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Panasonic will be offering the reference-class UB9000 player in time for Christmas this year. Housed in a newly-developed vibration-reducing chassis, the UB9000 features the highest-ever picture and sound quality in the history of Panasonic Blu-ray players.
The new Panasonic reference Ultra HD Blu-ray player UB9000 supports open, royalty-free HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology, which will offer considerable benefits to viewers by optimising the viewing experience on a scene-by-scene basis. The UB9000 also supports Dolby Vision.™
The 4K engine powering the line-up is Panasonic’s proprietary HCX processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray, expertly developed and refined by specialists in the heart of Hollywood.
This has been improved by applying unique chroma and gradation processing to the video technologies which were developed at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL), the R&D facility for enhancing Blu-ray picture quality. The HCX Processor reproduces Ultra HD Blu-ray and internet-streamed 4K video images with stunningly precise colours and optimal brightness. All models also have an original 4K Direct Chroma Upscaling feature that up-converts Full HD to 4K for high resolution and beautiful colours.
With more and more HDR content available on disc and via streaming services, the optimal reproduction of HDR content has become essential. In addition to having a wide range of contrast, images from Ultra HD Blu-ray players must be reproduced with fine detail in both dark and bright areas. To achieve this, Panasonic’s new players use unique technologies to provide three HDR adjustment functions – HDR Optimiser, HDR Adjustment and HDR to SDR conversion.
HDR-compatible TVs use tone mapping to match the brightness range of images according to the static metadata within the content, but optimal results are sometimes not possible due to the limitations of the specific TV model. By conducting the tone mapping on the player, stable HDR picture quality is delivered regardless of the TV. Panasonic’s original image processing technologies achieve HDR images with higher definition, while tone mapping is used to adjust the brightness level of the content. Even HDR images from ordinary HDR10 and TV footage provide optimal playback.
This new model also has a HDR adjustment feature which reproduces dark and bright areas with high fidelity regardless of the viewing environment. Dark scenes in HDR images are sometimes difficult to see when viewed in a bright room and may require brightness adjustment. Because HDR signals are inherently different from SDR signals, existing adjustment functions are insufficient. The players use an original technology to optimise HDR video signals, which enables them to freely adjust the brightness of the HDR images. An HDR setting button on the remote control allows the user to simply select the optimal setting for the viewing environment.
Dynamic Range Conversion reproduces images with greater brightness and beauty than ordinary Blu-ray disc images, when played on a non-HDR TV with standard dynamic range (SDR-TV). This feature maximises the image expression that is inherent to Ultra HD Blu-ray.
The UB9000 supports analogue 7.1-channel audio, providing direct connection to a home theatre system for lifelike surround sound. Each terminal is gold-plated to resist oxidisation and maintain high signal conductivity.
The UB9000 player features dual HDMI outputs for isolating and transmitting TV (4K video) and amplifier audio. By separating audio and video signals, unwanted noise is suppressed, resulting in high-quality audio reproduction. The distinctive, warm, comforting sound characteristics of tube amplifiers are faithfully simulated. Six different kinds of sounds from vacuum tubes with 96kHz/192kHz up-sampling can be enjoyed in exceptionally high quality.
All models are designed for high-resolution audio reproduction. In addition to conventional WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA formats, DSD (11.2MHz/5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz), ALAC and AIFF music files can be reproduced. Simply connect to a home audio system to enjoy music sources equivalent to studio master sound quality.
The reference-class UB9000 raises the bar for AV enthusiasts with extremely high sound quality thanks to its analogue audio circuits, including a dedicated audio power supply, a high-performance D/A converter, and XLR balanced output. THX® certification replicates the finely nuanced colours and rich, detailed images required to reproduce the filmmaker’s intentions precisely. It also achieves truly life-like surround sound.
A newly-developed drive base with a 3-dimensional, thick steel plate fixes the optical disc drive to the centre of the 2-layer chassis to reduce vibration and noise during disc rotation; while the use of a 2-layer structure with a heavy steel plate for the chassis achieves a low centre of gravity and low vibration.
Coming soon, the UB9000 model will support voice control from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. By simply asking a Google Assistant device – like the SC-GA10 – or an Amazon Alexa device, a variety of operations, such as fast forward and pause, can be carried out by voice without having to use the remote control. Future plans will include starting and operating apps, such as VOD (video on demand).
The Blu-ray range supports 4K VOD services, offering a paramount video viewing experience for those who demand uncompromised quality in picture and sound when watching streamed content. The player also offers 4K networking for 4K Video playback and 4K JPEG playback. The stylish and compact design provides a high-quality presence. The UB9000 is finished with aluminium on the front and side panels to enhance sound quality and add a luxe touch to the design.
AC/DC Conversion Circuit
The use of a positive/negative, isolated power conversion circuit for audio provides a high dynamic range, and reduces the voltage fluctuations and noise caused by digital circuits. In addition to this, high-quality audio grade electrolytic capacitors and a newly developed OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) switching transformer decreases the impedance of power.
10-Line Isolated DC Regulator Circuit
The digital and analogue power supplies for the D/A converter are isolated. The analogue channel is further separated into 2 channels and 7.1 channels , and for the 2-channel output, the reference voltage of the left and right channels is isolated, making a 10-line regulator circuit and reducing mutual effects to improve distortion. Moreover, high-quality audio grade electrolytic capacitors are used in the analogue channel to minimise noise.
High-Performance D/A Converter
A high-performance D/A converter with input compatibility, high S/N, and high dynamic range is provided for each of the 2 channel and 7.1 channel circuits.
Special Circuit Board for Analogue Output
The analogue circuits for 2 channel and 7.1 channel output are mounted onto special glass-epoxy circuit boards. Together with the use of quality components, such as low-noise operational amplifiers and audio grade electrolytic capacitors, a totally balanced signal transmission is achieved by using differential circuits all the way from the D/A converter output to the XLR output terminal
2 Channel (RCA/ XLR) and 7.1 Channel Output Terminals
The 2 channel and 7.1 channel output terminals are also separated. Moreover, the 2 channel output is equipped with a balanced XLR output terminal in addition to the RCA terminal.