After all the announcements, trade shows, and general anticipation, as we enter March the era of Ultra HD Blu-Ray finally begins. Since Panasonic wowed us with its DMP-UB900 Blu-Ray player at CES in January, we’ve been waiting to see when we could get our hands on it. Now, not only do we know the answer to that question, we also know it will include a few extras.
Panasonic announced at its annual product launch convention in Frankfurt that its 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray player will go on sale in Europe in mid-April, HDTV Test reports. That’s earlier than many expected it to be released, but the price comes as less of a surprise. The DMP-UB900 has a suggested retail price of £600, which could put it at around $800 in the U.S., though Panasonic has yet to make an official U.S. announcement.
The DMP-UB900 not only features the high resolution that comes with the Ultra HD Blu-Ray format, but also features support HDR and wide color gamut on the video front. As for audio, high-res DSD, FLAC and ALAC audio formats in addition to the usual MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAV audio formats are supported. To make the most out of that extra fidelity, the player features a 96kHz-192kH up-sampling chip and some specialized processing designed to bring analog warmth to the digital signal.
Of course for many, Ultra HD Blu-Ray is all about the visuals, and the DMP-UB900 doesn’t aim to disappoint there either, with a high-precision Chroma processor and Direct Chroma up-scaling to make sure your existing Blu-Rays look great compared to the new UHD discs.
In order to make sure you don’t have to resort to re-watching old Blu-Rays, Panasonic will include the UHD Blu-Ray releases of both Mad Max: Fury Road and San Andreas. At the Oscars last night, Fury Road walked away with its fair share of awards, and is certainly a great pick for putting the player through its paces. Even better, the discs will be bundled right with the player — no need to redeem any offers or wait for the mail to come.
This isn’t the first time a Panasonic player boasting new technology has been packaged with a release making good use of that technology. In 2010, Avatar in 3D was bundled exclusively with Panasonic 3D Blu-Ray players and 3D TVs. While 3D in the home never quite caught on, it’s less likely that will be the case with Ultra HD Blu-Ray.