2018 is already halfway through and that means that almost all major manufacturers have brought their latest products onto the market. Also in the field of Ultra HD Blu-ray several new products have been announced. In this article you will find an overview of the Ultra HD Blu-ray players launched in 2018 and also some interesting models that are still for sale.
Tips and advice
Here we explain what to look for when you buy one, what the most important developments are and how you can not connect a player the best.
Ultra HD Blu-ray players from 2018
Honestly honest; it is not yet stormy with Ultra HD Blu-ray. In physical stores the supply of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs is still rather limited and the number of Ultra HD Blu-ray players does not really increase. The physical disc is still struggling, especially due to the increasingly higher quality that streaming services offer. But, in our view nothing goes above a disc with the highest video and audio quality so we have an overview of the various Ultra HD Blu-ray players that you can buy.
Blu-ray players from 2018 – Sony UBP-X700 and UBP-X800
The Sony UBP-X700 is a fully equipped Ultra HD Blu-ray player, with broad support for file formats and standards. For example, there is support for HDR in the form of both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The player comes with two HDMI outputs, has WiFi and comes with a slim design. Of course there is access to various 4K streaming services, including Netflix and YouTube. Compared to the UBP–X800 launched in 2017, you only seem to lose support for DVD audio, HiRes audio, and Bluetooth (with LDAC). In our review of the UBP-X700 you can read that we are very enthusiastic about this model.
LG UBK90 and UBK80
LG has brought the UBK90 and UBK80 to the Dutch and Belgian market, both with HDR support but only the UBK90 can display Dolby Vision material. In the field of audio both players offer support for Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, LPCM bitstream, Dolby Digital and DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks. In terms of music, AAC and Flac files are supported in high resolution. In addition, the UBK90 has two HDMI outputs (HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4) so that image and audio can be separated. If you want an Ultra HD Blu-ray player but do not need a second HDMI output and support for Dolby Vision then the UBK80 is an option. It is striking that LG has also removed the WiFi function. So you have to do it with the ethernet port. View all specifications in the LG 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray player line-up.
Samsung UBD-M9500 and UBD-M8500
Samsung has not announced any new models this year and so we have to do it with the players that were introduced in 2017 . The top model is the UBD-M9500. This player can display Ultra HD Blu-ray discs with high dynamic range (HDR10) and a wide color range. The new player can also be used in Private Cinema Mode, a mode that allows you to send the audio to a bluetooth headset. There is a stripped down version of the Samsung Smart Hub with access to Netflix 4K and there is also support for the Samsung Smart Remote to control all compatible devices (One Control). The player is equipped with two HDMI outputs, an optical output, 3D display, dual band WiFi, Multiroom Link and an option to copy material on a disc to USB. The Samsung UBD-M8500 looks a lot like its more expensive brother but has to do without a number of features. For example, the ability to view 360-degree videos is gone, you can not stream Blu-ray material to a smartphone or tablet and you have access to one HDMI output. The UBD-M8500 is also identical to the UBD-M9500.
Panasonic 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray players
Panasonic is the manufacturer that brings the most Ultra HD Blu-ray players to the market; up to four models. However, you still have to be patient because at the time of writing there is only one model for sale. The rest should appear in the coming weeks and months. The top model, the DP-UB9004, appears in the autumn. The top models for this year are the DP-UB9004 and DP-UB824, equipped with support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Furthermore these players come with an analog 7.1-channel output and gold-plated connections. The DP-UB9004 is a player especially for the audiophile, including a weighted chassis, a special audio power supply, a powerful D / A converter and balanced XLR output. This model also comes with a THX certificate.
The UB9004, UB824 and UB424 have two HDMI outputs for transmitting audio and video separately. All four players come with support for high resolution audio, the UB824 and UB424 are also equipped with Digital Tube sound, with six different audio modes. The UB9004, UB824 and UB424 all support 4K streaming services, including YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, while all players can play 4K videos in the MP4 format. Apart from the UB9004, all players are provided with a compact ‘3D Glass Cut Design’. New this year is support for voice control, thanks to integration of the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This allows you to give voice commands to a speaker with Alexa or the Google Assistant to control the players. View the Panasonic 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray player line-up for all specifications and models.
The Oppo UDP-203 is an all-round premium Ultra HD Blu-ray player that can handle almost all your discs. The player swallows UHD Blu-ray, (3D) Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD and AVCHD (2D & 3D) discs. The device obviously supports Ultra HD Blu-ray discs with high dynamic range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) and a wide range of colors. Support for high resolution audio is of course also present. The player supports AKM 8-channel 32-bit DAC PCM, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC and WAV audio up to 384kHz / 32-bit, multi-channel DSD64 / 128 and even two-channel DSD256. Furthermore, the Oppo UDP-203 is equipped with two HDMI outputs (HDMI 1.4 for audio and HDMI 2.0 for video), two USB 3.0 ports on the back, a USB 2.0 port in front, 7.1-channel analog outputs, two digital connections, one lan port, built-in dual-band Wi-Fi with DLNA support, an aluminum front panel and a metal chassis. Striking is the HDMI input, something that we have not previously reviewed on an Ultra HD Blu-ray player.