Is the Magnetar UDP900 4K UHD Blu-ray Player a Good Deal?


The past few years haven’t been kind to the Blu-ray format. With the ever-increasing popularity of video streaming services, physical video formats such as DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD 4K Blu-ray aren’t even on the radar of consumers anymore; even though the video quality of streaming content still doesn’t match that of the best Blu-ray or UHD 4K Blu-ray Discs.

As a result, Samsung stopped making disc players in 2019, and Sony, Panasonic, and LG have had the same DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD Blu-ray players in the product line-up for over two years. 

However, it was the announcement in 2018 that Oppo Digital, maker of reference standard Blu-ray/UHD Blu-ray players for consumers and professionals was ceasing production that made videophiles take notice that the future of Blu-ray wasn’t as secure as once thought. However, even with their discontinuation, existing Oppo players are still used in high-end home theater, video editing suites, and as video source devices at trade shows. 

As a result of this demand for high-end disc players, two companies have sprung up to fill the gap, Reavon, and Magnetar Audio

The Magnetar UDP900

What is getting the most attention right now (Spring 2023) is the impending release of the Magnetar UDP900 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc player. This player is designed to deliver high-end video and audio performance for both high-end video and audio systems.

Features

Magnetar UDP900 UHD Blu-ray Disc Player Features

Universal Player: This means that the UDP900 can play almost any video or audio disc format. On the video side that includes DVD, Blu-ray (including 3D), UHD Blu-ray, Audio CDs, DVD-Audio, and SACD discs.

4K: For video, the UDP900 can not only upscale video sources to 4K but can output native 4K resolution when playing UHD Blu-ray Discs. 

HDR: Additional video support includes compatibility with HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision formats.

Surround Sound: On the home theater side, the UDP900 is compatible with most surround sound formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Onboard Audio Decoding or Pass-Through: The UDP900  can decode surround sound formats internally and pass audio out via HDMI or its 7.1 channel analog audio outputs, or just pass the format undecoded using bitstream passthrough for decoding by an AVR or AV Preamp/Processor depending on the needs of your system. 

Tip: In order to use the 7.1 channel analog output option, you need an AVR, AV Preamp/Processor, or a mix of power amplifiers that can provide a total of 7.1 channel analog inputs.

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Pure Audio: The UDP900  also shines with audio playback from DVD-Audio, SACD, and other Hi-Res Audio formats (via HDMI or USB). For additional audio quality support, Pure Audio Mode bypasses all unneeded video and audio processing to provide uncompressed audio free of interference. 

DACs: ESS9038PRO DACs used for the 2-channel XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced outputs. An ESS9028PRO DAC is used to prepare 7.1 RCA analog outputs. Support for XMOS USB Audio input is also supported.

Audio Connectors: The UDP900 has premium stereo XLR gold-plated balanced and stereo RCA gold-plated unbalanced outputs.

Circuit Support: To support high-end audio performance, the UDP900 incorporates a 4-layer PCB circuit board where each audio channel is designed with independent wiring. 

Network Connectivity: Although the UDP900 doesn’t have any streaming features, you can access content from local network devices (PCs, Laptops, Media Servers, NAS Drives) via Ethernet connectivity through a home router (the UDP900 is also DLNA compatible).

Tip: The UDP900 can also access internet-based BD-Live content associated with specific Blu-ray disc titles. 

Solid Build: In addition to video and audio performance, the UDP900 has an all-aluminum alloy body and a reinforced double-layer chassis structure. The internal main components are independently shielded by a metal case. This reduces vibration, noise, and external magnetic field interference.

Magnetar UDP900 UHD Blu-ray Disc Player Top Open

Specification (continued)

  • Disc Support: UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD Audio, AVCHD SACD, Audio CD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
  • Additional Video File Support: MKV, AVI, MP4
  • Video Output Resolution (HDMI 2.0b): 4K UHD / 1080p24  / 1080p / 1080i / 720p / 576p / 576i / 480p / 480i 
  • Audio Output (HDMI 2.0b): Up to 7.1 channel 24-bit/192kHz PCM, up to 5.1 channel DSD, Bitstream (Dolby Atmos/DTS:X)
  • Additional Audio File Support: WAV, FLAC, APE, DSD
  • Audio Output (Optical/coaxial):  2 channel/192kHz PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS
  • Audio Outputs (Multi-channel Analog): 8 RCA unbalanced 
  • Audio Outputs (Stereo Analog): XLR balanced (1) and RCA unbalanced output (1)
  • Audio-only Input: USB (provides up to 16TB hard drive support in addition to USB flash drives)
  • Dimensions (with feet): 445 x 321 x 133 mm (17.52 x 12.64 x 5.24 inches)
  • Weight: 15.5Kg (34.17lbs)
Magnetar UDP900 UHD Blu-ray Disc Player Rear

Availability and Pricing 

The Magnetar UDP900 will be available for $2,700 in the US, £2,200 in the UK, and €2,490 in the EU when it launches. The exact release date is forthcoming. List of Magnetar Global Distributors

Tip: Value Electronics is an authorized US Dealer for the Magnetar UDP900.

Advantages of Physical Media

You can’t afford to purchase all your favorite content on physical media, but despite the advent of streaming, it still has a valuable role to play. Here are three things to consider:

  1. It’s not guaranteed that your favorite movie or show will always be available on a streaming service. Most streaming services cycle content in and out on a monthly basis. 
  1. If you buy a digital version of a movie, it may not remain accessible over the long term, despite assurances by the streaming/download service you “purchased” it from. 
  1. Unlike physical media, a streaming or digital version can be altered, censored, or removed for a variety of reasons including the changing winds of political or cultural standards. 



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