Best 4K Blu-ray player

TV & Video

A 4K Blu-ray player that can upscale lower-resolution video simply adds pixels to the video to make it 4K-resolution compatible.

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Which 4K Blu-ray player is best?

Since the introduction of Blu-ray technology more than a decade ago, the format has represented the pinnacle of video quality on optical discs. With the migration to 4K Blu-ray technology, the video quality improved even more.

Also known as Ultra HD, 4K video delivers four times the resolution found in full HD video. If you want the best video quality for movies and TV shows on optical discs, you need to have a 4K Blu-ray player.

Our favorite model is the Oppo UDP-203, which delivers excellent quality for both new and old video discs.

What to know before you buy a 4K Blu-ray player

When shopping for a 4K Blu-ray player, pay close attention to a few high-level technologies. Having support for these technologies in your player gives it a longer lifespan.

  • HDMI: The HDMI format has been around a bit longer than Blu-ray players, so you probably have some HDMI cables available to use with your new player. However, unless your cables and 4K Blu-ray player both support HDMI 2.0, you may not receive the highest possible playback quality. And you’ll need HDMI 2.0 to make use of the other technologies we’ll discuss.
  • HDR: HDR, short for high dynamic range, is designed to enhance video quality. HDR improves color quality by enhancing the contrast and brightness of individual pixels, making video pop off the screen. To use HDR, both your 4K Blu-ray player and your 4K TV must support the same version of HDR (either Dolby Vision or HDR10).
  • WCG: WCG, short for wide color gamut, is another technology to enhance video quality. WCG focuses on enhancing the actual colors in the pixels, creating additional vibrancy. WCG is a newer technology than HDR. Again, both the TV and the Blu-ray player must support it.

What to look for in a quality 4K Blu-Ray player

Wi-Fi

If you have a Wi-Fi-enabled 4K Blu-ray player, you can stream your Blu-ray disc content to a tablet or laptop. Understand that most of these devices cannot show the content in 4K resolution because they won’t have the screen quality.

Compatibility

If you have a collection of DVDs and CDs, you want a 4K Blu-ray player that can play them. You don’t want a 4K Blu-ray player that can only play Blu-ray discs unless that’s all you own.

Apps

If you’re looking to use a 4K Blu-ray player to stream 4K content from online streaming services, find a player that includes apps. Some units do not have the required software built into them to make use of apps.

Remote control

A 4K Blu-ray player that ships with a tiny remote control with only a few buttons may end up causing frustration. As a better option, find a player that works with the universal remote control you already own.

How much you can expect to spend on a 4K Blu-ray player

These players range from $75 to $3,000 or higher. An average 4K Blu-ray player costs $100-$250, and this price point meets the needs of the majority of customers.

4K Blu-ray player FAQ

Should you run a 4K Blu-ray player on an HD-only TV?

A. You can, but the HD-only TV won’t be able to display the programming in its native 4K-resolution format. It’s best to use a 4K Blu-ray player with a 4K TV.

Are older HD Blu-ray discs playable on a 4K Blu-ray player?

A. Yes. They play at the lower HD resolution, or the 4K Blu-ray player upscales the HD resolution to fill a 4K TV.

What’s the best 4K Blu-Ray player to buy?

Top 4K Blu-Ray player

Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-Ray Player

Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-Ray Player

What you need to know: It’s expensive, but this model has all the advanced features you want in a 4K Blu-ray player.

What you’ll love: Its ability to upscale HD Blu-ray discs to 4K resolution is unmatched. Supports multiple audio formats seamlessly.

What you should consider: It is at a significantly higher price point than other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 4K Blu-Ray player for money

Sanyo 4K Blu-Ray Player

Sanyo 4K Blu-Ray Player

What you need to know: For those who want a no-hassle style of Blu-ray player, this Sanyo model is among the easiest to use on the market.

What you’ll love: It allows you to play DVDs and other optical discs in addition to 4K Blu-ray discs. It comes at a low price.

What you should consider: It doesn’t start up very fast.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Samsung UBD-M8500/ZA 4K Blu-Ray Player

Samsung UBD-M8500/ZA 4K Blu-Ray Player

What you need to know: If you already own some Samsung products, this 4K Blu-ray player performs nicely with them, including using the same remote control.

What you’ll love: It allows you to connect an external hard drive to watch stored programming.

What you should consider: It only has one indicator light, so diagnosing problems is challenging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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