Sony UBP-X700 Review

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What is the Sony UBP-X700?

The Sony UBP-X700 is the newest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray participant from the corporate. It retains most of the options discovered on the Sony UBP-X800, however does so at a extra reasonably priced worth level. Thanks to a firmware replace, it additionally boasts a brand new function within the type of Dolby Vision help. This is the disc participant that Sony followers have been ready for, however how does it carry out?

Related: Best TVs 2018

Sony UBP-X700 – Build Quality and Specifications

The Sony UBP-X700 is quite flimsy in development, which is disappointing whenever you evaluate it to the tank-like construct high quality of the X800. To attain a lower cost level Sony clearly needed to reduce corners – actually, within the case of this participant’s angled chassis. As a outcome, the X700 feels quite low cost, with a largely plastic development, a narrower width and a weight of just one.4kg.

The participant is available in black with a two-tone end, and the stripped-down minimalism extends to the entrance, with no show and virtually no controls, other than energy and eject buttons. When the latter is pressed, the entrance panel drops down and the disc tray slides out. This course of isn’t notably easy or quiet, reinforcing the sensation of a funds participant.

Sony UBP-X700

The solely connection on the entrance is a USB port, the whole lot else is across the again. Here you’ll discover two HDMI outputs: one is 2.zero with HDCP 2.2 help, the opposite is HDMI 1.four for these with older soundbars and receivers.

There is a coaxial digital output and an ethernet port, however that’s it for bodily connections, so no analogue outputs. The X700 additionally has built-in Wi-Fi, though in contrast to the X800 there’s no help for Bluetooth.

The included distant is a small however efficient controller that has all of the buttons you’ll want. They’re sensibly laid out and properly balanced, with essentially the most continuously used controls located within the centre. As another, you can too management the participant utilizing a smartphone or pill by operating the Video & TV SideView app, obtainable for each iOS and Android.

Sony UBP-X700

Sony UBP-X700 – Features

Sony has dropped fairly a couple of options from the X700, so no help for Hi-Res Audio and DSEE-HX upscaling, and no DVD-Audio disc playback both; the previous is a disgrace however the latter most likely gained’t be missed by many.

However, it nonetheless helps SACD disc playback, which is certain to please followers of that format. As for different disc codecs, the X700 has you coated with help for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, together with CD, DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray. The participant additionally contains genuinely spectacular upscaling, permitting it to squeeze each final pixel of element out of lower-resolution disc codecs.

Naturally, as an Ultra HD Blu-ray participant the Sony UBP-X700 helps 4K, HDR10 and a large color gamut within the type of the BT.2020 color area. It may convert HDR into SDR, utilizing proprietary algorithms that map the brightness and color area to older 4K TVs that don’t help excessive dynamic vary.

Sony UBP-X700

Sony has now added Dolby Vision, due to a firmware replace. This proprietary model of HDR makes use of dynamic metadata to vary a disc’s peak brightness from scene to scene, leading to higher element in each the darker and brighter elements of the picture. By comparability HDR10 makes use of a single peak brightness quantity for a whole movie, which might trigger points with general brightness on much less succesful HDR TVs.

Unfortunately the Dolby Vision replace wasn’t obtainable once I had the X700 in for overview, however has since been launched. Sony’s roll-out of Dolby Vision for his or her TVs has been each late and chaotic, requiring the creation of a brand new Dolby Vision profile. This may not be supported by some 4K gamers that already embody Dolby Vision, however it’s a key function on the X700.

There is an open-source model of HDR referred to as HDR10+, which additionally makes use of dynamic metadata. The X700 doesn’t help this model, and so far as we’re conscious, Sony has no plans so as to add this format sooner or later. However, since there are presently no discs that truly use HDR10+, the X700’s lack of help is essentially moot.

Although the participant isn’t licensed as a Hi-Res Audio product, it nonetheless helps 24bit/192kHz and covers all the favored information together with DSD (as much as 11.2MHz with two-channel content material), FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AAC and MP3. It may decode lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks, in addition to bitstream Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.

Sony UBP-X700

The participant is equally as achieved on the video aspect of issues, providing 4K HDR streaming through Netflix and Amazon Prime. It additionally contains BBC iPlayer and My5, together with wuaki.television, Opera TV, the ever-present YouTube and the equally widespread Spotify. There’s pretty complete help for video file codecs as properly, together with XVID, WMV, AVCHD, MPEG2 and MPEG4.

The participant affords a easy however efficient consumer interface, constructed round a collection of tiles that let you entry completely different providers and content material. These tiles will be customised, with generally used apps added and fewer fashionable ones eliminated.

There’s additionally glorious DLNA help, so you may simply entry content material out of your NAS system or media server. Finally, the Sony UBP-X700 helps Miracast Screen Mirroring from suitable smartphones.

Sony UBP-X700

Sony UBP-X700 – Performance

The Sony UBP-X700 is a quick loader, with a disc hitting its menu display screen in round 30 seconds. However it’s additionally pretty noisy, not simply when it comes to loading but in addition with navigation and playback. That minor criticism apart, the Sony proved to be responsive and dependable when it comes to performance.

It’s additionally a stellar performer relating to playback, and Ultra HD Blu-rays seem flawless, with the 4K decision, wider color gamut and better dynamic vary all completely rendered by the participant.

The photos the participant produces are detailed and sharp, with pure colors and no obvious artefacts or different aberrations. A reference disc like Blade Runner 2049 appeared beautiful, with the Sony completely delivering each fantastically composed body.

We’d count on any 4K participant price its salt to ship an excellent efficiency with an HDR disc, however the X700 additionally shines relating to common Blu-ray. The SDR photos seem convincing, with precisely reproduced colors and dynamics, however the upscaling additionally ensures the participant squeezes each final pixel out of the Full HD supply.

Sony UBP-X700

The picture can be clear and free from any undesirable processing, permitting the participant to take full benefit of a disc like Thor: Ragnarok, reproducing the movie’s comedian ebook visuals with precisely saturated colors and loads of effective element.

This efficient upscaling extends to plain definition DVDs, and a top quality disc can look surprisingly good. How good will rely to a big extent on the scale of your display screen, however DVD can nonetheless be fairly watchable within the Ultra HD period. Having stated that, it’s onerous to return to plain definition when you’ve skilled 4K HDR; but when you need to, at the very least the X700 is ready to make lower-resolution content material look pretty much as good as potential.

The X700 is a digital transport, within the sense that it has no analogue outputs. That means there aren’t any DACs, only a digital sign being delivered both through HDMI or the coaxial digital output. Whichever you select, the participant is extremely competent, though you’ll want to make use of HDMI in the event you want to profit from lossless audio and immersive Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks.

The X700 may not be the audiophile’s selection, however contemplating its worth the participant is greater than able to delivering a top quality expertise. A CD just like the current Manic Street Preachers’ album Resistance is Futile is delivered with all of the urgency and drive that we’d count on. Whilst the SACD launch of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is a fantastically layered 5.1 combine. Streaming music from Spotify or our residence community was equally as spectacular, proving that the X700 is a formidable digital all-rounder.

Sony UBP-X700

Why purchase the Sony UBP-X700?

The Sony UBP-X700 is undoubtedly an amazing selection for anybody who needs an Ultra HD Blu-ray participant that may ship a wonderful video and audio efficiency. However, what’s going to actually set it other than a lot of the competitors is the Dolby Vision replace.

This makes the Sony one of many most cost-effective methods of taking part in Dolby Vision discs, and in the event you personal a Sony TV with the format, then the X700 could be the one strategy to get help for the right Dolby Vision profile.

The solely actual various at this worth is the LG UP970, which you’ll be able to decide up for as little as £149. It’s not the flashiest of gamers, with a reasonably barebones consumer platform, and it doesn’t help SACD playback, however it might deal with most different discs and already helps Dolby Vision.

Related: Best TVs 2018

Verdict

The Sony UBP-X700 is a cracking 4K disc spinner that boasts nice efficiency and options, at a really tempting worth. Thanks to a firmware replace that provides Dolby Vision help, it is going to certainly be the participant of selection for a lot of Sony TV house owners.

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