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What are 4K Blu-ray players? What are the best players in the market?

Blu-ray disc has a larger capacity for storing data; more data means higher resolution movies and additional content. It uses blue light sensors found in DVD players that are narrower and allow for greater precision when reading data from the disc’s surface. DVD can be played on a Blu-ray device but can’t support Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray is also used in new computers with optical drives and gaming consoles.

In 2015, Ultra HD Blu-ray was introduced. An Ultra HD disc can hold about four times more data than Blu-ray with support for 4K-resolution playback, higher audio quality, high-dynamic-range picture quality. The latest spec also adds support for HDR10/HDR10+ and Dolby Vision used in home cinema technology. Standard Blu-ray discs can be read by a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, but Ultra HD Blu-ray discs cannot be ready by a standard Blu-ray player.

To take advantage of HDR and 4K, one needs to have a TV that supports one or both. 4K Blu-ray player will also be required. Internet access is not mandatory to have and only for firmware updates and streaming content is needed. Once the list is checked, one can start building an Ultra HD Blu-ray movie collection. There are many Ultra Players to choose from.

The best 4K Blu-ray players in 2021 –



Panasonic DP-UB820EB –

  • Advantages – Vibrant, immersive HDR picture, Powerful and weighty sound, Punchy, believable color balance
  • Disadvantages – No SACD or DVD-A support, Could be dynamically subtler

Panasonic DP-UB150EB –

  • Advantages – Punchy visuals, Great value, Impressive sound
  • Disadvantages – No Dolby Vision

Panasonic DMP-BDT180EB –

  • Advantages – Sharp details, Dynamic sound, Smooth motion
  • Disadvantages – Doesn’t play 4K discs, No wi-fi, Small remote


Panasonic DP-UB9000 –

  • Advantages – Crisp, insightful picture, Good selection of features, Dynamic, expressive sound
  • Disadvantages – Very little at this price

Sony UBP-X700 –

  • Advantages – Dolby Vision support, Crisp, natural-looking picture, Excellent detail, and colours
  • Disadvantages – No HDR10+ support, The sound could be grander

Sony UBP-X800M2 –

  • Advantages – Crisp, detailed picture, Supports SACD and DVD-A, Rhythmic, musical sound
  • Disadvantages – Lacks HDR10+, Could be more vibrant, Odd Dolby Vision execution

Sony UBP-X1100ES –

  • Advantages – Crisp, clean 4K picture, Universal disc support, Entertaining, immersive sound
  • Disadvantages – No HDR10+, Lacks a premium finish, Strange handling of Dolby Vision

Pioneer UDP-LX500 –

  • Advantages – Crisp, insightful picture, Dynamic, expressive sound, Natural colours
  • Disadvantages – Still waiting for HDR10+ update, Few smart features


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