Q: I have a new TCL 8-series 65-inch 4K television. I'm looking for a 4K Blu-ray player to go with it. I know you have a strong preference for Oppo players, but not only do I think this high-end product is more than I need, but prices have gone up dramatically since Oppo ended production. Can you recommend a different player for me?
A: It sounds like a basic player will work fine for you, and "basic" describes most players on the market these days. The Oppo players were standouts, and they had functionality that made them much more than a device for playing movie discs. But, as you mentioned, now they are gone.
I have always recommended that if you are not buying an Oppo player, you should strongly consider getting a Blu-ray player from the same manufacturer as your television. That way the remotes from the TV and the player will be compatible. But TCL, which is based in China, does not offer Blu-ray players in the United States, so you will have to look elsewhere.
For under $200 the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player (sony.com) supports both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats for HDR. This will ensure the best picture quality no matter what movie you play.
Wouldn't it be great to have a wall charger that can charge your devices even when you can't find an outlet? I have found one that does just that, and it is truly terrific.
The Anker PowerCore Fusion (anker.com) is a USB wall charger with an integrated power bank. Plug it into a wall and it is a wall charger. Take it with you and it keeps charging even when it's not plugged in.
Here is how it works: At night, you plug in your phone and tablet or laptop into it. After both devices are fully charged, it then recharges its internal power bank battery. When you wake up in the morning, everything is fully charged. You just take the charger with you. Even if you do not have a place to plug it in, it will charge your devices by drawing power from the internal battery. It's the only charging device you will ever need.
As a wall charger, the specifications are impeccable. It can deliver 3 amps when one device is connected and 2.1 amps to each connection when both are in use, delivering true fast charging to two devices simultaneously. As a portable power bank it has enough power to fully charge an iPhone 7. It uses Anker's top-of-the-line charging technology to ensure fast, reliable charges every time.
The only drawback is some additional weight and bulk compared with an ordinary wall charger. It's a small price to pay for the versatility you get. At $29.99, I consider it a tremendous value. I use one, and now I don't have to juggle multiple chargers and a power bank (which needs charging itself) to keep my phones and tablet charged all day long.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.