Sony Electronics expanded its 2019 Ultra HD Blu-ray player lineup this week by launching in the U.S. market the high-end UBP-X1100ES player targeting the custom installation market.

The Sony UBP-X1100ES, available now at a $599.99 suggested retail price, is positioned to fill the void left when Oppo exited the U.S. home theater market almost two years ago.

The Sony player incorporates advanced networking features and connectivity required of system integrators and custom home theater installers, and incorporates a number of advanced features attractive to advanced AV home theater enthusiasts.

The player package offers support for HDR10 baseline HDR along with the dynamic metadata HDR profile Dolby Vision. It will even support Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) HDR content should that eventually become an option in disc or streaming content.

The Sony UBP-X1100ES also offers near-universal disc compatibility, with most of the popular music and video discs supported including legacy multi-channel SACD and DVD-Audio high-resolution music discs. The player’s USB port will also accept popular music and video files from thumb drives and HDD storage devices.

For movie sound, the Sony UBP-X1100ES will support pass-through of popular Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound formats and will also handle lossless formats including Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. This enables viewers to experience an immersive presentation from movie soundtracks. The player also will upscale the frequency and dynamic range of compressed music formats like MP3s and will playback popular High-Resolution audio formats at full quality.

To justify the higher price point, Sony is using advanced components and frame designs, including a rigid chassis that eliminates micro vibrations that could be heard in the presentation. Also incorporated are quality materials including an advanced heat sink and disk drive for improved sound quality. Furthermore, the player has built-in 4K video streaming through popular service apps including Netflix and YouTube.

The new Sony player will compete with similarly configured high-end players from Panasonic and Pioneer, which each support premium HDR video profiles including (HDR10+ and Dolby Vision). The Sony UBP-X1100ES does not support the HDR10+ HDR profile, defaulting instead to HDR10 when content flags are detected by the player.

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The Sony UBP-X1100ES Ultra HD Blu-ray player is the second unit the company has introduced so far this year. In May the company launched a stepped-down player in the Sony UBP-X800M2 ($297.99 UPP) 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player that was first shown at CES 2019 in January. Like the UBP-X1100ES, that player supports Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR10 high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut compatibility and 4K picture upscaling up to 60p. The player will also supports multip disc formats including SACDs and DVD-Audio and will stream popular apps including Netflix and YouTube. However, it lacks the rigid frame construction, some of the more-advanced component parts and seamless custom control networking capability of the UBP-X1100ES. It will also not have the same level of music or video fidelity as the pricier model.

The Sony player will be positioned against Panasonic’s 2019 DP-UB450 that will support Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata HDR profiles, and will feature advanced 4K upscaling and high fidelity music playback. However, the Panasonic player lacks support for some disc formats including SACD and DVD-Audio.

By Greg Tarr

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