It’s a 4K universal Blu-ray player with a difference. It’s the Cambridge Audio CXUHD.
The company’s first ever UHD player, Cambridge Audio claim that it will play “virtually any format you have”, but even more impressively, they reckon it’s “the world’s finest UHD universal Blu-ray player.”
To achieve this, they’ve done something that might seem odd to some: they’ve eliminated the DAC. Why on earth do that, you may ask?
“DACs are high speed digital devices and are renowned for being noisy. Therefore, uniquely for a UHD player, we have designed out all internal DACs and their associated digital circuitry. This decreases interference to the signal, significantly reducing noise and improving both audio and picture quality.”
The CXUHD proudly plays video in resolutions up to 3840 x 2160, delivering four times as many pixels as regular HD Blu-ray. Other 4K media files are also supported for playback, utilising HEVCH.265, H.264, VP9 4K and Hi10P video decoding for increased compatibility with user generated content. HDR is of course also supported when matched with an HDR TV, expanding the range of contrast and brightness for advanced and expanded colours. There’s also a conversion provided for older SDR displays.
“Dolby Vision transforms your home cinema experience by delivering striking highlights, 68 billion colours, and intense darks never seen on standard television screens. Using clever metadata, Dolby Vision enhances your TVs performance frame by frame.”
The CXUHD is capable of playing a range of video, music and image files from USB sticks and hard drives, including H.265, H.264, VP9 4K, Hi10P, FLAC, WAV and AAC. You can also use the Built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi or Gigabit Ethernet to connect the unit to your home network, giving you easy access to media files stored on computers, laptops, NAS Drives and home servers. Its universal compatibility also allows multiple disc formats to be played back including Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD Video, DVD Audio, SACD, and audio CD.
But what about sound, we hear you ask? “With internal pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and bitstream pass-through for object-based immersive audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the CXUHD supports amazing sound whether it’s for the latest blockbuster movie soundtrack or your favourite albums.”
Cambridge Audio is claiming a high quality build with reference quality playback in line with the company’s years of experience in the field.
“A customized quad-core video decoder integrates our advanced video decoding, processing and optimization expertise. The high-precision, balanced laser optical disc loader ensures smooth and reliable playback whichever disc you’re playing. Its mechanism provides super-fast loading with error detection and correction.”
Inputs and outputs? Well, there are two HDMI outputs: a HDMI 2.0 port for connecting the latest 4K UHD TVs, projectors and AV receivers, and a HDMI 1.4 audio port for connecting older AV receivers. There’s also an HDMI 2.0 input supporting UHD resolution to allow users to connect external streaming devices like Chromecast and Apple TV.
* The Cambridge Audio CXUHD Universal Player is handled by PQ Imports and available for $1599 from good hi-fi shops.