OFFICIAL "HELP ME CHOOSE A PLAYER" THREAD: Can't decide? Start HERE - Page 651 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #19501 of 19515 Old 03-15-2017, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by z3d View Post
I am much interested in the Sony UHP-H1 since the price is decent and I can play my music CD directly from it.
I picked up a 2016 Q4 Sony UHP-H1 yesterday after the price-drop, and will post my impressions of both the player's video and sound quality in the next few weeks.

I haven't been able to find an authoritative review of this player, other than Kal Rubinson's brief remarks on Stereophile, and some questionable sites overseas, which is a little concerning. But Sony hasn't really pushed this player in a big way through it's retail channels... I guess because it's not true 4K, and a little late to the game for a high-quality 2K player. Sony's upcoming high-end UBP-X1000ES 4K player looks (cosmetically) very similar to this model though. And I think their objective with the UHP-H1 was to try to make something that would compete with some of the features of the 2K Oppo 103 and 105, at a somewhat lower price point.

The UHP-H1 supposedly has very good SQ via the digital connections. Kal described the stereo analog outs as just "serviceable". You can read his full comments here...

http://www.stereophile.com/content/m...-player-page-2

The UK reviews give the player high marks for it's video processing, deinterlacing, cadence detection, and 4K upscaling. But I have also seen comments by some users that the image quality is a little soft. There are a lot of picture adjustments on the unit though. So it's possible they just aren't optimally configured.

My first upscaling DVD player was an HTPC btw. But I've always preferred the convenience of a well-built dedicated player, since they became more affordable. Different strokes, as they say.

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post #19502 of 19515 Old 03-15-2017, 04:36 PM
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Based on some other threads I've read, the Sony UHP-H1 seems to be a fairly popular choice for SACD users.

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post #19503 of 19515 Old 03-15-2017, 10:22 PM
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The UK reviews give the player high marks for it's video processing, deinterlacing, cadence detection, and 4K upscaling. But I have also seen comments by some users that the image quality is a little soft. There are a lot of picture adjustments on the unit though. So it's possible they just aren't optimally configured.
Fwiw, there are several noise reduction and smoothing operations enabled by default on the UHP-H1.

I haven't looked at any patterns yet. Just watched a bit of ID4 Resurgence on BD. But after setting the Video mode in the Options menu to "Direct", and disabling all the NR features in the Setup/Video menus, PQ looks pretty close to bit-perfect reference. (See comments in my next post below.)

If you enjoy playing with image enhancement features though, there are plenty on the UHP-H1 to experiment with, for both video discs, and streaming. I generally prefer to send a reference image to my display though, and tinker with the picture there.

No thoughts on the analog audio outputs yet. But I love the sturdy design of the UHP-H1 compared to my featherweight S390. The disc tray is a little flimsy though.

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post #19504 of 19515 Old 03-16-2017, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
I don't think Darbee does much to a 1080p image. It's mainly for enhancing lower res material.

In my experience, with all enhancements turned off, I can detect virtually no visible difference between PS3 and any standalone BD player. If all reproduce the image on the disc bit for bit, which they do, I can't ask for much else. The only exceptions are that some processors handle tricky cadences and chroma decoding better than others.

If Darbee doesn't do anything for you (doesn't impress me either), then you need to stick with Madvr until you go to 4k.
Well, I wasn't expecting this. I have built my HT room in 2012 and have been using my htpc with mpc-hc and madvr since that date.
I though good standalone players would do some video enhancing through digital filters and could render the same picture quality as my "old" htpc does.
Which BD player are you using?
I lurked a bit in the oppo threads and some users reported to have the same PQ (or better in some case) going from htpc + madvr to Oppo standalone players.
But in other manufacturer threads (sony, lg, samsung) htpc+madvr is still considered superior PQ wise.
Searching more informations about that I found many people reporting the same PQ between oppo players and medium to high-level players from sony and pioneer.

That's quite frustrating because opinions are really different and I still don't get if all standalone bd players, regardless of price, have the same PQ of a PS3 or if they are better.
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post #19505 of 19515 Old 03-16-2017, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ADU View Post
I picked up a 2016 Q4 Sony UHP-H1 yesterday after the price-drop, and will post my impressions of both the player's video and sound quality in the next few weeks.

I haven't been able to find an authoritative review of this player, other than Kal Rubinson's brief remarks on Stereophile, and some questionable sites overseas, which is a little concerning. But Sony hasn't really pushed this player in a big way through it's retail channels... I guess because it's not true 4K, and a little late to the game for a high-quality 2K player. Sony's upcoming high-end UBP-X1000ES 4K player looks (cosmetically) very similar to this model though. And I think their objective with the UHP-H1 was to try to make something that would compete with some of the features of the 2K Oppo 103 and 105, at a somewhat lower price point.

The UHP-H1 supposedly has very good SQ via the digital connections. Kal described the stereo analog outs as just "serviceable". You can read his full comments here...

http://www.stereophile.com/content/m...-player-page-2

The UK reviews give the player high marks for it's video processing, deinterlacing, cadence detection, and 4K upscaling. But I have also seen comments by some users that the image quality is a little soft. There are a lot of picture adjustments on the unit though. So it's possible they just aren't optimally configured.

My first upscaling DVD player was an HTPC btw. But I've always preferred the convenience of a well-built dedicated player, since they became more affordable. Different strokes, as they say.
I found too many positive comments about how this player upscale from 1080p to 4K but not many comments about how is the picture quality with standard Bluray playback.
It's also interesting to know if this player does some kind of video processing to enhance the picture quality and if this is comparable to a good htpc source running MPC-HC+madvr (as is in my case).
It's really weird to me the fact that a 300-500€ player provide the same PQ as a 50-100€ player.

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Originally Posted by ADU View Post
Based on some other threads I've read, the Sony UHP-H1 seems to be a fairly popular choice for SACD users.
I'm most interested in regular CD playback for music; I have many GB of music stored in my hard disks but still have some CDs laying around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADU View Post
Fwiw, there are several noise reduction and smoothing operations enabled by the default on the UHP-H1.

I haven't looked at any patterns yet. Just watched a bit of ID4 Resurgence on BD. But after setting the Video mode in the Options menu to "Direct", and disabling all the NR features in the Setup/Video menus, PQ looks pretty close to bit-perfect reference.

If you enjoy playing with image enhancement features though, there are plenty on the UHP-H1 to experiment with, for both video discs, and streaming. I generally prefer to send a reference image to my display though, and tinker with the picture there.

No thoughts on the analog audio outputs yet. But I love the sturdy design of the UHP-H1 compared to my featherweight S390.
Thank you for reporting back your findings.
Have you a PS3/Xbox or another standalone bluray player to compare with?
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post #19506 of 19515 Old 03-16-2017, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z3d View Post
Well, I wasn't expecting this. I have built my HT room in 2012 and have been using my htpc with mpc-hc and madvr since that date.
I though good standalone players would do some video enhancing through digital filters and could render the same picture quality as my "old" htpc does.
Which BD player are you using?
I lurked a bit in the oppo threads and some users reported to have the same PQ (or better in some case) going from htpc + madvr to Oppo standalone players.
But in other manufacturer threads (sony, lg, samsung) htpc+madvr is still considered superior PQ wise.
Searching more informations about that I found many people reporting the same PQ between oppo players and medium to high-level players from sony and pioneer.

That's quite frustrating because opinions are really different and I still don't get if all standalone bd players, regardless of price, have the same PQ of a PS3 or if they are better.
If you are curious and want to test what an Oppo can do, I'd suggest getting one from Oppo (I think the 203 is the only available one now) and test it for a month.

Compare it to your htpc+madvr setup and see how it performs in your configuration. If it's not up to it, return it before the month is over and you're out the shipping cost back.

Since your use is music, and the Oppos are well known to be excellent for music, it may work out for you.
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post #19507 of 19515 Old 03-16-2017, 07:43 PM
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But after setting the Video mode in the Options menu to "Direct", and disabling all the NR features in the Setup/Video menus, PQ looks pretty close to bit-perfect reference.
I have to backpeddle on this comment a bit, after spending a little more time with the UHP-H1. Because I'm not really sure what the "Direct" PQ Mode does. I thought it might refer to "digital/source direct", but it may instead refer to direct (room) lighting. To make things more confusing, the Direct, Auto, Custom1 and Custom2 PQ modes all look fairly similar, as long as the Custom modes have all options disabled. I suspect now that the Custom modes may be closest to reference though, as long as all picture enhancement features in them are turned off.

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Originally Posted by z3d View Post
I found too many positive comments about how this player upscale from 1080p to 4K but not many comments about how is the picture quality with standard Bluray playback.
Imo, the PQ with standard BDs looks pretty fantastic on the UHP-H1, after turning off all the player's unnecessary (imo) processing. I'm just not sure that it's 100% reference though yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z3d View Post
It's also interesting to know if this player does some kind of video processing to enhance the picture quality and if this is comparable to a good htpc source running MPC-HC+madvr (as is in my case).
I've never used the specific image filters you're referring to, but I think you might be impressed by the configurability and image quality of some of the latest Sony players... though the UHP-H1 is the only recent model I've actually tried. It just sort of depends what you're looking for though, in the way of image quality and enhancements.

I still can't say with absolute certainty whether or not the video on the UHP-H1 can be configured to remove all of Sony's enhancements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z3d View Post
It's really weird to me the fact that a 300-500€ player provide the same PQ as a 50-100€ player.
Bits are bits, so as long as you're transmitting the same ones to the display, you get the same images. There are no TVs (that I know of) though which directly support YCbCr 4:2:0 video, which is the format used on Blu-rays and DVDs. So all players have to perform some processing on the images before they arrive at your TV.

If you're sending a different resolution, frame rate, etc. to the TV than the original video file format, then the player also has to perform other complex image processing operations like scaling, deinterlacing, cadence detection, and frame rate conversions as well. So there's plenty of room for variations in quality to creep into the picture with those functions as well.

A higher price tag doesn't necessarily guarantee better image quality though. And it's quite possible that you could find a lower cost player that does nearly as good a job sending a 1080p BD to your TV as some more expensive models.

I did not pay anywhere near the MSRP for the UHP-H1 btw. In the last week, the street price of these players dropped about 40%, I guess because some vendors are trying to clear them out to make room for Sony's new 4K models. And I got a further 20% off of the already discounted price, because I bought a returned unit. So I actually paid less than half the original MSRP for the unit I'm discussing. Otherwise, I might not even have bothered to look at this model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z3d View Post
I'm most interested in regular CD playback for music; I have many GB of music stored in my hard disks but still have some CDs laying around.
I haven't tried any CDs on the UHP-H1 yet. But there are some comments about different music formats on the player that may be worth a look here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z3d View Post
Have you a PS3/Xbox or another standalone bluray player to compare with?
The only player I have for comparison at the moment is my 4 year old Sony BDP-S390 BD player.

The S390 was just one step above the lowest end model that Sony made at that time (the S185). But it had good enough features and quality for my needs. It's scaling quality was only average though. Not great, but not terrible either. Somewhere in the middle.

I don't have a 4K TV, so I can't test the UHP-H1's 2K -> 4K scaling quality. But so far, the video processing and scaling of SD DVDs and 720p files looks superior to me on UHP-H1 (as one would expect after 4 more years of development). I'm still in the early stages of looking at this player and its features. But I think that assessment will probably hold up.

The main reason I started looking for a new player though was for some better sound quality. The analog outs on my S390 don't sound too bad for very low end player. But after upgrading some of my other audio equipment, I think the cheap DAC in my S390 is now becoming one of the weakest links in my audio chain.

If I get some better PQ with a new player though, that's icing on the cake.

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Originally Posted by z3d View Post
Thank you for reporting back your findings.
That's what this forum is for. I don't wanna take up all the bandwidth here though. So I'll post most of my other impression of the UHP-H1 here...

Sony UHPH1 Premium Audio and Video Player (2016)

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post #19508 of 19515 Old 03-18-2017, 10:20 AM
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Imo, the PQ with standard BDs looks pretty fantastic on the UHP-H1, after turning off all the player's unnecessary (imo) processing. I'm just not sure that it's 100% reference though yet.
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I still can't say with absolute certainty whether or not the video on the UHP-H1 can be configured to remove all of Sony's enhancements.
OK, I said I'd post further comments in the UHP-H1 thread, but I think this is important enough to mention here...

Per the above, it looks like there may be a non-defeatable dynamic contrast enhancement feature on the Sony UHP-H1. If so, that would be a MAJOR NO-NO for a player in my book! I'll continue experimenting with the various video settings to see if there's some way to disable it. If there's no way to turn it off though, that would be a deal-breaker for me (and quite a big disappointment). My older (and quite a bit cheaper) Sony S390 does not have this kind of feature. Its blacks and contrast are always rock solid.

As far as the analog sound quality on the UHP-H1 is concerned, it seems better resolving across the entire frequency range than the analog outs on my S390, which results in better imaging imo. Tonally, it seems a little more "shouty" in the (upper?) mids and low treble than my S390, which has a somewhat warmer and more laid back, but also less well-defined sound. I think my S390 may possibly be a little better extended (or maybe a tad less "filtered"?) in the higher frequencies as well, though I'm less sure about that. The sound on the S390 is more distorted though and more indistinct, and not as good at resolving details to my ears (esp. in the mid-range) as the UHP-H1.

I have not been able to find any "virtual surround" features on the UHP-H1 that work reliably with DTS soundtracks though. It does have a "Surround" Downmix option like my S390. But (like my S390) this does not seem to work correctly with DTS tracks on the analog outs via a regular pair of speakers or headphones (the manual says it works with DTS Neo:6 devices).

The UHP-H1 does seem to have a more "dimensional" sound in the regular Stereo Downmix mode than my older S390 though, probably because of its better overall resolution and imaging, which is encouraging. I think I need to continue looking at other equipment though with (hopefully) even better sounding, higher resolution DACs than the UHP-H1.

Fwiw, the analog outs on the UHP-H1 might possibly sound fairly good with a pair of 8" Adam A8X powered studio loudspeakers (if you have the $$$ for that kind of thing). The Adams aren't necessarily ideal for mixing imo, unless you're using room correction. But they are very well extended in the bass and treble, and a little recessed in the midrange/low-treble, which might possibly compliment the sound signature of the UHP-H1. YMMV.

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post #19509 of 19515 Old 03-18-2017, 11:03 AM
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Happy St. Patty's btw!

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post #19510 of 19515 Old 03-20-2017, 01:53 AM
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I'm looking for a bluray player with the fastest load time but it seems all the newer models are UHD (eg. Oppo 203, Samsung K8500 and Sony X800).

I don't need 4k but must have 3D, so it seems Samsung J5900/6300 are my best bet according to this: http://www.toptenreviews.com/electro...u-ray-players/

Any other recommendation?
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post #19511 of 19515 Old 03-20-2017, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by avsscientist View Post
I'm looking for a bluray player with the fastest load time but it seems all the newer models are UHD (eg. Oppo 203, Samsung K8500 and Sony X800).

I don't need 4k but must have 3D, so it seems Samsung J5900/6300 are my best bet according to this: http://www.toptenreviews.com/electro...u-ray-players/

Any other recommendation?
Standard Blu-ray players are still readily available for under $100. E.g. Sony BDP-S6700
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post #19512 of 19515 Old 03-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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Which is the top??

I've got a huge Blu collection. When I got my Sony 940D the whole world changed. Using my Oppo 93 my collection upscaled to 4K looked awesome, obviously, some discs better than others. Which has now lead me to wonder if there is a better player to make my collection look even better than the Oppo 93. I'm in the USA and I don't care if it's an older model, a new UHD model or whatever. Just want to make my collection shine on My Sony 940D. Thanks.

Sony 940D, Yamaha RX-A3060, Oppo BDP-93, Fronts-Gallo Sig 3.1, Center-Gallo StradaII, Sides-Gallo StradaII, Rears-Gallo Adiva Ti SS, 4 DTS-X/Atmos-Gallo Adiva Ti , Subs (2)- Custom sealed Baltic Birch w/ Ascendent Audio Avalanche 15' w/ Speaker Power SP1-700-HT amps
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Originally Posted by marklivia View Post
I've got a huge Blu collection. When I got my Sony 940D the whole world changed. Using my Oppo 93 my collection upscaled to 4K looked awesome, obviously, some discs better than others. Which has now lead me to wonder if there is a better player to make my collection look even better than the Oppo 93. I'm in the USA and I don't care if it's an older model, a new UHD model or whatever. Just want to make my collection shine on My Sony 940D. Thanks.
General forum consensus is that all Blu-ray players are going to be very similar in their image quality. You get a greater benefit from proper calibration of the display than from swapping in a new player.

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post #19514 of 19515 Old 03-20-2017, 02:20 PM
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Standard Blu-ray players are still readily available for under $100. E.g. Sony BDP-S6700
The Sony S6700 is my top choice so far given its feature set, but I keep hearing Samsung J5900/J6300 are the fastest bluray players available, is this true?

Is S6700 really a big notch slower than J5900/J6300?
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I'm finishing up my home theater and have the following equipment that I need a Blu-ray player for: Sony VPL HW45ES Projector with a Denon AVR X6300H. My speakers are set up for Dolby ATMOS 7.2.4. I don't foresee replacing the projector anytime soon, but if pricing comes down on 4K, I may go that route. The above mentioned Sony BDP S6700 looks like it may be a good fit for me, but I'm willing to drop a little more money for a better quality player. Thank you.
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