The Best 4k Blu-Ray Players for 2024

Panasonic UB820 Blu Ray Player

Choosing a quality 4K Blu-ray player is increasingly important and since the market is becoming saturated with TVs pushing 70-inch screen sizes and more, the ability to scrutinize every detail in an image becomes ever more applicable. And there still appears to be a consensus that if you want to extract the best video and audio quality from your favorite movies and TV shows, then spinning up discs is the only way to go.

Sadly, the outlook for physical media and their respective players is looking less certain. While streaming media continues to replace the shiny disc as the movie-watching mode of choice, fewer players are finding their way onto store shelves. Even that almost indispensable stalwart of home cinema, the Panasonic DP-UB820 (reviewed below), while still widely available, is now in its unchanged sixth year of service. The idea that a Blu-ray player deck wouldn’t see a new product cycle or major overhaul over such a long period was simply unheard of ten years ago.

On the bright side, there have been a couple of new entrants to the disc player market. While we reviewed and liked the UBR-X100 and -X200 decks from France-based Reavon, it seems that the players are no longer available stateside. The company’s claims of making the players ‘universal’, in that they could handle any variety of discs thrown at them, seemed questionable at best. And they weren’t cheap either.

Then, last year, a new entrant appeared on the scene. China-based Magnetar announced not one, but two, high-end and pricey 4K Blu-ray disc transports. The company uses the same distribution network as the Reavon and former Zappiti brands, suggesting there may be some links. Magnetar’s top model, the UDP800 makes its debut on our list below.

We have decided only to include players capable of playing 4K UHD disc content. We figure that most of our regular members and even casual visitors to HTF won’t usually consider 1080p displays or standard Blu-ray players as their main movie-watching electronic combos these days.

If you’re excited to dip into or dive deeper into the world of physical media, we’ve compiled a list of the best Blu-ray players of 2024 from budget-friendly through to high-end below.

Table of Contents

Best Budget Blu-Ray Players

Panasonic DP-UB420

Panasonic-DP-UB420 one of our best blu ray players in 2023

The DP-UB420 still gives disc hoarders a chance to experience some of Panasonic’s playback magic without needing to break the bank. The DP-UB420 sports several of the features of the benchmark DP-UB820 which have been ported into this more affordable chassis.

These include the invaluable HDR Optimizer tone mapping for customizing potentially problematic HDR content to your display, 4K direct chroma upscaling, and several streaming options.

While you must forego the 7.1 analog outs and Dolby Vision features of the UB820 (see below), the HCX processor – found in all Panasonic models further up the price scale – will guarantee pristine images on your screen.

Note that while multi-channel audio playback is impressive, the deck is considered a little harsh sounding on CDs. But it is also a nice touch to have Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime apps baked in for streaming, and there is voice control compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Sony UBP-X700

Sony UBP-X700 best budget blu-ray player

This Sony deck can deliver 4K and 1080p pictures which are highly detailed with a corresponding excellent audio output. The latter includes strong delivery from well-known immersive formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

With a legacy of producing reference-grade studio monitors and arguably the finest residential displays, Sony is a safe pair of hands.

As well as Wi-Fi and ethernet for streaming apps, there is hi-res music support, but you will not be able to play multi-channel audio discs like SACD and DVD-A.

Perhaps the biggest complaint by users of this rather plasticky player is its need for manual selection of Dolby Vision. But it’s still good to see the feature on a deck at this price point.

The X700 notably does not have HDR10+ support. It is also clearly not designed for mounting into a rack and, consequently, at a 12-inch width, will most likely find a home on a shelf under the TV.

Some reviewers found the diminutive remote control and lack of optical audio output to be annoyances. Keep in mind, though, that the X700 is not a premium-grade player either.

If you want more bells and whistles, you will have to pay more.

LG UBK90 4K Blu-Ray Player

LG UBK90 top choice blu ray players

LG is still churning out its legacy UBK90 player. Hunt around and you might find a real bargain on this spinner.

But be aware that the player might fall short on features that other competitors offer. Perhaps the warning is already there in the pared-back front fascia – there is only a disc tray door, four discreet buttons, and a USB Out.

Like the other players in this budget category, the UBK90 will unlikely be the choice for users with a dedicated AV room.

As a plus over the Sony X700, the LG does detect Dolby Vision automatically, but there is no HDR to SDR conversion, universal disc support, or tone mapping feature.

On the upside, the unit does include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, an optical audio output, and robust immersive audio performance.

Images from 4K UHD content with Dolby Vision are considered particularly natural-looking and accurate, so you shouldn’t rule out this player if you are building out an AV setup on a budget. The X700 can also upscale lower-resolution content with confidence.

There are some rumors on the internet that the UBK90 is a multi-region player for Blu-rays and DVDs. If your movie collection includes the region codes of trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific titles, then this might be worth investigating.

Best Mid-Priced 4k Blu-Ray Players

Sony UBP-X800M2

Sony UBP-X800M2 best 4k blu ray player

The top place in the Sony hierarchy of disc spinners is the UBP-X800M2, which was formerly superseded by the now unavailable X1100ES.

This latter spinner promised more robust audio chops with its ES or ‘Elevated Standard’ moniker. The product’s absence from the market suggests it didn’t prove to be enough of a convincing upsell over the unit we look at here.

Picture quality is full of detail and vibrancy, and the conveniently low-rise unit can play any disc on the market, including SACD, DVD-A and 3D Blu-ray. We believe that makes the player a superb value proposition alone. The X800M2 shines on music sources, too.

However, like Sony’s X700 (see above), a user must still manually select Dolby Vision. This could become a headache over time given that some UHD discs do not always include the logo on the packaging. Furthermore, unless DV is disabled, the processing will be applied to the next piece of content you show.

HDR10+ detection and implementation are also absent. Despite these reservations, the Sony sports a low-profile and stylish 17-inch design, which makes the X800M2 ideal for sliding into a rack.

There is a good sprinkling of connectivity options with analog and digital outs, a pleasant remote and the already-mentioned class-leading performance.

Check out a more in-depth review of this player here! 

Panasonic DP-UB820

Panasonic DP-UB820 top choice 4k blu-ray players in 2023

Perhaps not so compelling for Blu-ray deck shoppers is the locked price of the Panasonic DP-UB820. But before you plump for the far cheaper Sony X800M2 (see above), we recommend you give the Panasonic first refusal before committing to a final choice.

The DP-UB820 has become something of a benchmark and quality marker for high-end home theater performance, particularly if you are using a projector or large flat-panel display in your home.

There is hardly a Panasonic player in its current range that does not represent a compelling price/performance proposition. The DP-UB820 is no exception.

The player is a star act and delivers impressively detailed 4K images, startling color, and bounding audio with the default settings straight out of the box. If you want to tweak your 4K images and immersive audio even further, there is a comprehensive range of on-screen menus and features to help you along the way.

Taking on board much of the audio and picture delivery finesse from its larger sibling, the UB9000, the UB820 supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG, and a high-end bonus in the form of the HDR Optimizer.

Although the player looks appealing enough in a rack, you might have to overlook the unremarkable build quality and toy-like standard remote.

With that said, and for the time being, the UB820 represents the high bar for performance in a mid-price package.

Best Mid-High Priced 4k Blu-Ray Players

Panasonic DP-UB9000

Panasonic DP-UB9000 is our choice for mid range best blu-ray players

Panasonic’s DP-UB9000 feels like the grown-up version of the DP-UB820 and certainly belongs amongst the best 4K Blu-ray players. Like the Reavon models, the Panasonic has a handsome brushed aluminum faceplate, anti-vibration feet, and hi-fi-style steel chassis.

This is more like the kind of rugged kit to complement an equipment rack. However, if you want the more comprehensive disc support of SACD and DVD-A, you should consider a player from Magnetar (see below).

Some suggest that the UB9000 has the edge over former Oppo players in terms of color reproduction, contrast, and detail, making it a new force to be reckoned with.

As well as Panasonic’s second generation HCX video processor, the unit carries THX display certification, meaning that the player needed to satisfy multiple tweaky video tests before coming to market. The HDR Optimizer ensures that your display will not clip while negotiating bright highlights on problematic source material. That’s a great boon for projector owners.

Round the back of the unit, there are two balanced XLR outputs for two-channel media and 7.1 analog Outs.

Before you splash out – and even in this rather stagnant period for new physical media – keep in mind that a software player is the most likely component in your home theater to require an upgrade within a three-to-five-year lifespan due to fast-evolving tech or obsolescence.

Magnetar UDP800

Magnetar UDP800 Review

Okay, you might need to take a gasp of breath when you see the price of Magnetar’s UDP800 player. If you decide its audiophile-grade big brother, the UDP900, is the disc player for you, then the reaction could be more severe.

But if you have a large physical media collection and need a player with a super-robust steel frame and excellent build quality, along with the ability to play all your discs, then look no further than the UDP800.

The thing weighs in at just under 18 lbs (8 kg) and plays just about any silver platter you throw at it: 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-A, CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW and so the list goes on. A dizzying array of hi-res file support will also delight audio aficionados.

While there are no 7.1 line-level outputs, audio buffs can enjoy a pair of balanced XLR outputs and a pair of premium Burr-Brown PCM 1795 DACs.

The player gets around the region coding conundrum, happily complying out of the box with Blu-ray Region 1, 2, and 3 discs. Quite how Magnetar gets around this is a bit of a mystery, but ask questions we will not.

Some might rue the lack of onboard streaming apps or even Wi-Fi. There is an Ethernet connection and RS-232C control, making the unit fully home automation compliant.

To top it all, though, the Magnetar UDP800’s video and audio quality are exemplary. Upscaling of legacy DVDs is also second-to-none. If an expansive disc media library is your passion (and let’s face it, for many of us it still is), then the UDP800 may have your name written all over it.

Martin, a seasoned journalist and AV expert, has written for several notable print magazines. He’s served in key roles at Lucasfilm’s THX Division, NEC’s digital cinema division, and has even consulted for DreamWorks. Despite his illustrious career, Martin remains rooted in his passion for cinema and acting, with notable appearances in several Spielberg films, Doctor Who, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He currently resides in San Francisco.

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Todd Erwin

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I would take the Sony X700 out of contention, as it shares the same lock-up issues as the older (first gen) X800 model (not to be confused with the newer X800M2).

The X800M2 is a solid machine, and supports both SACD and DVD-Audio playback. Not bad for a player in that price range.
 
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DaveF

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I bought the UB420 over the holidays. (But I haven't used it yet; it's just backup in case my HTPC dies or a friend wants to watch a disc.)
 

uncledougie

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I got the Panasonic UB9000 around the holidays with a discount for living room home theater, and moved the not that old X800-M2 into the everyday viewing room den. Likewise moved the wonderful Sony Z9D 65” to the den and updated to a Z9J 75” for home theater. Can’t say definitively the picture or audio quality of the 9000 is superior to the X800, as both produce excellent results. I can attest to liking the Panasonic’s auto Dolby Vision detection and the very welcome high quality backlit remote. I believe the 9000 MSRP is now $1099.99, but as when I got it can be found discounted +- $140. I didn’t consider the Reavon models because they’re not easily found locally, and I would’ve sprung for another Oppo if they were still being produced, as their quality was always top notch. (I finally got the module to convert the Oppo Blu-ray in the home theater to multi-region, very worthwhile.)
I’ve read of glitches from all the listed models so no manufacturer is entirely immune to those, but mine (as well as a first gen Sony 800 now in the bedroom) have so far been very stable performers. If within the budget, the 9000 seems rock solid in construction, and that backlight on the remote is hugely appreciated.
 

YANG

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the market needs new blood input of fresh disc players with the latest video and audio processing units once every 2 or 3yrs even if PHILIPS words that made an impact in the physical disc players claiming that "due to popularity of streaming, market demand on physical discs shrinks" causing a slow movement in Physical Disc Player innovation...

with MTK continual improvement on engineering with their "AVPU"... i don't see why there shouldn't be any new products introduced in 2.5~3yrs period windows.
 

Mike Boone

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the market needs new blood input of fresh disc players with the latest video and audio processing units once every 2 or 3yrs even if PHILIPS words that made an impact in the physical disc players claiming that "due to popularity of streaming, market demand on physical discs shrinks" causing a slow movement in Physical Disc Player innovation...

with MTK continual improvement on engineering with their "AVPU"... i don't see why there shouldn't be any new products introduced in 2.5~3yrs period windows.
I hope that you're correct about development of new models of 4k UHD BD players continuing into the future for another 2 or 3 years, at the very least. Because though I've been generally satisfied with the Panasonic UB-820 player that was purchased in early 2021, when also acquiring a Sony A9G 77" OLED to go with it, sometimes the plastic sounding movement of the player's tray as it opens or closes, makes me a little nervous. But due to that Panny's reputation for not freezing up on discs, even including the playing of 3 hour plus, triple data layer, 4k discs of our collection, that had never given any problem, until quite recently, such reliability, encouraged me to get a 2nd UB820 back in September, as an 85" Samsung QN90B Mini-LED Neo-QLED was added to our living room.

But YANG, there's 1 question which I hope you, or another fellow 4k Blu-ray user on HTF might be able to answer. Two weekends ago we were watching the 4k UHD BD of Saving Private Ryan, and were about 2 hours and 20 minutes into the film when the picture and sound started breaking up, then quickly stabilized for a couple seconds, and then would start breaking up again, and it seemed like that cycle was going to keep repeating itself, so I shut down the movie. An inspection of the disc with a magnifying glass, revealed it to be totally free of any scratches, or even any sort of dirt or discoloration on the disc. Plus, the movie had only been out of its case, once before, when it had been played the first time. And the basement theater room where the disc is stored is perfectly dry, and always remains between 63 and 71 degrees fahrenheit.

OK I'm getting to my question. For the player's 4K60p Output setting I'd set it to 4K/60p(4:4:4), but it seemed I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that picture breakup when an undamaged 4K Blu-ray is playing can occasionally be solved by changing the player's 4K60p Output setting. So I went into the UB820's menu & changed its output setting from 4K/60p(4:4:4) to 4K/60p(4:2:0)
And then returning to the part of SPR which had exhibited so much trouble in playing it, the disc not only presented the film's picture and sound perfectly, but going through the previously troublesome scene a couple times, I couldn't even make the BD player, or disc. cause any problem, at all.

So what I'm asking is are you, YANG, or any of our fellow HTF members who you have talked with, familiar with solving a 4K disc playback problem like picture & sound breakup, by making a change to the BD player's 4K/60p Output setting? Because I'm wondering if the change I made has really been the solution to the problem, since the type of electronic issue that sometimes comes & goes in an unpredictable way, might have also been the case there, with my having been lucky enough that it did no reoccur when starting the movie again. Anyhow, whichever the case may be, I've left the player on the setting I changed it to, and it has been performing fine.

But YANG, I'd VERY much appreciate seeing what you, or any of our fellow HTF members might have to say regarding the situation I described. You have a great night if you read this, but I've got to get to bed now, here in NE Ohio, where it's 1:57 AM.
 

Clinton McClure

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Hi Mike. Chroma 4:4:4 is only useful if you’re gaming or using your display as a computer monitor. You could be experiencing video playback issues because of the much higher bandwidth required for 4:4:4. For movie watching, chroma 4:2:0 is standard.

Here’s a Rtings explanation of chroma sub sampling.
 

uncledougie

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The one downside to the Panasonic UB9000 was the lack of SACD compatibility. That was one of the reasons I’d have chosen an Oppo player if they’d still been available. But I moved the region free Oppo Blu-ray to the home theater set up, so that took care of the issue. I must say I appreciate the 9000’s frontal display, which I’d missed on the Sony UHD players and a Samsung that I donated to my brother’s family when they upgraded to 4K.
 
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Mike Boone

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Hi Mike. Chroma 4:4:4 is only useful if you’re gaming or using your display as a computer monitor. You could be experiencing video playback issues because of the much higher bandwidth required for 4:4:4. For movie watching, chroma 4:2:0 is standard.

Here’s a Rtings explanation of chroma sub sampling.
Thank you SO much, Clint! And I appreciate you referring me to Rtings.

That explanation of chroma sub sampling from the folks at Rtings should be quite interesting to me.

Thanks again! And I'm glad to have discovered this thread, and the discussion of UHD Blu-ray players that you and other fellow HTF members, are having here.
 

tag

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How about some recommendations for multi-region (and PAL/NTSC) players?
 

cineescape

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Still no zoom control, like my Pioneer LX500-and JRiver and PowerDVD Windows players?
 

B....

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Hi Mike. Chroma 4:4:4 is only useful if you’re gaming or using your display as a computer monitor. You could be experiencing video playback issues because of the much higher bandwidth required for 4:4:4. For movie watching, chroma 4:2:0 is standard.

Here’s a Rtings explanation of chroma sub sampling.
Thanks for the info Clinton. I have the Panasonic UB 820 & now have reset to 4:2:0. I also noticed that the Dolby VIsion & HDR10+ settings are set to "off". Is this something that should be left "on" full time regardless of the disc being played? I'm assuming that these settings would probably be in effect only when the suitable disc type is in play & not affect other playback. Thanks again.
 

Martin Dew

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Thanks for the info Clinton. I have the Panasonic UB 820 & now have reset to 4:2:0. I also noticed that the Dolby VIsion & HDR10+ settings are set to "off". Is this something that should be left "on" full time regardless of the disc being played? I'm assuming that these settings would probably be in effect only when the suitable disc type is in play & not affect other playback. Thanks again.
Yes, they should both be set to 'on' and that will automatically trigger HDR processing when content is detected. There is no 'auto' setting.
 

Yllanes

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I am having trouble finding the differences between the Sony UBP-X700M and the UBP-X800M2. Could someone give me a hint?
 

Todd Erwin

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I am having trouble finding the differences between the Sony UBP-X700M and the UBP-X800M2. Could someone give me a hint?
The big differences are that the X800M2 can play DVD-Audio discs, has a more solid metal chassis, and has HDMI v2.0b on its HDMI audio/video port.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I am having trouble finding the differences between the Sony UBP-X700M and the UBP-X800M2. Could someone give me a hint?
The X800 has a standard sized chassis and internal power supply. The X700 has a mini chassis and requires an external AC power adapter.