It was only a couple of months ago that I was lamenting the inevitable death of 4K Blu-ray as being a major loss for us all, given that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is slated as the final release (well, in Australia at least). Yes, I love some of the best streaming services, but it's just not quite the same.
Yet it appears there's still life in the format yet, however niche that may be, with the announcement of the R_volution PlayerOne 4K Blu-ray player and media server. It's a disc player that also houses a hard drive slot, so you can expand with up to 16TB storage on board to host your favourite Ultra-HD movies.
And I want one already, even if the 4K Blu-ray market's limited end-of-life run has a finite point for new titles. There are new releases still coming, such as the Christopher Nolan epic Oppenheimer, which is set for release on 22 November and features over three hours of extra features on a second disc.
The R_volution PlayerOne certainly sounds like a very capable way of getting 4K Blu-ray pictures over to the best TVs in the highest possible quality for an elevated home cinema experience. The new player delivers must-haves such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+, while Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D audio decoding is also supported.
There are a whole batch of video codes supported, including HEVC with up to 400Mbit/s), H.265, VP9 P2 and more. However, the dual HDMI ports (one for audio, one for video) are the 2.0b type, so there's no 4K/120Hz support – although even high frame-rate movies are typically 48fps, so it's not an essential for movie buffs.
Buying the best Blu-ray player doesn't come cheap though: the R_volution PlayerOne is priced at €799/$899 (no UK price at present). That's at the top-end of the market, no doubt, rubbing shoulders with even the much-lauded Panasonic DP-UB9000. Someone's got to put a price on watching the best 4K Blu-rays in the best quality, I suppose, and this appears to be what the price is...