After having showcased several prototypes, Panasonic is finally launching its first UHD Blu-ray player. The DMP-UB900 delivers amazing picture quality through a combination of 4K, HDR and a wider color gamut. It will be available in April.
Movies in UHD and HDR
Today at CES 2016, Panasonic has unveiled its first UHD Blu-ray player. It marks the next generation of picture and audio quality in the living room, and has been developed in collaboration with Panasonic Hollywood Labs (PHL).
The new UHD Blu-ray standard is capable of more than just 4K - or UHD - resolution. It combines three overall picture components to improve the viewing experience. Besides 4K, the UHD Blu-ray standard - and the UB900 player - supports HDR (high dynamic range) for brighter whites and deeper blacks as well as the BT.2020 color gamut, which covers a much larger part of the color spectrum that the human eye is capable of seeing compared to the current BT.709 color gamut standard.
The UHD player can reproduce movies in up to 60 frames per second but Hollywood still produces almost every movie in 24 frames per second.
Panasonic says that it has developed a new 4K High-Precision Chroma processor in collaboration with its Hollywood lab. Even though the UHD Blu-ray standard brings improvements on several fronts it still uses chroma subsampling to compress color information. The processor converts movies from 4:2:0 chroma to 4:4:4 (full RGB) before the signal leaves the player instead of leaving the process to the TV. UB900 is also THX certified.
The player supports high-res audio formats and of course surround. It offers two HDMI ports; one for sending audio to a surround receiver. Panasonic has also included analog 7.1 outputs for owners of analog receivers, and says that it has used quality audio components from the bottom up.
To get the full benefits of UHD Blu-ray you obviously need to invest in new UHD Blu-ray discs. All the major Hollywood studios have confirmed that they will support the format. Over the next few months, the studios will release new movies as well as catalog titles. Panasonic UB900 can also playback existing HD Blu-ray discs as well as DVDs and CDs.
UHD streaming too
Besides being capable of delivering impressive picture quality from disc media, UB900 supports 4K quality from streaming services.
Amazon is already streaming in HDR quality and Netflix will start soon. However, Panasonic has not confirmed whether HDR streaming is supported by the player.
UB900 supports 4K photos and videos recorded with a camera, too. The remote control has backlit buttons, making it easier to operate in the dark.
Panasonic DMP-UB900 will be available in April. No pricing information was announced.
High Quality Picture
Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback (4K/HDR)
4K High-Precision Chroma Processor
4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling
4K 60p/50p Output
Multi Contents 4K Up-scaling
FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback
Picture Type Presets
High Quality Sound
TWIN HDMI PURE AV (Twin Isolated Output）
7.1ch Analog Audio Output
High-quality Audio Parts (Power Supply, Audio Circuit, Digital Circuit)