Panasonic Flagship 4K Blu-ray Player Coming to US?

Panasonic has revealed plans for a flagship Blu-ray player, the ‘reference class’ DP-UB9000, which is rumored to become available in the US later in the year. Not to be confused with the UB900, nor any of the company’s announcements at CES 2018, the new player will boast ‘unparalleled sound’ as a result of a newly-developed vibration-reducing chassis.

The universal player, clearly being positioned to go head-to-head with the Oppo UDP-203, will include support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and will play back Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, Video on Demand, and USB sourced content. The UB9000 will also offer high quality audio due to its analogue audio circuits, dedicated power supply, high-performance D/A converters and balanced XLR output. A 7.1 channel gold-plated audio output for direct connection to an AVR, much sought after by some home theater enthusiasts, will be included.

Combined with the player’s Hollywood Cinema Experience (HCX) Processor, developed by Panasonic’s  southern California-based team, the company claims the new model will raise the bar for AV enthusiasts with the ‘highest-ever picture and sound quality in the history of  Panasonic Blu-ray disc players’.

All of Panasonic’s 2018 Blu-ray player offerings will also support voice control from Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa (both to become available soon), allowing users to fast forward or pause a movie without the need for a remote control. As has been the norm for other players in the Panasonic range, the DP-UB9000 will include THX certification, guaranteeing ‘finely nuanced colors and rich, detailed images required to reproduce the filmmaker’s intentions precisely’.

Although the player was announced at Panacon, Panasonic’s annual product launch event in Europe last week, according to HDGuru, it looks like this model will also be added to Panasonic’s US product portfolio when it becomes available later in the year. Pricing is also yet to be disclosed, but HDGuru suggests that there are a number of reasons why the launch has not included an announcement for the US just yet, one of which being that other markets have been receiving more Panasonic 4K Ultra HD players per capita, paradoxically as a result of greater price competitiveness stateside. As more news starts to emerge, we will report back here.

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Martin Dew

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32 Comments

  1. Yep, way back when. I just find it interesting that Panny decided to forgo their usual glossy plastic design elements for the same brushed aluminum finish that Oppo has been using, specifically for this player.

  2. Oppo tried to support everything and got quirky lasers, Sony has freezing problems (related since they both use Sony lasers?).

    It's funny that you can't get reference UHD disc playback from a UHD disc player, without baggage.

    Oh wait, there is the Panny UB900…

  3. I've explained Dolby Vision's Low Latency protocol to my Panasonic BD engineer friend in Japan and told him that Sony is using it. I made it clear that if they want to be compatible with Sony X1 Extreme equipped processor HDR TVs they need to include this DV standard in all of the upcoming UHD/HDR BD players.

  4. I am interested in the UB820, depending on the pricing. I had planned on getting an Oppo 203 this summer as a Dolby Vision upgrade to my existing Sony X800, but will probably go in a different direction with Oppo getting out of the business.

  5. Robert_Zohn

    I believe you ^ might be seeing Panasonic's UB900, $399 on my site. The UB9000 will launch in September 2018 and no price is announced yet.

    You are correct. I shouldn't look up stuff when I'm sleepy.

    Sorry

  6. Will be looking at both the new models from Panasonic and Pioneer when I am ready to upgrade my Samsung 8500 4K Blu-ray player. And that is if I do not end up with a Oppo 4K player despite the company ending production of new equipment soon. If the player doesn't handle SACD and DVD-A then I will look at a used audio only player option.

  7. Just received our 1st UB820. Panasonic USA received a few units for review and included me as the only retailer with a sample! Here's my very early impressions:

    – Very nice all metal build quality. All connection ports are high-grade and the overall fit and finish is very good. *Note, not up to the build quality of OPPO's players, but better than most others.

    – Exceptional video quality. You can see the advantages of Panasonics well respected video and chroma processing. The HCX Hollywood tuned processor renders the images from UHD/HDR BD discs beautifully.

    – Lots a very cool set-up configurations, see some of my pics below, with more to come.

    – Love the HDR Optimizer controls. I was able to set the UB820 up on a few TVs with varied peak luminance capacity and it's easy to dial in the best HDR value for each TV's ability.
    [​IMG]

    I'll be doing more testing, including Dolby Vision HDR over HDMI for Sony X1 Extreme TVs and HDR10+ (once a disc comes out) as I get more time with this player, but for now I can tell everyone with confidence this is a very well engineered advanced UHD/HDR BD player.

    We set the price at $499, double boxed and delivered Nationwide.

    Here's a few pics, with more to come:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's our dedicated page with more detailed information.

    Here's a couple photos of the HDR optimizer. What it achieves is a smooth roll off of the HDR peak luminance (specular highlights) that matches your TVs peak luminance capability.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

  8. Robert,

    Can you confirm if this player supports SACD playback, as opposed to just DSD hi-res file playback? I don't think I have seen a straight yes/no answer to this question in any Panasonic threads here or over at the blu-ray forums.

    Thanks.

  9. @RobertR, I can't say for sure as I have not done an a/b side-by-side evaluation, but the video performance looks identical in my viewing the UP900 and moments later the UB820 on the same displays with the same content.

    @YanMan, Yes to FLAC and DSD Hi Res audio files, no to SACD.

    @atcolomb, Video performance looks the same, the advantage of the UB820 would mostly be Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ compatibility.

  10. Robert, if you could let us know if the player comes with Dolby Vision support out of the box, or will be added later via a firmware update, I would appreciate it. If it's the latter, there will be no rush for me to buy one, as my Sony X800 does everything I require except Dolby Vision.

  11. Scott Merryfield

    Robert, if you could let us know if the player comes with Dolby Vision support out of the box, or will be added later via a firmware update, I would appreciate it. If it's the latter, there will be no rush for me to buy one, as my Sony X800 does everything I require except Dolby Vision.

    https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/home-entertainment/blu-ray-and-dvd/dp-ub820eb.specs.html
    These specs off of Panasonic's UK website say it will be "Enabled by software update". I imagine it will be the same for the USA. Above in that pic of the outer box there is some fine print underneath the Dolby Vision logo but I can't make out what it says.

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