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Can you recommend a 4K Blu-ray player?

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moxxey
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moxxey posted on Tue, Jun 16 2020 11:13 AM

Loving my new LG GX OLED 4K panel. Looking at getting a 65" for another room.

Obviously it looks at it's best with the best source. ie. 4K is so good I can't even explain how good.

With this in mind, tempted to get a 4K Blu-ray player. I still have an old Oppo 103 standard Blu-ray. Which would would you recommend which is reasonable value?

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Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 6:12 AM
vlohjr1:

Unfortunately the beoremote one does not work with sky q.

presumably you mean that the BR can't control Sky Q using the HDMI CEC (and webOS B&O app)?

I'm hoping it does work via PUC control - I.e if you had an Eclipse / Harmony
Emil Jensen
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moxxey:

Emil Jensen:

I would recommend trying buying on Itunes,

Almost same quality, but much cheaper and much faster and convenient

iTunes streamed 4K will never hit the bitrate of a Blu-ray 4K.

"Overall, Apple TV+ streams at approximately half that of a UHD Blu-ray disc"

That's fairly significant. On top of this, the audio quality doesn't get close to a Blu-ray. You get uncompressed audio from a Blu-ray! 

Lastly, iTunes 4K is approximately 8GB. A Blu-ray 4K DVD is usually 66GB! And those extra GBs is the uncompressed audio. I agree that the image quality won't differ too much from the disc version, but the audio is hugely different.

You cannot beat the raw data from a Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray disc. The entire point of spending the big bucks on these top-of-the-range TVs is that we get the best experience on the market. Not compromise to save a few bucks or hassle. Hence the reason for asking for a UHD player recommendation!

Obviously the big downside of 4K UHD discs is the cost. Some are incredibly priced. You can buy a Blu-ray discounted for £5 and the UHD version is still £20!

But on the flipside, so many films are still not streaming in 4K on iTunes - things like Django Unchained or Hateful Eight. All available on UHD, but HD-only as a stream.

I get what you a saying, but for me the Blu-ray is a dead format.

Yes it is better but,

Much more expensive as you say your self, I gave 20£ for all three Batman movies in 4K HDR, also the HD movie I have bought is upgraded freely.

Second point, and that is what is doing it for me is convenience.

When you start the movie you actually start it right away, not like Blu-ray disc that takes forever incl. trailers.

And you do not have to pick it up and so on.

Third Point,

Yes there are some movies that are on UHD Blu-ray that are not yet upgraded in the Itunes store, but it will be and it will be free. And in Denmark there are much more UHD content on Itunes than on UHD Blu-ray.

Further more I only expect that the quality will raise over time on streaming in generel, but Blu-ray will die out.

And lastly remember that you do not have PUC controls, and in that regard maybe CEC have improved since I had it, but let us know have that works.

 

But for any means buy a Blu-ray player, you will get the best quality. I tried it and know what I am missing. 

Beovision Harmony 77" 2nd Gen, Beolab 5, Beolab 17, Beosound 1, Beoplay M3, Beoplay H6, Beoplay Earset, Beoliving Intelligence 

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 7:24 AM
Emil Jensen:

I get what you a saying, but for me the Blu-ray is a dead format.

Yes it is better but,

Much more expensive as you say your self, I gave 20 £ for all three Batman movies in 4K HDR, also the HD movie I have bought is upgraded freely.

Second point, and that is what is doing it for me is convenience.

When you start the movie you actually start it right away, not like Blu-ray disc that takes forever incl. trailers.

And you do not have to pick it up and so on.

Third Point,

Yes there are some movies that are on UHD Blu-ray that are not yet upgraded in the Itunes store, but it will be and it will be free. And in Denmark there are much more UHD content on Itunes than on UHD Blu-ray.

Further more I only expect that the quality will raise over time on streaming in generel, but Blu-ray will die out.

And lastly remember that you do not have PUC controls, and in that regard maybe CEC have improved since I had it, but let us know have that works.

But for any means buy a Blu-ray player, you will get the best quality. I tried it and know what I am missing.

Beovision Eclipse, Beolab 5, Beolab 17, Beosound 1 Google assist, Beoplay M3, Beoplay H6, Beoplay Earset

Physical media is not dead, but just becoming niche.

Vinyl may be dead to many - but its thrived as a niche, despite cheap accusations of hipster fashions.

It doesn’t get any more complicated than that.

It will remain the case for quite long that watching movies through a combination of streaming and owning s few favourite discs (especially if not available on streaming) is a route that will work for some.

It’s not as if streaming services have everything (ok, yes you can subscribe to 5 services).

And Amazon will get you a disc at times the next day.

Streaming is much more comprehensive with TV series.

John
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John replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 7:27 AM

moxxey:

Loving my new LG GX OLED 4K panel. Looking at getting a 65" for another room.

Obviously it looks at it's best with the best source. ie. 4K is so good I can't even explain how good.

With this in mind, tempted to get a 4K Blu-ray player. I still have an old Oppo 103 standard Blu-ray. Which would would you recommend which is reasonable value?

Sorry to be bit late to the thread on this, but thought I'd add a few comments given I've just bought a new Bluray player 12 days ago.

I have an V1-40 B&O TV, with which I've been exceptionally happy for the last 7 ½ years.

I've used a entry level Sony Bluray player with it for around the same amount of time - roughly 7 years.

Over the last few months it's been refusing to play some discs, having dropouts of audio and picture several times during movie playback, and lastly when switching on, sometimes the home screen will appear, and other times not, so it was clearly in terminal decline and hence the search for a new player.

I have approx. 1,000 discs - Bluray/DVD with the majority being Blurays.  I also have a tiny collection of SACD's - circa 20 odd discs.

Despite being listed as being able to play back SACD's this feature has never worked with the V1-40 - as the output of DSD to PCM is an odd frequency, 88.2.mhz from memory, whereas the DAC in the V1-40 needs 48, 96 mhz etc - so when playing SACDS there's no sound.

However I like the Sony control interface and the ability to control the player over my LAN by app on an iPhone, so another sony was the first port of call.

Unfortunately quite a few owners (on AVF forums) and at least one independent review comment on the current top Sony player having issues with not playing some discs, and dropout of sound and audio on others, so putting that together with the hit and miss of whether it would play SACD's in my setup put me off a little.

Current favourite for a VFM player at reasonable price seems to be the Pansonic DP-UB820.  It has the same basic chipset and HDR optimiser feature found on Pansonics flagship DP-UB 9000 player and looked to be exceptional bang for the buck.

In the high end, performance to the max bracket, the Pioneer LX500 & LX800, along with the Pansonic UB9000 appear (at least on calibrated, measured reviews) to be the best players overall, currently available.  For the UB820 to offer similar performance to the UB 9000 makes it exceptional vfm.

However, the lack of SACD support on the Pannys put me off.  On the other hand, the Pioneers both support SACD (still no guarantee if it would work with my setup though) but, in the case of the LX800 at considerably extra cost.

Like others here, I use Netflix, Amazon prime, and own a few movies bought from Apple iTunes.  For video quality, the movies from Apple outdo those streamed from Netflix or amazon prime in my experience.  But, none of them compare to an bluray (1080p) when it comes to refinement in the picture and especially sound.  Apple might boast 4k movies and dolby atmos sound, But the movie file will be heavily compressed (lossy compression) and also the sound track (AAC) - despite the number of channels, - and on picture and especially sound quality grounds, none of the streaming/buying online media as yet, can compete on performance grounds with an optical disk. 

If and when it does, I might give up buying disks, but until then....convenience is nice to have, but I still prefer the ultimate picture and sound quality that I can get, as it adds immeasurably to the involvement factor in the whole entertainment experience of movie watching in the home.

However, to some degree the writing is on the wall with the likes of Oppo departing the market place, and the choice of quality players thinning out.

So, after a lot of research and a degree of procrastination I settled on a DP-UB 9000 Pansonic and am very happy that I did so.

The build and perceived finish is not quite up to the standard of my now obsolete Sony 9000ES DVD/CD/SACD (2 channel only) which simply oozes luxury and engineering refinement, but, the Panny 9000 is arguably only bettered in build by the Pioneer LX800 - at over double the price.

With a dual layer chassis, brushed aluminium side cheeks and front panel, it's an understated and very elegant contemporary design.  The remote is large, ergonomically easy to use and is backlit.

Performance?  Well, here's a thing.

I'm of the opinion that amplifiers and CD players etc, sound more alike than different.  I'm not saying they all sound the same, but I will say that differences remain on the subtle and nuance level of perception, such that in a blind ABX test on unfamiliar material, one would be hard pressed to pick differences.

On sound quality, comparing my new Panasonic 9000 with my existing Sony Bluray player (when it decides to play!) on very well known movies, both players in default 'standard' mode, over HDMI with the same HDMI lead, input and TV, and at the same exact volume level on the V1-40, the Panny is ahead in subtlety and nuance.  Dialogue, score and foley effects have a sense of greater separation and clarity - it is easier to hear clear dialogue and diction over the cacophony of explosions, car crashes etc, whilst the score pushes everything along merrily.  The sound field is seemingly larger, the sound grander overall, and the steering of effects more clearly defined.

Picture quality?  Well apparent dynamic range re luminosity is better, re greater perceived detail in dark/black areas of the picture, along with white/highlighted areas of the picture and at the same time.  The subtle nuance of light and shade seems better.  Similarly with chrominance/colour - greater separation of colours and nuance of shading.  Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the greater resolution and fine detail apparent.  Given that the information on the disc is fixed, then to use an HiFi analogy, one would presume the player is adding less distortion and noise to the signal in it's picture processing before outputting to HDMI.  Or maybe the stronger build means less vibration and therefore better reading of the disc by the drive, with less timing or jitter errors etc.

Now of course this could also be placebo, however on disks I know backwards, the increase of details and clarity on say a persons face, was quite noticeable - five o'clock shadow or clean shaven, how many hairs could be counted in the cheek stubble etc.  Similarly with closeups with clothing, grass, wood, furniture etc.  The overall effect of increased resolution of detail, clarity and sharpness gave the picture a considerably more 3d look, with better depth perception - one feels that one is looking into the picture, not at it.

Having said all of that, if I was doing an A/B of the two players on unfamiliar material, would I still see the differences?  Perhaps - bear in mind I was playing favourite movies I've watched dozens of times, so whilst a nuanced and subtle thing, it was still visually noticeable.  On unfamiliar material, I should imagine it would much harder to pick differences - just like CD players and amplifiers in fact.

Putting it's build quality, and jump in performance which has given me literally a new and enhanced collection of movie disk, and the relative price compared to the Pioneer LX500/800 twins, I'd say it's an exceptional product and excellent VFM that fully compliments my investment in my B&O kit.  Am very happy with it, and would happily recommend it.

Cheers

John.. :-)

 

 

vlohjr1
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Sandyb:

presumably you mean that the BR can't control Sky Q using the HDMI CEC (and webOS B&O app)?

I'm hoping it does work via PUC control - I.e if you had an Eclipse / Harmony

Yes that’s right
ToeKneeAus
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From a bit of reading this - and searching the net, I cant find any slot loading / vertical mount 4k disc players. Does anyone know of any out or coming out ?

I had the panasonic slot loading blue ray on the back of the BV7 and have now moved that over to the LG CX - but i'd love to get a 4k disc player that can be hidden on the back of the TV.

Like @moxxey I think i may fall back to the LG for its integration and Dolby Vision - but cant hide it away ..

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 11:38 AM

Emil Jensen:

I get what you a saying, but for me the Blu-ray is a dead format.

I still stream content more than I watch from disc. A movie would have to be something very very special for me to spend £15 on a UHD disc! There's few movies I watch more than a couple of times - that kind of standard.

1917 would look amazing from UHD, but it's just not a strong enough film to justify purchasing.

moxxey
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moxxey replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 11:40 AM

vlohjr1:
I miss single remote control much more than I thought so much so that I am considering not to renew sky q when the contract finishes and move to now TV app (not streaming in 4K though) and freeview. I mostly watch catch up tv anyway.

That's what I do right now and am moving up to Q. I find streaming sport to be a little hit-and-miss and you definitely do not get 4K. Seems utterly pointless buying an OLED 4K TV and then relegating your experience back to HD.

Although I love the single remote, I can live with a couple.

Jaffrey2230
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It depends on the audio system. There is no way you can tell the difference when listening to an Atmos track between iTunes 4K and the best Blu-ray player using a Stage or TV speaker. Also, when it comes to video people are splitting hairs to see differences between iTunes and 4K and given normal viewing distance and other room situations it is almost impossible. But having the convenience of iTunes (which is built into the LG TV ) is a big benefit.

I used to be very involved in AVS Forum and into Blu-Ray (also active on the Blu-ray forum). Personally on a 65 inch TV you are better off using a streaming 4K service. For the audio, IMHO even with BL 50s you won’t be able to hear a difference. The lossless audio on Blu-Ray is useful if you have a very high end audiophile system and you have very refined hearing and are looking for subtle differences etc. on the video front unless you are going to watch on a 100 inch screen sitting 10 ft away you won’t see any difference. The OLED TV processing will have more artifacts than the difference in compression between the Blu Ray and iTunes video stream.

My 2 cents worth. 

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Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Wed, Jun 17 2020 2:07 PM

Generally agree, but there are a few who are a bit fussier (whether more refined or not, who knows) when it comes to audio.

And dont many disc devotees remain so because of the audio?

I dont have a ultra high end audio system - 12-65 BV with 18s front, 19 sub, 3s rear - and I could tell the difference between my Pioneer BR player vs a new Panasonic that I bought. So much so that I returned the Panasonic.  

I'm not a disc devotee for the record, though I have about 50 of my favourite films on disc - some for perceived quality reasons, some because they are not all available on streaming. 

And some of the audio tracks on streamed movies are actively bad - I tried to watch LOTR a year ago on Netflix, and the dialogue was so low in the mix, it was hard to follow. I put in the DVD that I had, and it was miles better, so I could finish the film.  More a mix issue than a bitrate quality issue I grant you, but does illustrate the disc / streaming relative merits are at times more subtle.

 

Jaffrey2230:

It depends on the audio system. There is no way you can tell the difference when listening to an Atmos track between iTunes 4K and the best Blu-ray player using a Stage or TV speaker. Also, when it comes to video people are splitting hairs to see differences between iTunes and 4K and given normal viewing distance and other room situations it is almost impossible. But having the convenience of iTunes (which is built into the LG TV ) is a big benefit.

I used to be very involved in AVS Forum and into Blu-Ray (also active on the Blu-ray forum). Personally on a 65 inch TV you are better off using a streaming 4K service. For the audio, IMHO even with BL 50s you won’t be able to hear a difference. The lossless audio on Blu-Ray is useful if you have a very high end audiophile system and you have very refined hearing and are looking for subtle differences etc. on the video front unless you are going to watch on a 100 inch screen sitting 10 ft away you won’t see any difference. The OLED TV processing will have more artifacts than the difference in compression between the Blu Ray and iTunes video stream.

My 2 cents worth. 

 

Millemissen
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@John

Thanks for your long and interesting post.

As for bluray player with SACD support for a V1 (and for that gen of the BV’s) there is only one that works = the OPPO player.

For the FullHD-tv’s a 103 would be the best choice - however you must purchase these second hand.


As for the discussion streaming vs UHD I have little experience.
On my Avant 1gen the picture is better from a bluray disc/OPPO than from a stream via the ATV4.
Soundwise I’d prefer the disc anytime over the stream.
As for streaming via iTunes vs from Netflix and co, I can’t say - generally the price for purchasing a movie from iTunes is too high imo.
I still stick to bluray discs and I buy these when they have come down in prize (I can easily wait) - I hardly watch blockbusters.
And - most important - i can’t get the titles that I want from a streaming service/iTunes.....the music concerts I have bought on disc very seldom can be found there.
This said - if the quality (picture/sound) and the supply of the (from me) wanted titles some time in the future will be on par with the discs, I’d gladly change to streaming.....the convinience of streaming is hard to beat.
MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

beojeff
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My biggest gripe about my Oppo 103 is that it does not have an auto off. This is particularly a problem when used with a matrix since there is never a B&O command sent to turn it off. It must always be turned off manually. It's easy to forget to turn it off.

Carolpa
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Which tv you use? You can’t program the used PUC the Oppo to switch off when the tv goes to STBY?
Millemissen
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I have never had that problem with my OPPO.

What beojeff describes is probably only relevant, if the OPPO is used through a matrix.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Thu, Jun 18 2020 8:50 PM

I believe that is correct.

I have the same issue with my Pioneer through the matrix.

Doesnt especially bother me though.

I think my Pioneer eventually goes to sleep anyway.

Millemissen:

I have never had that problem with my OPPO.

What beojeff describes is probably only relevant, if the OPPO is used through a matrix.

MM

 

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