Top 8 Best 4K Blu-ray Players in 2018
There is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy the highest image quality imaginable from the comfort of your own living room. With so much 4K content being released daily, owning a 4K TV or a 4K Blu-ray player is becoming more common and affordable, than just a few years ago. Major movie studios, as well as online streaming companies like Netflix, produce an increasing number of 4K releases each year, but without the technology that enables you to reproduce 4K images in your own home, you won't be able to enjoy these remarkable movies in their full glory. 4K Blu-ray players are capable of playing UHD 4K, HDR and 3D content and allow its users to watch movie releases such as The Martian or The Fantastic Four at home.
Needless to say, in order to use your 4K Blu-Ray players, you'll also need a 4K TV, because no other TV is capable of reproducing the wide color gamut, crystal clear images or true 4K resolution. To make things even better the 4K Blu-ray players and 4K TVs work together as a kind of a picture laboratory that enhances the 1080p image quality supported by standard Blu-ray players and thus reduce the imminent need to replace your movie collection with the latest 4K releases. We have gathered some of the best 4K Blu-ray players in 2017, so far, in order to provide you with all the information, you might need if you are thinking about getting one of these incredible players.
Best 4K Blu-ray Players in 2018
The first 4K Blu-ray discs and players became available on the market in March 2016 and in a little more than a year the 4K Blu-ray technology has taken the world by storm. In 2017, many of the manufacturers released their new 4K Blu-ray player models that offer even more options and guarantee a superb home entertainment experience. Even though there aren't that many 4K Blu-Ray players currently available on the market, the overall performance of the available models will leave most people speechless.
1. Panasonic DMP-UB700
Although similar to the Panasonic's UB900 model the DMP-UB700 has a slick design that will make any room look stylish. Compared to the UB900, the UB700 has fewer connectivity options, but despite the fact that the unit doesn't feature an analog audio output, it is equipped with two HDMI ports, one for video and one for audio, SD card reader and a USB slot.
The Panasonic's 4K Blu-ray player is user-friendly and its menu is extremely easy to use. Music, Video, Home Network, Photos, Network Service and Setup options allow users to choose the mode that best fits their current needs. The UB-700 features a number of apps such as YouTube, BBC News or Netflix that can all be experienced in true 4K resolution. To make things even sweeter the Netflix app is also 4K HDR-enabled, a feature that allows users to watch their favorite shows and movies in the best image quality.
Depending on your screen the Panasonic DMP-UB700 can output 4K content by interpolating from 10-bit native color to 12-bit with 4:4:4 color subsampling or 8-bit native color with a 4:2:0 subsampling. Via the HDMI auto options the player automatically selects the mode that is best suited for the resolution of the screen, however, users who don't own a 4K HDR TV need to adjust the settings manually via the Dynamic Range Conversion Circuit.
2. Oppo UDP-203
The Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer is no stranger to the Blu-ray player market. Their elegantly and functionally designed UDP-203 model is perhaps one of the best 4K Blu-ray players in 2017, but it is also one of the most expensive ones. With the approximate market value of $850, the Oppo UDP-203 is one of the 4K Blu-ray players that offer the widest range of options today, but it still lacks built-in online streaming apps as well as HDR on HDMI output.
The Oppo's outstanding 4K Blu-ray player is equipped with a number of connectivity options, such as several HDMI 2.0 slots that enable you to add smart features and a few USB 3.0 ports. Besides being able to reproduce 4K and Full HD images in both 2D and 3D the UDP-203 can also play Audio DVDs and AVCHD files, among many other. Its color output is another area in which the UDP-203 is dominant. It features an HDR-10 support accompanied by 8, 10 and 12-bit color that contributes to an overall stunning image quality this 4K Blu-ray player reproduces. The fascinating feature list is enriched by a Dolby Vision HDR support that further extends already impressive capabilities of the UDP-203.
3. Panasonic DMP-UB900
As we already mentioned, UB900 is a more capable and pricier model than the Panasonic's UB700, even though the two players share a similar design. The abundance of connectivity options enables the users to play video, audio and photo files through USB or SD card slots, while 7.1 channel audio output guarantees a superb sound quality. The UB900 also features two HDMI slots that can be used for playing image and sound files.
This 4K Blu-ray player can also play HDR files from discs powered by the 4K High-Precision Chroma processor. Panasonic's upsampling system improves color accuracy and reduces the color errors by applying the edge adaptive processing. The UB900 features 4K Netflix and 4K YouTube apps that enable the users to stream the high-quality videos and enjoy 4K image quality on their TVs. The Panasonic's 4K Blu-ray player has a THX certification that guarantees that all colors displayed by this player appear as their creator meant them to be. The amazing sound and image capabilities make the UB900 a great buy that will meet the needs of the most demanding users.
4. Samsung UBD-M9500
A unique curved design distinguishes the Samsung UBD-M9500 from other 4K Blu-ray players in its price range. The front of the UBD-M9500 features an OLED display, while at the back there are two HDMI outputs and a LAN port. The Samsung's 4K player also features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options.
Besides being able to play a disk that carries 4K content, the M9500 can also handle DVDs, HD Blu-rays, or CDs. However, DVD-audio and SACD discs are not compatible with this model. Perhaps the most alluring feature, that isn't offered by any other rival 4K player, is the Blu-ray to Mobile viewing system. This feature enables the users to wirelessly transmit UHD and HD Blu-ray content from the Samsung UBD M9500 to a Smartphone.
The highly customizable Eden system provides access to over 300 apps, including streaming services such as Amazon Video, YouTube or Netflix. Each of these apps is available in both 4K and HDR, which means that the videos played through M9500 are always going to meet the highest standards. Despite amazing features, the Panasonic's 4K Blu-ray player doesn't offer a 3D support or Dolby Vision HDR support. Be it as it may, it is still one of the best 4K Blu-ray players on the market in 2017.
5. Panasonic DMP-UB300
Despite its smart design that is characteristic of its manufacturer, the UB300 offers somewhat limited options. To begin with, this 4K Blu-ray player doesn't have WiFi support and the only way it can be connected to the Internet is via the LAN connection. The UB300 has only one HDMI output and a single USB 3.0 port which significantly narrows down the connectivity options.
However, the video playback features compensate for the lack of connectivity options. Equipped with an HDR-10 and the same 4K High Precision Chroma Processor featured on the UB900 model. The users can also choose between 10 and 12-bit color so they can adjust the color settings to best fit the content. The UB300 allows you to choose between several HDR settings such Standard, Natural Environment, Light Environment or Bright Environment and each of these options has a significant impact on the image.
The Panasonic DMP-UB300 offers a standard package of network services like YouTube, Amazon Video, and Netflix that can all be played in 4K resolution. Even though the UB300 may have its disadvantages, it is still one of the best 4K Blu-ray players today, and the image quality it delivers is simply breathtaking.
6. Samsung UBD-K8500
The UBD-K8500 was one of the first 4K Blu-ray players on the market and it has more than justified everyone's expectation. The K8500's recognizable curved design is characteristic of its manufacturer and it fits well with Samsung's 4K TVs. Besides being a well-built and elegantly designed player, the UDB-K8500 is also a powerful 4K Blu-ray player that delivers stunning images. It offers a number of connectivity options, including two HDMI ports that enable you to separate the video and audio output. Furthermore, the video 2.0 HDMI supports HDR which is a bonus for all users that want nothing but the most accurate colors displayed on their TVs.
The K8500 has a built-in WiFi connection, but users can also choose to connect the 4K Blu-ray player via an Ethernet port. Samsung's K8500 model can play a large number of different discs including the standard Blu-ray discs, DVDs or DVD-audio discs. Regardless of the disc, you decide to take for a spin, the K8500 will deliver a remarkable image quality, although it doesn't support 3D images. The deck offers a wide range of online apps that allow you to access the latest movie releases on Netflix or Amazon Instant Video, while apps like Spotify and Deezer provide you with unlimited access to all genres of music.
7. LG UP970
There is little doubt that the LG's UP970 4K Blu-ray player is capable of delivering beautiful 4K images, but its sound capabilities leave much to be desired for. The UP970's design is modern and above everything else functional which makes the set up of this 4K Blu-ray player almost effortless. The UP970 has all the outputs and ports the users might need, including a couple of HDMI outputs that can be used to connect the device even with 4K AV receivers, a single 2.0 USB port and an optical output that enables the connection with a Soundbar.
The manufacturer made sure that their 4K Blu-ray player is equipped with both Dolby Vision and HDR-10 technologies that support HDR content and ensure that the colors displayed on a 4K TV are accurate. A number of online apps available is somewhat limited, but users can still enjoy streaming services from Netflix and watch 4K content through the Netflix app.
The LG UP970 is a solid 4K player and certainly, among the very best in its price range because features like 3D TV compatibility and 4K Upscaling make it an attractive option for users who want an affordable and yet powerful 4K Blu-ray player.
8. Philips BDP7501
The square design of the Philips BDP7501 distinguishes it from other 4K Blu-ray players that mostly have a rectangular shape. Furthermore, the BDP7501 is equipped with two HDMI outputs, USB, and LAN ports, but a few more audio-out options could improve the connectivity of this 4K Blu-ray player. Also, the SD card slot isn't an option, so the users can forget about viewing their photos directly from the card. The BDP7501 offers a strong performance in terms of image quality and color range because it is equipped with the HDR-10, 12-bit color, and BT.2020 color space. The Philips' 4K Blu-ray player supports 3D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, DVDs, and CDs, but it cannot play SACD or DVD-audio discs. All things considered, the BDP7501 offers a solid all-around performance and even though it could have more options it is far from being an underwhelming 4K Blu-ray player.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of this player is the lack of online apps. The users can only choose between YouTube and Netflix, while the entire OS is stripped of more advanced features. Despite all this, the BDP7501 is still an affordable 4K playback option that is capable of providing 4K image quality to the users who don't wish to spend a small fortune on a 4K Blu-ray player.
Making the decision which 4K Blu-ray player you should buy for your home entertainment setup isn't an easy decision and there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration. Depending on your budget and player's capabilities you should choose the one that best suits your needs. If you want to spend a bit more money but be sure that you have a high-end 4K player we suggest to go for Oppo UDPP-203, even though it doesn't feature any online apps.
However, if you'd like to opt for a more affordable and yet equally impressive performer our suggestion would be to chose the Panasonic DMP-UB900, because of the wide array of options and an amazing OS that supports a large number of online apps.
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