3D Blu-ray Players
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Sony UBP-X800 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Review
Al Griffin | May 24, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $300 AT A GLANCE Plus High-quality video upconversion of standard Blu-rays Plays SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and native DSD files Inexpensive Minus No announced Dolby Vision support No analog audio outputs THE VERDICT Sony’s ultra-affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray player offers solid video performance, and it also plays SACDs and DVD-Audio discs. Call it nostalgia, but the launch of an audio or video format strikes me as an opportunity to reflect on what came before it—especially now, with the sun threatening to set on physical media. When the Blu-ray Disc first appeared a little more than a decade ago, Sony was among its main flagwavers. Not only that, but the company’s PlayStation 3 console was considered by many to be the top-performing player in the Blu-ray format’s primitive days. Samsung and Panasonic were quick to push out standalone Blu-ray players, but the folks at Sony took their sweet time bringing their own model to market. When the BDP-S1 did arrive, it was well received for its picture quality—though it had design quirks, including an inability to play CDs.
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Review
Thomas J. Norton | Apr 14, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $549 AT A GLANCE Plus Outstanding overall performance Detailed info screen Plays virtually everything Minus No headphone output No support for HDCD THE VERDICT Oppo’s first Ultra HD Blu-ray player has been eagerly anticipated by UHD enthusiasts everywhere. The wait was worth it. We’re now into the second year of the Ultra HD Blu-ray era, but up to this past January, Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic pretty much had the UHD player market all to themselves. That month’s Consumer Electronics Show, however, saw the introduction of models from LG and Sony, together with new ones from Samsung and Panasonic.
BenQ HT4050 3D DLP Projector Review
Michael P. Hamilton | Mar 02, 2016
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $1,399 AT A GLANCE Plus Excellent, Rec. 709 color palette for long-term, fuss-free accuracy High-grade optics provide edge-to-edge sharpness Precision calibration controls for hobbyists; ISF modes for the pros Minus Short throw ratio and limited vertical offset require careful planning for permanent installation Not stealth fighter quiet (but not “arrest me!” loud, either) 3D glasses optional THE VERDICT At $1,399, you’ll have a better chance of finding Waldo than another projector that equals the HT4050’s package of color accuracy, image clarity, and overall fidelity. Beginning in 2009 and yearly thereafter, Taiwan-based BenQ Corporation has claimed the distinction of being the best-selling brand for DLP projectors worldwide. While models designated for the business and education markets bolster the overall sales figure, the company has enjoyed a strong presence in consumer home theater as well. BenQ aims to retain that No. 1 status, aided by their new HT series of home theater machines, which includes our review unit, the range-topping HT4050. Stocking the projector with an assortment of finely honed features, BenQ promises the performance level found in more costly models while targeting an appealing price point. Will the HT4050 deliver winning image fidelity and a winning sales formula for BenQ? Let’s find out.
Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD Blu-ray Player Review
Al Griffin | May 29, 2015
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $2,000 AT A GLANCE Plus High-quality 4K video upconversion Superb detail enhancement and noise reduction Excellent digital-to-analog audio conversion Minus As pricey as it is heavy Slim feature set compared with competition THE VERDICT Pioneer’s flagship 4K-upconverting universal disc player is something special, even if it’s late to the party. What’s new in the world of Blu-ray? 4K, that’s what. Expected to arrive sometime in late 2015, the UHD Blu-ray format should offer not just UHD-resolution video but also high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, an extended color gamut, and up to 16-bit color encoding, among other advanced features. Something to get excited about, right? Now that I’ve dropped that tidbit, let me tell you about the Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD, a universal player that can handle Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, SACD, DVD-Audio, regular DVDs, and CDs—just about everything except UHD Blu-ray. And it lists for $2,000. Excited? No? Well, let’s see if we can work you up.
Sharp SD-WH1000U Wireless Universal Player Review
Daniel Kumin | Mar 06, 2015
Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $5,000 AT A GLANCE Plus State-of-the-art wireless (WiSA) audio performance Includes full WiHD Wireless-HDMI link Substantial, very high- quality design High-res audio compatible—wirelessly Minus File-streaming feature not fully baked No mixed wired/wireless multichannel output No video processing on HDMI inputs Limited system control features THE VERDICT The SD-WH1000U is beautifully built and an outstanding A/V performer wired or wireless, but it’s not quite up to service as a full-system hub controller. Trundle down to your local big-box store, and you will find quite literally dozens of Blu-ray Disc players on offer, starting well under $50. Big ones, little ones, skinny ones, flat ones, cheap ones, and cheaper ones. None of these will be Sharp’s new SD-WH1000U, a Blu-ray player with a difference. Two differences, in fact: First, it has a jaw-slackening price tag of $5,000; second, Sharp’s design is wireless-centric, being the first WiSA-compatible player to appear, and one of the very first WiSA sources of any description.
Samsung BD-H6500 Blu-ray Player
David Vaughn | Jun 06, 2014
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $180 AT A GLANCE Plus Outstanding audio and video performance Loaded with streaming options Unique screen mirroring with Samsung smartphones and tablets Minus Suspect build quality Controls are on top of the player, limiting placement options THE VERDICT A good budget player that makes up in performance and features what it lacks in build quality. Last week I was playing poker with a bunch of guys and our topic of conversation turned to home theater. I was asked what I was currently reviewing, and when I mentioned the Samsung BD-H6500 Blu-ray player, one of my friends was shocked. “They’re still selling Blu-ray players! Why?” Needless to say, I was shocked, too. When I asked the table of nine other guys, only two said they had watched a Blu-ray movie in the past three months; the rest were getting their movies from PPV (pay per view) or streaming them from Netflix, Vudu, or Amazon VOD.
Toshiba Symbio BDX6400 3D Blu-ray Player
Thomas J. Norton | Feb 13, 2014
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $350 AT A GLANCE Plus Good video performance Unique ergonomics Vertical or horizontal placement Minus No front-panel display Sluggish YouTube access THE VERDICT Its video performance, 4K upconversion, and atypical form factor may well attract buyers, while its slight edge enhancement and mixed performance on some Internet sites may not. But it?s clear that this Toshiba is not your father?s disc player. It?s getting harder these days for a manufacturer to build and sell a high-end Blu-ray player simply as a Blu-ray player. The market is saturated, and the latecomers, who finally realize that DVD is not high definition and a Blu-ray Disc offers the best quality video currently available to the consumer, seem content to pop for the $49.99 Blu-ray special on aisle 5.
Oppo BDP-103D 3D Blu-ray Player
Kris Deering | Feb 07, 2014
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $599 AT A GLANCE Plus Darbee video enhancements DSD file support Zero-compromise video playback Minus Still looking for one THE VERDICT Our Top Pick Blu-ray player only gets better with onboard Darbee video processing and full support for DSD file playback. Awarding a Top Pick rating is always a big deal with us, but I don?t think we?ve ever had two Top Pick products merge into one. That, however, is exactly what we have with Oppo?s latest generation of Blu-ray players, the BDP-103D and BDP-105D. The second D stands for Darbee Edition, as Oppo has thrown Darbee video processing right into the players. I reviewed the Darbee Darblet DVP 5000 standalone video processor in 2012 and proclaimed it a must-have for making the most out of your display. But the BDP-103D, reviewed here, is more than just a BDP-103 with Darbee processing. Oppo has done a few more tweaks to their player, making it an even stronger Top Pick than before.
Panasonic DMP-BDT500 Blu-ray 3D Player
Kris Deering | Dec 24, 2013
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $350 AT A GLANCE Plus High-resolution audio chops Reference-quality 2D and 3D Blu-ray playback Streaming-video paradise Minus No support for SACD, DVD-Audio, or DSD formats THE VERDICT Spectacular video performance at a budget price point, but not the best choice for true audiophiles. How things have changed since Blu-ray arrived on the scene. Debut players from the larger electronics companies were pretty full-featured, with substantial build quality. Now it seems that most mass-consumer players are in a race to the bottom when it comes to price and build. While I understand that’s probably the market most of the country buys in, I’m always surprised that most of the big names in consumer electronics don’t keep at least one model for enthusiasts who don’t want to buy a featherweight piece of plastic for a principal player in their home entertainment system. Panasonic evidently feels the same way this year.
Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray 3D Player
David Vaughn | Jul 18, 2013
Performance Features Ergonomics Value Price: $150 At A Glance: Unique design • Middling Web browser with built-in Wi-Fi • Extremely loud disc loading Every year a new generation of Blu-ray players hits the market from the major electronics manufacturers. While 3D was the last big advancement to hit the streets, the latest rage is 4K upconversion in the flagship players, but you won’t find that on the budget-friendly Samsung BD-F5900. What you will get for $150 is a 3D-capable player with a plethora of streaming options, a built-in Web browser, and Wi-Fi capability. With all these goodies, is there a reason to pay more for a Blu-ray player? Read on and see…