Compare 4K Ultra-HD Blu-Ray

Guide to getting the Best Picture, Sound and Price

Last updated Tuesday, April 23, 2019

An abundance of ultra high definition televisions now on the market has left us asking the question....."am i feeding my tv with the high quality content it deserves and needs to give me the best experience?"

If like me you are lucky enough to have Sky Q 2TB, Sky HD pack, Netflix 4K, and Amazon Prime you will be able to stream a plethora of UHD content including sport, documentaries and movies, some of which are shown in Chusaroo's article other ways to showcase your TV. The good news with these streaming services is that for the most part the 4K Ultra-High Definition content you are streaming is natively 4K, which in layman terms means minimal mastering or remastering is needed to give the best broadcast. However, 4K Blu-rays will vary in quality from the picture, sound and of course the price. This was apparent when standard blu ray hit the shelves in 2006/07, in that certain movie transfers were so poor that the DVD delivered a better picture.

Typical examples of this were where directors had specifically intended for the images to be grainy and 'washed out' such as Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. These were classic war movies where colours and contrast took a back seat to the grim, dark and smoky reality that the directors wanted to convey. The blu ray transfers depending on the quality of the player actually accentuated the grain and made us more apprehensive in upgrading our film collections to blu ray.

Other older movies such as Laurence of Arabia and Ben Hur delivered fantastic picture and sound, almost flawless, but at the time there was very little in the way of testing out these transfers unless you purchased them. This article will point you in the right direction in terms of 4K Blu Ray; the ones to buy, avoid and where to get the best price.

First things first! - Don't have a 4K player? Try this - less than £200 and a 5* product based on expert reviews!

You will need a player with 4K disc compatibility to play these discs, even the best upscalers will not play them. However, many Xbox One S and X users are not aware they can play 4K discs on their game systems, with excellent results. So onto our top 4K Blu-Rays, don't forget; Chusaroo checks the prices of many retailers on a daily basis, and displays the best five prices to give you peace of mind you are getting the best at the best price.

Not sure which TV is right for you and your need? and confused with all the jargon? Based on your individual viewing preferences and environment Chusaroo can recommend you three TV's and show that days best price. Just click the below button, then the drop down and let us choose for you.

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Chusaroo's Top Recommendation

Image: 9

You will require a TV capable of HDR 10 to experience fully the image quality of this 4K masterpiece. You may also have to tweak your TV settings if you have been watching DVD / standard content, for example, contrast should be turned up, colour slightly lower and brightness altered depending on your TV. Many scenes are filmed in low light during early morning / late evening. Wonderful colour vibrancy and lifelike pictures, you truly feel immersed in the environment. Even the under water sequences are filmed in glorious 4k unlike the original planet earth where this was standard DVD quality. Not only is the image four times more detailed than standard Blu-Ray, the cameras seem closer to the action, enhancing the experience further. Motion detecting cameras, drones and 4k cameras attached to trained eagles all provide unbelievable footage.

Sound: 9 

A fabulous immersive 5.1 audio masterpeice. Mastered in DTS Master Audio with the man himself Sir David Attenborough narrating all six episodes. Hanz Zimmer has produced the theme music, delivering his haunting and ambient themes reminiscent of his movies; Gladiator and Interstellar. What gives this an edge sound wise over Planet Earth 1 is how close the audio makes you feel to the animals. Not only can you hear the animals in front of you but you can also hear their potential prey in the distance. 

Overall: 

Simply a must have! But check the prices. Retailers tend to price match with Tv's but prices can vary massively with Blu-Rays.

Joint Runners Up 

Classic Movies - Given the 4K Dolby Vision Treatment!

Image: 8 

Wow, what a transfer! A movie like this will test contrast, brightness, deep blacks and whites aswell as the quality of the audio. Obviously, camera technology has improved since 1999 when this movie was released, so 4K filmed natively will edge slightly over this but Chusaroo recommends this over the standard Blu-Ray. Details are improved dramatically as this 4K disc supports Dolby Vision. You will obviously require a TV that supports Dolby Vision and this LG 2017 OLED 55" 4K TV will support all HDR formats including Dolby Vision. Certain scenes show a degree of graining, however, we found if you slightly reduce brightness and increase OLED backlight, this virtually disappears.

Sound: 9 

The sound is awesome, with obvious moments being brought to life with Dolby Atmos. The scene where Trinity and Neo enter the tower to save Morpheus, has never sounded so good. Ricochets from the bullets flying around your living room will have you diving behind the couch! And make sure your subwoofer is not set too high at the end when NEO absorbs the agents body. It nearly shot me out of the room!

Image: 8 

A huge improvement in image quality from the DVD and especially the blu-ray. Originally released in 1998 on DVD, the director (Spielberg) portrayed the grim landscape by using a grainy image backing. This worked well on the DVD, however, the blu-ray release while certain scenes improved, for the most part the grain was accentuated which left buyers disappointed. However, the 4K release is the perfect example of how re-mastering can bring a film back to life. This is also one of a handful of 4K Blu-Rays offering support for Dolby Vision. When watched on LG 2017 OLED 55" 4K TV and Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-Ray Player (recommended above); details in the movie are so much more clear. Tank tracks, flying bullets all give a much more enhanced feel of actually being there.

Sound: 9.5

Phenomenal!  The beach landing scenes are terrifying. With two atmos ceiling speakers added to a medium sized 5.1 set-up your living room becomes Omaha beach. Even in DTS- Master 5.1 the sound clarity has improved. Every scene from the whispering in the church to the final bridge blowing up delivers impressive mid-range, and bass where it is needed.

Best of the Rest 

4K Blu-Ray - with Dolby Vision Support

Yet another HDR format like HLG and HDR10 but Dolby Vision will take HDR to the next level is because it adds dynamic metadata that carries frame-by-frame instructions.

To quote What HiFi "A Dolby Vision capable display can then use metadata to make sure it portrays the content as accurately as possible. They can combine the frame-by-frame information received from the source with an awareness of their own capabilities in terms of brightness, contrast and colour performance. Unlike HDR10 video, Dolby Vision content is essentially being optimised for your TV on the fly, theoretically delivering the best possible image in every scene" Certainly Netflix and Amazon Dolby Vision content produces far more lifelike natural pictures than other 4K content.

 

The Testing Lab:- All 4K Blu Ray played on Oppo 203 4K UHD, LG 55" OLED B7V, Denon AVR X2300W and QED HDMI v2.

Remember, if you would like a free TV recommendation based on your individual viewing preferences and environment Chusaroo can recommend you three TV's and show that days best price. Just click the below button, then the drop down and let us choose for you without any hassle!

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**The reviews here are based on Chusaroo's opinion after testing and are not a weighted measure approach as in the TV ratings.**

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