Panasonic DP-UB9000 review | TechSwitch

    The Panasonic DP-UB9000 is the corporate’s newest flagship 4K Extremely HD Blu-ray participant and, after Oppo began winding down its competing gadgets, the brand new mannequin finds itself in a fortuitous place. The absence of Oppo has created a spot on the high-end participant market, one which the Panasonic is completely suited to fill.That stated, superbly made and enviably specified, Pana’s flagship 4K disc spinner is unashamedly premium. The plastic and tin construct, acquainted on mainstream Blu-ray gamers, has been changed with heavy metallic and luxe design. This deck doesn’t simply play Blu-ray discs, it cossets them.Past its beauty, nevertheless, the DP-UB9000 can also be the primary UHD deck from Panasonic to help all key HDR flavours: vanilla HDR10, its dynamic sibling HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. The latter is included, even if Panasonic isn’t supporting Dolby Imaginative and prescient on any of its 4K TVs. Not solely is the participant greater than succesful with photos, it has audiophile aspirations as effectively, sporting top quality DACs, two-channel and seven.1-channel analogue outputs, and Hello-Res Audio help. Toss in a bunch of good options, and the UB9000 ticks almost each field within the ebook. Naturally all these flagship options don’t come low cost – however, for these searching for the best alternative Blu-ray participant after Oppo’s collapse, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is a greater than satisfactory alternative. DesignThe UB9000 ideas the scales at 7.8kg, proof of its tank-like building. The double layer prime plate and aluminium aspect plate are individually bolted, whereas the bottom of the chassis, additionally twin layer, consists of 1.2 and 1.6mm metal sheets.  Consideration to element is excessive: The entrance fascia boasts a delicate hairline end, and sports activities a entrance going through USB, plus transport and energy controls.  Disc loading occasions are comparatively quick, too. The deck takes a closely authored Goldfinger Blu-ray from tray to primary menu in 40 seconds. The disc loading mechanism, affixed to a 1.2mm metal plate, is buttery clean. Connections are finest at school. Along with twin HDMI outputs (certainly one of which is audio solely), two USBs, optical and coaxial digital audio and stereo analogue outputs, is a full 7.1 channel output, plus balanced Neutrik XLR stereo connectors. FeaturesPanasonic has given this deck’s consumer interface a lick of paint, however there’s no change to usability over earlier gamers from the model. There are icons for Movies, Music, Pictures, Residence Community, Community Service and Setup, plus the Panasonic good portal that brings Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, BBC Information & Sport and the Berlin Philharmoniker channel.   One cool new innovation is an in depth Playback Data display screen, helpfully given its personal button the distant management. This gives a wealth of information derived from the disc’s HDR10 metadata. Inquisitive about simply how dynamic your newest HDR disc is? The participant will reveal Most Body Common Mild Degree (MaxFALL) and Most Mild Degree (MaxCLL) information from discs. A fast have a look at Pacific Rim Rebellion reveals that it has a MaxCLL of 1000 nits and a MaxFALL of 863 nits. That is very cool.For no matter purpose, not each disc works – Star Wars The Final Jedi doesn’t wish to reveal its metadata secrets and techniques, however given the normally restricted attraction of information screens, the playback element provided right here is infinite fascinating. That stated, the UB9000 helps most disc codecs, together with Extremely HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and CD. It isn’t a common participant, nevertheless, so that you don’t get SACD and DVD-Audio playback; nor can or not it’s added at a later date.The participant makes use of the second technology of Panasonic’s HCX (Hollywood Cinema Expertise) processor, which has been particularly designed for 4K playback. This processor features a 4K excessive precision edge-adaptive chroma processor, optimised for each BT.709 and BT.2020, and improved chroma upsampling. That principally means improved color element in English.The Panasonic not solely helps 4K discs and video streaming providers, however may also upscale decrease decision content material to 4K. It’s suitable with Excessive Dynamic Vary, particularly HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. It could possibly additionally convert HDR to SDR if crucial, and strip-out HDR for 4K, 10-bit, or BT.2020 playback (the latter is a helpful function for 4K projectors).It’s value noting that every one of those video enhancements are additionally obtainable on the cheaper Panasonic DP-UB820, so in the event you’re on a restricted funds you don’t want to purchase the UB9000 to get the good thing about options just like the HDR Optimiser. When it comes to audio, the participant contains an HDMI low clock jitter course of and helps high-resolution codecs, together with DSD (11.2MHz/5.5MHz/2.8MHz), ALAC, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF. The UB9000 has additionally been designed to spice up the sound high quality of decrease decision content material, due to Excessive Readability Sound Premium, Digital Tube Sound with upsampling and 192kHz/96kHz Encompass Re-master.PerformancePicture high quality on this THX 4K Supply licensed participant is excellent. UHD photos, powered by Panasonic’s second-generation HCX video processor, have a photographic fluidity about them, with reams of nice element.The DP-UB9000 additionally employs a 4K Excessive Precision chroma processor and Multi-Faucet filter capable of interpolate a 4K four:four:four video output from 4K four:2:zero content material that has both SDR/BT.709 or HDR/BT.2020 grading. Panasonic has been utilizing this know-how for some time now, and it really works spectacularly effectively. Beneath the microscope, this interpolation interprets to good micro curves, with minimised jaggies. On display screen, this implies superior color gradations, including a clean nuanced look to pictures.  A run by of mecha-mashing monster film Pacific Rim Rebellion is gloriously cinematic. This Dolby Imaginative and prescient disc presents crisp, clear visuals and gloriously vibrant hues. The fast-paced motion scenes, significantly the harbour assault of rogue Jaeger Obsidian Fury, has supreme depth, that is broad color HDR at its most intoxicating.The participant additionally does a superb job upscaling common HD, minimising edge-stepping for a slick, detailed presentation. It’s reassuring to know that participant will benefit from any present Blu-ray disc assortment.However whereas the UB9000 ticks all of the packing containers on the subject of video, it falls slightly quick on audio. This isn’t a common participant, so gained’t spin SACDs or DVD-Audio, which suggests it’s not fairly the entire enchilada on the subject of filling the void left by earlier premium participant king Oppo.However audio continues to be taken critically. The deck has a 768KHz/32bit  AK4493 DAC for its stereo channel output, able to 125dB, with an S/N of 123dB and THD+N of 113dB. Along with a devoted audio energy provide there’s a particular circuit board for the analogue output which routes left and proper channels by way of a low noise op-amp to these Neutrik balanced outputs.  CD playback is undeniably good, nevertheless it falls simply wanting audiophile grade. The character of its analogue output is slightly abrasive, even fatiguing. Maybe that is pushed by a need to current element above all else? By the way, this isn’t a mirrored image on its residence theatre efficiency. Bitstreamed immersive audio is splendidly involving, however efficiency right here is in the end mandated by decoding electronics and amplification, not the participant.Whereas it doesn’t play SACDs or DVD-A, the DP-UB9000 is Hello-Res Audio suitable. It handles each 24-bit FLAC and DSD recordsdata, and it’s with these that it actually sounds excellent certainly. Last verdictIn quick, the DP-UB9000 is a wonderful 4K Blu-ray participant. Its image efficiency and general construct high quality truly make that lofty price ticket seem like a steal whereas cinematic imagery, full HDR compatibility and that highly effective HDR optimiser, make this participant vital for videophiles. The importance of lacking SACD and DVD-A help is much less simple to gauge. On condition that each codecs are all however lifeless (or within the case of SACD, no less than on life help), so you possibly can’t actually blame Panasonic for skipping them. However when you’ve got a library of legacy discs, there omission could also be extra of a difficulty.That stated, there’s no higher UHD participant obtainable for lower than a grand – Panasonic’s DP-UB9000 is a bona fide Blu-ray barnstormer.Editor’s word: Stephen Withers additionally contributed to this evaluation.

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