Sony's UBP-X800 4K Blu-ray player couldn't have come at a better time
Last year, all my 4K TVs were tested using Samsung’s UBD-K8500. Yes, it’s a nice player, but the fact is I chose it because there were no other alternatives. Sure, Sony had a UBP-X1000ES, but that was very, very hard to get here. But patience is a virtue, because at CES 2017, Sony has announced the UBP-X800.
A 4K UHD Blu-ray player that I hope would make it down here in the coming months, the UBP-X800 supports video streaming services (e.g., Netflix) and HDR (as such, BT.2020, too), and even plays nice with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible receivers.
While most people are going to buy it for its 4K BD support, it’s worth reminding that the UBP-X800 has a “Precision HD drive” that lets it work with most other optical disc formats, such as DVD Video and DVD Audio, CD and Super Audio CD, 3D Blu-ray, and BD-ROM media. It’s also equipped with a USB port so it’s easy to copy a video from your PC and watch it on the big screen.
What if you don’t have 4K content or you’ve yet to upgrade to an HDR-capable TV? Well, if you’ve SD or HD content, the player is able to upscale it to “near 4K resolution”; and if your 4K TV can only do SDR, the player will work behind the scene to adjust the brightness and color gradations to ensure the picture still turns out great.
Sony also touts the UBP-X800’s Frame and Beam (FB) chassis, which it says increases structural rigidity; and its “honeycomb top plate, sf heat sync and offset insulator feet” that reduce the effects of airborne and mechanical vibration. The player is Hi-Res Audio certified too, and can play 192kHz/24-bit and DSD 11.2MHz tracks. Heck, the UBP-X800 can even send audio to your TV via HDMI and to a wireless speaker over Bluetooth at the same time.
The Sony UBP-X800 will be available in Spring 2017 in the U.S. We’ll report back when we hear more from Sony Singapore.