It’s true that the arrival of the very best streaming providers has rendered disc codecs like Blu-ray and Extremely HD Blu-ray pointless for some. However studios proceed to situation films each new and outdated on disc frequently, and there are many unbiased labels that license obscure and cult titles from studios for launch in deluxe packaging with a great deal of extras.
Put merely, Blu-ray is right here to remain for the foreseeable future, and we couldn’t be happier about that. However whereas there’s nonetheless a gradual provide of latest discs, the very best 4K Blu-ray gamers have develop into scarce, with most AV producers ceasing to make new gamers, or limiting manufacturing to a single mannequin.
That’s why it’s all the time nice to listen to in regards to the arrival of a brand new 4K Blu-ray participant available on the market. Magnetar launched its first participant, the UDP800, in 2022, and has now adopted up with a brand new flagship mannequin, the UDP900. At €2,500 euros (round $2,700 / £2,200 / AU$4,100), the UDP900 is priced round $1,000 greater than the UDP800, making it the costliest participant we all know of.
What does the Magnetar UDP900 have happening inside to justify its excessive value? On this case, it’s not simply what’s inside, but in addition what’s outdoors. In response to the corporate, the UDP900 has an “all-aluminum alloy physique and a bolstered double layer chassis construction.” Its inside parts are additionally independently shielded by metallic casing to scale back vibration and noise, and twin 60W toroidal transformer energy provides are onboard for the participant’s analog audio output.
Such rugged construct high quality can be the rationale Magnetar’s participant measures 17.5 x 5.2 x 12 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 34 kilos. Within the dwindling world of 4K Blu-ray gamers, the UDP900 is an utter beast.
Contained in the UDP900 is an ESS9038PRO digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for the participant’s analog stereo XLR output and ESS9028PRO DAC for its 7.1-channel analog RCA output. Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ excessive dynamic vary codecs are supported, and the UDP900 can play SACDs and common CDs together with Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, and DVD discs.
Along with its twin HDMI outputs (one video/audio and one audio-only), the UDP900 additionally has a USB type-B DAC enter to attach a pc for audio playback.
Evaluation: Why purchase a Blu-ray participant, particularly a high-priced one?
There’s no dispute that streaming is handy, and that a lot of the world has opted to go that route for its film and music consumption. However the Blu-ray disc format stays viable, with new common Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray discs being launched on a weekly foundation. A few of these are deluxe editions geared toward collectors equivalent to Criterion’s current 4K remaster of Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King from 1991. However others are current films equivalent to Finest Image Oscar Nominees All Quiet on the Western Entrance and Triangle of Disappointment.
If you’re a Blu-ray collector, it is sensible to personal the very best disc participant potential to make sure you’ll have a dependable, ruggedly constructed machine to play your discs on effectively into the long run. That’s why I don’t essentially flinch on the Magnetar UDP900’s sky-high value, although there are extra moderately priced high-performance participant choices such because the Panasonic DP-UB900.
What the UDP900 brings to the desk, apart from unassailable construct high quality, is a concentrate on each audio and video efficiency. Together with help for each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ excessive dynamic vary codecs, it has a balanced analog XLR output and devoted toroidal transformer energy provide for every stereo channel. Which means it ought to be an excellent participant for Compact Discs together with Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays, and it additionally helps the audiophile SACD format.
One among my treasured AV possessions is an Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray participant, which was the final mannequin that Oppo made earlier than shutting down its Blu-ray participant manufacturing operation, reportedly as a result of the power was wanted to provide telephones for the Indian market.
The Oppo Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray gamers have been rugged and dependable, and their glorious construct high quality and efficiency justified their greater price in comparison with different gamers. And whereas Magnetar’s ask for the UDP900 is undoubtedly excessive, I even have little doubt that it’s the type of participant you’ll nonetheless be utilizing many years from now.