The Xbox One S Is The Cheapest 4K Blu-Ray Player You Can Buy In Australia Right Now

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If you have a new (and probably quite expensive) 4K HDR TV, then 4K video is amazing — it looks incredible. But to watch a 4K Blu-ray, you need a 4K Blu-ray player, which can set you back quite a few hundred dollars more than regular Blu-ray. If you do want to make that investment, though, the cheapest 4K Blu-ray player actually does a lot more than just play movies. You can buy a 4K-toting Xbox One S for as little as $349, a full $200 cheaper than the least expensive Blu-ray player on sale in Australia today.

The cheapest Xbox One S in Australia — a 500GB model, albeit bundled with a copy of Halo 5: Guardians and a digital download of the Halo complete collection — is on sale for $349. Competition between retailers should even drive that price down slightly lower again. But even if it doesn't budge $1, it's still cheaper than the $596 Samsung UBD-K8500, and much less than the Panasonic DMP-UB900.

Now, let us be the first to say that there are differences in the video chipsets that output 4K video — but whether you want to spend that extra $200 or $600 is up to what you see with your own eyes, and considering the extra potential of a gaming console over a regular Blu-ray player, we think the Xbox One S really sells itself in this situation. If you want a 4K Blu-ray player, you'd be silly not to at least give the Xbox some serious consideration.

This situation actually has clear parallels to the early days of Blu-ray itself, when very expensive Blu-ray players — usually with that same cinephile tag attached and touting their amazing video quality credentials — were significantly undercut by the launch of the PlayStation 3, itself a gaming machine first and an entertainment machine second. The Xbox One S is both a gaming and entertainment machine — it'll play the most recent console games, but it also has apps for Netflix and Stan and Foxtel Play. And also 4K Blu-ray discs.

You can buy some amazing-looking 4K Blu-ray discs, and the difference in quality between 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD is easily, clearly noticeable. The extra investment — $50 per disc versus about $35 at RRP — is relatively small. Trust us, it's worth it. And even if you don't buy many 4K Blu-rays, it'll still play your regular Blu-rays and streaming services, with support for HDR content where appropriate.

It's a little bit strange that Microsoft isn't shouting this from the rooftops, to be honest. We think you'd be silly not to buy a 4K TV if you're picking up a new model in 2016, and you'd be silly not to get one with HDR support — as an investment for the future — at the same time. With that in mind, it makes sense to do the whole thing right and get yourself a 4K-ready Blu-ray player or a 4K-ready gaming console too; the Xbox One S does both. [Microsoft]


Comments

    It certainly helped me justify to myself buying one when I already have an original xbone,

    Are there actually any 4K Blu Ray movies out there? I haven't noticed any in JB when I've wandered through there. Although I wasn't particularly looking for them, so it's possible they're hidden away in there somewhere.

      There aren't many 4k blu-rays available yet so at JB they are usually on a smaller separate stand. Most of the boxes will be black rather than blue.

      They're getting cheaper too. I was in JB yesterday and they even had some Ultra HD discs included in their 2-for-$30 specials.

    It doesnt support dolby atmos however so if thats something you want youll need a dedicated player (may change with updates who knows)

      A simple search of the internet using your favourite search engine will reveal you the answer that yes, it will be supported in the near future.

    Is 4K-bluray even really a thing? I hadn't even heard of/considered the concept until the s**tstorm that landed when the PS4Pro was annoucned without it. Is there actually a big audience for it?

      With more 4K blurays coming out the market will increase. The difference between 4K streaming and a 4K bluray is massive. Very very noticeable. And given the throughput required for being able to stream at 4k bluray quality, that level of detail won't be available via streaming for a very very long time.

    The Xbox One S is my first ever Xbox and I bought the $349 bundle noted above.

    Justified to myself as the cheapest 4k bluray player. Also use the media centre a fair bit too.

    However, played through all the Halo games, Forza Horizon and Gears of War 4.......

    Best purchase I've made in a while.

    I've got one and purchased a few 4k Blu-rays so far.

    If you already own the title on Blu-ray, then i probably wouldn't recommend buying it again - with up-scaling enabled you will barely notice the difference, especially on older movies.

    HDR is great though, and if you are buying new movies you don't already own it looks great.

    Just like the PS3 was the cheapest blu-ray player around when it first launched.

    If I recall correctly a standalone blu-ray player was around $2000 and a PS3 was half the price at $1000.

      I often wonder whether Sony thought they made the right call with the PS3.

      I loved the original behemoth Xbox, but Microsoft were always a minor player in the video game wars back then. The PS2 was technically average but had such amazing brand recognition and was just seen as WAY cooler than Microsoft's more powerful offering. There was no real competition between the two.

      But that insane PS3 launch price (because of the BD drive) pushed a lot of gamers onto the much cheaper 360.

      The PS3 guaranteed a victory in the HD-DVD/BD war, but it also handed microsoft equal footing in the video game war. Now, the Xbox brand is every bit the powerhouse the PlayStation brand is.

      So in the end, was it worth it?

    If for some reason you don't want an XBox free with your 4k BD, Kogan have a 4K Samsung player for $475. This is the cheapest standalone 4K BD I've seen.

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