New Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-ray players offer voice control, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision

posted on Sunday, 7th January 2018 by Steve May

Blu-ray  4K  Smart home  HDR  Dolby Vision  Voice Control 

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Panasonic has unveiled a new quartet of 4K UHD Blu-ray players, including its first model to support Dolby Vision.

The top spec DP-UB820 and DP-UB420 models will both support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology, with the DP-UB820 adding Dolby Vision. “Because of our market share with 4K Blu-ray players, it’s only right that we offer Dolby Vision support for those users who have Dolby Vision TVs,” justified European marketing manager Craig Cunningham. Currently, the brand does not support Dolby Vision displays. The top also feature 4K VOD (Video on Demand) services, with Panasonic namechecking both Netflix and YouTube.

The pair will be joined by the lower-cost DP-UB330 and DP-UB320 series. All models will offer voice control for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Users can fast forward or pause movies without having to use a remote control.

Panasonic UHD Blu -ray Player _UB420 Crop

Both the UB820 and UB420 Series feature dual HDMI outputs for isolating 4K video and amplifier audio. The UB820 also offers analogue 7.1-channel audio for direct connection to a home cinema system.

The quartet feature an HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor which applies chroma and gradation processing developed at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL). A 4K Direct Chroma up-scaling feature up-converts Full HD to 4K resolution.

The players also boast an HDR Optimizer, which allows for more accurate tone mapping of HDR content on HDR displays with limited peak brightness. Three tiers of optimisation are provided. In addition there’s HDR to SDR conversion, which is optimised tone remapping for SDR TVs.

High-resolution audio support is standard, and includes DSD (11.2MHz/5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz) ALAC and AIFF. Design-wise, the new fleet look largely unchanged from their predecessors, the DMP-UB900 and below. Prices have yet to be announced.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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