At CES in January, three companies introduced 4K Ultra UD Blu-ray players: Panasonic, Samsung, and Philips. The latter two companies’ players have been released in the U.S. while Panasonic’s model is currently being sold in Europe, and exactly when the Panasonic offering would arrive in the U.S. remained a mystery until today.
On Friday, Panasonic finally announced U.S. pricing and availability for its DMP-UB900 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. The UB900 will retail for $700 — which is actually slightly cheaper than we expected — and will be available beginning in September from the Panasonic website and select retailers, including Best Buy Magnolia locations.
Aside from 4K resolution, the UB900 also features HDR (High Dynamic Range) output for vastly improved contrast and a wider color gamut. Your older HD Blu-ray discs will also look great, as the player features a built-in upscaler and the ability to interpolate 4:2:0 color into 4:4:4 color.
In addition to playing your UHD Blu-ray discs, the UB900 also features as a capable streaming box with apps like Netflix and YouTube, and even a web browser included. The player also features Miracast support and the ability to play files from a DLNA server or off of an external hard drive. Wi-Fi connectivity means no running cumbersome Ethernet cables.
While the main focus here is video, the UB900 also plays high-resolution audio files, with a 192 kHz / 32-bit DAC and support for playing back ALAC, FLAC, and WAV formats, as well as DSD files at 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. The player is THX certified, and features 7.1-channel output for immersive surround sound.
One thing Panasonic hasn’t announced is whether the UB900 will be sold bundled with a 4K Blu-ray disc. When the player launched in Europe in April, it was bundled with 4K Blu-ray copies of Mad Max: Fury Road and San Andreas. Whether the U.S. release will see a similar retail package remains to be seen.
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