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A few words about...™ HDR and the new Panasonic 9000 -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Robert Harris, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Those peons, like me, who run films via projection, have been viewing 4k discs with HDR, trying to decode said High Dynamic Range in our minds-eye, since the system really started working properly over the past year, or so.

    If you know what you're looking at, you can tell when it's supposed to be there, it just doesn't pop.

    I've personally gone through a few 4k players, beginning with the horrific Samsung toy, with the remote sized for the fingers of a six year-old girl.

    Then the first of the Panasonics, which was a step up, followed by the Oppo Swan Song model.

    But finally, for the first time, via the new Panasonic 9000, which I received today courtesy of Value Electronics - not a comp incidentally, as they can sell every unit they receive - I'm seeing properly decoded HDR, even with a limitation of nits - and everything looks superb.

    I expected a nice incremental uptick, but for those who may be interested, the difference between the standard imagery and the 9000, which does proper tone mapping, is Night & Day.

    I no longer feel like a second class citizen.

    I'll leave it to others to test this unit with OLED panels, which should also appear better, but I wouldn't expect the major difference as seen in projection.

    I would highly suggest that anyone who takes their film viewing seriously, and is running a 4k projector, to grab one ASAP.
     
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  2. trajan007

    trajan007 Second Unit

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    So you would not recommend a Samsung 4K player for a first timer?
     
  3. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    From all I have heard about the Sammy, a 100 times no!
    This is a great heads up from Robert.
    I just hope the 9000 has a lot of the Oppo extras like 21:9 and subtitle adjustments.
     
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  4. Message #4 of 241 Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    Could some one tell me the difference between the UB820 and UB9000 in terms of their video capabilities. I had thought that both were identical in that area, and that the $500 disparity was mostly audio related. The UB 820 vs 9000 reviews I've read say that there is little difference (side-by-side comparison) in video output. Maybe, Value Electronics' Robert Zohn could comment on this too.
     
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  5. Message #5 of 241 Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Would you see a difference if you have a 4K LED? I currently have a Sony X900E tv and the Panasonic DMP-UB900 and like the player with no issues so far.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    That's what I've read, too. The 820 should solve most video needs for projectionists.
     
  7. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe that the Panasonic's HDR Optimizer Settings (available in both the UB 820 and 9000) make it ideal for projectors and LED TVs. And whether they are 4K or HD.
     
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  8. ArnoldLayne

    ArnoldLayne Stunt Coordinator
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    What does 'first timer' have to do with it? He's recommending a certain Panasonic, that's all.
     
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  9. ArnoldLayne

    ArnoldLayne Stunt Coordinator
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    The Value Electronics website uses the same description for both players:

    HDR Optimizer:

    HDR-compatible TVs use tone-mapping to match the brightness range of images according to the static metadata within the content, but optimal results are sometimes not possible due to the limitations of the specific TV model. By conducting the tone-mapping on the player, stable HDR picture quality is delivered regardless of the TV. Panasonic's original image processing technologies achieve HDR images with higher definition while tone-mapping is used to adjust the brightness level of the content. Even HDR images from ordinary HDR10 and TV footage provide optimal playback.HDR Adjustment for various viewing conditions

    The UB820 features a new HDR adjustment control, which reproduces dark and bright areas with high fidelity regardless of the viewing environment. Dark scenes in HDR images are sometimes difficult to see when viewed in a bright room and may require brightness adjustment. Because HDR signals are inherently different from SDR signals, existing adjustment functions are insufficient.

    The UB820 series use an original technology to optimize HDR video signals, which enables them to freely adjust the brightness of the HDR images. An HDR Setting button on the remote control allows the user to simply select the optimal setting for the viewing environment.HDR to SDR conversion (Optimized Tone Remapping for SDR-TV)

    Dynamic Range Conversion reproduces images with greater brightness and beauty than ordinary Blu-ray Disc images when played on a non-HDR TV with standard dynamic range (SDR-TV). This feature maximizes the image expression that is inherent to Ultra HD Blu-ray. This must have professional high performance 4K Blu-ray player was developed for all a/v enthusiasts and can be integrated as a stand alone unit or rack mountable.
     
  10. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    The same HDR control facility is also built into the cheaper again 420. What the 420 doesn’t have is Dolby Vision support which both the 820 and 9000 have.
     
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  11. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I can’t find either of these models on Amazon.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Best Buy and Value Electronics are the two notable retailers for Panasonic UHD players.
     
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  13. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    Watching HDR on severely lumen starved projectors providing somewhere between 50 and 100 nits instead of 500 or more was for years a problem. The tone mapping in the players and/or projectors was inadequate and the result too dark or too clipped. Tricks like contrast boosting and reshuffling parameters that were nor really developed for tone mapping or loading special gamma curves helped sometimes, but it was basically and endless compromise between enough pop, enough brightness, enough highlight detail and good enough colours and depending on titles as well, what to do for best results. That many discs don't have correct metadata does not help at all.
    In the last year or so better tone mapping became available in players and projectors and things look good now, if the metadata is right. Otherwise manual intervention is still needed. And the tone mapping is still static with HDR10. For the ultimate in quality dynamic tone mapping is needed as provided by Dolby Vision (when correctly implemented) or special hardware solutions for dynamic tone mapping on the fly from HDR10. Namely madVR and Lumagen Pro. With these in the path you get all the pop back, no ugly clipping and colours as correct as can be given the limits of the projector.
    I used a custom gamma for a long time and was rather happy but it had limits (colourwise and clippingwise). Since my Lumagen has the dynamic tone mapping the issue is solved. The price is steep, though and not an option for everyone. The new players get you a good way there now too at considerably less cost.
     
  14. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Yeah found it on BB after my post. $500 for the 820. Yikes.
     
  15. Message #15 of 241 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Robert Harris

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    For this setup, I moved not from the 820, but from the first gen 900 Pan 4k player, as the Oppo did not offer primary links to Netflix.

    The touch sensitive controls mounted at the top of the player were a constant bother.

    In most basic terms, what one receives for the addl $500, vs the 820, is a far superior build quality, and higher spec audio components - think Oppo. The 9000 weighs in at around 10 pounds, is aluminum, and is a beast. Construction - things such as the disc tray - are upgraded.

    In the end, if one is heavily into home theater, I’d go for the 9000 over the 820, and have one less glass of Screaming Eagle with your prime rib.

    If you’re on a tighter budget, and don’t mind the lesser build quality, the 820 may be your Hitler.
     
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  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    From Mr. Zohn:

    For projector owners the UB9000 will be a nice advantage in HDR performance vs. the UB820 as the UB9000 has two projector HDR Optimizer selections, 350Nit and 500Nit tone mapping. The UB820 only has the 500Nit mode for projectors.

    Other advantages of the UB9000 is the overall premium design and build quality as well as the better 2-channel analog DACs.

    Here’s the list of UB9000 advantages over the UB820:
    • Better 2-channel audio DACs and the balanced XLR audio ports and of course the premium build quality.
    • The UB9000 has one extra projector HDR Optimizer mode, so you get “Projector Basic Luminance” that tone maps to 350Nits and the “Projector High Luminance” that maps HDR to 500Nits. The UB820 only have the 500Nit Projector High Luminance mode.
    • The UB9000 has a nice full sized backlit remote control with direct access buttons to select the HDR mode and other useful hard buttons.
    • The UB9000 has a second very detailed information status screen that displays all of the technical information on how the disc was mastered. The UB820 just has one basic information screen.
    • The separated, shielded and dedicated circuits and power supplies for the audio and video circuits help to isolate signal noise from cross polluting the adjacent circuits.
    • JVC put out a press release announcing the collaboration between JVC and Panasonic with two new firmware updates that add Custom 5 and 6 modes when JVC's 2019 NX5, NX7 or NX9 projectors are connected to the UB9000. The new custom modes will extract all of the color gamut detail at every luminance level, all of the HDR tonal details while perfectly following the PQ EOTF curve.
    Robert Zohn
     
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  17. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you, Mr Harris--- And Mr Zohn!
     
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  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I'm using the 820 with a 1080P LCD until I can upgrade my display. The dynamic range conversion is excellent; no more overly bright picture or crushed blacks. I've seen downconverted UHD via other players, and it often looked worse than the standard Blu-Ray. With the 820, the UHD disc always looks as good as or better than the standard Blu-ray.
     
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  19. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    And trust me, "As soon as possible" being the key phrase here. They are pretty limited allotments anyway, but once the last batch of them sells, they are gone that is it.
     
  20. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    The Dynamic Range Conversion is also fantastic if you don't like the "look" of the HDR presentation on a certain movie represented on a 4K display.
    I watched "The Unforgiven" a few weeks ago, and was very disappointed with the look of film in HDR (way too dark). without it the film looked great.

    It is a really great feature.
     
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