The Sony UBP-X800 UHD Blu-ray Player is Sony’s latest release from their Blu-ray line. As always, this review will cover the Region Free Sony UBP-X800 model, which is not available in major department stores. The unit we’re reviewing today has been professionally modified for global playback and functionality. You can purchase the Region-Free model here.
The UBP-X800 is a long-awaited release for many of us. Sony was a bit behind the competition with the release of their first true 4K UHD player, but we feel that it was well worth the wait for anyone who’s a loyal fan of their products. There are some new options and technologies that come packaged with the UBP-X800 and if it were released a year ago, these wouldn’t have been included. Nonetheless, we’re glad to announce that it’s finally here, and we have the Region-Free version sitting right here in front of us.
Basics of the Region Free Sony UBP-X800 Blu-ray Player
First and foremost, this model has been professionally modified for additional functionality that’s not included with the X800 models sold from major retailers. Our unit can play both DVDs and Blu-ray discs from any region in the world and is also equipped with worldwide voltage, making it simple to use in any country without the need for a voltage converter. It features internal PAL/NTSC conversion, giving it compatibility with nearly any TV from any country. You can take the Region-Free SOny UBP-X800 anywhere in the world and play any disc on any TV – something you can’t do that with an X800 purchased from Best Buy. The Region-Free capability gives you the flexibility to travel with your player, or to watch foreign-bought movies in the comfort of your own home. It’s a must have for cinema fans who love purchasing film titles from overseas. However, that’s not the only selling point. This player is packed with factory features and high-performance components to provide a home theater experience like you’ve never had before.
The Region Free UBP-X800 is a well-built player equipped with a sturdy frame to reduce vibration, which ultimately improves playback. The black outer shell has a very clean design that will work well with any home theater. The textured top and bottom of the outer case accent the sleek front fascia very nicely, giving a balanced and neutral look to the player. The disc tray is stationed on the front’s far left-hand side, tucked away behind the fascia. There is a frontal USB port providing easy access to connect devices or to insert a USB stick for media playback, while he rear panel of the player features a coaxial output, ethernet port, and dual HDMI outputs. Everything is neatly arranged for a quick and effortless connection.
Region Free UBP-X800 Playback and Performance
Sony has long been a leader in audio/video performance, and the UBP-X800 continues on with this tradition. With full 4K UHD (utlra-HD) resolution, you’re getting four times the resolution of 1080p HD. When you pair this player with a 4K TV – especially a Sony 4K TV – you’re going to experience impressive quality, depth and clarity. Colors are brighter, more vibrant and rich. Light and dark tones are both more pronounced and detailed. The overall picture is remarkably lifelike, almost to the point of amazement. You actually feel like you’re right there with the actors in the movie, the athletes in the game or the actors in your favorite TV show. There’s no doubt that UHD offers unparalleled imaging. The Region-Free UBP-X800 supports 3D playback, 4K and 3D streaming media, and both 1080p & 4K upscaling for non-HD and non-4K discs. Whatever you’re watching, it’s going to be at its best quality. With 24p True Cinema and HDR, there’s no doubt that this player is ready to perform. It is compatible with almost any file format imaginable, including DIVX, MPEG4 and MKV files, giving you plenty of flexibility to watch media files saved to your laptop or a USB stick. Thanks to DLNA compatibility, you can connect the player to your home network via the Dual Band Wi-Fi and access media files from your tablet, smartphone or laptop without the need for messy cables. The player acts as an interface for all your media, on all your wireless or mobile devices.
In the audio department, there’s plenty of great features. The UBP-X800 has certified high-definition audio and comes equipped with decoding for the newest and most popular types of audio including Dolby Atmos, Dolby True HD (7.1 channel), DTS, and DTS:X, and many more. You can also enjoy a wide variety of audio formats because this unit plays practically anything out there including AAC (.AAC, .mka), AIFF (.aiff, .aif), ALAC (.m4a), Dolby® Digital (.ac3, .mka), DSD – DSDIFF/DSD (.dff, .dsf), FLAC (.flac, .fla), HEAAC v.1/v.2/level2, LP cm (.mka), Vorbis, WMA10 Pro, WMA9 Standard (.WMA), MP3, and more. No matter what the file type is, you can experience it at it’s best quality thanks to DSEE HX (digital sound enhancement engine) which conveniently up-scales your audio files to the finest quality possible. And if you’re short on music files or playlists, don’t worry – you can easily create your own by using streaming media services like Spotify, Pandora and more. If you’re trying to watch movies or streaming media without disturbing others, you can utilize the Bluetooth feature along with your favorite wireless headphones for an unbelievably real audio experience. And yes, the UBP-X800 supports Super Audio CD (SACD) playback! You really can’t go wrong here.
It’s important to note that this player is equipped with dual HDMI outputs – one for audio and one for video – to deliver uninterrupted, undistorted quality. It also allows you to send audio directly to your amplifier and surround sound system while the picture is sent directly to your 4K TV. This helps to ensure that you’re going to get the best performance, each and every time.
Other Features of the Region Free UBP-X800
The UBP-X800 comes with plenty of other bells and whistles to make your home theater experience more flexible and enjoyable. The built-in, Dual Band Wi-Fi gives you the speed you need for streaming 4K and 3D media, assuming you have a high-speed internet connection. There are more than 300 apps currently – both free and paid services – available at your fingertips. From Netflix and Hulu to news, weather and sports, you can be sure there’s plenty of options for entertainment and media. It also come packaged with Miracast, a unique feature that lets you easily share your mobile device screen directly to your TV for easy viewing of photos and videos. The side view feature is another excellent addition, letting you use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control from anywhere in your home. Imagine that you’re having a party in the main room our out back and want to change the volume or move to a new playlist; there’s no need to go inside, you can manage everything from your phone – something we think is a really great and useful feature to have. There’s also a quick-startup mode which makes disc loading faster than ever before, because nobody likes waiting forever for a movie to load. Other helpful items include a useful Digital Media Player and Songpal Link, which acts as a server where all your music can be consolidated and organized.
This UHD Blu-ray player has nearly anything you can ask for, and then some. Overall, it’s a very solidly-built that’s functional, flexible and well organized. The user interface is typical of Sony, with easy to understand features and options that eliminate the headache of many poorly designed user interfaces. At a price that’s very competitive in its market, you’re getting excellent value with the Region Free UBP-X800. We would recommend it to anyone interested in upgrading to a 4K Player with the latest in high-tech Blu-ray functionality. Best of all, it can be used anywhere in the world, to play any disc, with any TV at any voltage. The value here speaks for itself.
IMPORTANT: Please note that Blu-ray Players are NOT produced as Region Free from the manufacturer, and are NOT available in major retail stores. Region Free units require professional hardware & software modification and are only sold by specialty retailers. Be sure to check the player’s specifications before making a purchase to ensure the player is being advertised and sold as a unit with region free capability.