2016 Top Picks Of the Year Top Pick of the Year


Top Pick of the Year

Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
(June print) It’s hard to overstate the anticipation that preceded this unassuming disc player to market last spring, or the manner in which it lived up to its promise. The industry’s first Ultra HD Blu-ray deck bucked the classic trend by not costing an arm and a leg or asking enthusiasts to go out on a limb to experience the latest and greatest video quality in the guise of high-bitrate 4K resolution and, most notably, HDR and wide color gamut. It performed beautifully with both UHD and 1080p Blu-rays, as well as with 4K streaming services. Yes, it’s showing its age now—players compliant with forthcoming Dolby Vision discs are said to be imminent. But this Samsung has left no reservations in its wake: It was a good deal at its initial $400 offering, and a steal for its going price of just half that during the holiday selling season. For its excellent performance at exceptionally low cost and its role in introducing a critical new enthusiast format, we proudly name Samsung’s UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player our 2016 Top Pick of the Year. $400, samsung.com

Louis Gombos's picture

Where is GoldenEar among your Top Picks for speakers? This omission casts doubt on your choices in general.