Is Pana­sonic’s UHD Blu-ray player the ‘new OPPO’?

Pana­sonic’s DP-UB9000

Australian HIFI - - CONTENTS -

Pana­sonic have been set­ting the bench­mark with pro­cess­ing and cal­i­bra­tion be­hind their Ul­tra High-Def­i­ni­tion (UHD) OLED tele­vi­sions. The best way to ap­pre­ci­ate the vi­brancy and clar­ity of these ex­cel­lent screens is with the best con­tent avail­able. Even in the age of stream­ing and fast in­ter­net, phys­i­cal UHD Blu-ray discs still pro­vide the best lev­els of in­for­ma­tion avail­able, and with the re­lease of the new UB9000 player, Pana­sonic sets an­other bench­mark.

With the sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion by OPPO to no longer pro­duce Blu-ray play­ers, cus­tomers went on a buy­ing frenzy to snap up the last avail­able mod­els, which quickly ran out. We still get calls daily ask­ing for stock!

But for those that missed out, there is now light at the end of the tun­nel. Due to ar­rive in No­vem­ber, the UB9000 promises to fea­ture all that the OPPOs did, but with more!

Based on the same HCX pro­ces­sor found in the OLED TVs, the player’s pre­cise colours and HDR re­pro­duc­tion have been su­per­vised by the Pana­sonic Hol­ly­wood Lab­o­ra­tory, a spe­cial­ist di­vi­sion which con­sults with “renowned di­rec­tors of pho­tog­ra­phy and film­mak­ers” – in­deed Pana­sonic has de­vel­oped a “4K World” to pro­vide end-to-end Ul­tra HD so­lu­tions. Us­ing tech­nol­ogy in­spired and re­fined by its pro­fes­sional di­vi­sions, Pana­sonic is aim­ing to de­liver an un­prece­dented level of vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence.

The UB9000 sup­ports all the lat­est video en­hance­ment for­mats, in­clud­ing HDR10+, Dolby Vi­sion and Hy­brid LogGamma, and is cer­ti­fied as a THX Source.

Un­like the OPPOs, this unit can stream UHD im­ages di­rectly from Net­flix, Ama­zon Prime and other video on-de­mand (VOD) ser­vices. Add in voice con­trol with Google or Alexa and you have a great ad­di­tion to your smart-en­abled home.

Where the Pana­sonic re­ally takes on the OPPO is in au­dio per­for­mance. Ev­ery stage of the com­po­nent is tai­lored to en­sur­ing su­pe­rior au­dio play­back. It uses a 768kHz/32-bit AK4493 DAC chip, caters for WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA/AIFF, but also DSD and ALAC for­mats. Power is di­vided at the ori­gin to clearly sep­a­rate the dig­i­tal and ana­logue path­ways with sta­ble volt­age sup­ply reg­u­lat­ing power through­out the main board.

The su­pe­rior build-qual­ity has thick alu­minium pan­els and a rigid chas­sis with a solid steel plate to an­chor the disc drive and min­imise vi­bra­tion. All com­po­nents have been care­fully se­lected to en­sure pre­ci­sion of sound all the way to the high-qual­ity out­put ter­mi­nals, which in­clude 2-chan­nel XLR for the most de­mand­ing sys­tems.

Our jury will still be out un­til we can get our hands on one, but af­ter its re­lease in Eu­rope, it earned the EISA award as the best “High-End UHD Blu-ray Player 2018-2019” with the judges prais­ing it as ‘a glo­ri­ously en­gi­neered high-end ma­chine’. With its ‘Cus­tom pro­cess­ing, high-spec com­po­nents and ad­vanced user ad­just­ments… ev­ery last drop of per­for­mance de­tail is squeezed from movies and mu­sic alike…’.

We are ex­pect­ing the player to land in No­vem­ber and have an RRP of $1,649, but you can pre-or­der to­day.

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