Question Best Analogue Outputs from UHD Player?

bookle

Active Member
Looking to take first tentative steps into 4k but have an old Arcam AVR600 which is not 4K compatible but a fine amp nonetheless.
The plan is to use the Arcam in analogue mode so need a 4K Player with high quality 7.1 analogue outputs that can also stream the usual apps.

Top end Oppo/Panny etc is out of budget, no more than £300 used is what I’m thinking.

What would you recommend?
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Looking to take first tentative steps into 4k but have an old Arcam AVR600 which is not 4K compatible but a fine amp nonetheless.
The plan is to use the Arcam in analogue mode so need a 4K Player with high quality 7.1 analogue outputs that can also stream the usual apps.

Top end Oppo etc is out of budget, no more than £300 used is what I’m thinking.

What would you recommend?
There is only one 4K player at that price with 7.1 analogue outputs, the Panasonic UB820.
Luckily it's a recommended player anyway.
 

bookle

Active Member
There is only one 4K player at that price with 7.1 analogue outputs, the Panasonic UB820.
Luckily it's a recommended player anyway.

You are right, it seems pretty the only option after a bit of research.
What’s the view on how good the analogues actually are and are they a decent fit for a fairly high end HC system?
or is it better to take a digital out from the UHD player to my AVR600 (don’t need atmos etc) and video direct to my projector via HDMI?
 

Russ_64

Well-known Member
Most UHD players have two HDMI outputs - one to TV for 4K video and the other for audio only to AVR. That is how I run mine.
 

bookle

Active Member
Most UHD players have two HDMI outputs - one to TV for 4K video and the other for audio only to AVR. That is how I run mine.

I‘d normally go that route too, but my Arcam doesn’t always deal well digitally with Blu-ray / HD audio codecs (occasional pops and crackles) so was hoping to solve both problems in one.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
You are right, it seems pretty the only option after a bit of research.
What’s the view on how good the analogues actually are and are they a decent fit for a fairly high end HC system?
or is it better to take a digital out from the UHD player to my AVR600 (don’t need atmos etc) and video direct to my projector via HDMI?
If I recall correctly the UB820 uses the AKM AK4458VN DAC, the same one used in most Denon, Marantz, and Anthem AVRs plus also the Oppo 203, so not too shabby.

Edit: found reference to it using TI PCM5100A DACs.

Edit 2: tests of its audio results:
I can't recommend the Panasonic DP-UB820 for analog audio output. Use your AVR's DAC over HDMI as it is likely to perform better.
Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Review
which answers your 2nd question. Use digital output to the AVR600

If you want to improve on that you'll have to spend more. The UB9000 gets much better test results.
Panasonic DP-UB9000 shows that when AV companies put their mind to it, they can produce excellently performing and engineered products when it comes to audio performance. Despite having HDMI in there whaling away and the rest of the streaming bits, we have high performance desktop class DAC results.

Performance is almost the same as Oppo UDP-205 so for people mourning the loss of that unit, be sad no more. No, you don't get that units HDMI input and "mini AVR in a box" features but you do get a very performant and supported UHD player.

I am happy to recommend the Panasonic DP-UB9000 to my recommended list.
Panasonic DP-UB9000 UHD Player Review
 
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bookle

Active Member
Thanks GGG
Ok, a rethink required....

I’m definitely not spending £900 on a UHD player as it will also depreciate horribly over time so that leaves me with....

a) buy cheap(ish) used UHD player with separate audio out hdmi and use digital only to feed the Arcam and live with the pops and distortion episodes on certain Blu-ray movies
b) Upgrade the Arcam to equivalent 4K capable AVR - v.expensive!
c) Buy an older, high end HD audio capable processor and use Arcam as power amp

Edit : Just remembered - I have an old Anthem MRX700 with faulty amp outputs - I could use this as a audio processor to avoid pops/crackles and feed analogues preouts to the Arcam and jobs a good un?
 
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goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Thanks GGG
Ok, a rethink required....

I’m definitely not spending £900 on a UHD player as it will also depreciate horribly over time so that leaves me with....

a) buy cheap(ish) used UHD player with separate audio out hdmi and use digital only to feed the Arcam and live with the pops and distortion episodes on certain Blu-ray movies
b) Upgrade the Arcam to equivalent 4K capable AVR - v.expensive!
c) Buy an older, high end HD audio capable processor and use Arcam as power amp

Edit : Just remembered - I have an old Anthem MRX700 with faulty amp outputs - I could use this as a audio processor to avoid pops/crackles and feed analogues preouts to the Arcam and jobs a good un?
The UB820 analogue outputs should still be better than a faulty HDMI feed. The AVR600 pops and distortion would produce test results far worse than the UB820 got in that review....
 

bookle

Active Member
The UB820 analogue outputs should still be better than a faulty HDMI feed. The AVR600 pops and distortion would produce test results far worse than the UB820 got in that review....

I think it’s an Arcam HD audio decoding issue as the optical out pops as much as the hdmi but when it’s not occasionally popping the DAC/sound quality of the Arcam is absolutely stellar so looking to match that quality with anything I replace it with.
I guess I am assuming the previous post are accurate and Panny dac/analogue outputs from the UB820 are inferior quality?
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
This is fairly (hah) easy. How much do you want to spend? I agree buying an expensive UHD player with your current system is a bit daft. So I'd suggest either one extreme or the other. Buy a cheap UHD (video will be exactly the same anyway) for less than £200 or go all in with a new AV etc. Not much point in between.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
This is fairly (hah) easy. How much do you want to spend? I agree buying an expensive UHD player with your current system is a bit daft. So I'd suggest either one extreme or the other. Buy a cheap UHD (video will be exactly the same anyway) for less than £200 or go all in with a new AV etc. Not much point in between.
Except for a projector the HDR Optimiser equipped Panasonics are said to give a better PQ than non tone mapping players. No point skimping too much on the audio front and forgetting about the video side of things.

I'd suggest the OP gets the best of both worlds. Panasonic ebay outlet often sell refurbished UB820's with 12 months warranty for around £220. Less if there is an ebay discount code floating around. None at the moment but there were a few in October going by ebay completed sales.

ub820com.jpg
 
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bookle

Active Member
Except for a projector the HDR Optimiser equipped Panasonics are said to give a better PQ than non tone mapping players.

Interesting....I have a JVC X5000 projector, does that mean the Panny UD820 is not a great match for projectors?
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
HDR Optimiser equipped Panasonics are said to give a better PQ than non tone mapping players

Surely all players using hdmi just pass a digital signal through to the tv which does all the processing?
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Surely all players using hdmi just pass a digital signal through to the tv which does all the processing?
UHDs are often mastered at high nit levels which many TVs and especially PJs struggle to tone map within the capabilities of the display. The Panasonics can do the heavy lifting and tonemap down to a level suited to the display: 1500 nits, 1000 nits and 500 nits (UB9000 does 350 nits too). My LG Oled can, at a push, do 700 odd nits so noticeably benefits from the optimiser in reducing highlight clipping for many HDR10 UHDs i.e. the player is tone mapping better than the TV.
Interesting....I have a JVC X5000 projector, does that mean the Panny UD820 is not a great match for projectors?
More the opposite, the UB820 is a HDR Optimiser equipped player, the other is the UB9000. So I'm saying that is the one to go for.
The older UB420 had it as well (but no Dolby Vision) but it's now end of life, the newer UB450 replacement doesn't have the optimiser AFAIK.
 

bookle

Active Member
Thanks all, super helpful.
Think I’m going to plunge for first decent UB820 that comes along and experiment from there....
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Analogue out is not a poor solution at all, the 9000 does a very good job, I suspect the 820 would be pretty good and probably better than a lot or poor/average receivers fed with HDMI
 

bookle

Active Member
Will try both options a report back - I suspect the HDMI to the Arcam AVR600 will trump the UB820 analogues to the Arcam AVR600, but lets see
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Analogue out is not a poor solution at all, the 9000 does a very good job, I suspect the 820 would be pretty good and probably better than a lot or poor/average receivers fed with HDMI
Especially from the XLR connectors. Both those and the 2 ch phono outputs are fed by an AKM AK4493EQ DAC which produces very good test results. Unfortunately the UB820 doesn't get such good test results. See post #6 for links.
 

IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Especially from the XLR connectors. Both those and the 2 ch phono outputs are fed by an AKM AK4493EQ DAC which produces very good test results. Unfortunately the UB820 doesn't get such good test results. See post #6 for links.

Yes thats true, but at the price you are talking about thats tricky, numbers can helps but dont provide all the answers, I had a 205 back to back with the 9000 for analogue and didn't like the 205, it sounded, lean 'pinched' and to my ears not very pleasant, it was detailed though and fairly resolving. Any thing AV unfortunately depreciated pretty heavily, my previous player a Denon was twice the price of the Panasonic, but I used it for 10 years so no regrets, still works fine, sonically marginally better than the Panasonic back to back, on BR but doesnt do 4K

If you are 7.1, have good speaker positions and have an older receiver that is not good with HDMI (we know that is a LOT of receivers, well most and processors) I would be looking at an analogue out player before moving to HDMI. Shame its only Panasonic left
 

bookle

Active Member
reporting back....

1) UD820 analogues cannot be configured in any other way than stereo or 7.1. So my speaker setup of 6.1 (phantom centre) loses all dialogue that my AVR adjusts digitally for to route dialogue to front stereo pair.
My AVR only directly passes MCH analogue through so not possible to adjust to 6.1 either.
My bad for not reading up on that one properly.
To be honest I am pretty sure the UB820 analogue sound quality would be significantly inferior to AVR600 anyhow.

2) OK, so UHD streaming services will be much better, right?
Amazon video Dolby Digital+ audio distorts slightly in dialogue over HDMI (a common issue I believe - I had same issue with firestick). All you normally do is change audio settings to vanilla DD, but the Amazon app on the UB820 has no option to change audio settings (as the fire stick does). So only dodgy DD+ and distorted dialogue via Amazon for me!

3) UHD/4K to my JVC X5000 is good but not a wow tbh.
HDR is positively detrimental to overall colour balance (even with adjustments) so going currently with SD gamut.

Overall feeling suitably underwhelmed by the whole UHD/HDR player and streaming experience tbh
 
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IWC Dopplel

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately analogue out is very compromised with functionality (the Panasonic 9000 has only a Choice of 5.1 or 7.1) the Oppo is better but I don’t think that has no option for a Phantom centre and they are super expensive and not worth it IMO. Using the DACs in the 9000 really isn’t a terrible solution as I am reminding myself right now. Why not buy a centre ?

The 820 will be some way behind but I doubt it will be incomparable to HDMI to your Arcam
 

bookle

Active Member
My phantom centre is something I spent a long time on and overall concluded for my system it is a far superior audio experience v. dedicated centre (but that’s another thread!)

I’m sure the 900 given the spec/price is a very large step up from the UB820 for audio but I really can’t justify the additional cost to overcome very occasional HD audio issues on the otherwise stellar Arcam and minor UHD image quality improvement in my non native 4K system.
I think AVR might be next upgrade.
 

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