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Late To The Party, Sony’s Ultra HD Players Emphasize Advanced Specs

Sony’s first 4K Blu-ray player hitting the market will be the $299-suggested UBP-X800, in stores in March and followed by the specialist/installer-dedicated UBP-X1000, as yet unpriced.

Both models feature multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio playback, HDR 10, 3D Blu-ray and BD-ROM playback, and dual HDMI outputs, which can be used to send video content to two displays. One HDMI output can also be used to send audio to AVRs whose older HDMI inputs and outputs don’t pass through 4K or HDR content to a display. Information on whether it could be upgraded to add Dolby Vision was unavailable.

Both also feature Wi-Fi, wireless multiroom audio technology, streaming 4K video services, and ability to play high-res audio from USB sources up to 192kHz/24 bits and, with a firmware upgrade, DSD 11.2MHz (DSD 256).

The players’ proprietary HDR to SDR conversion maps content to the display capabilities of non-HDR 4K TVs, delivering a wider dynamic range and color volume than competing 4K players that simply strip HDR metadata from a video stream, the company said. The players also let consumers adjust the level of conversion.

Via standard HDMI EDID (Extended Display Identification Data), both players enable the display of a 4K disc on a 1080p display, the company added.

Integrated Bluetooth streams audio to Bluetooth headphones.

Through June 30, purchasers are eligible to receive two 4K Ultra HD discs from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, including recently released titles.

The installer-focused 4K player will add optional rack-mount ears, RS-232 and IP control for integration with major home-control systems, including Control 4, Crestron, Universal, Savant, AMX, and others. The Ci model also adds a web app, which enables programming via a PC or tablet, and integration with ihiji, the Cloud-based network-management service used by custom installers for remote maintenance.