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Best 4K Blu-ray player (is Dolby Vision worth $250)? (1 Viewer)

Desdinova

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I haven't gone too deep into the weeds on the player's capabilities but so far, it appears to be doing all conversions natively. The first disc I threw at it was the BBC DVD of Private Schulz which, considering it was shot in the early 80s on SD and was playing back on an SD DVD, looked pretty good with very little aliasing. The player automatically switches regions and formats without any input needed (no more of the sometimes tedious process of entering a hack code to get a particular disc to play). All of the player's native Options apply fine regardless of the origin of disc being handled and thus far, I haven't stumbled on any limitations with one disc over another, whether I'm watching a Second Sight blu ray from the UK or a domestic release form here in the US. Whatever I drop into it just plays immediately.
 

AndyMcKinney

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the hope is for the option to output an "unconverted" picture (i.e. not converted from PAL to NTSC at all, to take advantage of a multi-system television). I know some players allow conversion to be turned on/off, some convert everything to NTSC, some don't do any conversion at all.

Sometimes, you can tell from the on-screen display. On the Oppos, if you're outputting native framerate (multi), it'll show as PAL or NTSC, depending on the format of the disc. If you've got the Oppo setup to do internal conversion, it'll always show up as NTSC on the OSD.
 

Desdinova

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Unfortunately, it appears that there's no option for running a non-converted PAL signal straight out. After googling around, I can't find any of the various dealers who offer the player for sale mentioning this as an option on their product. Whether this is a hardware limitation or something that might become available in a future aftermarket OS upgrade seems unknown at this point.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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That's partly why many of us still go w/ an Oppo in a setup albeit some of us don't use one for 4K playback.

I'm happy to split usage between 2 separate players myself, especially since it let's me reduce the frequency of switching regions on my Oppo 103 -- it's a small-ish bother nonetheless even w/ the commands programmed into a Harmony remote -- while probably extending its life some...

I generally have everyone use the cheaper 4K player for everything other than the occasional imported BD plus music playback. Of course, many BDs are simply region-free and would work w/out switching regions, but simpler this way...

_Man_
 

Clinton McClure

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I ordered a Panasonic UB420 today and should have it Thursday. My cheap Sony Blu-ray player (the model escapes me and I’m in bed, the HT is downstairs, I’m tired, etc...) has stopped reading a lot of discs and takes a good three or four minutes to start a disc after it’s been loaded in the tray if the player decides to even read it. It has the latest firmware and I’ve gotten into a habit of checking for updates every time I power on the player, just in case. I usually have to eject the disc a time or two before it reads the disc and decides it can play it, but a few have become unplayable on that unit. I have an older Sony BDP-S300 that is slow as Christmas but it plays any Blu-ray I put in, no questions asked, so I know it’s the player at fault and not the discs. The biggest issues with the S300 are no Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA decoding (probably no Atmos either), the unit is super slow to boot and load, and it freezes for a good second and a half during layer changes - an eternity when I’m watching a movie.

Anyway, I’m excited about having a competent Blu-ray + UHD player, and I got it on sale plus used a credit from my cc issuer to sweeten the price.
 

Clinton McClure

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So far I’m really enjoying the Panasonic UB420.

I have only been able to spin up two standard Blu-rays so far (I watched The Terminal last night and tried to watch Die Hard but I kept getting pulled away from it until I just gave up and shut everything off for the night). I own exactly two UHD discs so this player is more of a replacement for a failing Sony Blu-ray player and less of an upgrade to UHD right now.

First off, the UB420 loads discs faster than the Sony it replaced. Even thought I’m still watching on a 720P plasma tv, the picture it puts out from standard Blu-ray is better than what the Sony would produce, but the biggest difference thus far is the audio quality. Even after replacing my 20-year old receiver with a new Denon that uses HDMI and decodes all current audio codecs, the Sony would still play Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA content in lossy DD and DTS, or so my Denon would say. After swapping out for the UB420, my Denon now reports DTS-MA as the sound format from The Terminal and Die Hard (which is correct) and there’s a notable audio difference with increased fidelity. I’ll have to put in a TrueHD disc later today and see what the Denon shows on its display.

Overall, I’m very impressed and would say this is the best disc player I’ve owned since I bought a Toshiba SD-5109 for the hefty sum of $999 way back in 1999.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Glad to hear the Panasonic 420 is working out for you, Clinton. I really like my UB820. The only peculiar issue I have run into was recently the player appeared to freeze when I turned it on -- it would never get to the home screen. I ended up using one of my other disc players for the film I wanted to watch. While I was watching, my wife came downstairs and told me our Internet connection was down. I did a quick check with the Xfinity app on my phone and discovered there was an outage in the area. I didn't put two and two together until after our Internet service was restored and the UB820 began working flawlessly again. The player was apparently hanging up during the boot process as it looked for some service on the Internet (probably looking for a firmware update).

I may just shut off the player's network connection to avoid this in the future. Panasonic hasn't issued any firmware updates for quite some time anyway.
 

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