By Don Lindich
Week 36, 2018
Q.I have a new TCL 8-series 65-inch 4K television. I now need 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, prices have gone up dramatically since Oppo ended production. Can you recommend a different player for me?
-D.A., Eden Prairie, MN
A. It sounds like a basic player will work fine for you, and unfortunately, “basic” describes most players on the market these days. The Oppo players were standouts and worth the price of admission, and they also had functionality that made them much more than a device for playing movie discs. Sadly, 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. TCL does not currently offer Blu-ray players in the USA, so for now you will have to look elsewhere.
For under $200 the Sony UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player supports both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats for HDR (High Dynamic Range.) This will ensure the best picture quality no matter what movie you play.
Anker PowerCore Fusion USB charger: 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 $29.99 Anker PowerCore Fusion 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 you are not plugged in.
Here is how it works in actual use. At night, you plug in your phone and tablet to the PowerCore Fusion. After both devices are fully charged it then recharges its internal power bank battery, a process that takes about 2.5 hours. When you wake up in the morning everything is fully charged and you just take the charger with you. Even if you do not have place to plug it in, the PowerCore Fusion will still 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 a full 2.1 amps to each connection when both are in use, delivering true fast charging to two devices simultaneously. It uses Anker’s top-of-the-line charging technology to ensure fast, reliable charges every time.
As a power bank it has enough power to fully charge an iPhone 7 at least once. If throughout the day you juggle wall charging and the internal battery, I can’t imagine you would ever run out of power with the PowerCore Fusion.
The only drawback is some additional weight and bulk compared to an ordinary wall charger. It’s a small price to pay for the versatility, security and simplicity you get in return. At only $29.99, I consider it a must-have and a tremendous value.
When I first learned of the PowerCore Fusion I knew it was a great idea. As compelling as it sounds on paper, I have to say that it is even more satisfying in the real world. 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. Highly recommended!