I’ve survived for years with my very reliable Blu-ray, DVD player but as of late it’s causing me more frustration than enjoyment. In a recent, rushed moment of clarity, I made the bold decision to do away with my older model and buy a new one that would be technically adequate for my needs, one that was branded accordingly to what and who I favour.
It had to be available locally there and then too, fully packed with features (of course), had future compatibility and importantly had to be affordable to my budget. All the above fitted my criteria when I made a purchase, making the SONY UBP X700 best buy of this year and available at Electricshop.
My previous combined Blu-ray, DVD player from LG really did stand the test of time and did me proud. It took a lot of usage on board with its Blu-ray, DVD and CD playback functionality not to mention it’s multi-region capacity. It was a sad moment letting go of the half-working LG BD360. This model has now gone to a good home and is a discontinued model as of December 2019.
I first knew I had run into problems when certain Twentieth Century Fox Blu-rays didn’t load up and “disc error” was displayed. I tried cleaning the lens multiple times, used IPA solution for the discs and cleaning them correctly from the centre, but nothing helped move it along. Make a point of looking after your disc surfaces and lasers and visit Amazon in the above links.
I got lucky sometimes by knocking on top of the unit, the laser most likely jolted or jumped to the track of the movie and so for a time I was happy enough doing this. Certainly couldn’t have been healthy.
The Last Track
After a time of trying to get certain Blu-rays to work, updating the firmware, cleaning and relentlessly banging the unit DVDs of any region also ceased to work, the laser had a mood on it and was very selective to what it wanted to read and play.
As a specialist in this area and want the ultimate in video and audio experiences while watching movies or gaming, this certainly got to me and what eventually made the decision for me to upgrade. The player is now re-homed and does play the majority of Blu-ray discs.
The 4K Era
The SONY UBP X700 best buy, in my opinion, was the player of choice and was certainly and surprisingly a lot smaller than my previous model. This is an impressive 4K Blu-ray player at an affordable price and was a 2019 awards winner at What Hi-Fi? The World’s #1 Tech Buyer’s Guide.
It was first launched at CES 2017 for £269 and supports the likes of 4K HDR, UHD, Blu-ray 3D and Dolby Vision (via a recent firmware update.) I personally think the homepage menu is a simple affair (as is the small remote controller) with some apps set about in a grid format, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime are included as is the option of playing files from USB.
I’m not too fond of the “cheap feeling” and poxy power lead socket which is anything more than a jack plug! There are minimal sockets at the rear, but enough to make connections to the TV and the internet.
There is a part of me that wished I didn’t rush into the purchase of the SONY UBP X700, the research was done in an evening and I was in the car once reading up about it ready to purchase. In doing so I’ve lost my multi-region capabilities and so a lot of my DVD collection will not play now. I’ve always respected the SONY brand when it comes to visual quality so I knew it was a winner from the start.
It has enough features for me to move into the 4K HDR realm and has plenty of settings and calibration functions to tweak as desired, this too feels good as I can fine-tune the player to my own home theatre set-up. What also attracted me about this unit was it’s advanced upscaling of everything, to 4K resolution which will help to bring my DVDs and Blu-rays into the modern-day of technology.
Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you found it of some help or interest. Please feel free to drop a comment about these products, the written content or even your own experiences with these products.