Tuesday, October 26, 2021

High picture quality and good sound Blu-ray player in the test: sharp picture for little money

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If you want to set up your own small home theater, Blu-Ray players are the best option for high picture quality. Stiftung Warentest tested twelve models in its June issue of “test”.

With high image resolution and good sound, you can bring the cinema experience into your own four walls. Blu-ray players provide high-quality picture and sound for a clear and detailed viewing experience. That also shows Test in issue 06/2021 the Stiftung Warentest: Twelve Blu-Ray players from Sony, Panasonic and LG in a price range of 88 to 400 euros were examined and compared. With one exception, all devices were able to convince the examiners with an overall grade of “good”. We present the test winners and show what modern Blu-Ray players can do.

Even now, when numerous streaming services make films and series available on demand, Blu-Ray players still offer added value: For example, they allow you to play your own film collection and thus also programs that are not offered by the streaming services. Even in high 4K resolution when the internet is too slow for that. If you have an older television, the Blu-Ray player can expand it with smart functions and stream via Netflix, Amazon Prime and Co. make it possible in the first place.

A total of twelve Blu-Ray players were examined by Stiftung Warentest. Seven of them can also play 4K (UHD) discs. The picture and sound quality was checked by means of a visual and hearing test. Handling, networking on the Internet and in the home network and versatility were also tested. Further test criteria were the environmental properties and the error correction of the devices.

The judgment of the Stiftung Warentest is very positive in terms of picture and sound quality. All twelve devices offer a great picture regardless of the price and, without exception, received a “Very Good” rating.

The test winner was Sony UBP-X700 with the “test” quality rating “good (1.9)”. In terms of image and sound quality, it ranks first with six other models with the sub-grade “very good (1.0)”. A model from Panasonic and the came in shared second place with an overall grade of “good (2.0)” Sony UBP-X800M2. Close behind is that Panasonic DMP-BDT385 together with another model from the manufacturer in third place. Both models received the “test” quality rating “good (2.1)”. The winner is the LG BP450, which is significantly cheaper than its competitors at less than 100 euros.

The test result: The Sony UBP-X700 achieved the “test” quality rating “good (1.9)” and is therefore the test winner. In addition to its picture and sound quality, the Blu-Ray player impressed with its environmental properties, its resistance to faulty Blu-Rays and its versatility.

Product details: The UBP-X700 from Sony offers a viewing experience in 4K resolution, so that even the high-quality 4K (Ultra HD) discs can be played in the highest picture quality. With HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the device ensures sharp details, rich colors and brightness. Upscaling of content to 4K is also possible.

Thanks to the integrated WLAN, not only Blu-Rays, but also films and series from various services can be streamed. In addition, the player allows the playback of almost all disc and file formats. Connectivity is provided by two HDMI connections, a USB slot and a coaxial and digital audio output.

The test result: At less than 100 euros, the BP450 from LG is the winner in the Blu-Ray player test. It achieved the “test” quality rating “good (2.2)” and thus fourth place at Stiftung Warentest.

Product details: The Blu-Ray player from the manufacturer LG can play Blu-Ray discs in full HD and is 3D-capable. Streaming services such as Maxdome, Netflix, Youtube or Spotify can be accessed via DLNA. A plus: your iPhone or Android smartphone can also be used as a remote control.

You can also route the sound from your Blu-Ray player to your smartphone or Bluetooth headphones if you don’t want to disturb those around you. You can use a USB, HDMI and coaxial audio output via cable. In comparison, the model has fewer connections than the test winner. Another small disadvantage: This model does not have a function for installing apps afterwards.

The test result: The UBP-X800M2 Blu-Ray player from Sony received the “test” quality rating “good (2.0)” and thus ended up in shared second place. With high-resolution audio and DSEE HX, it enables particularly good, detailed sound.

Product details: The UBP-X800M2 also impresses with a high-quality image resolution in 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The picture quality is also scaled and converted on TVs that do not offer HDR. The player is therefore capable of upscaling. Streaming from the server in the home network is also possible via WLAN.

DVDs and other disc and file formats can be played easily on the device. Like the test winner, this Blu-Ray player from Sony offers two HDMI connections, a USB connection and two audio outputs. Small drawback: This model also does not have the option of installing new apps at a later date.

The test result: The DMP-BDT385 from Panasonic achieved an overall rating of “good (2.1)” in the test. Particularly noteworthy in this model is the error correction, which even received a “Very Good”.

Product details: The Blu-Ray player from Panasonic ensures a clear picture in Full HD on your television. With a suitable UHD television, even more detailed 4K images can be played. Like the LG model, the Panasonic is also 3D capable. However, it is not possible to play formats such as 4K (Ultra HD) discs, DVD-RAM or Super Video CDs.

The integrated WLAN allows access to apps and video-on-demand services on the Internet. With the so-called Miracast function, photos and videos stored on the smartphone can also be played back on the television in large format. Compared to the other Blu-Ray players, this model offers two US connections, as well as an HDMI and a digital audio output.

Our conclusion

There is a good picture at a low price. With 4K Blu-Ray players, you are guaranteed the best picture resolution for your home theater. In terms of picture and sound quality, all devices received a “very good” rating. We recommend the test winner: The Sony UBP-X700 scores with 4K image quality, the option of streaming and playback of almost all disc and file formats. If you do not want to spend a lot of money and are only looking for a model to play back classic Blu-Ray discs, you will find it LG BP450 a good choice.

Stiftung Warentest tested twelve Blu-Ray players in June 2021. (Source: Sony / Manufacturer)

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