On the subject of seems to be, opening discs rapidly, and high quality of playback you’ll be able to’t do any higher than Cambridge Audio’s $700 CXUHD 4K Extremely HD Blu-ray participant. Not less than for digital audio. Analog audio output is lacking in motion, so melding the CXUHD with older or retro sound methods would require a converter.
The CXUHD is an all-metal (chassis and canopy), mid-height unit (about one and a half rack areas), with a brushed-aluminum faceplate and minimal entrance panel controls. The tray and LCD readout sit useless middle, surrounded at well-spaced intervals by the skip ahead, skip backward, eject, and pause/cease buttons. The general look marries completely with the corporate’s different A/V choices, and assuredly shouts British higher crust.
The again of the CXUHD, the place all of the cabling motion happens, options one HDMI 2.zero output, one HDMI 1.four output with ARC (for pairing with older A/V receivers), and an HDMI enter for passing via alerts from outboard gear. There’s one optical and one coaxial digital audio outputs for connecting to an outboard DAC or an older A/V receiver that does not assist HDMI, and there are two USB three.zero ports for playback from exterior onerous drives or reminiscence sticks. That latter proved problematic as you may see later.
For system integration and management there is a RS-232C and three.5-mm in/out set off jacks, which ought to cowl nearly any trendy arrange. There is not any RCA output, not even a headphone jack, although that is develop into a rarity nowadays. When you’ve got legacy gear sporting solely analog inputs, you may want to take a look at one thing like Oppo’s UDP-203, or a converter.
If a automobile producer makes the texture of a door too mild, and it would not shut with a satisfying thunk–dealers have a tough time promoting the automobile. It is the identical with disc players–if the disc tray has plenty of flex or would not really feel safe, you certain as heck will not pay $700. That is a long-winded intro for a easy piece of information: the CXUHD’s tray feels strong and clean, although you need to after all make it a behavior to make use of the inject/eject button to maintain it that manner.
The Cambridge Audio CXUHD’s distant management and UI
The CXUHD’s on-screen interface is paying homage to the Oppo’s, each in look and the way in which it is navigated. That is not surprising on condition that each gamers are probably counting on Linux for his or her working system. Stated GUI is an easy affair that robotically detects discs and begins playback, and gives entry to information and settings by way of a sequence of icons on the backside of the house display. Commonplace stuff, however simple to be taught and navigate.
The CXUHD’s distant is on the big facet, although slimmer than Oppo’s. The rocker button and transport management ring are densely populated, however are simple sufficient with solely two or three periods to acclimate. When you do, each transport perform stays underneath your thumb with out the necessity to readjust your grip.
If there’s any gripe in regards to the UI, it is that the general feel and look of the distant and interface appear extra in keeping with a $200 participant, not one which prices $700. To be honest, rival Oppo suffers from the identical “concern.” I refer each firms to Samsung.
The CXUHD’s image and sound
The CXUHD loaded discs in a short time; normally it being mere moments earlier than the contents of the disc popped up. If you happen to’re accustomed to the tedious spin-ups and enumeration that’s the hallmark of optical on PCs, put together to be pleasantly stunned.
Until some form of digital-to-analog, decision, or frame-rate conversion is in play, all a disc/file participant actually must do is precisely translate the knowledge it reads from disc and cross it down the digital pipeline. The fabric was already created/recorded and processed earlier than it ever hits the disc or file. Due to this, it is tough to identify variations between gamers when feeding a full 2160p sign to a full 2160p show until the participant screws up majorly. The CXUHD did not. It performed Extremely HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray titles in addition to any participant we have examined.
The place you separate the adults from the youngsters is while you convert a 2160p sign to a 1080p show, or upscale 1080p/720p, and so on. to be used on a 2160p show. Many shows do that on their very own, but it surely’s good if the participant does it–you can decide which you discover extra pleasing. Fortunately, the CXUHD conversions handed the upscaling and downscaling eyeball checks with full marks. Audio was additionally rendered flawlessly, although once more, it is the identical deal as with the video–it’s only a matter of passing it on as is, until there’s digital-to-analog conversion taking place, which there’s not with the CXUHD.
Is the CXUHD a very common disc participant?
So far as testing confirmed, the CXUHD is certainly the common disc participant the corporate claims it’s. It learn and performed every little thing positioned in its tray completely: DVD, Blu-ray, and Extremely HD Blu-ray films; CD Movies; Kodak Picture CDs, SACDs; and CDs with MP3 tracks.
The CXUHD additionally helps each the main HDR requirements at work right here in the USA: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. There is a format warfare happening, and the eventual final result is hazy, but it surely actually seems to be as if Dolby Imaginative and prescient will probably be round for the end. That the CXUHD helps it means the participant is unlikely to develop into out of date any time quickly. HDR 10+ is rumored to rival Dolby Imaginative and prescient’s image, and to be backwards suitable with HDR10, so the CXUHD must be nice with that as nicely.
File assist shouldn’t be as spectacular
Whereas it performed each disc thrown its manner, the CXUHD wasn’t as complete in its assist for picture, video, and audio information performed from USB media. Audio was the strongest, with assist for uncompressed DFF (SACD), MP3, WMA, Ogg, APE, FLAC, and Apple Lossless (ALAC). Audio information the CXUHD would not play have been compressed DFF, 64kHz and 96kHz/32-bit WAV information (it did play 16-bit-and 24-bit information). There’s additionally no assist for Home windows Lossless. WAV information in all resolutions apart from these talked about performed nice, together with 5.1- and seven.1-channel encompass tracks.
The CXUHD helps JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG picture information, which ought to cowl nearly all people nowadays, although we nonetheless often run throughout the TIFF information that the participant would not assist.
The place there have been some shocking glitches was within the video file assist. Not taking part in DivX and a few Quicktime information was a minor concern, however the participant not rendering our HDR10 take a look at information correctly induced some consternation. They performed, and the TV’s data perform mentioned it was in HDR10 mode, however the coloration was not almost as saturated and distinction was less than what it must be. A firmware improve that Cambridge Audio despatched us was mentioned to remedy the difficulty, however we couldn’t load it from a USB stick.
I additionally encountered a glitch connecting to the web. Wi-Fi was nice, however hardwired ethernet was DOA. Our take a look at participant was to be returned to Cambridge Audio for alternative; nevertheless, the change had not occurred on the time of this writing. We totally anticipate the corporate to repair each the HDR and ethernet points (assuming we did not simply have a foul unit), however we do suggest that you simply completely take a look at your unit out of the field to verify every little thing capabilities because it ought to.
Dear however good
The Cambridge Audio CXUHD is could possibly be the most effective disc participant TechHive has examined to this point. If you happen to want or need analog audio output and higher file assist, the $549 Oppo UDP-203 is cheaper and comparable on all fronts.