapping (tinkering).

I have Sony X700, X800M2, Panasonic UB820 and UBB9000. All produce a good image and audio. I prefer the Panasonic players as they allow me to do much more tinkering...:smashin:
 

daverichards

Active Member
With HDR an image has to be tinkered with. No domestic display has the dynamic range to show what may be on a HDR UHD without tone mapping (tinkering).

I have Sony X700, X800M2, Panasonic UB820 and UBB9000. All produce a good image and audio. I prefer the Panasonic players as they allow me to do much more tinkering...:smashin:

What's the key difference between the 820 and the 9000? I have been deliberating over these and considering the price difference I am wondering if it's double the quality? I have aJVC X5900 projector for what it's worth
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
What's the key difference between the 820 and the 9000? I have been deliberating over these and considering the price difference I am wondering if it's double the quality? I have aJVC X5900 projector for what it's worth
Build quality. It's a very solid feeling 7.8kg of metal vs the 2.4kg mostly plastic of the UB820.

The UB9000 is much the same innards (video wise), just inside a much more solid case. This does result in a noticeably quieter player than the UB820. For audio it has better power supply, a high spec DAC and XLR as well as RCA analogue outputs. So if you intend to combine CD playback with blu-rays/UHDs it's a better choice.

For purely video playback they both produce similar PQ although I think the UB9000 may have a slight edge. I did notice with mine after coming from the UB820 that colours, especially skin colours, seemed better. It has an advantage for low nit output projectors as for the HDR Optimiser feature it has an additional lower setting of 350 nits display vs the 500 nits lowest of the UB820.
 

daverichards

Active Member
Build quality. It's a very solid feeling 7.8kg of metal vs the 2.4kg mostly plastic of the UB820.

The UB9000 is much the same innards (video wise), just inside a much more solid case. This does result in a noticeably quieter player than the UB820. For audio it has better power supply, a high spec DAC and XLR as well as RCA analogue outputs. So if you intend to combine CD playback with blu-rays/UHDs it's a better choice.

For purely video playback they both produce similar PQ although I think the UB9000 may have a slight edge. I did notice with mine after coming from the UB820 that colours, especially skin colours, seemed better. It has an advantage for low nit output projectors as for the HDR Optimiser feature it has an additional lower setting of 350 nits display vs the 500 nits lowest of the UB820.

This is really helpful thank you. I only plan on using the player for movies and streaming so I don't think the audio features worry me too much. I do want great picture of course, but it sounds like there's not a £500 improvement in picture quality moving up to the 9000 based on what you're saying
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Low budget
Panasonic UB450 or Sony X700

Mid Budget
Panasonic UB820 or Sony X800M2

High End
Panasonic UB9000 or Pioneer LX-500

For your requirements you could basically choose the required budget and flip a coin (best out of 5) to choose the player. Personally I'd recommend the UB820 as the best overall for the cost only for the reason that it will auto select Dolby Vision vs the X800M2 where DV has to be manually selected and toggled on or off unless you want to play every blu-ray/UHD in forced DV.

Sorry to hijack the thread.

Just bought a new Sony A8 OLED and am looking for a basic 4k Blu-ray player because a lot of movies I want aren't on streaming services. Would be nice to buy a few favourites to watch over Xmas.

The Sony UBX700 looks to fit the bill as a budget player. Don't want a smart platform, just a good playback device.
Is it better for the TV or Blu-ray player to do the tinkering to the image btw?

I'll possibly get a wireless theatre system like the JBL 9.1 Soundbar or Samsung Q950T next year. Today I'm only using a 2.1 Edifier 350db speaker set plugged into the TV via optical.

if the playing of the disc could be quiet that would be ideal. It can get annoying when spinning whirring sounds kick in during quiet scenes.

Suggestions/advice welcome
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Sorry to hijack the thread.

Just bought a new Sony A8 OLED and am looking for a basic 4k Blu-ray player because a lot of movies I want aren't on streaming services. Would be nice to buy a few favourites to watch over Xmas.

The Sony UBX700 looks to fit the bill as a budget player. Don't want a smart platform, just a good playback device.
Is it better for the TV or Blu-ray player to do the tinkering to the image btw?

I'll possibly get a wireless theatre system like the JBL 9.1 Soundbar or Samsung Q950T next year. Today I'm only using a 2.1 Edifier 350db speaker set plugged into the TV via optical.

if the playing of the disc could be quiet that would be ideal. It can get annoying when spinning whirring sounds kick in during quiet scenes.

Suggestions/advice welcome
X700 should be fine. I've had no problems with mine but some here have reported skipping and/or freezes. Noise wise I find it OK and I'm very picky on not hearing noise during quiet scenes.
Is it better for the TV or Blu-ray player to do the tinkering to the image btw?
If you have a calibrated TV you wouldn't be wanting to be tinkering with its picture settings. In that scenario doing changes on the player is better imo. Also some players have settings for tinkering which go beyond that of most TVs. For example Panasonic UB820/UB9000 have a system gamma control which can alter the gamma on HDR10 UHDs whereas the TV (LG anyway that I know of) will have that locked down. For Dolby Vision discs no player can alter/tinker with the source image.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
X700 should be fine. I've had no problems with mine but some here have reported skipping and/or freezes. Noise wise I find it OK and I'm very picky on not hearing noise during quiet scenes.

If you have a calibrated TV you wouldn't be wanting to be tinkering with its picture settings. In that scenario doing changes on the player is better imo. Also some players have settings for tinkering which go beyond that of most TVs. For example Panasonic UB820/UB9000 have a system gamma control which can alter the gamma on HDR10 UHDs whereas the TV (LG anyway that I know of) will have that locked down. For Dolby Vision discs no player can alter/tinker with the source image.

Just saw users in the owners thread complaining this BD player freezes on Warner discs and triple layers. That's unfortunate.

I wanted something around the £150 mark with Dolby Vision support. The mid tier players are around £300 from what I can see. Once you hit that it makes more sense to invest in a next gen console I think. I'm surprised these 4k players are still relatively expensive.

Stupid question, but if my TV has Dolby Vision and the BD Player doesn't, why can't the player send the raw signal to the TV for it to decode? A bit like letting the TV do the upscaling.
 
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GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Just saw users in the owners thread complaining this BD player freezes on Warner discs and triple layers. That's unfortunate.

I wanted something around the £150 mark with Dolby Vision support. The mid tier players are around £300 from what I can see. Once you hit that it makes more sense to invest in a next gen console I think. I'm surprised these 4k players are still relatively expensive.

Stupid question, but if my TV has Dolby Vision and the BD Player doesn't, why can't the player send the raw signal to the TV for it to decode? A bit like letting the TV do the upscaling.
I've never had any problems with Warner discs or triple layer discs on my X700 (or any discs for that matter). I'd suggest you get one, see for yourself, and if there is a problem just do a return. At the moment many places are doing a return window until the end of Jan next year which gives loads of time to see if you have a problem.
Stupid question, but if my TV has Dolby Vision and the BD Player doesn't, why can't the player send the raw signal to the TV for it to decode? A bit like letting the TV do the upscaling.
Because both player and TV have to have Dolby Vision (AVR or soundbar also has to have specific DV passthrough capability otherwise you would just get HDR10). It's an end to end process which requires Dolby Vision processing at both ends.
 

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