LG UBK90 4K Blu-ray with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos (review)
The LG UBK90 4K Blu-ray has full support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. If you want to get the most from your 4K TV, this is the one to buy.
LG has two new models. The $399 UBK90 is premium offering Dolby Vision (a superset of HDR10), Native 4K UHD Netflix streaming, Wi-Fi AC/Lan and Dolby Atmos. It is the stuff of audio/videophile dreams.
The $299 UBK80 misses out on Dolby Vision (has HDR10) and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Review: LG UBK90 4K Blu-ray with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
Australian website here
In the box
- The DVD Player
- Remote control and batteries
No HDMI cable but that is now so common.
The first impression
At 430mm (wide) x 46mm (high) x 211mm (deep) x 1.7kg it is a little bigger and heavier than the other 4K Blu-ray players I have reviewed.
The best description is a big black slab. I don’t think any current Blu-ray player makes a fashion statement. It may be nice to see it in Sonos White!
Not that this is a bad thing – it fits in well and is strong enough to stack the Foxtel IQ3 on top.
It has HDMI Out ARC (called Simplink if you use an LG TV) and HDMI Out (to a soundbar). Both support HDCP 2.2. That makes it a little more flexible.
Most will connect it to a soundbar if that supports 4K pass through. I used an LG-SJ9 (last year’s Dolby Atmos model), and it was perfect.
It also has Digital Audio Optical (to a sound bar), Ethernet LAN port, Dual-Band Wi-Fi AC and USB (5V/.5A) that supports flash drives and external hard disks for playback. Take care with the USB – at .5A it may not support external hard disks. I tested it with an SSD.
A nice feature is support for DLNA devices on the LAN/WAN. It found my WD My Cloud DLNA server.
USB also supports content from an Android phone that supports MTP (Media Transfer Protocol). Great for showing photographs.
The addition of Wi-Fi AC dual band is a tremendous boon for those with no Ethernet cabling or a router in another room. In tests, it streamed a 4K Netflix Dolby Vision/Atmos title flawlessly.
More Blu-ray disks now support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. And if you have a TV/soundbar that supports it, then you have the best viewing experience of all.
Let me tell you what a delight it is to unlock that experience. I had used Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle as a test Blu-ray during our recent 4K TV tests. I missed so much!
At present Sony and of course LG have Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos TVs and sound bars.
We also reviewed the Sony A8F OLED – another impressive OLED TV. This was tested with a Sony 4K Blu-ray.
Let’s just say that Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos have spoiled all other TV reviews for me.
Upscaling means that it can take older 1080p DVD/Blu-ray content and add in extra pixels to make it look better. Most 4K TVs can also do that.
It natively decodes sound streams including LPCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio.
Video decoding formats include BD Video, DVD Video, AVCHD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 PS, MPEG-2 TS, MPEG-4 AVC, H.264, VC-9, VC-1, H.265, XviD, MKV, AVCREC, M4V, WMV, 3GP, MP4, MOV, FLV, VOB, TS, DAT, MPEG-2.
CD sound formats include – MPEG-1/MPEG-2/MP3/WMA/AAC/FLAC. It does not support SACD’s or DVD-audio discs.
It will display most photo image formats – JPEG/GIF/Animated GIF/PNG/MPO.
From initial tests, it won’t play video from the USB (this could be a DRM issue – we are investigating further).
Basic. On the front of the unit, there are buttons for eject, play/pause, stop and power off/on.
The remote is not backlit – it would be nice if it were.
Menus are easy to navigate. It responds to remote commands quickly. Setup is easy. Wi-Fi connection and firmware update are simple.
Everything you need to adjust the picture the way you like it there. Scene modes/picture presets ( as in vivid, movie etc.,) contrast, colour, aspect ratio etc.
The full manual is here.
GadgetGuy’s take. The LG UBK90 4K Blu-ray is the one I have been waiting for!
Yes, there are competitors, but this one fits the bill for a good price/feature point. More to the point it supports all the high-end video standards.
If you have a suitable OLED TV, the results are more than impressive. Even if you only have a standard 4K, UHD HDR LED the UBK90 provides a superior picture to a 4K Blu-ray player.
- It neither adds or subtracts from the native content – it is as the Hollywood producer intended which is excellent!
- Extra HDMI port for flexibility
- Supports Hi-Res 24-bit/192kHz output to a suitable soundbar
- Upscaling 1080p is superb
- Wi-Fi AC dual band
- Simplink to compatible LG TVs and Soundbars (or ARC if not)
- DLNA NAS media server support
- Apps for Netflix and YouTube
- Quiet operation
- Reasonable price
- Fairly basic menu and remote control – Movie, Music/Pictures, Applications
- No front panel display
- Remote not backlit
- No HDMI cable supplied
It is one of the very few that supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. I am yet to review similar products from Samsung, Sony or Panasonic.
So with that caveat and the fact that the test TV was a 65-inch LG 2017 OLED.
- Overall: 5 out of 5
- Features: 5 out of 5 – got it all
- Value for Money: 5 out of 5 – Good value
- Performance: 4.5 out of 5 – Still working on the USB issue
- Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – UI needs more polish, but it works well enough
- Design: 4 out of 5 – A black slab. It’s nice but not outstanding
$399 but shop around as you may save 10-20%.
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