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Panasonic is today delighted to announce the launch of its latest Ultra HD Blu-ray Players, including three models, the DP-UB9000, the DP-UB820 and the DP-UB420 series, which all support HDR10+** dynamic metadata technology, the next-generation HDR format. In addition, the accompanying DP-UB330 and DP-UB320 series complete the line-up for 2018, which comprises five players, all Ultra HD Premium certified. Spearheading the line-up is a high-end, universal AV player, the UB9000, which includes both HDR10+ and Dolby VisionTM technology and reproduces Ultra HD Blu-ray, Video On Demand (VOD), and USB content.
The 2018 portfolio of Ultra HD Blu-ray players is powered by a Hollywood Cinema Experience (HCX) Processor, expertly developed and refined by specialists in the heart of Hollywood. Regardless of the type of content, the result is a thrilling home entertainment experience, just as the filmmaker intended.
In addition to the high picture quality of its HCX Processor, the reference-class UB9000 offers extremely high sound quality thanks to its analogue audio circuits, including a dedicated audio power supply, a high-performance D/A converter, and XLR balanced output. Housed in a newly-developed vibration-reducing chassis with high rigidity and lower position for the centre of gravity, the UB9000 produces excellent sound quality. This exciting new model raises the bar for AV enthusiasts with the highest-ever picture and sound quality in the history of Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Players.
Panasonic’s 2018 Ultra HD Players*** support voice control from both Google Assistant (coming soon)* and Amazon Alexa (coming soon)*. Simply speak to an existing Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa enabled device, and you can conveniently fast forward or pause your favourite movie without having to use the remote control.
Taking HDR to the max
Three of the new Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UB9000, UB820 and the UB420, support HDR10+** dynamic metadata technology which will offer considerable benefits to viewers through optimising the viewing experience on a scene-by-scene basis. HDR10+ is an open, royalty-free dynamic metadata platform created by 20th Century Fox, Panasonic and Samsung. The UB9000 and UB820 also support Dolby VisionTM**. Dolby Vision transforms entertainment experiences by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. From content creation to distribution and playback, Dolby Vision delivers a consistent and spectacular experience across a range of content and devices.
High-Quality Pictures: Proprietary technologies faithfully reproduce original images
The 4K engine powering the line-up is Panasonic’s proprietary HCX Processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray. This has been improved by applying unique chroma and gradation processing to the video technologies which were developed at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL), the R&D facility for enhancing Blu-ray picture quality. Launched last year, the HCX Processor reproduces Ultra HD Blu-ray and internet-streamed 4K video images with stunningly precise colours and optimal brightness.
Precise Chroma Processing
The colour information in 4K source component signals compressed by formats such as Ultra HD Blu-ray is thinned to 4:2:0, or about 1/4 the original amount. To match the 4:4:4 requirement of a television display, chroma up-sampling is performed by the Ultra HD Blu-ray Player. In basic up-sampling – known as a ‘2-tap process’ – the system samples adjacent, upper and lower colour pixels, and uses them to create intermediate pixels. Panasonic uses a ‘multi-tap process’ to compare the number of pixels in addition to those in the upper/lower/left/right positions, in order to create optimal pixels. By increasing the accuracy of the multi-tap process to interpolate the decoded 4K (4:2:0) signals of Ultra HD Blu-ray content to 4K (4:4:4), Panasonic delivers beautiful, natural pictures with life-like depth and vivid colours.
The UB9000, UB820, UB420 UB330 and UB320 series have an original 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling feature that up-converts Full HD to 4K resolution for displaying beautiful colours.
[A 4K/60p/4:4:4-compatible TV must be connected with an 18-Gbps-compatible high-speed cable. When reproducing Ultra HD Blu-ray content, 4:4:4/36-bit data is output for 4K/24p, and 4:2:2/36-bit data is output for 4K/60p.]
Optimum HDR Processing
With more and more HDR content available on disc and via streaming services, the optimal reproduction of HDR content has become essential. In addition to having a wide range of contrast, images from Ultra HD Blu-ray players must be reproduced with fine detail in both dark and bright areas. To achieve this, the new players use Panasonic’s three unique HDR processing technologies.
1. HDR Optimiser***
HDR-compatible TVs use tone-mapping to match the brightness range of images according to the static metadata within the content, but optimal results are sometimes not possible due to the limitations of the specific TV model. By conducting the tone-mapping on the player, stable HDR picture quality is delivered regardless of the TV. Panasonic’s original image processing technologies achieve HDR images with higher definition while tone-mapping is used to adjust the brightness level of the content. Even HDR images from ordinary HDR10 and TV footage provide optimal playback.
2. HDR Adjustment for various viewing conditions
All 2018 models have an HDR adjustment feature which reproduces dark and bright areas with high fidelity regardless of the viewing environment. Dark scenes in HDR images are sometimes difficult to see when viewed in a bright room and may require brightness adjustment. Because HDR signals are inherently different from SDR signals, existing adjustment functions are insufficient. The UB9000, UB820, UB420, UB330 and UB320 series use an original technology to optimise HDR video signals, which enables them to freely adjust the brightness of the HDR images. An HDR Setting button on the remote control allows the user to simply select the optimal setting for the viewing environment.
3. HDR to SDR conversion (Optimised Tone Remapping for SDR-TV)
Dynamic Range Conversion reproduces images with greater brightness and beauty than ordinary Blu-ray Disc images when played on a non-HDR TV with standard dynamic range (SDR-TV). This feature maximises the image expression that is inherent to Ultra HD Blu-ray.
The THX®-certified UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player replicates the finely nuanced colours and rich, detailed images required to reproduce the filmmaker’s intentions precisely. It also achieves truly life-like surround sound.
UB9000 Reference Quality Sound: Unique audio technologies achieve rich sound reproduction
Chassis with High Rigidity and Center Position of the Disc Drive
• Newly-Developed Drive Base and Centre Mechanism
A newly-developed drive base with a 3-dimensional, thick steel plate fixes the optical disc drive to the centre of the 2-layer chassis to reduce vibration and noise during disc rotation.
• 2-Layer Chassis
The use of a 2-layer structure with a heavy steel plate for the chassis achieves a low centre of gravity and low vibration.
• Aluminium Front and Side Panels
Thick aluminium is used on the front and side panels. This raises the rigidity of the chassis, and reduces vibration.
7.1-Channel Analogue Audio Output
The UB9000 and UB820 support analogue 7.1 channel audio for direct connection to a home theatre system for life-like surround sound. In addition, the UB9000 terminal is gold-plated to resist oxidisation and maintain high signal conductivity.
Twin HDMI Pure AV (Audio/Video Isolated Twin HDMI)
High-Res Audio Playback
The new Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray players are designed for high-resolution audio reproduction. In addition to conventional WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA formats, DSD (11.2MHz***/5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz) ALAC and AIFF music files can also be reproduced. Simply connect to a home audio system to enjoy music sources equivalent to studio master sound quality.
Digital Tube Sound with Up-Sampling
Smart Networking: Fully fledged network functionality to easily enjoy a variety of 4K sources
Viewing Experience Controlled via Voice
Panasonic’s 2018 Ultra HD Players*** support voice control from Google Assistant (coming soon)* and Amazon Alexa (coming soon)*. By simply speaking to them, a variety of operations, such as fast forward and pause, can be carried out by voice without having to use the remote control.
Compatible with 4K VOD
The new Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray players support 4K VOD (Video on Demand) services, offering a paramount video viewing experience for those who demand uncompromised quality in picture and sound when watching streamed content.
4K Camcorder Video and JPEG Playback
Design: The stylish design provides a high-quality presence
All of this advanced technology is packed inside a stylish body. The UB820, UB420 and UB330/320 feature 3D Glass-Cut Design. This simple yet eye-catching design perfectly complements any flat-panel TV, while the Ultra HD Blu-ray Player’s front panel features a bevel-cut finish on all four sides to present a subtle yet distinctive presence. The aluminium on the front and side panels of the UB9000 enhances sound quality while adding a touch of luxury to the design that ideally suits a reference model.
* Subject to availability
** Enabled by software update
*** Excluded in UB330/320 Series
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To learn more about the HDR10+ license program, please contact the HDR10+ license administration office at email@example.com.