4K Blu-Ray Players

TallerThanPedroia

Civilly Disobedient
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
19,017
Boston
What have people got?

I've been waiting on getting a PS5, but I got a few 4K BDs for Christmas and just looking into it now, seems like the specs on the PS5 aren't super great. So maybe I'll spring for a standalone player. Any recommendations?
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Sep 9, 2006
6,801
SS Botany Bay
I did a lot of research into this last year (and nothing has really changed since then in the Blu Ray player market). Since Oppo players are no longer made and are being hawked for ridiculous prices online, the next best alternative (without breaking the bank) is this one from Panasonic:

Panasonic DP-UB820-K

It is a great upstreamer, handles Dolby Vision, and has a pretty solid build. The only thing it doesn't do (which the Oppo players did) was decode SACD.

The next step up is the Panasonic DP-UB9000P1K, but it is double price and has the same chipset as the other one. The only difference is a better case, a few more built in codecs, and a built-in surround sound decoder with analogue out (in case you don't already have an AVR).
 
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changer591

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Jul 19, 2005
442
Shrewsbury, MA
I ended up getting one the Sony UBP-X700 a few years back. It does the job and was $198 at the time. I believe they have a newer model that is less now. It's pretty bare-bones, but I still use it for when I want to watch my physical media.
 

shaggydog2000

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SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
9,040
I did a lot of research into this last year (and nothing has really changed since then in the Blu Ray player market). Since Oppo players are no longer made and are being hawked for ridiculous prices online, the next best alternative (without breaking the bank) is this one from Panasonic:

Panasonic DP-UB820-K

It is a great upstreamer, handles Dolby Vision, and has a pretty solid build. The only thing it doesn't do (which the Oppo players did) was decode SACD.

The next step up is the Panasonic DP-UB9000P1K, but it is double price and has the same chipset as the other one. The only difference is a better case, a few more built in codecs, and a built-in surround sound decoder with analogue out (in case you don't already have an AVR).
SACD has pretty much been a dead format for over a decade. If you don't personally have a sizable collection of them already, it shouldn't be a worry that a disc player isn't compatible with it.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2006
6,801
SS Botany Bay
SACD has pretty much been a dead format for over a decade. If you don't personally have a sizable collection of them already, it shouldn't be a worry that a disc player isn't compatible with it.
I mention the absence of SACD because for some folks, especially classical collectors, there are still some hybrid SACDs being produced on indepdendent labels. And SACD remains big with Japanese collectors. One of the reasons people liked the Oppo player was it could handle literally any format. But I agree, SACD is not a big deal for most people, which is why I think the Panasonic player I mentioned is probably the best choice beyond the entry level.

Incidentally, that player is on sale at Amazon for $400 ($100 discount):
View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N3PQM5N
 

LoweTek

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May 30, 2005
1,968
Central Florida
I have an Oppo UDP-203. I bought when I first converted to 4k at a price slightly discounted from retail only because I know a guy in the business. When Oppo surprisingly and somewhat abruptly shut down operations a few months later in April of 2018. I found myself sitting on the only AV component I had ever acquired which had significantly increased in value. I was very surprised Oppo couldn't find a buyer or at least someone to license their technology. At first they said they would continue to release firmware updates but this stopped some time ago. It is still regarded as one of the best if not the best all format disc players ever put out there.

They went of business because of low cost streaming services and a lower desire by people to own and handle media. However, even today the 4k media cinema sound and video experience I get from it still is notably better than almost anything I can stream, especially for Dolby Atmos soundtracks. I got a 4k copy of the original Top Gun from my SoSH SS last year. It was like listening to a new soundtrack in Atmos. The 4k A Star is Born has an amazing Atmos soundtrack too.

Checking eBay today a new one is in the range of $4,000. A $500 machine increasing in value to $4k? Used are all over the place from $700-$1,400. Mine is mint. I'm sure I could get the higher end of the range if I cared to sell it.

If I was getting a new one today, I'd look at higher end Panasonic, Sony or Pioneer. Your choice really depends on your needs and wants: video support, format needs, wallet size, etc.
 

TallerThanPedroia

Civilly Disobedient
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
19,017
Boston
I mention the absence of SACD because for some folks, especially classical collectors, there are still some hybrid SACDs being produced on indepdendent labels. And SACD remains big with Japanese collectors. One of the reasons people liked the Oppo player was it could handle literally any format. But I agree, SACD is not a big deal for most people, which is why I think the Panasonic player I mentioned is probably the best choice beyond the entry level.

Incidentally, that player is on sale at Amazon for $400 ($100 discount):
View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N3PQM5N
Yeah I jumped on that. Thanks folks.

Of course now I'm worried by receiver is "too old" (it's from 2015 - Onkyo TNR-646). It seems to pass things through just fine to my new LG CX television - I have a Roku Ultra and PS4 and many streaming things I watch kick the TV into HDR mode, but I guess I don't know which kind of HDR I'm getting. But the Panasonic has two HDMI outs, so I think I'm fine anyway?
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
3,069
SF, CA
Yeah I jumped on that. Thanks folks.

Of course now I'm worried by receiver is "too old" (it's from 2015 - Onkyo TNR-646). It seems to pass things through just fine to my new LG CX television - I have a Roku Ultra and PS4 and many streaming things I watch kick the TV into HDR mode, but I guess I don't know which kind of HDR I'm getting. But the Panasonic has two HDMI outs, so I think I'm fine anyway?
FYI, from looking at this (see the little italics asterisks/footnotes part) you need to make sure your HDR-capable sources are connected to HDMI-in ports 1/2/3 for them to pass HDR/HDCP2.2 data, but otherwise that receiver looks like it should be good to go. (If something with those specs really is already obsolete, god help the consumer electronics business, yikes.)
 

TallerThanPedroia

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SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
19,017
Boston
FYI, from looking at this (see the little italics asterisks/footnotes part) you need to make sure your HDR-capable sources are connected to HDMI-in ports 1/2/3 for them to pass HDR/HDCP2.2 data, but otherwise that receiver looks like it should be good to go. (If something with those specs really is already obsolete, god help the consumer electronics business, yikes.)
Pretty sure I do, but I was going to rewire everything anyway because I'm finally going from 5.1 to 6.1 after many years of not having a good physical setup for a rear speaker. Exciting times.

All I have connected right now are Roku, PS4, and Switch, and I can move the Switch if it's taking up a good slot.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apr 5, 2007
9,040
I mention the absence of SACD because for some folks, especially classical collectors, there are still some hybrid SACDs being produced on indepdendent labels. And SACD remains big with Japanese collectors. One of the reasons people liked the Oppo player was it could handle literally any format. But I agree, SACD is not a big deal for most people, which is why I think the Panasonic player I mentioned is probably the best choice beyond the entry level.

Incidentally, that player is on sale at Amazon for $400 ($100 discount):
View: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N3PQM5N
Yeah it's still around as a niche format, and I know there are collectors (more in Asia than the US sounds right from what I've seen), I just didn't want anyone who just wanted it as a player to be concerned it was outdated, etc. If you need the functionality of SACD, you already know it.

The Oppo players were incredible. It took years for even outboard DACS to match their performance, and no AV processor ever has. It's a shame the market fell out from underneath them.