Sony’s UBP-X1000ES Universal Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

Sony used a pre-CEDIA Expo press conference Wednesday to announce its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, four ES-series AV receivers and a compact native 4K SXRD projector with support for high dynamic range (HDR).

Sony chose the custom electronics showcase to unveil its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player because the product is being positioned in the company’s high-performance ES series line, normally represented by high-end AV gear for the custom and specialty markets.

The new Sony UBP-X1000ES “universal” Ultra HD Blu-ray player will ship next spring at a price to be announced later offering full custom installation (CI) compatibility. It was designed to incorporate a “one-stop” solution for high-end clients’ installation needs, stated Yukio Ishikawa, Sony home entertainment systems director.

The X1000ES will be compatible with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well as video streaming in full 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR), for greater detail, brightness and contrast.

Read more about Sony’s X1000ES “universal” Ultra HD Blu-ray player after the jump:

Sony developed for the player a Precision HD drive “to help maintain consistent performance with virtually every optical disc format, including DVD Video and DVD Audio; CD and SA-CD as well as Blu-ray 3D and BD-ROM media. The player further incorporates a variety of video codecs that can deliver 4K streaming from video streaming services like Amazon Video, YouTube and others,” Sony said.

A dedicated picture mode for HDR content is included, as well as advanced video processing that upscales 1080p content to near 4K 60p resolution, the company said.

Additionally, when playing 4K HDR content on a 4K SDR television the X1000ES includes a unique Sony algorithm that will reproduce the proper brightness and color gradations to provide the best picture possible on the display, Sony said.

The UBP-X1000ES will output metadata streams for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-oriented audio compatible receivers over HDMI to be processed by compatible AV receivers, external decoders, pre-amps and other components.

The player also has a 32-bit processing DAC that is compatible with both native DSD (at up to 11.2 MHz) and LPCM (at up to 192kHz) Hi-Res Music files, which are available in a number of different formats.

The player has the same build quality as other high-end ES series components, including a frame-and-beam chassis construction for greater rigidity and disc stability.

Other features in the X1000ES include: dual HDMI outputs with separate audio and video signal paths; gold-plated 2-channel analog and coaxial digital outputs and certification by major home control and automation system vendors including Control4, Crestron, Savant, and others.

Other connections include: IP control over CAT 5 cable or Wi-Fi networks; RS232C two-way control and IR-IN. A web browser interface is included, along with support for ihiji, a cloud-based network management solution used by custom installers for remote maintenance.

Sony said it will announce pricing later but it plans to make the UBP-X1000ES universal Ultra HD Blu-ray player available exclusively through the custom installer channel. The player will include a 5-year limited parts and labor warranty.

On the audio side of the ES series, Sony included four new AV receivers joining the current flagship STR-ZA5000ES. The STR-ZA3100ES, STR-ZA2100ES, and STR-ZA1100ES all support 4K HDR capability and incorporate both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D audio formats.

All models were said to have been designed for: ease of installation, third party certification, removable front panel, and multiple setup options. They are compatible with leading control systems, offer intuitive web-based configuration, native HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 support and more.

Also models include Sony’s Auto Calibration technology called D.C.A.C. EX with Speaker Relocation. This uses a microphone and 31 bands. D.C.A.C. EX is said to be able to compensate for less-than-ideal listening environments by closely simulating the sound field produced using optimally positioned and angled speakers. A new feature called Phantom Surround Back provides a 7-channel surround experience from a 5-channel speaker configuration.

The STR-ZA1100ES and above models support ihiji cloud-based network management, and are compatible with most common controllers, including Crestron Connected. The STR-ZA3100ES and STR-ZA2100ES models can decode up to 9 channels.

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The receivers incorporate three powerful DSPs, which reduce noise and provide clear sound localization and ambience.

The new ES models utilize high-capacity transformers with localized power supplies, low phase noise precision crystal oscillators, and sonically tuned audio grade resistors.

Each of the new ES models includes six HDMI inputs (except the-ZA1100ES, which has 5) and two outputs that provide full HDCP 2.2 compliance and supports the latest 4K 60p (4:4:4) Ultra HD content pass-through from content such as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well as video streaming in full 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The new receivers ship with a 5-year limited parts and labor warranty starting in the spring of 2017. More detailed specifications will be released closer to the release date, Sony said.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for the new ES receivers are the following:

STR-ZA3100ES, $1,699.99

7 x 110w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 8 port switch (2 POE), Pre out, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA2100ES, $1399.99

7 x 105w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA1100ES, $999.99

7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (5/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji.

STR-ZA810ES, $799.99

7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet.

In SXRD video projectors, Sony introduced the VPL-VW675ES compact native 4K resolution Home Cinema SXRD projector supporting the latest 4K standards and compatible with HDR 10 and new Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR formats.

The VPL-VW675ES will ship in November at a $14,999.99 suggested retail. It will be among the first home cinema projectors to support HLG for HDR broadcasting services and user-generated content. Sony said support will follow a firmware update to be provided soon after the new HDMI specification is standardized.

The projector will play HDR in the current HDR 10 format found on many Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs and in 4K Ultra HD/HDR streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix and others.

To support the higher brightness demands of HDR, Sony said the VPLVW675ES also includes a feature which enables customers to adjust the average screen brightness, depending on environments or preferences, while maintaining accurate HDR reproduction.

Like Sony’s other award-winning 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VPL-VW675ES uses native 4K SXRD panels, with no artificial manipulation of pixels. Sony uses its Triluminos engine adapted for front projectors in the new unit.

Other features include: Motionflow picture technology for clearer, less blurry action images; Reality Creation function for 4K signals and support for HDR capability both for 4K 24P and 4K 60P frame rates, Sony said.

Peak brightness is listed at “1,800 lumens” and the dynamic contrast ratio is said to be 350,000:.

Other features include low fan noise, long-lasting lamp (6,000 hours in Low Mode); a built-in RF 3D transmitter with a strong wireless signal for wider coverage and 3D synchronisation stability, and built-in auto calibration function that resets the projector colorimetry to original factory levels to ensure viewers can continue to enjoy high picture quality throughout the life of the projector.

Inputs include two HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2.

The projector is installation friendly and offers professional calibration features that allow operators to expertly adjust the picture to suit the viewers’ tastes.

Installers can also take advantage of Projector Calibration Pro software on HD through 4K Sony home theater models, allowing them to manipulate all of a projector’s features from a simple PC interface, including the sophisticated color calibration tools.

By Greg Tarr


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