Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Clarksville, TN
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
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First off, leave the Atmos and DTS:X decoding to your AV Receiver or soundbar since technically no Blu-ray player out there truly support those two immersive audio formats. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support are both all a Blu-ray player needs for the most part, since Dolby Atmos is encoded on Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and DTS:X encoded on DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, you just need a receiver or soundbar capable of decoding these immersive audio layers & you're good to go.
Now let's get to your main question, for $500 you got these three stellar choices:
Choice 1: Sony UBP-X800M2 ($299) - In terms of build quality, this is the best player for the price. Also have the ability to play DVD-Audio and SA-CD discs which makes it truly appealing to budget audiophiles. Only two minor problems with it though, very limited streaming apps (only Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Video) and the aggravating HDR settings (gotta turn on/off Dolby Vision almost every time, ugh!)
Choice 2: LG UBK90 ($199-299) - Pretty good overall budget 4K player, especially if caught on sale. Like with the Sony, also very limited streaming apps (just Netflix and Youtube), but unlike the Sony, the HDR on here automatically get things right such as HDR10 outputting in HDR10 and Dolby Vision only active on Dolby Vision content. Build quality is more plastic-like though.
Choice 3: Panasonic DP-UB820 ($449-499) - By far the best of the three and definitely what I call "a bang for your buck" player without spending a fortune. Picture and audio quality on this player is incredible, especially with the HDR optimizer feature. You'll also be welcome that this player also has a actual front display to see what is the current runtime of the film. This player gets nearly everything right, and by that I mean this one doesn't have as good build quality as the Sony but it is a moderate step-up from the LG though. Also has limited streaming apps (Youtube, Netflix, and Prime Video). If $500 is the highest you go, definitely get this one.
PS, all three of these players do support HDR10 and Dolby Vision, plus HDR10+ for the Panasonic which makes it a perfect choice for Samsung or Panasonic TV fans.
My current mancave room setup:
Vizio V436-G1 4K HDR TV | LG UBK90 4K Blu-ray player | Denon AVR-S740H AV Receiver (running 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X) | Xbox One X | Roku Ultra (2018 model)