SONY UBP-X1000ES 4K
SONY UBP-X800 REPORTS
So finally Sony decided to jump into the UHD player world. Typical of them they come in with a lower end model and a Flagship version. The differences between them besides the hefty price tag are a 5 year ES warranty, upgraded power supply, RS232 and IP control, rack ears, larger feet, upgraded Audio DAC's with analog outs for high-end critical listening. Let me just say right away if you plan to use HDMI they have the same exact image. I compared both extensively. There are rumors saying X1000ES could possibly get a Dolby Vision upgrade and not the X800 but with both having the same video chip there is no reason to believe they wouldn't do both. As much as people want to condemn Sony for making the X1000ES so much more than the X800 I think they should be praised for making the X800 so terrific at its price point. Take a look at the backs:
Notice the subtle differences on the backs. The remotes are exactly the same. For the flagship X1000ES at least they should have given you a backlit one like the Panny and Oppo models. Also notice the nicer feet on the X1000ES (pic below). Of course that could be nit picking.
Set up Menus and GUI is basically the same. Note the nice amount of image adjustments in the pic above. Real time adjustments is easy!
Sony VPL-VW5000ES, SONY UBP-X1000ES & X800 UHD players, McIntosh MX160, McIntosh MC205, McIntosh MC207, DirecTV 4K, Oppo UDP-203, Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Ultra Blu-ray, Darblet DVP 5000S, Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Ultra Blu-ray player, Zigen DA14-UHD HDMI distribution amplifier/splitter, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103D Blu ray, Value View 3D glasses, Antec Component Coolers, Stewart Studiotek 100 Screen, Speakers: MARTIN LOGAN ILLUSION, IMPRESSIONS (Left and Right), VANQUISH (HEIGHTS & ATMOS & T), AXIS (Backs), Subwoofers- Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 X 2, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP x 2, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Black Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs (with Raffel Integrated Lighted Cup Holders), Remote: Harmony 1100, iPad Mini. Cables: Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables top to bottom. And two 35 foot Monster Black Platinum HDMI cables.
Equipment used for all or parts of this Review:
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A special thank you to my good friends at VALUE ELECTRONICS. Robert and I have known each other a very long time now. He made sure I was one of the first to get a X1000 so I could get to work on this comparison. If you are looking for a good deal on a TV or UHD player give him a call at (914) 723-3344. Also click on the pics and logo to the left to go right over to VALUE ELECTRONICS.
Below is an amazing pic of Mila and Raelynn's first movie moment in our theater. Their faces reveal the eye candy on the screen! Seeing them holding hands melted my heart. Plenty of more movie adventures to come...
I compared both players on my Sony 5000ES at the same time. Both were hooked up to each HDMI input. I also viewed each unit on a new Sony 75" 940D. For all intents and purposes the image is identical. If you ask me my opinion versus the Panny and Oppo I will say the Sony models are still in their infancy stages and lack a HDR slider or stripping capabilities. Still asking I will say the images are all very similar. When you can add the other features on very large screens that's where others may prefer the Panny or Oppo over them. With the X800 running at $299 we can hands down come to the conclusion it could be the best deal we've seen so far for a UHD player. Streaming Netflix or Amazon looks terrific. No stutters or buffering whatsoever. Just clear motion with a detailed image.
Blu-ray discs at 1080p look very good. My only real complaint with the X1000ES is its lack of SBM (Super Bit Mapping) which I was used to seeing all Sony flagship Blu-ray players have. It was always one of my favorite features on their top players of yesterday. And before someone asks me about DVDs I did test a couple. It's amazing how those have become nearly extinct in our home. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit but they were at least watchable.
So the UHD title pics were taken from both Sony models. We have found ourselves looking for all new releases first in 4K UHD HDR and then of course in 1080p Blu-ray. The UHD titles again were jaw dropping! They passed the "hand" test with Pacific Rim (pic below) and Oblivion was crystal clear. Iron Man 3 (we have the entire trilogy in 4K) was the best I've seen it. Let's hope we can get the Avengers titles released over here in UHD HDR! Sing being animated was so sharp and detailed at times you had to remind yourself it's not live animals! Furious 7 which is an emotional rollercoaster already because of Paul Walker has some scenes that looked so lifelike or in the room with us. Lastly, I did my "The Dark Knight" test. The details on the buildings is astounding. And that is 1080p Blu-ray!
Pretty much all movies exhibited brilliant colors with sharp detail. I am not sure how much better the image can get. I still remember playing my first couple of movies in my theater back in 2005! Alien and Troy. I thought wow Alien DVHS is simply amazing and Troy playing on DirecTV in HD is awesome! Fast-Forward 12 years later and DAMN!!!
Conclusion... It may have taken Sony a little bit longer to release their first UHD players but doing two at the same time definitely was genius! The X1000ES fully loaded for analog audiophiles and the X800 for the masses at a price point to good to be true for a new generation player. It's great news for those that are apprehensive about the new format and were planning to dip their toe in the water. Now they can dive in and start enjoying this new "pinnacle of image quality" format today.