New 4K Blu Ray player from Cambridge

Posted by: fernar on 10 August 2017

Interesting new product from Cambridge Audio

https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/products/cx/cxuhd

The new player seems to play everything from CD, to SACD, DVD-A, to DVD, standard Blu Ray to 4K Blu Ray and even supports HDR and Dolby Vision - it's actually based on the platform used by Oppo on the UDP UDP 203.... however the main difference is that the Cambridge player does not have any DACs - so in effect this is Blu Ray transport as to get any sound out of the unit, one will need to use the DAC from the AV amp/External DAC.

While this wont be a major disadvantage for anyone who has an AV amp and uses it for films, however it will mean that to listen to SACD and DVD-A disks the sound quality will be limited by the quality of the DAC in the AV amplifier....... unless that is Cambridge outputs SACD/DVD-A via it's coa/optical digital output...

But I think it's interesting that we appear to have the first Blu-Ray transport in the market....  

Posted on: 10 August 2017 by nbpf

Very interesting, thanks! I was about to buy the Oppo, I will now look into the Cambridge Audio before I commit. I plan to connect the device to my Naim DAC via Toslink or coaxial, please see also https://forums.naimaudio.com/to...3-into-ml-netzleiste.

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by count.d

Interesting. It will be great when 4k films eventually become available.

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by nbpf
count.d posted:

Interesting. It will be great when 4k films eventually become available.

Right, but even for CD, DVD and Blu-Ray discs, it is an interesting device for those who do not already have a player!

I very much like the fact that it comes with no analog outputs. Finally a device with a sleek, modular design. I am looking forward  detailed comparisons between the UDP-203 and the CXUHD. If the CXUHD turns out to be as good as the UDP-203, I will go for the Cambridge.

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by Eloise

Most new movies are coming out on 4k - even Tesco sell them - and there is an extensive back catalogue being released.

Curiously the Cambridge UHD "transport" is going to cost people more than the Oppo 203 does...

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by nbpf
Eloise posted:

...

Curiously the Cambridge UHD "transport" is going to cost people more than the Oppo 203 does...

You mean in the UK? I understood that the Cambridge will cost 799 EUR and the Oppo sells for 849 EUR in Germany. Of course, the Oppo has analogue outputs, thus, in a sense, the Cambridge is still more expensive. Anyway, from the pictures the Cambridge looks better to me. If this is confirmed in real and the two systems are roughly equivalent w.r.t. video + audio quality and software, I'll go for the Cambridge.

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by Eloise

Yes meant in the UK.  

Oppo 203 is 650 and the Cambridge CXUHD is 750.

You said "from the pictures the Cambridge looks better to me" did you mean its physical appearance?

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by nbpf
Eloise posted:

Yes meant in the UK.  

Oppo 203 is 650 and the Cambridge CXUHD is 750.

Oh, that's weird! I guess the street prices will eventually converge if the two devices essentially offer comparable features and performance ...

Eloise posted:

You said "from the pictures the Cambridge looks better to me" did you mean its physical appearance?

Yes, from what I can see so far I slightly prefer the Cambridge front design but both look great, in fact. I will have to see the real devices to make my choice in the end. I was set to buy the Oppo this weekend but now I will wait until the Cambridge comes out. Hopefully there are no delays.

At this point my major concern is connecting the Oppo or the Cambridge to the same power strip that I use for my SN2, Naim DAC and for the PSU of the server/renderer. I am living in an old flat and my options w.r.t. power supply are very limited ...

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by fernar

The compare to the Oppo 203 will be very interesting indeed - I suppose that the lack of a DAC could potentially have a positive effect on sound quality - but then if one has to depend on DACs sitting inside a AV amp, there is risk that you may be actually adding greater potential for noise due to the huge transformer in these AV amps. Maybe the most optimal combination would be the Cambridge feeding into a AV processor (rather than a AV Amp) which then drives external power amps... 

But it does mean that in order to listen to SACD or DVD-A, the only option will be to use a AV amp/processor and not a stereo only setup... and in my experience this will me mean a lower quality of sound... 

Posted on: 11 August 2017 by Eloise
nbpf posted:
Eloise posted:

Yes meant in the UK.  

Oppo 203 is 650 and the Cambridge CXUHD is 750.

Oh, that's weird! I guess the street prices will eventually converge if the two devices essentially offer comparable features and performance ...

My error.  The Cambridge is 700 (listed on Cambridge Audio website)

Posted on: 16 August 2017 by nbpf

The user manual of the Oppo UDP-203 states that:

"Due to copyright restrictions, SACD audio cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical
digital audio output. To listen to SACDs, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections."

"Due to copyright restrictions and bandwidth limitations, full resolution audio from DVD-Audio
discs cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical digital audio output. To listen to DVD-Audio
in full resolution, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections."

Will the new Cambridge CXUHD be subject to the same limitations? Given that the Cambridge has no analog outputs, this would imply that in fact it does not fully support SACD and DVD-Audio formats!

Posted on: 16 August 2017 by tonym

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market. The Oppo disc players have always had very good DACs in them, so it does seem a strange decision to market the Cambridge player in this configuration.  I'm really not convinced that leaving out the analogue and DAC gubbins is going to improve sound (and picture quality) to any significant degree. If it was cheaper...

Posted on: 16 August 2017 by nbpf
tonym posted:

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market. The Oppo disc players have always had very good DACs in them, so it does seem a strange decision to market the Cambridge player in this configuration.  I'm really not convinced that leaving out the analogue and DAC gubbins is going to improve sound (and picture quality) to any significant degree. If it was cheaper...

You are right, I have overseen the fact that both devices fully support  SACD and DVD-Audio via HDMI! I plan to connect the device to my Naim DAC via SPDIF, thus I was a bit irritated by the fact that SACD and DVD-Audio are not fully supported on that output. I do not really care as I have no SACD or DVD-Audio discs, just CDs and a few DVD and Blu-Ray discs. I agree the Oppo seems a more reasonable choice at this point. I think I'll go for it. Thanks, nbpf

Posted on: 16 August 2017 by nbpf
tonym posted:

It does, but only through its HDMI connection, which is not an issue if you've a high-quality home cinema processor, and I suppose Cambridge are aiming squarely at that market ...

Just to exposemy ignorance a little bit more: what is a "igh-quality home cinema processor"? I was just thinking of connecting the Oppo/Cambride to my TV via HDMI and to the Naim DAC via SPDIF. Does this make sense? Thanks, nbpf

Posted on: 16 August 2017 by tonym

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by nbpf
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by audio1946

blueray dvds are dead in water

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by nbpf
audio1946 posted:

blueray dvds are dead in water

?

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by Phil Harris
nbpf posted:
audio1946 posted:

blueray dvds are dead in water

?

I do hope not as the current state of streaming of movies is woeful compared to a physical BluRay ... I'm still upset at my long-time LoveFilm service being no more after the end of October. :-(

Phil

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by Richard Dane

Phil, looks like Cinema Paradiso has come to the rescue.  I'll be switching over to them next month.

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by Phil Harris

Phew! I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms already!

(It looks like twice the price of LoveFilm though - but I would love to see how their membership has changed this last week!)

Of course maybe LoveFilm will be kind to all us long term subscribers (been with them for 15 years or so) and send us the contents of our outstanding "wants" lists to keep so they don't have to get rid of all those discs. ;-)

Phil

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by tonym

BluRays? Dead in the water? Not a chance! the quality of Bluray is streets ahead of anything streamed or transmitted, in both picture and sound quality. And then there are the 4K disks...

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by tonym
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by nbpf

I do not really care whether blu-rays or dvds are dead or not. I have a (very) few discs and I am looking forward to buy a 203. I hope that its SPDIF output is good enough also for occasional CD listening. I was a bit irritated by the fact that the audio of blu-ray and dvd video discs gets downsampled to 24/48 on SPDIF outputs. But if downsampling is done well, I do not really care. Can anyone confirm or confute my understanding? Thanks, nbpf 

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by nbpf
tonym posted:
nbpf posted:
tonym posted:

If you look at the latest processors/home cinema receivers from the likes of Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Yamaha, these will generally decode SACD and DVD-A, as well as the latest multichannel surround sound formats ( the likes of Dolby Atmos, dts Master Audio, etc.). You can feed the HDMI output from the Cambridge into one of these, and obtain an analogue stereo or multichannel output, either lone-level or via internal amplification.

Good decision on the Oppo, they're great disc players.

Hmmm ... given that I do not want to add a home cinema receiver to my system, it seems that the only way to enjoy high resolution audio from blu-ray (and perhaps also video DVDs?) discs is to use the analog output of the Oppo or a HDMI de-embedder downstream its HDMI audio output. Is my conclusion correct? Thanks, nbpf 

More or less correct nbpf; the Oppo will not send  BluRay/SACD/DAD-A for output through its digital (optical & coaxial) connections; in the case of SACD it'll play the CD layer. However, IIRC if you use its streaming facility from a network source it will pass this through. Bear in mind though, the analogue outputs are not exactly shabby! If you want the best quality analogue outputs then you need to invest in the 205.

Hmm ... does that mean that optical and coaxial are muted on Blu-Ray video replay or that they get at most 24/48 streams?

I will of course also try the analogue outputs of the 203 but my plan was, at first, to have it connected via Toslink or coaxial to the Naim DAC.

I hope this works for DVD and Blu-Ray. I do not care so much about SACD and DAD-A as I do not have any of them and do not intend buying such discs.

Posted on: 17 August 2017 by Phil Harris
Richard Dane posted:

Phil, looks like Cinema Paradiso has come to the rescue.  I'll be switching over to them next month.

4 at a time - unlimited per month (lets see how they compare with LoveFilm for turnaroudn time / number of discs per month) - 29.98 (an odd value) ... ignore the 14 days free trial ... just subscribed this lunchtime...

Phil