LG has launched its first 4K Blu-ray player that will be compatible with Dolby Vision at the CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas this week. The LG UP970 is the first UHD (ultra high-definiton) HDR disc player from the South Korean consumer electronics giant.
Of course, avid videophiles will know that OPPO’s UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player does contain a Dolby Vision-compatible chipset, and the company is planning to unlock DV support via a firmware update in Q1’17. The same applies to the LG UP970 which will be released in March, with a firmware upgrade rolled out later in the year to enable Dolby Vision.
Given that Panasonic and Samsung have continued to shun Dolby Vision, the UP970 will join the OPPO 203 and perhaps an offering from another brand as the most suitable 4K Blu-ray machine for LG OLED owners. Whilst improved over the course of 2016 through firmware upgrades, tone-mapping of HDR10 UHD Blu-rays on LG’s 2016 OLED televisions such as the B6, E6 and G6 remained problematic due to clipped highlight detail from lower peak brightness. It’s hoped that Dolby Vision’s dynamic metadata could help address this issue.
Although OPPO’s disc players have developed an excellent reputation among the video enthusiast community over the years, we’ve found LG’s Blu-ray decks to be outstanding value-for-money, correctly outputting the source video signal without unnecessary luminance/ gamma manipulation or forced noise reduction. One potential area where the LG UP970 may trump the OPPO UDP-203 is built-in Netflix and Amazon Video apps for 4K HDR streaming, though of course the latter may reverse its no-app policy and add them in the future.
We’re reporting live from the CES showhalls in Las Vegas all week, and will bring you more details about pricing as soon as we find out.