The most expensive movie you'll ever watch
Let's face it - there's not much in terms of quality content out there just yet in 4K Blue ray, so the price of one of these gizmos is difficult to justify. None the less this is the future and with the onslaught of 4K TV sales, consumers will need one of these players to get the most out of your fancy new TV. I suppose the same dilemma was faced when standard HD came about. The movie publishers and TV stations will just take a while to catch up and the early adopters unfortunately have to foot the bill.
Once you get over the fact that your first movie is more expensive than going on an island vacation, t's difficult to be disappointing with the Panasonic however. Although the unit is nothing fancy in the looks department (being essentially nothing more than a high gloss dust magnet), the features and playback is where you'll start smiling again. Those old enough to remember paying ludicrous sums for a HDMI cable, will be happy to see that needed bits like this are now included. The remote is large but looks classy (also with a high gloss finish) and offers a huge array of direct access functions as well as a handy backlight. Not so impressive is the fact that the remote only supports multi-device control with Panasonic TVs via their proprietary Viera-Link, so if you have another brand of TV you'll be fiddling with multiple remotes (or buying another universal remote). The unit is quiet and reasonably quick to respond in terms of powering up a 4K movie. Shut-down is another story and the mind boggles sometimes as to why it takes minutes to power down the player. Gone are the days where the OFF button was an actual switch that killed the power instantly (sigh).
Sound output options are another very impressive feature of the DMP-UB900 and is undoubtedly why the player was at this price point. You have a dedicated HDMI sound output option as well as direct RCA style connections for individual sound output channels, plus optical etc. To get the most out of this player you will want to match it to a nice amp and speaker combo.
Playback of HDR content is very impressive and will wow anyone who happens to be stumbling past your TV set. Our first movie on this player was the BBC Planet Earth 2 series and it was simply stunning!. Upscaling is of course supported but it's difficult to judge whether your TV or the player are doing the better job. Regardless you get a very nice picture for standard full-HD blue ray as well. 4K streaming from Netflix and YouTube is supported but if you have a 4K smart TV you will probably already have the same apps so I'm not sure you're getting much added value there. Ideally this player would suit a 4K projector setup much better because of all the built-in online features.
Final word - if you have the funds to enjoy the tech at this stage, you won't be disappointed. The more budget conscious buyers should probably wait until more manufacturers join the fray.
Latest 4K UHD Technology
This is a new 4K Ultra High Definition Blu Ray player that became available a few months ago. I waited for a 20% discount before I bought one for $688 in October 2016.
This machine has a fast processor that enables it to start up quickly and load a disc very quickly. Picture quality is excellent on my Sony 55 inch 4K UHD HDR TV. Sound quality is very good as it is linked to my Yamaha 5.1 AV slim-line series receiver with full sized Bowers and Wilkins 600 series speakers (3 way flood-standing speakers, 2 way rear speakers on stands, a centre speaker and a sub-woofer).
A fast speed HDMI cable is included in the box. The price will probably fall over the next few months, as Sony will soon have new 4K UHD players in the market.
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