4K Blu-ray Player to Cost $1.2K

Panasonic today unveiled New Zealand’s first 4K or UHD player, the UB900, which will go on sale this month for $1200.

That may seem a steep price until you remember Panasonic’s first Blu-ray player cost $4000 when it was released 10 years ago.

Samsung’s UHD player, which you can buy across the Tasman, and in the US and the UK (where Panasonic’s has earned five-star raves from the likes of Trusted Reviews and What Hi-Fi), would cost $700-$800.

But there are no plans to market it here, even though distributors are releasing more movies on 4K Blu-ray.

Panasonic will bundle 4K copies of Creed and Mad Max: Fury Road for a limited time with sales of the UB900 while due out on July 20 are Batman vs Superman: Dawn of JusticeMan of Steel and Creed.

Already for sale are The RevenantDeadpool, The Martian, San AndreasLife of PiThe Maze Runner, Maze Runner: Scorch TrialsStar TrekStar Trek: Into DarknessThe Lego MovieKingsmen: The Secret Service and X-Men: Days of Future.

There are dozens more 4K titles for sale in the US, which will play on the UB900 because UHD BDs aren’t region-coded.

Grant Shaw, Audio Visual Group Product Manager at Panasonic New Zealand, says demand for 4K entertainment options are on the rise and the UB900 offers an exciting new viewing experience for those who are after the finest picture and sound quality.

“When pairing the UB900 with Panasonic’s new 4K Pro Smart ultra high definition TVs, Kiwis will enjoy movies at home with a quality more superior than they would see in a cinema.

“Ultra HD Blu-ray is a big step up compared to traditional Blu-ray – it brings a level of picture performance that is to Hollywood standard and hasn’t been seen in the home before.

“We are viewing more and more content at home and now we can watch our favourite movies, documentaries and TV shows with crisp and vibrant colour, along with phenomenal detail.”

Here’s the rest of the press release:

Panasonic’s Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) Blu-ray Research and Development facility refined new imaging technologies including chroma processing to create the Ultra HD Premium certified DMP-UB900. These innovative technologies deliver cinematic-quality images, which is exactly how Hollywood filmmakers intended them to look.

In addition, the UB900 offers dramatically improved audio and truly life-like surround sound so viewers can get immersed in the world they are watching and intensify their viewing experience. It features carefully selected high-quality audio parts for a rich sound expression, and the UB900 also supports high-resolution audio formats such as DSD and ALAC.

“The UB900 features high-quality audio components which are equivalent to those found in Panasonic’s hi-fi audio range. Viewers will feel as if they are part of the action when watching thrillers, blockbuster action movies, all the way through to documentaries,” says Grant.

Ultra HD Blu-ray: next-generation video disc standard

Ultra-High Definition Blu-ray is the next-generation Blu-ray Disc standard that not only delivers 4K-resolution pictures, but also goes beyond the capabilities of 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) by supporting HDR.

It achieves true-to-life 4K image reproduction with high frame rates of up to 60p for smooth motion and a brightness range of up to 1,000 to 10,000 nits.

Bringing a cinematic-experience to your home

The UB900 has recently achieved ULTRA HD PREMIUM certification by the UHD Alliance’s programme for outstanding brightness, resolution, contrast and HDR performance. In addition, its ability to render finely nuanced colours and rich, detailed images has earned the UB900 certification from THX® Ltd. a renowned independent quality assurance group.

High-quality audio parts for unparalleled sound

For the UB900, Panasonic has drawn on their extensive and innovative history in hi-fi audio product development to ensure superb sound.

It comes with numerous digital and analogue terminals to suit a wide-range of home entertainment set-ups. The new twin HDMI ports separate audio and video signals to suppress unwanted noise and achieve high-quality audio reproduction. It also supports analogue 7.1-channel audio for a direct connection to a home theatre system for an even more powerful surround sound experience.

Additionally, the UB900 has been designed for high-resolution audio reproduction. In addition to the conventional WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA formats, DSD and ALAC music files can be reproduced by connecting a home audio system. This allows Kiwis to enjoy music sources equivalent to studio master sound quality.

Kiwis can enjoy a variety of 4K entertainment with smart networking options

With the 4K Video / JPEG Playback function, Kiwis can enjoy 4K videos (MP4) which they’ve taken with a camera or camcorder, and they can also view JPEGs in 4K resolution. This feature makes it easy to view precious photos of family and friends, along with enjoying memories from holidays in detail.

The UB900 features DLNA connectivity, making it easy to share content, such as photos, video and music – with other connected devices throughout the home. Every member of the family can enjoy their favourite content, anytime and anywhere in the home.

Kiwi entertainment fans can enjoy 4K video streaming services, including NETFLIX and YouTube, through the UB900’s range of apps. The UB900’s remote control also features a dedicated NETFLIX button which seamlessly and easily launches the NETFLIX app.

Simple and elegant design gives the UB900 a stylish presence

With an elegant and stylish design, the UB900 perfectly matches any flat-panel TV. Its mirrored front panel features a 3D bevel cut finish design on all four sides of the unit, which presents a subtle and sleek, yet distinctive presence.

The UB900’s unique remote control has backlighting for easy operation, even in a darkly-lit room, making it perfect for home theatre systems. In addition, the remote features a dimmer button which automatically adjusts the brightness of the player’s display to match the room’s ambient lighting.


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3 Responses to “4K Blu-ray Player to Cost $1.2K”

  1. Interestingly when the next versions of Xbox One and PS4, it will be able to play 4K UHD Blu-rays. These consoles will definitely be cheaper to buy than the stand-alone UHD Blu-ray player.

  2. Yes, indeed. My first Blu-ray player was a PS3, because it was more affordable and versatile. But premium purpose-built UHD BD decks, like Panasonic’s, will always boast superior a/v specs whereas the consoles’ focus is on gaming. The PS3 was great but the fan din was atrocious and it’s been collecting dust since I switched to an Oppo BD player.

  3. Yes, I have a region free Oppo Blu-ray player and it is great. This means that I can buy any region A locked movie from the US and it will play on my Blu-ray player.

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