Sony could have given UHD Blu-ray short-end of the persist with the PS4 Pro, however it now affords quite a few devoted 4K Blu-ray gamers: the custom-install-only UBP-X1000ES, the brand-new X700 and this mainstream torch bearer, the UBP-X800.
The UBP-X800 isn’t only a UHD disc spinner, it’s a closely specified media machine. Along with enjoying Blu-ray, DVD and CD, it’s additionally appropriate with Tremendous Audio CDs and DVD-A discs, and performs good with a barrel of Excessive-Res Audio codecs.
It isn’t good – we’d have appreciated to see Dolby Imaginative and prescient and an excellent cheaper price that is extra consistent with the X700 – however it’s arguably the very best specified Blu-ray participant in its class even now, one 12 months after its launch.
Design and construct high quality
Cosmetically, the UBP-X800 is much like Sony’s earlier HD Blu-ray participant, the UHP-H1. The design is clear and minimalistic. A full width 430mm mannequin, it has a shiny fascia and distinctive stippled prime lid.
Connectivity consists of two HDMI outputs, one v2.zero HDCP 2.2 enabled, the opposite an audio-only v1.four output to be used with residence cinema receivers which don’t assist 4K video passthrough. There’s additionally a single digital audio coax. The deck helps dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with Sony’s LDAC headroom extension. The participant additionally permits Bluetooth pairing with wi-fi headphones. Naturally there’s an Ethernet LAN jack for wired networks. On the entrance fascia is a USB 2.zero port, with a second on the rear.
The deck’s half-size distant management sports activities a devoted Netflix button.
In the case of construct, Sony has actually stepped up its sport. The participant employs the identical Body and beam design seen on its predessor, however provides further reinforcement to raised handle resonance. In addition to new inside 1.2mm bracing struts, there are ‘foot beams’ linking the participant’s ft. The deck weighs a reassuringly hefty three.8kg.
Sensible OS (MediaTek)
The UBP-X800 utilises the identical MediaTek platform utilized by Oppo and Cambridge Audio UHD gamers, however you’d by no means guess that from the UI. Powered up, all we see is a tiled interface providing quick access to options and features. This may be customised with content material sources as you fancy.
There’s a good variety of streaming companies on faucet, relying on locale: Amazon Video, Netflix and YouTube all assist 4K streaming, though (on the time of writing) solely Netflix affords HDR.
The participant additionally helps Miracast Display screen Mirroring from appropriate gadgets and is DLNA compliant. It immediately recognized our NAS and Twonky Media servers.
Audio file compatibility is spectacular. The UBP-X800 performs 24-bit FLAC and DSD as much as 11.2MHz, in addition to WAV, AAC, MP3, APE and Ogg. To take advantage of lossy information, theres Sony’s Low bitrate DSEE-HX sound enhancer. Video assist consists of MKVs, which might be all most folk will want, in addition to MPEG, MOV and AVI and m2ts, all upscaling to 2160p.
Disc loading instances are quick. The deck can have motion pictures able to roll in simply 36 seconds.
Image high quality is great. By way of decision, this Sony delivers all the pieces to the display screen with zero artefacts or anomalies. Color efficiency is phenomenal. The participant interpolates UHD with as much as four:four:four subsampling, and presents band free colors. In contrast to rival UHD gamers from Panasonic, the participant doesn’t supply selectable output modes. As a substitute, it robotically sends the utmost quantity of information throughout the functionality of the linked display screen. For instance, in case your 4K TV helps UHD at 60p disc, the participant will output 2160p, with a body charge at 60p, Deep Color at 12bit, and chroma at four:four:four.
In case your show can’t deal with that, the deck step by step reduces the quantity of information, within the following order of precedence: decision, body charge, HDR, deep color and color house.
Sony insiders inform me that remaining tuning concerned picture gurus from Sony Photos, and also you actually get the sense that you just’re watching studio grade grasp materials. Evening time motion in John Wick 2 (UHD Blu-ray) proves a surprising showcase for prime distinction imagery, with glorious shadow element juxtaposed in opposition to vibrant neon colors.
In the case of Excessive Dynamic Vary content material, the deck helps HDR10 as commonplace, however not Dolby Imaginative and prescient. That is solely going to be a priority when you’ve got a Dolby Imaginative and prescient appropriate show. There’s been a lot hypothesis as as to if Sony can or will add Dolby Imaginative and prescient to the X800 through a firmware replace, however the firm has repeatedly advised us this isn’t on the playing cards.
When you don’t have an HDR TV, there’s an HDR-to-SDR converter which maps peak brightness and color gradations.
The participant does a superb job upscaling commonplace Blu-rays. Star Wars: The Drive Awakens, is a cracking disc by any measure, however spun by the UBP-X800 we swear that we might see see further element and texture.
Video apart, the X800 can be a primary charge audio participant. Multichannel Hello-Res Audio, delivered over HDMI sounds sensational. Reptile, by Eric Clapton, from the album of the identical title, in DVD-A, is magically immersive.
The construct high quality of the UBP-X800 exudes class. The truth that the participant is close to silent is a testomony to its construct high quality. Image efficiency is first charge, not solely with UHD Blu-rays, but in addition vanilla-flavoured HD discs too. It’s additionally a sensationally good audio supply, with welcome compatibility for esoteric disc codecs and Excessive-Res Audio information.
The key bone of rivalry with the UBP-X800 is the shortage of Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist. Placing apart the relative paucity of Dolby Imaginative and prescient Blu-ray discs, this may appear to be extra all the way down to product improvement cycles and timing quite than any PS4 Professional-style philosophical entrenchment.
The shortage of an analogue audio output limits system hook-up choices, however we guess Sony must promote you as much as its UBP-X1000ES mannequin some how.
You may pay each extra, or much less, for a UHD Blu-ray participant, however Sony hits such a candy spot with the UBP-X800 that we suspect you received’t wish to. Fantastically constructed, and able to very good video and audio, this deck holds attraction for each residence theatre followers and audio addicts alike.
Sony has taken its time to roll out UHD Blu-ray, however the wait has been value whereas. It is a class main UHD disc spinner which is greater than capable of problem higher-priced fashions. Picture efficiency is superb, and it’s a flexible music participant too.