A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player connected to a 4K UHD TV (even to a 8K UHD TV ) using an HDMI cable (18 Gbps or up) remains the preferred solution to enjoy films and series in the best conditions with image quality much higher than DVD, TNT and even streaming.
Despite the rise of streaming giants like Netflix, Disney +, Prime Video or Apple TV +, 4K Blu-ray discs are still the only medium truly accessible to all to enjoy a 4K image and multichannel sound. Without a very high-speed Internet connection, 4K streaming remains inaccessible. Moreover, even a subscription to several streaming platforms does not guarantee that the user will be able to access all the movies and TV series they want to see in ultra high definition at all times.
The benefits of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The use of a 4K UHD Blu-ray player is still relevant for anyone who wants to enjoy the best possible picture quality in combination with a 4K OLED TV , a 4K QLED TV or a 4K UHD LED TV . You can even combine gaming and home theater experience with Next Gen video game consoles such as the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X as both feature a 4K Blu-ray player!
- Read the Panasonic DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player review .
More detailed and realistic images
4K, also called Ultra High Definition, has become the standard today. With just over 8 million pixels, UHD 4K (Ultra High Definition) corresponds to 4 times the HD 1080p format, i.e. 3840 x 2160 pixels. With four times the number of pixels on the screen, it can show more details on an image of the same size. The materials of the costumes and sets, their texture, the skin texture of the actors, the backgrounds: everything is richer and more realistic.
The Blu-ray disc is a prime source for enjoying a very high quality Ultra High Definition picture on increasingly large screens. It is indeed the only medium offering a very high and constant bitrate for the broadcasting of UHD 4K images and multi-channel HD digital sound, including in Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.
Brighter, more contrasted images
In addition, the generalization of films, series and documentaries shot with a wide dynamic range (HDR10, HDR10 +, Dolby Vision) makes it possible to enjoy extremely bright and contrasted images with many nuances and details revealed in the darkest and the brightest zones of image.
Images faithful to the director’s vision
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is the preferred source to enjoy an image in all respects in accordance with the director’s vision, without alteration, and to live an immersive home cinema experience in the best conditions.
Even with a very high speed Internet connection via optical fiber, video on demand platforms such as Netflix, Disney +, Prime Video or Apple TV + are not able to offer picture and sound quality equivalent to that of Blu-ray discs. Streaming requires compressing both video and audio data. Even though the most recent video codecs offer remarkable picture quality, there is still a certain amount of compression which, in the end, produces an image that cannot compete with that of a Blu-ray disc.
For Internet subscribers who have an ADSL connection, the image quality is even lower with a compression rate inversely proportional to the Internet speed available.
With a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and 4K Blu-ray discs, you can be sure to enjoy the best possible picture quality on your 4K TV or on your 8K TV . And it is still possible to watch HD (1080p) DVD and Blu-ray discs since they can be read by a 4K Blu-ray player. It can even optimize the picture quality to offer an image close to 4K Ultra HD (upscaling function).
Which 4K UHD TV to choose to watch Blu-rays?
4K Ultra HD LED TV , 4K QLED TVs or 4K OLED TV : the choice in this area is vast and it is easy to get lost. All are compatible with at least one of the existing HDR formats (HDR 10, HDR 10+, HLG and Dolby Vision or even Dolby Vision IQ) and have a Cinema mode with fine-tuned presets to display an optimized image.
What may be important to control is the presence of Director Mode, or Filmmaker Mode, which ensures that the image will be displayed by the television with the characteristics desired by the director in terms of contrast, brightness and colorimetry. The result of a partnership between the main television manufacturers, the UHD Alliance and Hollywood film studios, this technology is supported by prestigious directors. The practical side of this Director Mode or Filmmaker Mode is that it is automatically activated on the television when it detects that the film or series is compatible: the picture settings are then adapted for this program, without intervention of the user.
How about a 4K Ultra HD video projector?
When you want to enjoy a very large image in your living room or in a dedicated home cinema room, using a video projector quickly comes up as the best possible solution.
Ultra short throw projectors deliver a very large image (up to 2.5 m diagonal) while being placed right next to the wall or the projection screen. This is a real alternative to having a television in the living room. Generally very bright, it can be used in the middle of the day as long as it is projected onto a special short throw projection screen with a technical canvas. This type of screen features micro-reliefs which reflect the projected image well in the axis of the spectators while reflecting outside this axis the light pollution which comes from the walls and the ceiling. Result: the contrast of the image is much better, even in broad daylight.
The 4K Ultra High Definition video projector is ideal for a dedicated cinema room to enjoy a very large image measuring up to more than 5 m in diagonal. It can also be installed in a living room on the coffee table, or better, mounted on the ceiling on a video projector support . There are now many models available for less than € 1,500 such as theOptoma UHD30 , Philips Screeneo S6 or Acer M550BD .
Which HDMI cable to connect the 4K Blu-ray player to the UHD TV?
Often considered as simple accessories that are all basically the same thing, HDMI cables must be chosen with care if you want to be sure the best picture possible. This is not to say that a more expensive HDMI cable will improve the image on the screen, but rather to underline the fact that an HDMI cable of poor quality or one whose bandwidth is not certified can at best degrade the image quality and at worst not let the video signal go through.
You should know that the 4K Ultra HD image sent by the Blu-ray player to the 4K TV requires a high transmission speed. A rate of 10.2 Gbps is recommended to enjoy a 4K image at 24 or 30 frames / second. For 4K HDR up to 60 images / second, you have to almost double this speed since a bandwidth of 18 Gbps is recommended.
In the first case, a High Speed (10.2 Gbps) HDMI cable is sufficient, in the second, a Premium High Speed (18 Gbps) HDMI cable must be chosen.
Finally, we must also take into account the length of the HDMI cable which connects the Blu-ray player to the 4K Ultra HD TV so as not to risk too much signal attenuation which can occur from 5 to 8 meters, causing artifacts and / or loss of signal. Beyond 10 meters, it is strongly recommended to use an optical HDMI cable like the NorStone Jura HDMI-Optic or an HDMI signal repeater / amplifier such as NorStone HDMI 3D repeater .