Much to the enjoyment of home theatre enthusiasts, recently, audio and video technology has advanced significantly. The arrival of 4K video and Dolby Atmos audio, available with a LG Ultra HD Blu-ray player, opens up an entirely new echelon of home theatre. The most exciting part about the advancement in home theatre is that to upgrade yours, or to start from scratch and move straight into the latest and greatest, is quick, easy, and incredibly rewarding.
Like everything tech, if you want the best, it all starts with the gear. The LG UP970 Ultra HD Blu-ray player is a critical piece to unlocking the latest and greatest. With 4K video playback and Dolby Atmos audio decoding you can enjoy the current pinnacle in AV technology while future-proofing your home theatre with features like HDR compatibility.
What is Ultra HD Blu-ray?
Ultra HD Blu-ray discs feature true 4K video, with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, four times the resolution of HD! While 4K televisions have been around for years, a major drawback for early adopters was the lack of content. It wasn’t until 2016 that the industry began offering consumer grade products that could leverage 4K televisions, such as Ultra HD players and content on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.
It appears that we are over that hump, and those with 4KTV’s can truly enjoy the incredible resolution on most major movie releases in Ultra HD Blu-ray. To experience it is a thing of beauty.
Ultra HD also offers Dolby Atmos
Ultra HD doesn’t stop at captivating visuals. It also deploys Dolby Atmos (and in some cases DTS:X) creating soundscapes that are truly immersive with audio coming at you from every direction. If you enjoy surround sound movies and have not had an opportunity to experience Atmos, put it on your list of things to do! The audio engineers at Dolby studios added a layer of sound coming from above you, called the “height” field, and it takes surround sound to the cusp of virtual reality.
What else do you need?
Let’s start with the obvious. To enjoy 4K video from the LG-UP970, you will require a television that is equipped with 4K. As noted earlier, the pixel count on a 4KTV is 3840 x 2160, whereas a standard HDTV, while very nice, caps out at 1920 x 1080. If you are running an HDTV, 4K content is not going to look any different on your monitor. The fact that there are 4 times as many pixels on the monitor allow the picture to be that much sharper, that much more realistic and it will draw you in unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Every Best Buy will have a complement of monitors for you to go and see to experience the difference first hand.
Dolby Atmos AV receiver
The audio track embedded on all Ultra HD Blu-rays includes the Dolby Atmos “height” field. In order to pull that audio off the disc you need a processor that can receive it, decode it, and separate the audio into the dedicated surround channels. There are a number of options on the market that do this, all of which will proudly display the Dolby Atmos emblem.
Dolby Atmos speakers
There are a number of options available to create the height field, which comes from above your listening position. If you are constructing a new build, or don’t mind having holes drilled in your ceiling, the optimal way to enjoy this is by placing speakers directly above the listening position. They don’t need to be “Atmos” speakers, as any ceiling speaker will do if they go above you.
If you would prefer to leave your ceiling intact, there are still many options available. A variety of manufacturers have developed Dolby Atmos modules that can be placed on your existing speakers. I recently reviewed the Klipsch R-26FA that has the modules built right into the top of the speaker. These create the height field by bouncing audio off your ceiling and back down to you. The other option is to place modules above your television, angled back down towards you.
The LG Ultra HD player also future proofs your purchase by being HDR ready. The next evolution in super high-resolution video is HDR content, which stands for high dynamic range. It is a fascinating new way to display video and the images really pop. It is a fascinating development, and when combined with 4K technologies create some of the most compelling images I’ve ever seen on a television.
Like 4K before it, there is limited HDR content available. With the LG UP970, you’re going to be ready for HDR when it’s ready for you.
It should go without saying, but the LG UP970 is fully wireless and can connect to your network either through a hard-wired connection or wirelessly. Most consumers are streaming video content from one or more of the major players, whether it is Netflix, Crave TV, Apple, or Amazon, and it should be no surprise that you’re covered with this player.
The availability and accessibility of cutting edge technology for home theatres has never been greater. LG has produced a high quality, easy to use Ultra HD Blu-ray player that should be on the short list of anyone who is playing in this space. I never noticed any lag time during startup, the menus and remote were easy to use, and it output some of the best audio and video I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience.