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Best 4K UHD player for under $200 (1 Viewer)

morasp

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I'm looking to upgrade my player to 4K but not break the bank. There are plenty of brands from Sony, LG, Philips, Sanyo, and Samsung. Does anyone have a specific model under $200 that they really like?
 

Todd Erwin

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Stay far, far away from Sanyo (or Magnavox - same player).

That being said, it really comes down to if your UHD TV has Dolby Vision and if your receiver is HDCP 2.2 compliant as to what player will best fit.
 

morasp

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Stay far, far away from Sanyo (or Magnavox - same player).

That being said, it really comes down to if your UHD TV has Dolby Vision and if your receiver is HDCP 2.2 compliant as to what player will best fit.
I just have an older sony receiver and don't have a 4k TV yet. I thought I would upgrade my player now and wanted to get UHD for future system upgrades.
 

JQuintana

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I wouldn't waste my money on a basic lower budget 4K play now to "future proof" upgrades you haven't even done yet.

Wait until you actually own a 4K TV and perhaps a A/V receiver that can handle 4K and THEN go on hunt for players, by then feature may grow, cost will go down etc. Plus who knows, if you are a few years away, players may be on the way out anyway.
 

morasp

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I wouldn't waste my money on a basic lower budget 4K play now to "future proof" upgrades you haven't even done yet.

Wait until you actually own a 4K TV and perhaps a A/V receiver that can handle 4K and THEN go on hunt for players, by then feature may grow, cost will go down etc. Plus who knows, if you are a few years away, players may be on the way out anyway.
That's exactly why I want to. I've spent quite a bit of money on Blu rays and DVDs and I don't want to have a collection sitting on my shelf that I can't watch. I was hoping that a UHD player may have latest generation of upsampling for my DVDs and they aren't really that much more money than a Blu ray player.
 

JQuintana

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That's exactly why I want to. I've spent quite a bit of money on Blu rays and DVDs and I don't want to have a collection sitting on my shelf that I can't watch. I was hoping that a UHD player may have latest generation of upsampling for my DVDs and they aren't really that much more money than a Blu ray player.

They are almost double or more the price of even a very nice Blu player. I think in 2019 you can get a nice full featured Blu player that still will do great upsampling for $100 or less or maybe a tad more.

I'd let the whole 4K player thing get into a groove first and just get a Blu player. By the time you get a 4K set the players may have totally different (better?) features and you'll be kicking yourself that you paid $200++ for an outdated machine.
 

John Dirk

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I'd let the whole 4K player thing get into a groove first and just get a Blu player. By the time you get a 4K set the players may have totally different (better?) features and you'll be kicking yourself that you paid $200++ for an outdated machine.

I agree. "Best" and "under $200.00" seldom go together. Even today that $200.00 could pay nearly half the price of a top notch player such as the Panasonic UB820. I would wait until you have everything needed to actually enjoy 4K content. I'll admit I didn't follow my own advice but I had entirely different reasons for acquiring the Oppo 203 when I did.
 

morasp

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They are almost double or more the price of even a very nice Blu player. I think in 2019 you can get a nice full featured Blu player that still will do great upsampling for $100 or less or maybe a tad more.

I'd let the whole 4K player thing get into a groove first and just get a Blu player. By the time you get a 4K set the players may have totally different (better?) features and you'll be kicking yourself that you paid $200++ for an outdated machine.

Most of the ones I've looked at have some pretty significant complaints like locking up, if you have a brand and model in mind I would be interested. One 4k LG player I was looking at was $96 and a Philips was $129.
 

JQuintana

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Are those cheap one true 4K or using that misleading 4K phrase "4k upconverting". In other words it isn't really a 4K player. It just marketing lingo to make you think you're getting true 4K and you aren't.

Any decent true 4K player will be $200+, not $96.
 

morasp

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Are those cheap one true 4K or using that misleading 4K phrase "4k upconverting". In other words it isn't really a 4K player. It just marketing lingo to make you think you're getting true 4K and you aren't.

Any decent true 4K player will be $200+, not $96.

Both are true UHD. The LG is kind of interesting as it doesn't try to do streaming but just plays discs.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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As someone who was very reluctant about 4K until jumping in w/ the last wave of holiday deals, I would recommend holding off for now unless you have specific reasons that make sense for you (that might not be true for most other people).

In my case, there were specific titles I wanted to upgrade and there were some other new ones that didn't cost much diff than the BD (and yet, came w/ both UHD and BD... where I could just give the BD to my son or lent it away indefinitely)... and this was partly a timing thing (largely due to the holiday sales that no longer apply). I didn't originally intend on buying a player yet, but ended up w/ enough titles that it didn't make sense to keep waiting (and not being sure the discs will all play properly)... and then, concluded the Sony X700 might make a good enough affordable player to make the jump -- I also liked that it plays SACDs in my case and has the few streaming apps I actually use... and maybe it'll help extend the life of my Oppo 103.

I paid ~$150 shipped for my Sony X700, and it has met my expectations so far, including being reasonably good at downconverting HDR-->SDR... and it can do Dolby Vision if/when I upgrade to a DV-capable display. I've tweaked its settings to yield a bit more highlight details from HDR discs (vs BD counterpart)... and I do also see a slight bit more detail/sharpness and refinement in the rest of the image for at least some downconverted 4K discs on a large screen (100 to 120" diagonal from about 12ft distance) compared to a good BD. There are also a few cases where the downconverted 4K disc image will be substantially better for whatever reason, eg. Predator being a prime example.

But generally speaking, if you've been perfectly happy w/ the quality of your BDs, the upgrade for downconverted playback won't likely be significant enough to bother.

Some people want 4K for the Atmos tracks that some studios are withholding from BDs so far... but that's not me... though it's nice to have that included for future...

IF you still want to buy a player soon-ish, maybe at least wait for the recently announced Panny UB150 and UB450 along w/ Sony X800 replacement/update to show up before choosing one. No need to rush at this point me thinks... and I wouldn't bother w/ anything less than the Sony X700...

_Man_
 

morasp

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As someone who was very reluctant about 4K until jumping in w/ the last wave of holiday deals, I would recommend holding off for now unless you have specific reasons that make sense for you (that might not be true for most other people).

In my case, there were specific titles I wanted to upgrade and there were some other new ones that didn't cost much diff than the BD (and yet, came w/ both UHD and BD... where I could just give the BD to my son or lent it away indefinitely)... and this was partly a timing thing (largely due to the holiday sales that no longer apply). I didn't originally intend on buying a player yet, but ended up w/ enough titles that it didn't make sense to keep waiting (and not being sure the discs will all play properly)... and then, concluded the Sony X700 might make a good enough affordable player to make the jump -- I also liked that it plays SACDs in my case and has the few streaming apps I actually use... and maybe it'll help extend the life of my Oppo 103.

I paid ~$150 shipped for my Sony X700, and it has met my expectations so far, including being reasonably good at downconverting HDR-->SDR... and it can do Dolby Vision if/when I upgrade to a DV-capable display. I've tweaked its settings to yield a bit more highlight details from HDR discs (vs BD counterpart)... and I do also see a slight bit more detail/sharpness and refinement in the rest of the image for at least some downconverted 4K discs on a large screen (100 to 120" diagonal from about 12ft distance) compared to a good BD. There are also a few cases where the downconverted 4K disc image will be substantially better for whatever reason, eg. Predator being a prime example.

But generally speaking, if you've been perfectly happy w/ the quality of your BDs, the upgrade for downconverted playback won't likely be significant enough to bother.

Some people want 4K for the Atmos tracks that some studios are withholding from BDs so far... but that's not me... though it's nice to have that included for future...

IF you still want to buy a player soon-ish, maybe at least wait for the recently announced Panny UB150 and UB450 along w/ Sony X800 replacement/update to show up before choosing one. No need to rush at this point me thinks... and I wouldn't bother w/ anything less than the Sony X700...

_Man_
Thanks, have you had any trouble with the X700 freezing during playback? With regular DVDs did you notice any improvement in picture quality compared to your previous player?
 

Osato

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I’m looking at both Sony and lg not a UHd 4K Blu Ray player. Both are around $160-170.

I’m taking my time to save for a UHd tv and the player. I plan on trying to buy next January 2020.
We’ll see how it goes this year.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Thanks, have you had any trouble with the X700 freezing during playback? With regular DVDs did you notice any improvement in picture quality compared to your previous player?
One of the big drawbacks to the Sony X700 is you must manually switch it in and out of Dolby Vision mode. While that will not affect you now playing back BDs and DVDs, it could be a pain in the butt when you finally upgrade to 4K/UHD. If you are looking for a long term solution, this may not be your best bet.

I concur with what some other people here have advised -- wait awhile before buying a UHD player unless you have a very specific need for one right now. We are still in the early generation of players, which means that future models will probably have more features for less money. UHD/4K players will not be going away in the next year or two (new models have already been announced for 2019 by Sony and Panasonic), so there is really no harm in waiting.

I bought a Sony X800 UHD/4K player two years ago soon after purchasing a 4K display. While the Sony does not support Dolby Vision, I have been putting off upgrading to a new player with DV support because nothing has hit the market in an attractive price range that I have felt comfortable buying. Maybe this year I will take the upgrade plunge depending on the reviews and pricing of the new Sony and Panasonic models, but if not I will be content my current Sony player which only supports HDR10, as I do not currently have a lot of UHD discs encoded in Dolby Vision. So, I really do not want to spend $500 for a good DV-capable player.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks, have you had any trouble with the X700 freezing during playback? With regular DVDs did you notice any improvement in picture quality compared to your previous player?

Haven't had any playback problems so far.

And haven't tried any DVDs on it yet. I rarely watch DVDs anymore as I upgraded most (though not all) of them to BD (and HD streaming in a few cases), but I doubt you'll notice any diff for DVD playback between any of the recent brand name players.

_Man_
 
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Matt Hough

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Thanks, have you had any trouble with the X700 freezing during playback? With regular DVDs did you notice any improvement in picture quality compared to your previous player?
I have not had a single freezing problem with my X700. I wipe every disc I put in it with a microfiber cloth, and nothing has gone wrong.

As for DVD playback, it really depends on the transfer on the original disc. I played Murder She Said, one of the Margaret Rutherford/Miss Marple black and white movies on DVD, in the player, and the results were spectacular. A friend wondered if it was a 4K disc! But those four Miss Marple mysteries were given excellent transfers by Warners, so naturally they're going to look wonderful on an OLED with its superb contrast and deep blacks.
 

morasp

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I have not had a single freezing problem with my X700. I wipe every disc I put in it with a microfiber cloth, and nothing has gone wrong.

As for DVD playback, it really depends on the transfer on the original disc. I played Murder She Said, one of the Margaret Rutherford/Miss Marple black and white movies on DVD, in the player, and the results were spectacular. A friend wondered if it was a 4K disc! But those four Miss Marple mysteries were given excellent transfers by Warners, so naturally they're going to look wonderful on an OLED with its superb contrast and deep blacks.
Had you played those titles on a previous player?
 

Osato

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One of the big drawbacks to the Sony X700 is you must manually switch it in and out of Dolby Vision mode. While that will not affect you now playing back BDs and DVDs, it could be a pain in the butt when you finally upgrade to 4K/UHD. If you are looking for a long term solution, this may not be your best bet.

I concur with what some other people here have advised -- wait awhile before buying a UHD player unless you have a very specific need for one right now. We are still in the early generation of players, which means that future models will probably have more features for less money. UHD/4K players will not be going away in the next year or two (new models have already been announced for 2019 by Sony and Panasonic), so there is really no harm in waiting.

I bought a Sony X800 UHD/4K player two years ago soon after purchasing a 4K display. While the Sony does not support Dolby Vision, I have been putting off upgrading to a new player with DV support because nothing has hit the market in an attractive price range that I have felt comfortable buying. Maybe this year I will take the upgrade plunge depending on the reviews and pricing of the new Sony and Panasonic models, but if not I will be content my current Sony player which only supports HDR10, as I do not currently have a lot of UHD discs encoded in Dolby Vision. So, I really do not want to spend $500 for a good DV-capable player.

I’m not a big Sony person so I will probably end up with an lg player as I’m eyeing an lg Oled tv.
 

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