The ancient optical disc player. Those statements were previously seen as prophecy, but as time passes, they become more and more a fact. Optical disc players have all but vanished with the introduction of on-demand video and lightning-fast internet connections.
However, many of us long-time fans still have a large number of sparkling CDs. Blu-rays adorn three enormous wall units in my home that are stocked with material that is unavailable online. Good news for individuals like me — Sony is still paying attention to what we want.
The UBP-X800M2 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player is a $329 optical disc spinner that can play any disc, video, or music, as well as network, Bluetooth, and USB features. You won’t even know you have this thing in your rack since it is that little and compact. Even if it isn’t flashy, it does its job well.
At first glance, the UBP-X800M2 looks like a budget player with its slim chassis and blacked-out faceplate. Indeed, the only features on the front are two flush-mounted buttons, one for power and one to open the disc tray. They are on the right side and below them is a flip-out door that hides the USB port.
You can plug a thumb drive in here and access video, audio, and picture files in a variety of formats. Looking for the information display? There isn’t one and that’s a first in my experience. The only thing that lights up is a tiny green LED to indicate power-on.
If you want to see playback information, press the Display button on the remote and it’s shown on your TV or projector screen complete with timing, codecs, resolution, frame rate, and bit rate. Around the back, you’ll find a pair of HDMI 2.0 outputs.
Read more: OnePlus Ace Design Leaked Ahead Of Launch
One sends both video and audio and the other sends only audio. This means you can use the UBP-X800M2 with displays and receivers that don’t support the latest video and audio formats.
Splitting the signals allows maximum compatibility with the other components in your system. You also get a coax digital audio output that supports legacy Dolby Digital and DTS formats and PCM up to 5.1 channels.
For networking, there is built-in dual-band Wi-fi or you can connect an ethernet cable. The power cord is not removable.
The remote is a small handset with just about everything needed to operate the player and other HDMI CEC components. It has power, volume, and input buttons for a television and a dedicated Netflix key. It isn’t backlit but the buttons have unique shapes that make its operation fairly intuitive.
The UBP-X800M2 has a lot of capability and flexibility built-in, in despite its tiny size and affordable cost. It’s capable of playing all kinds of glossy discs up to 4K/60p video and 3D, as well as DVDs. It is compatible with DVD-A and SACD, as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and can output DSD through HDMI.
Dolby Vision, HDR, and Hybrid Log-Gamma with 12-bit color are among the video enhancements supported. Additionally, you have the option of choosing between YCbCr and RGB output, which is a huge plus.
Some displays, such as my venerable Anthem LTX-500 projector, need an RGB signal to be sent into the display. In terms of wifi and streaming capabilities, the UBP-X800M2 is up there with the best. It includes a high-speed dual-band Wi-Fi built-in that can take 4K HDR streams.
Apps from Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube are all included in the player. If you have an Apple TV or Nvidia Shield, you can stream directly to your television. Sony, on the other hand, has you covered if you’re simply looking for basic streaming.
The UBP-X800M2 has Bluetooth compatibility, allowing you to pair your wireless speakers or headphones with the device. The Bluetooth button on the remote may be used to connect the player to any Bluetooth-enabled device.
In order to connect to your display, the UBP-X800M2 asks you to choose a language and then performs a fast setup procedure. To test HDR and Dolby Vision, I utilized an Anthem LTX-500 projector and an LG OLED 65GX.
Both times, I used Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio-capable Anthem equipment. In the tradition of Oppo’s renowned players, the settings menu is very nicely structured. Video, audio, network, and playback options are separated into four categories.
As you navigate the menu, a short description of the setting’s purpose is displayed. Seeing that Sony has ditched the perplexing cross-style menu tree and its cryptic iconography is a good thing.
It’s acceptable to leave most of the settings on Auto, and they’ll still operate. My projector was able to benefit from the player’s output of RGB. Bitstream is the default audio format. Menu sounds can only be heard if the option is enabled and PCM is selected as output.
The UBP-X800M2 had no issues connecting to my Wi-Fi network, therefore I was startled to see there was no firmware upgrade available for this particular model of UBP. Evidently, there was no need, given how well the player performed.
A high-speed HDMI wire connected an Anthem AVM-70 processor in the theatre to an Anthem MRX-740 receiver for my LG TV in the living room.
Despite its shortcomings, the Sony UBP-X800M2 is a superb disc player. It supports every shiny disc type, codec, and file format. It’s one of the few players that can play SACD and DVD-Audio flawlessly. Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube are their only streaming applications, but they function well.