Panasonic DP-UB9000 review

Panasonic DP-UB9000 review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Osakwe

The Panasonic DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player review shows that physical media has plenty of life left in it. Designed to work with both 4K and HD Blu-rays, this Ultra HD flagship player supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata for advanced HDR, in addition to regular HDR10 and HLG.

Also, it upscales DVDs and makes a decent noise with CDs. In spite of its high cost, this deck is worth upgrading if you have a disc collection that dates back years.

Its image quality is unparalleled, and if you’re looking for one of the best TVs to get the ultimate image quality, then this is the one for you. You can connect it to an AV receiver for surround sound and have a real home cinema experience.

PANASONIC DP-UB9000 REVIEW: FEATURES

Panasonic DP-UB9000 review

With Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube among its streaming apps, Panasonic’s TV isn’t going to entice you away from your streaming stick of choice, or any polished smart TV platform for that matter. Unfortunately, there are no streaming music apps, which would have made sense. So even though the smart features are limited, it doesn’t matter.

The connectivity is among the best. Additionally, there are two HDMI outputs (one for audio only), two USB 2.0 ports, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, a stereo analog phono input, plus balanced Neutrik XLR connectors. There is also Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

One of our favorite features is the Playback Info screen. With this, you can read HDR10 metadata, such as Maximum Frame-Average Light (MaxFALL) and Maximum Light Level (MaxCLL). This player will tell you that Pacific Rim Uprising was mastered for 1000 nits. Additionally, MaxFALL is 863 nits. The average HDR brightness of Despicable Me 2 is 553 nits, as well? It is probably not, but at least you can see how true your HDR display is to the creative intent when Gru blows something up.

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It’s a pity that this isn’t a universal disc player. It can’t play Super Audio CDs or DVD-A platters. The player is only compatible with vanilla CDs. You won’t have any problems if you just want it for movies, but some audiophiles might be disappointed. The player will handle both DSD and 24-bit FLAC files, so all is not lost on the Hi-Res Audio front.

PANASONIC DP-UB9000 REVIEW: IMAGES & SOUND

4k players

This player has THX 4K Source certification, so the picture is jaw-droppingly good. Using Panasonic’s 2nd-generation HCX video processor, it produces images with great detail, almost 3D depth, and wide, smooth color.

Furthermore, it offers an HDR Optimizer, which can be used to match the player output to your display. There is an OLED option, a High Luminance Projector, a Basic Luminance Projector, a Super High Luminance LCD, a Middle or High Luminance LCD, and a Basic Luminance LCD.

As part of this Optimizer, a tone map target is set (the default is 1000 nits), and the conversion is performed for lower brightness displays, enabling them to handle extreme HDR highlights better without clipping.

Tone mapping is not available on all TVs, particularly when content is mastered above 1,000 nits. One example of how clipping can obscure details is by blanching out clouds. Theoretically, this should be fixed by watching Dolby Vision, but with this Optimizer, you should get the best dynamic range with anything you watch, whether it’s Dolby or not.

In addition, the DP-UB9000 can output 4K 4:4:4 video from 4K 4:2:0 content; this works with both UHD discs and streaming services. Because of this, onscreen images are vibrant and dynamic, with perfectly saturated colors and smooth gradations.

Although Panasonic hasn’t skimped on the sonic specs, the DB-UB9000 cannot play legacy hi-res audio discs. Two channels are handled by an AK4493 DAC running at 768KHz/32bit, while the left and right channels are sent through a low noise op-amp to the Neutrik balanced outputs.

PANASONIC DP-UB9000 REVIEW: DESIGN & USABILITY

The DP-UB9000 looks every bit the audiophile thoroughbred when it comes to style. At 7.8kg, the deck is reassuringly heavy thanks to the two-layer steel construction. Both the aluminum side plates and the double-layered top plate are separately bolted, and the chassis’ base is also dual-layered, consisting of both 1.2mm and 1.6mm sheets.

There is a high level of attention to detail. Its seductively rolled corners and hairline finish on the front panel give it a minimalistic, up-market look. To keep everything firmly in place, there are four areolating feet, each with anti-slip pads.

With buttons for Video, Music, Photos, Home Network, Network Service, and Setup, the interface is clear and easy to use. With the large, plasticky remote control, you can navigate around without too much difficulty.

Pros and Cons

REASONS TO BUY REASONS TO AVOID
Battleship-like build Limited streaming app portal
Playback Info screen No Super Audio CD or DVD-A playback
Unbeatable picture quality

VERDICT

The best Blu-ray player under a grand can be found here if you’re looking for the best. With a build quality that inspires confidence and performance that leaves you blown away, the DP-UB9000 is a disc spinner you can’t miss

Smart HDR optimization technology contributes to excellent image quality. Support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ means you’ll get the most out of any UHD disc you play, and that Playback Info screen is pure AV bliss. Also, the sound quality is quite good.

AV enthusiasts should consider the DP-UB9000 the best player on the market.

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