We first saw Panasonic's new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player as a prototype at CES last year and now the DMP-UB900 has finally been announced.The new player is THX certified, a first for a UHD Blu-ray player, and features a new 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor equipped with imaging technologies such as chroma processing and high gradation processing that have been developed by the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) Blu-ray R&D facility. The UB900 will take full advantage of the full Ultra HD Blu-ray capabilities to deliver superior images in the home. It will also offer dramatically improved audio quality and is equipped with an optimized, large-capacity power supply unit and features many select high-quality audio parts and components in its audio circuits for improved sound quality. In addition, it supports high-resolution audio formats such as DSD and ALAC; whilst Panasonic also plans for the UB900 to support 4K VOD (Video on Demand) services, to give users greater enjoyment of 4K content.
Ultra HD Blu-ray is a next-generation Blu-ray Disc standard that supports 4K. What's more, it goes beyond 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) by supporting HDR (High Dynamic Range) to produce image reproduction with support for higher frame rates of up to 60p and a brightness range of up to 1,000 to 10,000 nits as well as the BT.2020 wide color gamut to further enhance colour reproduction. The UB900 incorporates a newly developed 4K-ready engine, called the 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor. By using an original high-accuracy multi-tap process to interpolate the decoded 4K (4:2:0) signals of Ultra HD Blu-ray content to 4K (4:4:4), it will deliver beautiful, natural pictures with lifelike depth and vivid colours.
The UB900 comes with a wide range of digital and analogue terminals to suit a diversity of users' system environments. The new twin HDMI arrangement separates audio and video signals to suppress unwanted noise and achieve high-quality audio reproduction. In addition, it supports analogue 7.1-channel audio for a direct connection to a home theatre system for lifelike surround sound. Each terminal is gold-plated to resist oxidization and maintain high signal conductivity. The UB900 uses many high-quality audio parts equivalent to those found in hi-fi audio products. Large-capacity electrolytic capacitors ensure a stable power supply and provide the sound with incredible power, while a Mica capacitor reduces internal digital noise from the power line.
Digital circuitry features a LAN Common Mode Filter that decreases noise from external devices during network playback, and the audio circuitry supports high-resolution 192-kHz/32-bit Audio DAC. Essentially every part of the UB900 is designed to deliver high sound quality, from signal processing to audio device output. The UB900 is designed for high-resolution audio reproduction. In addition to conventional WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA formats, DSD (5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz) and ALAC music files can be reproduced. In addition the distinctive sound characteristics of tube amplifiers are faithfully simulated. Six different kinds of sounds from vacuum tubes with 96-kHz/192-kHz Up-sampling can be enjoyed in exceptionally high quality.
The simple and stylish design of the UB900 matches any flat-panel TV, whilst the mirrored front panel features a bevel cut finish on all four sides to present a subtle yet distinctive presence enhanced by the use of a high-quality dot-matrix display. The UB900’s remote control carries backlighting to allow easy operation even in a dark room - perfect for home theatre systems. Also a great touch for dark room environments is the remote’s Dimmer button, which automatically adjusts the brightness of the player’s display to match the amount of ambient light.
The Panasonic DMP-UB900 will be released in the UK in the spring at an as yet to be confirmed price.
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