Originally Posted by Stephen Hopkins
Has time halted? Do you think there won't be any more Sony UHD players announced ever for perpetuity? I have a feeling the X800 replacement just needs some time to reveal itself. It's quite possible that, due to the licensing issues MANY manufacturers seem to be having with Dolby Vision, they may be sitting on that replacement until DV can be included in the box... otherwise there honestly might not be much to differentiate it from the X800 at all. Patience is a virtue.
Possibly. But, CES is normally the platform where the major manufacturers chart out their most important product announcements for the year. Sony originally announced both the H1 and the X800 at CES in January 2016 and 2017. The absence of any true replacement model announcement for the H1/X800/X1000 lineage indicates to me that it won't be happening this year.
The original H1 that introduced Sony's heavy beam box design and universal format support was more of an out-of-the-blue announcement, because it was a 4k upconverting BD player that carried a $350 MSRP but did not play 4k Ultra BDs. Sony touted both the H1 and X800 for their audio features and video performance, while leaving out the newer video capabilities. Maybe Sony's waiting for the right time to add both DV and HDR10+, and is fine with letting the X800 carry on more as a high res audio player. Who knows what's going on behind the scenes, because the DV rollout has not gone smoothly.
Originally Posted by bobknavs
The X700 looks like it is lower-end as regards high definition digital audio. If you're not into that, you may not care. It's nearly 5" narrower than the X800, which could lead to a yes/no decision based on how it fits.
I don't know whether the X700 has a sheet steel chassis similar to the X800. The X800 is much heavier than other low-cost players on the market; it may be more durable. I thought that it was quite a bargain when it could be had from major retailers for $150US. Whether it'll drop back after the X700 becomes available, I can't guess.
The X700 weighs 3.1 lbs. while the X800 weighs 8.4 lbs. That's a sure sign that the X700 stripped the chassis down to the bare minimum and mounts all of the components directly onto the enclosure. The X800 was built around isolating the signal paths and dampening internal vibrations. Instead of loose wires taped or ziptied together, the wiring is separated and securely fastened down. The drive is mounted inside a shielded enclosure. Lot of attention to little details that you don't see in competing models. This is the same approach you see with higher end audio components, and Sony heavily pitched the H1 and X800 to the audiophile market. Here are some pictures I shot of the inside of the X800.
The MSRP on the X800 has gone back up to $250. So, it looks like Sony might be trying to re-establish the X800 as the "higher end" model, even though it lacks DV. The X700 will likely undercut the other 4k Ultra BD players currently on the market. My understanding is that the Mediatek chipset used in the X800 doesn't have the processing capability needed to support DV, so Sony can't just add the feature via firmware update.