PLAYER 4 HD !!HOT!!
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PLAYER 4 HD
What this means is if you have a Blu-ray disc you can play that on both a Blu-ray player and an 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray player. If you have an 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, you can only play that on a 4k Blu-ray player.
You might find that when you buy a Blu-ray disc it also comes with a regular DVD version to use with older players. Similarly, if you buy a 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray disc it may also come with a Blu-ray version too. However, this isn't always standard so make sure you check you have the right one before you buy.
If the disc you're playing isn't 4K, your blu-ray player will upscale it. That uses an algorithm to fill in the gaps between the quality of the source material and what a 4K version would be, and the best 4K players do a superb job of this. They can't work miracles but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much better your older discs can look when they've been upscaled.
Not a lot changes in the world of Blu-ray players these days. The Panasonic DP-UB9000 remains our choice for people who want to go all-in on image quality without totally bankrupting themselves (we do have options for spendy, though), while the Panasonic DP-UB820 is our pick for balancing quality and price.
The best 4K Blu-ray players are made to deliver the best picture quality you can get for watching movies and TV series. Streaming services are popular, but Blu-rays deliver video at a much higher bitrate than streaming services, bringing you more detail and realism.
Blu-rays allow you to truly own your movie collection. They can't vanish from your shelves in the same way they're pulled from streaming services. What's more, with a Blu-ray you also get beautiful box art and additional extras that come on the disc, like behind-the-scenes footage and Q&As with the cast. All of this is to say that one of the best 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players is what we'd recommend for movie lovers.
The rise of streaming means that dedicated movie disc players are more rare than they used to be, and that's a shame: anyone who's experienced the combination of one of the best Blu-Ray players and one of the best TVs knows how superior the Blu-ray version is. And the best Blu-Ray players don't just make the most of your 4K TV. They also deliver incredible sound, especially if you connect them to one of the best soundbars or best home theater systems.
We've tested the best 4K Blu-ray players you can buy, putting them through their paces with all kinds of content and with all kinds of TVs and sound systems. That means we know which players really deliver, and which features really make the most of your home cinema system. And we've also included the latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles, because they too support 4K Blu-Ray (or at least, they do in the versions that have disc drives).
The Sony UBP-X800 came out in 2017, a Blu-ray player we rated highly at the time for bringing "brilliant, beautiful 4K UHD player at a sensible price." But there was one major feature missing, and that was support for the Dolby Vision HDR standard.
Overall, the X100 is a welcome addition to the disc player market that delivers a very solid performance. In our review we wrote: "the X100 ticks all the important boxes with its tank-like construction, flawless playback, extensive features, and quiet operation." However, there's no denying that it falls short when compared to the similarly priced and better-specified Panasonic DP-UB9000.
This $227/220 budget Blu-ray player from LG lacks many of the frills found on more expensive models, including universal disc support and analog audio outputs. What it does offer is solid, basic disc playback for Ultra HD and regular Blu-rays, DVDs, and audio CDs.
A bonus the UBK90 offers is built-in streaming (over Wi-Fi or Ethernet) of Netflix and YouTube. So if your streaming menu is limited to those major players, you can use the UBK90 instead of a separate Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV streaming box or stick.
In our tests we also found that the 4K image quality and HD upscaling were both a little weaker from the Xbox Series X than the PS5. Microsoft has added Dolby Vision since we tested the console but it doesn't support Blu-Ray: it's purely for streaming and gaming. So we'd pick the PS5 if you're serious about playing UHD discs, but you can read more about the Xbox's disc support in our dedicated guide to whether the Xbox Series X is a good Blu-ray player.
You also need to consider compatibility and your current set-up. To make the most of a new 4K Blu-ray player you'll need a 4K TV, although it will still work on an HD display the picture quality will be limited to only 1080p.
It may seem obvious, but you'll also want to think about the design and size of the Blu-ray player. Do you have enough room on your TV cabinet to fit a Blu-ray player? Will it sit underneath your soundbar or be tucked away on a separate shelf? We've included the dimensions of all of the best 4K Blu-ray players above, so it's time to get out your tape measure.
The absolute best picture and sound quality still comes from physical discs (namely, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs), not streaming media services. So if you want movies to look and sound their best through your high-performance 4K TV and surround-sound system, you need the Panasonic DP-UB420 4K Blu-ray disc player. It optimizes 4K video playback for your particular TV, and it makes Blu-ray and DVD movies look their best, too.
If you get your 4K content primarily through a media streamer or smart TV, and you just need an affordable player to handle your old Blu-ray and DVD collections, the Sony BDP-S1700 Blu-ray player can do the job simply and reliably. It offers good video performance and a user-friendly interface. This player also allows you to access the non-4K versions of many streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but it can connect to your home network only via Ethernet, not Wi-Fi.
When we originally created this guide in 2017, we researched all of the 4K Blu-ray players available at that time and called in almost every player we could. But these days the number of new players to test is dwindling: Some manufacturers (including Samsung and Oppo) have officially stopped making new 4K Blu-ray players, and others (including LG and Sony) have not introduced new models since 2018. Panasonic is one of the few companies still introducing players; for our latest round of testing, we called in the Panasonic DP-UB420 and compared it with our previous picks, the Panasonic DP-UB820, the Sony UBP-X700, and the Sony UBP-X800m2.
In addition to picture quality, we considered the design of the players, how easy they were to use, how responsive the interface was, which streaming services they offered, and how well they upscaled lower-resolution Blu-ray and DVD movies to a 4K resolution.
Like the DP-UB420, the DP-UB820 has two USB ports through which you can play high-resolution audio files, but this player adds a 192 kHz, 32-bit digital-to-analog converter and 7.1-channel analog audio outputs to appeal to the more audiophile-oriented listener.
Companies like Oppo and Samsung that were once major brands in this category have stopped manufacturing disc players, while other companies like LG and Sony have not introduced new models in many years. Below are some of the few 4K disc players that are are still available, but that we dismissed:
Reavon offers three 4K UHD players that are built on the same MediaTek processor that Oppo players used, and they have similarly high build quality. The $1,800 UBR-X200 and $1,000 UBR-X110 are true universal disc players, with support for Dolby Vision UHD and the SACD and DVD-Audio high-resolution audio formats. The most affordable model, the UBR-X100, is $900 and omits the SACD playback. It supports Dolby Vision and has dual HDMI outputs (plus both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs), but it lacks the HDR Optimizer function and the analog audio outputs you get on the significantly cheaper Panasonic DP-UB820. Plus its availability is limited in the US. We have not tested these players, but some enthusiast sites have. If your old Oppo player has died and you want the closest possible replacement, a Reavon player may be worth a look. But for everyone else, our Panasonic picks deliver everything you need for great Ultra HD Blu-ray playback at a much lower price.
Prior to following the steps in this solution, confirm compatibility of your 4K Ultra HD TV with the 4K Ultra HD media player and to check if your TV qualifies for the free premium service activation.
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