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Favorite Blu-ray Gear

  • Philips BDP7501 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player with Wi-Fi

    The Philips BDP7501 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player brings the best image quality to any new 4K television! In addition to Ultra HD Blu-ray compatibility, the BDP7501 upscales all discs to 4K resolution and provides streaming content from popular 4K services. The BDP7501 supports the playback of 3D discs, and it has a second HDMI output for connecting to legacy AV receivers that lack native 4K video support.

  • Samsung Electronics UBD-K8500 3D Wi-Fi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (2016 Model)

    The 2016 Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player supports the brand new ultra high-definition (UHD) Blu-ray format that features video with 4-times the resolution of the regular Blu-ray movies. UHD is about more than just an increase in the number of pixels, and many of the new UHD Blu-ray titles arriving in stores will feature high dynamic range (HDR) imagery as well an expanded color pallete that capable 2016 4K TVs will process and display with the best picture quality seen to date. Samsung's K8500 will also play and upconvert regular DVD and Blu-ray discs, and it will also play audio CDs. A second HDMI port provides audio-only output that simplifies integration with older AV receivers. The K8500 will also provide some color and detail enhancements for older 4K UHD TVs when playing UHD Blu-ray content, and its smart features include support for popular 4K UHD streaming services.

  • OPPO BDP-105D Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Player Darbee Edition (Silver)

    If you are looking for the absolute best universal disc player with superb digital-to-analog audio conversion, the Oppo BDP-105D is it! The 105D supports the playback of many disc and file formats including Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio, CD, VCD, HDCD, AVCHD, MP4, AVI, FLAC, and MKV. The "D" in the BDP-105D's name references its Darbee Visual Presence technology for enhanced visual quality especially when driving large flat panel and projection displays. This impressive player also features 4K Ultra HD upscaling, dual HDMI outputs, MHL-enabled HDMI input, and a SABRE32 Reference Audio DAC with XLR outputs for superior analog audio reproduction.

  • Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark and Calibration Disc 2nd Edition

    The Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark 2nd Edition is among my favorite Blu-ray calibration and test tools. This comprehensive collection of quality test patterns and samples is easy to navigate, and each test includes an easily accessible help screen to guide users to better understanding the results they are seeing. Be sure to check out the 2nd Edition Articles for a good preview and more detail about the related test patterns. Also, the AVS HD 709 calibration patterns are a quality free alternative to consider adding to your AV tool box.

  • Disney WOW: World of Wonder [Blu-ray]

    Every home theater enthusiast should have a reference disc on hand for confirming the basic setup and operation of audio/video gear. The Disney WOW: World of Wonder Blu-ray disc is a quality home theater reference disc that will help educate the novice and provide the experienced user with the tools they need to ensure their gear is delivering quality results. The 2-disc set also includes a blue filter for color/tint setup. The AVS HD 709 calibration patterns are a free alternative to also consider adding to your AV tool box.

  • Baraka A World Beyond Words [Blu-ray]

    Baraka is a detailed visual treat that was originally captured on 70mm film across 24 countries on six continents. This film is part of my reference collection due in part to its painstaking restoration that involved scanning the original camera negative into an 8K digital master that was used as the source for this Blu-ray edition. The end result is gorgeous and varied natural video material that also features a solid DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (96kHz/24bit).


  • Samsara [Blu-ray]

    Samsara is another 70mm masterpiece from director Ron Fricke (also director of Baraka) that spans nearly five years of filmmaking in 25 countries. The original film negatives were scanned at 8K resolution using the FotoKem BigFoot scanner to created the 4K digital cinema package that was the source for this Blu-ray video. The numerous accolades for this visual journey are well-deserved, and its many natural and artistic scenes demand a properly calibrated display to best appreciate the author's intent. And the larger the screen to enjoy this masterpiece, the better.

    Robert's Favorite Home Theater Gear

  • Sea Change [Blu-ray Audio]

    I suggest Sea Change from Beck as an example of the faithful sonic reproduction that Blu-ray audio can deliver. The disc's 6-channel 24 bit/192kHz PCM audio option maintains a constant bitrate of 27.6Mbps - nearly the maximum audio bitrate supported by the Blu-ray format. A sonically identical DTS-HD Master Audio track is also featured on the disc as are 2-channel listening options. Given the repeated listening of a reference audio sample, I'm thankful the selection of Blu-ray audio continues to (slowly) grow.