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Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Review

mark800

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the very comprehensive review.

You said, "Since the UB900 supports all the main 4K video streaming services, it can also be an ideal single source for all your Ultra HD content." However, I'm bothered that the UB900 only outputs the streaming services at 60Hz frame rate, while the Samsung matches the source to 24Hz, 50Hz or 60 Hz.

Is this something that could be flagged to Panasonic, to identify whether Panasonic intends to remedy this, or just provide 60Hz?
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review Steve, I think I'm actually going to get the Samsung after reading that, I can't justify another £170 for what sounds like very minimal improvements. Other reviews have definitely suggested the colours seem better on the Panny compared to the Samsung (more saturated) and the picture is sharper compared to the Samsung, do you not agree that those differences are particularly noticeable then if indeed they do exist?

Ta
 

Doctor Smith

Well-known Member
Hi Steve,
Great review.
I'm not really interested in the audio side of things. My main priority is 4k picture and Blu ray upscaling.
Based on that would you say both player give the same performance in regards to 4K and BR upscaling.

If so should I go for the Samsung? Thanks
 

casjen

Active Member
Whilst it may not be £170 better I think it has enough edge (plus the extra film) to be the no 1 choice.

Plus its pretty certain which ever one you get that some people will upgrade to nxt years model and this model will hold its value better than the Samsung. :)
 

ahaydock

Active Member
Another top review and thank you.

In terms of Audio would you say there is a noticeable difference for outputting HD Audio (DTS MA/Dolby True HD) over Analog vs HDMI as my AVR can handle both? Seems like this may be the only real difference for me and not sure the additional spend is worth it...
 

johnjay

Well-known Member
Thanks for the review Steve, I think I'm actually going to get the Samsung after reading that, I can't justify another £170 for what sounds like very minimal improvements. Other reviews have definitely suggested the colours seem better on the Panny compared to the Samsung (more saturated) and the picture is sharper compared to the Samsung, do you not agree that those differences are particularly noticeable then if indeed they do exist?

Ta
Totally agree Andy. I seen a box re-opening on YT and this player looks nice from the front but seems plasticy, light with just the usual set and quality of inputs you would expect from a player over £150.
£600 even for this is way overpriced imo. Apart from the UHD/HDR capability and the seemingly more reports of incremental improvements of UHD, this player looks basic for a £600 player.

Maybe the Audio capability makes it worth it for some, I don't know.

I think Oppo will show why a player can command more around this price apart from the super high-end players That may come like say a UHD version of the Oppo 105 or the likes of a Marantz native 4K £1200 player... If they go ahead. I dont know anything about confirmation of high-end units.
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
Whilst it may not be £170 better I think it has enough edge (plus the extra film) to be the no 1 choice.

Plus its pretty certain which ever one you get that some people will upgrade to nxt years model and this model will hold its value better than the Samsung. :)
Aye, and the included films aren't a barebones UHD disc with no BD and no digital copy like the Samsung pack-in edition Martian, you really are getting £50 worth of retail UHD discs in the box. That brings the difference down to £120 (or £70 in my case as I've got the player on order for £550 :D) and IMO it's worth that for the adjustable SDR conversion alone over the Samsung.
 

johnjay

Well-known Member
Maybe we need a few owners evaluations to go along with the reviewers evaluation.
At 1st look to me it doesn't justify it; but we all know some classics are born at home as well as from media reports.
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Don't forget the streaming services only output at 60hz on the Panny, not an issue if you have said services on your TV but Panasonic really need to sort that out it's pretty unforgiveable really
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
Totally agree Andy. I seen a box re-opening on YT and this player looks nice from the front but seems plasticy, light with just the usual set and quality of inputs you would expect from a player over £150.
£600 even for this is way overpriced imo. Apart from the UHD/HDR capability and the seemingly more reports of incremental improvements of UHD, this player looks basic for a £600 player.

Maybe the Audio capability makes it worth it for some, I don't know.

I think Oppo will show why a player can command more around this price apart from the super high-end players That may come like say a UHD version of the Oppo 105 or the likes of a Marantz native 4K £1200 player... If they go ahead. I dont know anything about confirmation of high-end units.
Show it how? Isn't part of the historical waffle about Oppo also due to the hefty audio tech that they include, so that would make it just as useless as this player, no? And I find it plenty ironic that a lot of people champion the Oppos for them being a great media streamer, which for me completely belies the point of spending £1000 on a disc player that's built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

I was always skeptical about the Oppo hype and after having actually owned one - the 95, which was the buggiest BD player I've ever used - I was even less convinced. Is the Panasonic overpriced for what it is, considering that UHD Blu is an evolution of the tech rather than a revolution? Absolutely. But Panasonic don't have the monopoly on overpriced Blu-ray players, that's for sure. :D
 

vaktmestern

Banned
Lovly player but no Dolby vision sadly that prevents me from buying one.
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
Anyway, cheers for the review Steve! It sounds like a cracking player, not reinventing the wheel but it does what it does with class and precision.

And many thanks for the specifics on the SDR conversion, I know the peak output of my SDR 4K set is about 450 nits so it'll be fantastic if I can still eke out some of dat extra range in the image. Can't wait to get my hands on it!
 

johnjay

Well-known Member
Show it how? Isn't part of the historical waffle about Oppo also due to the hefty audio tech that they include, so that would make it just as useless as this player, no? And I find it plenty ironic that a lot of people champion the Oppos for them being a great media streamer, which for me completely belies the point of spending £1000 on a disc player that's built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

I was always skeptical about the Oppo hype and after having actually owned one - the 95, which was the buggiest BD player I've ever used - I was even less convinced. Is the Panasonic overpriced for what it is, considering that UHD Blu is an evolution of the tech rather than a revolution? Absolutely. But Panasonic don't have the monopoly on overpriced Blu-ray players, that's for sure. :D
With features like HDMI inputs, using an up to date processor, yes media streaming for convenience which is going to become even more apparent, the multitude of C.I.H options for PJ users and general convenience. I havent had the experience with the '103 that you have had with the '95 (since I stopped using both USB inputs).

Granted I should have been more clear about my own expectations and by the way you abruptly asked "Show it how?" as your 1st part of your post, we may end up going back and forward, to and forth. It was a personal observation not meant to upset anyone that likes the panny.
 

davejones2

Active Member
If you look at all the struggles with the Samsung player over on AVSforum (albeit some self inflicted by too much fiddling!) it sounds ridiculous to say but the excellence of the on screen information on the Panasonic might genuinely be worth the extra cash for this alone!
 

Manni01

Well-known Member
Finally, a good review for this player!

Thanks a lot Steve for this very detailed report, especially regarding the various conversion options. I love the Dynamic range control adjustment!

I hope that you have reported the frame rate issue with streaming services to Panasonic, it looks like the main downside in the player.

Also according to user feedback it looks like it's unable to play mkv files with Atmos.
 

drdig

Standard Member
I tested the Panasonic DMP-UB900 with a projector Sony VPL-VW520ES and the results have been dismal. The HDR does not work properly and the picture looks very bad.

Clearly, Sony should resolve this issue and it takes too long to do so.
This issue says little in favor of Sony, who sells a projector with HDR with a very high price that does not meet the parameters correctly.
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
With features like HDMI inputs, using an up to date processor, yes media streaming for convenience which is going to become even more apparent, the multitude of C.I.H options for PJ users and general convenience. I havent had the experience with the '103 that you have had with the '95 (since I stopped using both USB inputs).

Granted I should have been more clear about my own expectations and by the way you abruptly asked "Show it how?" as your 1st part of your post, we may end up going back and forward, to and forth. It was a personal observation not meant to upset anyone that likes the panny.
Oh, I'm not after exchanging fully itemised lists of features but now I do have a better idea of what you're after, so thanks. I'd say that expecting something like an HDMI input seems a little unrealistic seeing as no-one but Oppo (AFAIK) has done such a thing, and the aspect options for CIH are great but extremely niche (though the Panny does have subtitle shift), and it's probably obvious where I stand on streaming: couldn't give a monkey's.

Ah, don't mind me, it's just weird to suddenly be exposed to such doubt whereas all the other UB900 threads are filled with giddy excitement. :)

Still, as I've said before, if someone has an HDR TV and has no need for the analogue outputs then it's debateable as to what benefits the Panasonic actually has over the Samsung, apart from that myriad of tinkering options which are designed to appeal to the sort of gear-heads who'd lean towards the Oppo side of things in the first place. And for someone with an SDR 4K TV like myself, that SDR conversion feature could end up being worth the difference on its own, and the 4:2:0 setting for 4K50/60p (no such setting on the Samsung) will hopefully avoid the handshaking/bandwidth issues that older 10.2 Gb/s HDMI chips will have with 4K50/60 4:4:4.
 

SUSSEX

Active Member
An excellent in depth review, thanks Steve How do I find out what the peak brightness is on my panel? I have a Sony KD 79X9005B which has a VA panel, but I can't find any information on its peak brightness anywhere. It did have a major update recently which some say was to help with HDR content, but again finding out what the update actually did seems to be another Sony secret as there's no information out there!
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
An excellent in depth review, thanks Steve How do I find out what the peak brightness is on my panel? I have a Sony KD 79X9005B which has a VA panel, but I can't find any information on its peak brightness anywhere. It did have a major update recently which some say was to help with HDR content, but again finding out what the update actually did seems to be another Sony secret as there's no information out there!
Only way to find out is to use a colourimeter and measuring software. My 55X9005B digs out 466 nits at 100% peak brightness.

First I've heard of new firmware for the 2014 B series adding any kind of HDR help though, where did you hear that? Are you sure you're not confusing it with the HDR 'lite' update that most of the 2015 range got?
 

tyvar1

Standard Member
I will get a LG E6 this summer (July) would you guys recommend me to wait for a DV 4k player or should i get a Panasonic/Samsung 4k player before so i can watch some 4k blu rays?

thanks!
 

scrowe

Well-known Member
My disappointment is the seeming lack of control over the video output. I would prefer my Lumagen doing any upscaling or deinterlacing from DVD or BD. Having now checked the manual, it seems no manual or sourcedirect option. Hopefully there's a workaround on Lumagen's end.
 

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