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New LG UP970 4K UHD Blu-ray HDR Player Offers a Versatile Alternative to Rival Models

by on January 5, 2017
 

Stephan Jukic – January 5, 2017

Finally we got to see 4K ultra HD Blu-ray players from Sony and LG. The wait for these brands’ models has been ongoing for most of 2016 and their final arrival adds some much needed fresh options to a market with a highly limited selection of 4K BD players. Granted, the existing selection of 4K ultra HD Blu-ray discs themselves is also rather limited even now, one year after they first emerged but the 200 or so titles that you can buy today are quite a bit more numerous than the mere handful that came out when the first Philips, Panasonic and Samsung 4K Blu-ray players emerged around the same time.

Perhaps this is in part why LG has waited so long to release its own new UHD Blu-ray device. After a full 12 months, the market for the discs themselves has shown itself to be stable enough for continued growth and the actual playback standards, particularly for HDR content, have pretty much become established at this point.

With this in mind, the new UP970 from LG offers the essentials of 4K HDR Blu-ray disc compatibility with the majority of ultra HD TVs. These specs include support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR standards (just like all of LG’s 2016 and 2017 4K HDR TVs) and connectivity specs for connectivity to the best and latest in streaming and external media sources of 4K movies and shows.

For now, the UP970 will only support HDR10 high dynamic range upon its March release to th consumer market but a few months after that, around the summer months, the device will get a Dolby Vision firmware update that’s timed to coincide with the releases of the first Dolby Vision 4K Blu-ray disc titles. We’re also expecting to see the other manufacturers of 4K BD disc players offer the same Dolby Vision support. At the very least Sony’s new UBP-X800 should also soon come with Dolby Vision support now that Sony’s new 4K TVs offer the spec as well for the first time.

dolbyvision

Moving back to the UP970, it’s a pretty simple looking, boxy black BD player with full 4K ultra HD resolution support, integrated access to Netflix and YouTube 4K video right out of the box and the possibility of further ultra HD streaming services a bit later on. Connectivity-wise, the UP970 comes with dual HDMI 2.0a outputs along with USB and Ethernet and WiFi connectivity.

LG hasn’t yet released pricing details for their device but we don’t think it’s going to cost much more than $200 at an absolute maximum given that existing rival players like the Samsung UBD-K8500 retail for $200 right now.

Story by 4k.com

9 comments
 
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  • Gadgety
    January 6, 2017 at 10:47 am

    “…the market for the discs themselves has shown itself to be stable enough for continued growth”

    What is the growth rates for 4k disc sales?

    Reply

  • Bruce Walter Brown III
    January 7, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Is it gonna be 3D and Region Free also?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Hey there Bruce, at least for 4K UHD Blu-ray discs, the new player will almost certainly be region-free since the 4K Blu-ray format itself is internationally open. Other than this, though we don’t yet have review-level details about the new 4K Blu-Ray player, we can pretty safely say that it will be about the same as its rivals in these regards.

      Reply

      • Bruce Walter Brown III
        January 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

        I just want a 4K, 3D, Region Free Player with HDR to match my LG OLED 65″ 4K Smart TV with HDR

        Reply

        • Bruce Hannah
          February 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

          According to LG website, it will be 3D, however it will NOT feature two HDMI 2.0a outputs, only one and one 1.4 HDMI output.

          Reply

  • Mike
    January 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Is it possible that 2015 and 2016 4k television will get Dolby Vision via software update

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Hi there Mike, assuming that Dolby Vision goes through with its change to a purely software version of the HDR standard, I think it’s at least possible for 2016 TVs without Dolby, for now. Possibly later we could see this in some 2015 devices but hard to say if certain TV models will get such an update. Furthermore, even if many 2015 TV models did, it would not translate to display of Dolby mastered content with noticeable HDR. It would likely be more like the HDR10 compatibility that was given to many Samsung and Sony 2015 SDR TVs. Their display panels weren’t built to give any sort of meaningful HDR picture quality but they got the update anyhow so that they could be called “HDR-compatible” for HDR10 content sources. Essentially a sort of marketing gimmick.

      Reply

  • Thomas Kirby
    February 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Will it have a hdmi input for settop boxes like the oppo 205 and what is the release date.

    Reply

  • Vince
    March 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I want access to Vudu on this machie. It looks like it offers only Netflix and YouTube.

    Reply

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