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What is the best 4k player outside of the Oppo?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Message #81 of 87 Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Now that I've taken the dive to buy a bunch of 4K discs much sooner than expected, anyone know what's the deal w/ the Panny UB420?

    I can't seem to find it on sale anywhere online. Has its production/release been delayed or simply canceled?

    I'd consider the X-Box One whatever option, but I need something that'll be good at downconversion to 1080p/SDR probably for the next couple years until I can upgrade to a true 4K/HDR projection setup. No interest in downsizing to an expensive flat panel just for a very small minority of discs in my collection...

    Thanks for any info on that!

    _Man_
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Best Buy and Value Electronics aren't the only ones selling the Panasonic 820 right now, but they seem to be the most reliable ones that can get it for you. However, this time of year, stocks may be depleted.
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The UB420 is available in Europe and Australia. I don't think it's been released in North America yet and don't know if it will be. Also, be aware that the UB420 does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR and HDR10+.
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Bummers...

    IF I felt better about Panny's player durability (not to mention the UB820's lack of SACD playback), I might consider biting the bullet and go for the UB820. Just been bitten a couple times too many to feel all that good about spending that kind of $$$ on another Panny -- granted, previous ones I've owned were much cheaper and probably substantially lower build quality.

    Too bad I don't find any of the other brands reliable enough either (or likely as good in general, especially for downconversion that I'd need)...

    Thanks for that info, Doug...

    _Man_
     
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  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Well, since the Panny UB820 doesn't seem readily available for a good while -- possibly all the way into late-Jan/early-Feb -- and I'll likely only be downconverting to 1080p for the next couple years, I went ahead and bit the bullet on a Sony X700 for ~$160 shipped from Beach Camera via Amazon Marketplace and Fulfillment so I can make sure all the 4K discs I buy will play fine -- w/ handful instances where even downconverted 1080p PQ should yield a meaningful upgrade over an old BD, eg. Predator ... though I won't benefit from Atmos.

    Hopefully, Sony won't fail me this time. I've never actually gone w/ a standalone Sony video disc player before, but my first foray into DVD was via a seemingly unreliable Sony DVD drive and first BD was via a 2nd or 3rd gen PS3 w/ a drive that failed after a year or so... and I seem to come across more than enough online reports of issues w/ their various players over the years... Still, as I mentioned before, although Panny players have long seemed the best amongst mainstream brands, I've still come across prematurely failed lasers/optics w/ a couple of their lower-end BD players nonetheless (until I settled on the Oppo 103), so...

    And this time, I'll at least have a little extra time to test out the Sony w/ the holiday return extension...

    Maybe having the Sony alongside the old Oppo 103 will also extend the latter's life some (especially for region-free DVD/BD playback and such)... Will have to see how it works out...

    _Man_
     
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  6. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    If you have additional thoughts on the Sony, please post them. I’ve heard good things about the Sony UHd player.
     
  7. Message #87 of 87 Dec 15, 2018 at 6:37 PM
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018 at 6:57 PM
    ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Sure. Just started using it. Watched 4K discs of Braveheart, MI: Fallout and Grease so far. Did some modest comparisons of the downconverted images of the latter two w/ their included BD counterparts via my Oppo 103 (partly to see what settings I'd need to yield similar, but more detailed image).

    Generally, I'm finding I need to decide on a tradeoff between greater highlight details vs flatter looking highlights and upper-midtones for the HDR-to-SDR downconversion -- I'm also finding the downconverted image rather low on saturation compared to the Oppo 103's output... even when I push the Sony's color setting to its peak (though it seems satisfying enough at peak while the Oppo or more likely the BDs themselves may simply be a bit hot). I might also try switching the Sony's display setting back to "TV" instead of "Projector" to see if that yields better results in my case.

    Depending on how this works out, I might need to switch settings between 4K and BDs on the Sony. It does offer 2 Custom(izable) sets of basic picture settings (accessible during playback) to go w/ the basic fixed ones, so that might work well enough... to go w/ the HDR conversion setting that would only apply for 4K -- not sure offhand if the player remembers which picture settings selection was last used for each format to make that simpler (so the user doesn't have to remember to switch).

    I like that it includes our few most frequently used streaming apps, including MLB.TV, but will need to see if they work well enough to allow me to move my Roku elsewhere -- don't seem to be able to change picture settings for Vudu (like for disc playback), but I rarely use Vudu on this setup anyway since I usually have the discs (in higher quality).

    Let me know if there's something specific you'd like to find out -- just remember I can only use downconverted 1080p output...

    Cheers!

    _Man_
     

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