Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray Player Review & Comments

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
a bit noisy during playback. It's on a par with the UP970 that I have at home.....on quieter content I was often aware of the player
Is that an unmodified/unfixed UP970?
The UP970 I had was more than a bit noisy with horrible vibration noise like a non levelled washing machine on full spin. It got returned for that reason (plus playback problems).

the Dolby Vision update hasn't been released yet. So I wasn't able to test that aspect of the Sony's performance
As that is now released, will you be updating the review to cover DV playback at some point?
 
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MahaRaja

Member
This has model not got DV but it would be added in the future, so don't understand Steve mentions this on the spec, it shouldn't be there until Sony add it.
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
Thanks Steve, another great Review :)

Since the build quality is rather plastic, the player is fairly clunky when navigating a disc and a bit noisy during playback. It's on a par with the UP970 that I have at home
I was "lucky" to get one of the later UP970's so normally the player is totally quiet. So now that's two 4K, plastic construction players from two different Manufacturers that tend to have the same noise problem. Is it something at all to do with 4K disc-capable drives working harder than a "regular" Blu-ray drive that naturally produces more vibration? If so, looks like both companies (At least at first) did not take that into account. If not, then poor design or quality control at a basic level must be to blame.
 

Dubliner1

Member
Thanks Steve, another great Review :)



I was "lucky" to get one of the later UP970's so normally the player is totally quiet. So now that's two 4K, plastic construction players from two different Manufacturers that tend to have the same noise problem. Is it something at all to do with 4K disc-capable drives working harder than a "regular" Blu-ray drive that naturally produces more vibration? If so, looks like both companies (At least at first) did not take that into account. If not, then poor design or quality control at a basic level must be to blame.
I'm sure the Sony engineers are smart enough and would be fully aware of any possible small vibrations/noises on their players. They are obviously designing and building these players within a specific budget (affordable) so it cannot be built like a 700 quid tank of a player as they simply wouldn't shift many of them.
The other factor could be poor quality control/assembly at the factory.
I've owned many many dvd, bluray and now 4K players over the years and had a few which made a little noise- but with the player sitting under the telly, the surround sound on and me sitting back anywhere from 6-8 feet from the telly, any small noises are impossible to detect.
The comparison of the noise from this player to a washing machine on full spin above in post 2 above sounds, ahem, a little far fetched.
Seems nowadays if you want to be 100% of a completely silent player you have to buy one of the really expensive high end models- that or buy a more affordable player and hope its 'quiet'.
Just my 2 cents :)
 

Fred Smith

Well-known Member
This has model not got DV but it would be added in the future, so don't understand Steve mentions this on the spec, it shouldn't be there until Sony add it.
DV updated was released 31/05/18!
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
I'm sure the Sony engineers are smart enough and would be fully aware of any possible small vibrations/noises on their players. They are obviously designing and building these players within a specific budget (affordable) so it cannot be built like a 700 quid tank of a player as they simply wouldn't shift many of them.
The other factor could be poor quality control/assembly at the factory.
I've owned many many dvd, bluray and now 4K players over the years and had a few which made a little noise- but with the player sitting under the telly, the surround sound on and me sitting back anywhere from 6-8 feet from the telly, any small noises are impossible to detect.
The comparison of the noise from this player to a washing machine on full spin above in post 2 above sounds, ahem, a little far fetched.
Seems nowadays if you want to be 100% of a completely silent player you have to buy one of the really expensive high end models- that or buy a more affordable player and hope its 'quiet'.
Just my 2 cents :)
For the 970 there are some long threads on various sites about the problem with the early ones, & it seems it was very loud! I have personally had mine get real loud a couple of times which happened if I just hit Play while the tray was open - sounded like a Radio Controlled aircraft about to take off! :eek: (I found the trick was to close the tray & THEN hit play!). Some people solved the problem by opening the player up and putting some hard foam inserts around the drive, & this totally solved it.
Of course, the Sony noise problem could be due to something else, but it sounds (no pun intended!) on the surface to be similar to the 970 issue.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Steve Withers said:
The X700 supports 4K HDR video services from the likes of Netflix and Amazon, and the performance was impressive, with the player dynamically adjusting the output signal based on the framerate of the content. So a 24/23.976 frames per second (fps) series or movie will be sent at 24Hz and anything at 30 fps at 60Hz, resulting in playback that was smooth and film-like. Unfortunately Sony players aren't able to do this with 25 or 50 frames per second material, so content on UK catch-up services isn't displayed optimally, although u=it still looked very watchable.
Just to make sure I understood that right: are you saying that for 1080p and 4K videos on Netflix, if the video is 24Hz, the X700 will automatically switch to 1080p/24 or 4K/24 output when playing them? But that 25 or 50Hz videos on Netflix are incorrectly played at 60Hz?

Other comments:

1) You don't say anything about the player's ability to function as a media streamer (if, indeed, it can do that); in particular, I'd like to know if it can stream a 3D blu-ray rip (frame-packed), and if it can handle DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio tracks correctly when streaming.

2) When suggesting alternative products, it seems very odd that you didn't mention the LG UBK90, which is (according to some, anyway) an improvement on the UP970. It's perhaps also a little odd that you didn't mention the Panasonic UB820 - granted, that's significantly more expensive, but it isn't up in the Oppo/Cambridge Audio price bracket. (And yes, okay, it doesn't do DV yet, but it should do fairly soon).

3) Could you update this review now that the Dolby Vision firmware is available?

4) The link at the end ("Read All 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Reviews") jumps to the wrong page! It should go to UHD Blu-ray Player Reviews | AVForums .
 

AlanX

Active Member
What is not clear to me, but I think is a significant question, is whether this will talk Dolby Vision only to a Sony TV with the Sony version of DV, or to any TV with DV?
Put simply, if I have a DV-encoded disc, and connect the X700 to, say, an LG C8, will I get proper DV on the TV? Or will the X700 version of DV only talk to a Sony TV with its cut-down DV?
Perhaps everyone knows but me! Or perhaps no one knows - yet!
 

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
I got rid of my LG UP970 and swapped it for an X800. The LG was absurdly noisy when playing 4K discs, it would easily overpower dialogue. It was also built about as sturdily as a paper bag and the remote was comically awful. I was glad to see the back of it.

By contrast the X800 is built like a tank and whilst still not exactly silent when playing 4K discs is infinitely superior to the LG. If the X700 is more in line with the UP970 then I'd say avoid at all costs. Unless all you ever watch is Transformers.

Build quality matters, and no spinner should ever be made of plastic.
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
What is not clear to me, but I think is a significant question, is whether this will talk Dolby Vision only to a Sony TV with the Sony version of DV, or to any TV with DV?
Put simply, if I have a DV-encoded disc, and connect the X700 to, say, an LG C8, will I get proper DV on the TV? Or will the X700 version of DV only talk to a Sony TV with its cut-down DV?
Perhaps everyone knows but me! Or perhaps no one knows - yet!
This has been covered in the X700 owners thread amongst other places. The X700 offers the mainstream version of DV as well as the bastardised version required for Sony TVs. So if you have a non Sony TV, you'll be able to use it to view DV UHD BD media.

Paul
 

d10brp

Well-known Member
What is not clear to me, but I think is a significant question, is whether this will talk Dolby Vision only to a Sony TV with the Sony version of DV, or to any TV with DV?
Put simply, if I have a DV-encoded disc, and connect the X700 to, say, an LG C8, will I get proper DV on the TV? Or will the X700 version of DV only talk to a Sony TV with its cut-down DV?
Perhaps everyone knows but me! Or perhaps no one knows - yet!
Full DV support. This player plays DV just fine with my LG E7.

As for noise, I never noticed any noise with either my LG 970 or the Sony X700 which may be because my players are kept in a closed cabinet. However, I haven't seen any reports of this player suddenly becoming deafeningly loud after a few weeks which was a concern with the LG and the main reason I decided not to keep it (along with the issues with HDMI-CEC when using the second port).
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Just to make sure I understood that right: are you saying that for 1080p and 4K videos on Netflix, if the video is 24Hz, the X700 will automatically switch to 1080p/24 or 4K/24 output when playing them? But that 25 or 50Hz videos on Netflix are incorrectly played at 60Hz?

Other comments:

1) You don't say anything about the player's ability to function as a media streamer (if, indeed, it can do that); in particular, I'd like to know if it can stream a 3D blu-ray rip (frame-packed), and if it can handle DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio tracks correctly when streaming.

2) When suggesting alternative products, it seems very odd that you didn't mention the LG UBK90, which is (according to some, anyway) an improvement on the UP970. It's perhaps also a little odd that you didn't mention the Panasonic UB820 - granted, that's significantly more expensive, but it isn't up in the Oppo/Cambridge Audio price bracket. (And yes, okay, it doesn't do DV yet, but it should do fairly soon).

3) Could you update this review now that the Dolby Vision firmware is available?

4) The link at the end ("Read All 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Reviews") jumps to the wrong page! It should go to UHD Blu-ray Player Reviews | AVForums .
Some very valid points. If you're into SACD then it reasonable to expect users will want do all there music/streaming from the one device, so it would be helpful to know what is and is not supported.

I further think that the comments on DV like "that it definitely will support Sony tv" suggests a assumptions rather than a review. With Sony's current track record on the subject this should have be given the same caution as given in other product reviews on this site.
 

AlanX

Active Member
Full DV support. This player plays DV just fine with my LG E7.
Thanks. So do I understand that the X700 has always come with 'full fat' DV out of the box, but has been waiting simply for the 'half-baked Sony Special' firmware to work with Sony TVs?
 

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
By contrast the X800 is built like a tank and whilst still not exactly silent when playing 4K discs is infinitely superior to the LG. If the X700 is more in line with the UP970 then I'd say avoid at all costs. Unless all you ever watch is Transformers.
I could hear my UP970 over loud action bits of Transformers...:(

I'd be going "Why is there a washing machine doing a 1400rpm spin in this scene, what's that got to do with Optimus Prime fighting Megatron. None of them ever transformed into a washing machine"....
 

lexicon

Well-known Member
Then Steve should have updated this on his review and checked out the DV performance.
Poor ole Steve...give the b**ger a chance, it can’t be easy to churn out these extremely detailed reviews (which he does so well!) and keep on top of everything all the time.

Personally I applaud his efforts!
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Thanks. So do I understand that the X700 has always come with 'full fat' DV out of the box, but has been waiting simply for the 'half-baked Sony Special' firmware to work with Sony TVs?
No, it came out with no DV of any kind. The recent firmware update has added both varieties.
 

Dubliner1

Member
For the 970 there are some long threads on various sites about the problem with the early ones, & it seems it was very loud! I have personally had mine get real loud a couple of times which happened if I just hit Play while the tray was open - sounded like a Radio Controlled aircraft about to take off! :eek: (I found the trick was to close the tray & THEN hit play!). Some people solved the problem by opening the player up and putting some hard foam inserts around the drive, & this totally solved it.
Of course, the Sony noise problem could be due to something else, but it sounds (no pun intended!) on the surface to be similar to the 970 issue.
So many moving parts in these little machines who knows where the racket could be coming from! I avoid LG and Samsung these days as a general rule (of course they do have some exceptional high end kit too) as I just don't think they have the same quality as say Sony, Panasonic, Denon etc etc.
I believe Samsung were to first to release super cheap dvd and bluray players which, on the one hand, was a good thing- opening up the format to a whole new buying public and leading to more movies being released on disc.
On a more negative note, I believe it forced Panasonic and Sony and others to enter into that super cheap market and start producing low cost players.
I think if I bought a sub 150 quid player I'm not going to expect Oppo levels of quality. This model is 200 quid so yes I'd be annoyed if its noisy!

(before anyone comments lol yes I do have 2 Samsung products- the excellent soundbar listed below and the 3D player is also a high end unit with an excellent chipset (bought for it's 7.1 analog outs)
 

AlanX

Active Member
Poor ole Steve...give the b**ger a chance, it can’t be easy to churn out these extremely detailed reviews (which he does so well!) and keep on top of everything all the time.
Personally I applaud his efforts!
If it's not considered off-topic, may I second that!? It's not as if we're personally paying these guys! We're lucky to have such a Forum as this, IMHO.
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
So many moving parts in these little machines who knows where the racket could be coming from!
It's clearly the disc drive mechanism creating the racket, like it is with all these devices. Even the Oppo 203 was excessively loud at launch, until they released a firmware to slow the disc spin speed down.

For UHD BD playback, the discs have to spin at incredible speeds in order to be able to access the data quickly enough. The discs themselves are made cheaply and so aren't well balanced, causing vibration, air turbulence and noise. Plus the drive mechanisms aren't insulated very well in the cheaper players, which allows the drive noise to leak.

So if you want a quiet player, stick it in a cupboard or but a load of closed cell foam and pack it in that.

Paul
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
One of the user reviews says:

"Dolby Vision has now arrived and is a bit clunky. You need to turn it on in the setup menu, but doing so switches off 3D playback. Apparently it also sends everything to your TV as DV (I've not tested this myself). So from the sounds of it good want to turn this on for DV movies then off for everything else."

Can anyone confirm if this is the case? Do you have to manually select DV every time, rather than the player detecting if a disk is DV?
 

Coruja3D

Active Member
1) You don't say anything about the player's ability to function as a media streamer (if, indeed, it can do that); in particular, I'd like to know if it can stream a 3D blu-ray rip (frame-packed), and if it can handle DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio tracks correctly when streaming.
I have this player. I can confirm:
  • It is an effective media streamer in general and has played most files I've thrown at it with aplomb including MKVs
  • It also switches my TV (LG E6V) into HDR mode for some HDR demo MP4's I've downloaded and a UHD blu-ray rip in MKV format
  • Sadly however; the 3D blu-ray rip (frame-packed) in MKV format I tried it played in 2D only :( and it cannot handle DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD audio tracks correctly when streaming - it reports the sound format is unsupported and you get silence.
 

Coruja3D

Active Member
Build quality matters, and no spinner should ever be made of plastic.
Actually I believe it is mostly made of pressed metal. But it's not as solidly built as it's 800 brethren by all accounts. I have the player and have not noticed any unwarranted noise during playback - most owners on the owner's thread say the same I think. I agree the loading mechanism is pretty crude, loud and clunky.
 

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