Panasonic's UHD Blu-ray player mixes 4K, HDR and hi-res audio

Are we getting close to home cinema perfection?

Panasonic UB900

Fresh from announcing its new HDR-capable, Honeycomb 4K TV, Panasonic has also taken the wraps off its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the Panasonic UB900.

We've been waiting on Ultra HD Blu-rays to arrive for what seems like forever, but thankfully the start of the year has seen Hollywood get its act together with Warner Bros. announcing its initial 4K offerings, and now it looks like we're finally getting the hardware too.

As well as supporting the new 4K disc format, the latest HDR standards and wide colour gamut imagery, the Panasonic UB900 is taking the audio side just as seriously.

Using components normally only found in hi-fi devices, the UB900 has been designed with a focus on reducing the interference and unwanted signal noise as much as possible. With dual HDMIs separating out the audio and video signals, as well as specific capacitors and filters on the inside, Panasonic is clearly focusing on making UHD Blu-rays sound as good as they look.

The audio circuitry even supports 192kHz/32-bit audio digital-to-analogue conversion and supports FLAC, DSD and ALAC music formats too.

Panasonic UB900

One for the enthusiast

It's a smart move on Panasonic's part. The biggest draw for UHD Blu-ray is going to be the AV enthusiast looking for the absolute best experience and, with the physical discs likely to deliver far more audio data than you'll get from a 4K stream, designing a player that makes the most of it can only be a good thing.

You want to make sure your home cinema system actually sounds like a cinema, right?

And with the stringent THX certification attached to the Panasonic UB900, you can bet it will deliver the sort of surround sound experience you normally only get at your local multiplex.

Sadly there's still no official launch date for either the discs or the Ultra HD Blu-ray players to jam them into, but we're still holding out for a launch this spring.

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