Advice on top notch 4k + players

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Rusty
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Advice on top notch 4k + players

Post by Rusty » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:24 pm

I'm sure some of you guys have the bestest players and blu rays. What can I do to get in on the action?

1. Is it possible to attach something to my Pc or does it have to be a separate player?
2. It is worth going for the ultra high res versions of blu rays?
3. Advice on what to get or at least what to look out for?
-- To be completed at some point --

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Rusty
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Re: Advice on top notch 4k + players

Post by Rusty » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:49 pm

After a quick read up I think I may not bother... My TV doesn't do HDR and the real discs I want (Harry Potter) seem to be upscaled versions rather than native 4k.

Think I've just saved some money :)
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Wrathbone
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Re: Advice on top notch 4k + players

Post by Wrathbone » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:46 pm

Some answers from my limited knowledge and expierence of 4k blu rays:

1. Is it possible to attach something to my Pc or does it have to be a separate player?
Yes, you can get USB 4k blu ray drives, but usually you have to fork out for some software to actually play any 4k films on them.


2. It is worth going for the ultra high res versions of blu rays?
If all the below are true, I'd say it's worth the high asking price:

- It's a native 4k film
- You have a half-decent 4k TV
- It's a film that demands to be seen in the best possible format

Upscaled 2k to 4k is fine, but it's not especially better than 1080p. If you're like me, you'll spend half the film trying to decide if it's an improvement rather than watching the damn film.

Native 4k is a different matter, though it does still vary from film to film, so it's worth checking for reviews in most cases. Interestingly some of the best improvements are for older films (Braveheart and the original Star Wars trilogy spring to mind), as their transfers from the original celluloid look perfect on 4k (I think celluloid has a theoretical max resolution of about 16k). They're also not as dependent on digital effects, which tend to look worse as their limited quality contrasts with the improved resolution of real effects.

Another consideration is that streamed 4k on services such as Disney+ is in no way the same quality as 4k from a disc. I did a comparison of Star Wars: A New Hope on Disney+ to my 4k disc and the streamed version seemed laughable in comparison. The main reason is that 4k discs allow much higher bitrates - i.e. you're getting far more data per second. For ANH, the streamed 4k has a bitrate of 15-25 Mbps compared to 60-70 Mbps on disc, which means the disc version has a noticeably clearer and stabler image.


3. Advice on what to get or at least what to look out for?
The most important thing to bear in mind is that all blu ray players (4k and 1080p) output the exact same native picture quality, as it's digital technology. The difference in price tends to come down to three things:

- Software for video options (e.g. smooth/cinematic modes, film grain removal, etc)
- Upscaling quality from resolutions under 4k
- Speed of loading discs and noise

For me, good quality upscaling is worth every penny if you have a large library of blu rays. I've got a Sony UBP-X700, which I'm very happy with and has excellent upscaling. Even DVDs look decent on it.

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Rusty
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Re: Advice on top notch 4k + players

Post by Rusty » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:48 am

Goddamn it, you've started the itch again...

Maybe I'll have a look at a newer TV too. What one have you got?
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Wrathbone
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Re: Advice on top notch 4k + players

Post by Wrathbone » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:38 am

I've got a Sony Bravia KD49XF8096 - that's from a few years ago, though, so there are probably better options available now. Bravias tend to be a safe bet, I find.

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