Blu-ray Players

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Mark Craven  |  Jul 09, 2018  |  0 comments

With the UBP-X700, Sony has added a new player to its Ultra HD Blu-ray stable that promises some improved functionality overs its predecessors, yet cuts other corners to hit a new, mass market price point.

Steve May  |  Jul 05, 2017  |  0 comments

George Lucas famously declared that sound was 50 per cent of the movie-going experience. Much the same could be said of Oppo’s flagship UDP-205 Blu-ray player – this is just as much a high-end music machine as it is a cutting-edge UHD disc spinner, aimed at those who won't compromise when it comes to system sources.

Mark Craven  |  Apr 13, 2017  |  0 comments
It’s been a while since Oppo had a new disc-player – its previous hardware, the BDP-103D, launched in 2013. The arrival of the UDP-203 is therefore exciting for fans of the brand, not least because it supports Ultra HD Blu-ray...
Steve May  |  Nov 23, 2016  |  0 comments
I know what you're thinking. Why would anyone buy a new 2K Blu-ray player when 4K Ultra HD models are finally starting to appear? As it happens, if we're talking about Sony's new UHP-H1 flagship, then price and performance are pretty darn compelling reasons. After all, why gamble on the fledgling 4K format when this player has more universal appeal?
John Archer  |  Jul 18, 2016  |  0 comments

The first Ultra HD Blu-ray player to find its way onto our test bench, Panasonic’s excellent DMP-UB900, is a hard act to follow. But Samsung’s UBD-K8500 makes a case for itself right from the off thanks to the £430 price – a saving of £170 over its rival. Is there a hidden cost behind this up-front saving?

Steve May  |  Jul 11, 2016  |  0 comments

After what seems like an age of speculation, 4K Ultra HD BD is finally here, and the Panasonic DMP-UB900 stands as its early champion. Positioned above Samsung’s rival UBD-K8500 in both price and spec, this a player designed to serve the AV enthusiast – it’s the first source component we’ve seen to get THX 4K Source certification, which implies some rigorous performance testing – without entirely pricing itself beyond the 4K curious.

Steve May  |  Dec 07, 2015  |  0 comments

With its Union flag branding and prim brushed fascia there’s something of the Last Night of the Proms about Cambridge Audio’s top-ranking CXU Blu-ray player. The Great British Sound branding reflects the company's UK research and design operation, but is indicative of a lofty approach to audio that explains why you won’t see much change out of a grand.

Steve May  |  Aug 20, 2015  |  0 comments

Much like Thor's Uru hammer, only the home cinema worthy will be able to lift Pioneer's mighty BDP-LX88 Blu-ray player. Tipping the scales at an enormous 13.4kg, it boasts more armour than Brad Pitt’s tank, and is heavier than many AV receivers.

Steve May  |  May 25, 2015  |  0 comments

Regulars will know that insubstantial Blu-ray players are a bête noire of mine. Cheapo decks destined to become arthritic after a year or so give physical disc formats a bad name. I prefer beautifully built players, engineered to squeeze the last ounce of performance from a platter and engender pride of ownership.

Steve May  |  Dec 10, 2014  |  0 comments

Sony has a chequered history when it comes to Blu-ray players. Its last high-end offering was back in 2009, and came in the shape of the admirably over-engineered BDP-S5000ES. Yet back then BD decks were simpler affairs, dedicated to the task of extracting the maximum number of bits from discs.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 19, 2014  |  0 comments

The T+A Caruso Blu is described by its German manufacturer as a 'complete multi-source hi-fi system.' As a product, it's delightfully esoteric – a heavyweight, premium-priced one-box solution that works as a Blu-ray player, media player, CD deck, DAB/'net/FM radio and a Bluetooth dock. It's undoubtedly a lifestyle product, but one that promises a high level of performance. 

Steve May  |  Jun 12, 2014  |  0 comments

The Oppo BDP-105D is a spectacular antidote to the rash of lightweight cheapies that have come to define the mainstream Blu-ray player market. A fabulously engineered heavyweight disc-spinner that in this latest iteration inches even further into audiophile streaming territory.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  0 comments

The Blu-ray player industry has reached a bit of a standstill. While we wait for a new 4K-enabled standard to surface, there doesn't seem much to be done in the way of improving upon current players. An indication of this is Sony and Panasonic's decision to continue the range-topping decks from 2012 into 2013. Tweaks to BD spinners in the last year have invariably been either linked to Smart features and media streaming, or audiophile upgrades designed to get the most from music material. With the BDP-103D, however, Oppo has done something a little different – it's integrated Darbee Visual Presence technology.

Steve May  |  Dec 27, 2013  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s BDP-160 Blu-ray player is unrepentantly old school. For starters, it looks like a Blu-ray deck should, rather than something impractical cobbled together for a Shoreditch design competition. And secondly, it even handles some of the more obscure discs you still own and would rather like to keep, such as those Destiny’s Child SACDs (but not, unfortunately, your DVD-Audio platters). But equally it’s no Luddite, offering network file playback and token online diversions, too.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 23, 2013  |  0 comments

LG's net-connected BD deck arrived too late to challenge its Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer rivals in our recent budget Blu-ray player roundup, but it's safe to say it would have slotted in comfortably with the rest of them – like its £150 shelf-mates, it's a pleasing slab of silicon without offering true levels of awesomeness.

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