Panasonic UB820 (UB824), first unveiled at CES 2018, is now available to buy in Europe. It is the first UHD Blu-ray player that supports both premium HDR video formats; HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
First of its kind
Any UHD Blu-ray player will give you the HDR10 base format and a few players will have Dolby Vision support added on top. Panasonic UB820 is the first combo player that supports HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
Dolby Vision was developed by Dolby, whereas HDR10+ was developed by Samsung. Both formats are often referred to as premium HDR formats because they support dynamic metadata that allows a movie studio to set luminance levels and other parameters on scene-by-scene basis in order to optimize HDR picture quality.
A few dozen movies are available on UHD Blu-ray in Dolby Vision but we have yet to see the first releases in HDR10+. 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros have announced that they are committed to releasing HDR10+ content. Warner Bros also releases content in Dolby Vision. The first titles are expected to be available later this year.
Panasonic has so far decided to exclude Dolby Vision in its LCD and OLED TVs.
As for UB820, it obviously conforms to the UHD Blu-ray standard meaning that it supports 4K resolution as well as object-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It can also spin 3D Blu-rays, HD Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. It is equipped with the company’s HCX video processor (Hollywood Cinema Experience).
Dolby Vision capabilities will be added via a firmware update this month, the company has said.
Besides UB820, Panasonic is rolling out lower-speced UB420, UB330, and UB320 players. UB420 can also handle HDR10+ but not Dolby Vision. Later this year, Panasonic will add the flagship UB9000 to its line-up. It is meant to compete head-to-head with high-end players from Oppo who has since announced that it is leaving the disc player business. UB9000 will offer features for the audiophile crowd, and support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.
Panasonic DP-UB820 (DP-UB824) is shipping now in Europe and will launch in the US later this month.
High Quality Picture Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback (4K/HDR) HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Supports HDR10+/ Dolby Vision dynamic metadata technology 4K High-Precision Chroma Processing 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling 4K 60p/50p/4:4:4 Output HDR Optimizer FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback
High Quality Sound 7.1ch Analogue Audio Output TWIN HDMI PURE AV (Twin Isolated OutputďĽ‰ High Clarity Sound Premium HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process Digital Tube Sound with Up-sampling High-resolution Audio Playback (DSD (11.2MHz/2.8MHz/5.6MHz), ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF) 192kHz/96kHz Surround Re-master
Smart Features Works with Voice Assistant (Naming Tentative) 4K VOD Supported (NETFLIX/ YouTube/ Amazon*2) 4K Networking (4K Video/ 4K Jpeg Playback) Internet Apps*1 DLNA (Client/Renderer) Network Drive Access External HDD Playback Mirroring with Smartphone / Tablet Web Browser*1 Wireless LAN Built-in Stylish GUI Quick Start Home Screen Wallpaper Control by HDMI Connection