About the Panasonic DP-UB820
The new king of Blu-ray picture quality
The new king of Blu-ray picture quality
Ever since Oppo stopped building their fantastic Blu-ray players in 2018, we've been waiting for another player that could match their reference-quality picture and sound. Panasonic's DP-UB820 is definitely a contender. In head-to-head tests, some reviewers have found that the DP-UB820 slightly outperforms the Oppos, at least when it comes to 4K Blu-ray playback and upconversion of 1080p Blu-rays.
If you have an entry-level 4K TV, this player will provide a slightly better picture than more basic 4K players. But if you're a videophile with high-end equipment, the DP-UB820's powerful processing and flexible adjustments will help your 4K TV or 4K projector deliver the best possible 4K/HDR picture.
Getting the best HDR picture quality
A big part of why 4K Blu-ray and streamed 4K content looks so lifelike is HDR — High Dynamic Range. It can provide a much wider range of contrast and colors than HDTVs ever could. But while all current 4K TVs can accept HDR-enhanced signals, many can't display the full potential of HDR due to their limited peak brightness. This Panasonic player can help your TV overcome that problem.
It comes down to "nits"...
A TV's brightness is measured in "nits." Before TVs had HDR, typical peak brightness was around 250-300 nits, and most TV shows and movies were mastered at 100 nits. By comparison, today's OLED and midrange LED-LCD 4K TVs produce peaks of 700-1000 nits, and a handful of the brightest LED TVs can hit peaks of 1200-1500 nits. Meanwhile, 4K/HDR content is mastered at levels up to 4000 nits — way beyond the capability of any consumer 4K TV.
...and tone mapping
So how do you display 4000-nit content on a TV capable of only 25% of that brightness level? Tone mapping. This process helps a TV properly display content with higher peak brightness than the TV was designed to support. There's a lot of variation in the way tone mapping works from one TV maker to another, and what often happens on high-brightness material is the extreme highlights are "clipped," resulting in a "blown out" look that obscures detail.
Panasonic has developed some unique menu controls that make it easy to improve the look of HDR-enhanced content on your 4K TV. For example, you can choose from three tone-mapping options that are customized for different TV brightness levels:
- Super High Luminance (1500 nits) is ideal for the brightest LED-LCD TVs, like Sony's X9 and Z9 models, and Samsung's Q90R QLED models
- Middle or High Luminance (1000 nits) suits LG and Sony OLED TVs, and most mid-range LED TVs
- Basic Luminance (500 nits) is the best choice for 4K projectors, and more basic 4K TVs with lower brightness
Selecting the appropriate setting for your display should provide better-looking HDR picture quality with more visible fine detail in bright and dark areas of the screen.
You can further fine-tune HDR performance with the HDR Optimizer feature. It lets you adjust brightness based on the light level in your room. These picture adjustments work whether you're watching a UHD Blu-ray disc or 4K streamed content using the player's Netflix® app.
Sound that keeps you riveted
Panasonic didn't forget about the sound — all the top movie formats are supported. There's built-in processing for the most common flavors of Dolby and DTS surround, and you can send three-dimensional audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X to a compatible receiver via HDMI. When it comes to music, the player delivers crisp, detailed sound for your CDs, and its advanced DACs can handle high-res PCM and DSD audio files.
The DP-UB820's versatile design includes a 7.1-channel set of RCA outputs for getting great surround sound even when connecting to A/V receivers that lack HDMI. You can even skip the receiver and connect this player directly to your power amplifier(s).
- plays Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, 3D and standard Blu-ray discs, DVDs, CDs and rewriteable discs
- plays Region A Blu-ray discs and Region 1 DVDs
- full 4K resolution video for use with Ultra HD TVs
- 4K video upscaling for standard Blu-ray and DVDs
- supports lower resolutions when used with non-4K TVs
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) for extended picture contrast and brightness on compatible TVs
- supports HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision®, and HLG
- "HDR TV Type" provides three tone-mapping options to more accurately match the brightness capabilities of your display
- "HDR Optimizer" lets you adjust HDR screen brightness to match the light level in your room
- HDR-to-SDR conversion optimizes HDR content for a 4K TV or projector without HDR
- Panasonic's HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor delivers precise HDR and color processing for stunning color and detail in all your 4K/HDR content
- dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) provides fast, reliable wireless streaming
- built-in Netflix app supports 4K streaming (subscription required; requires internet speed of at least 20Mbps)
- mobile-to-player wireless mirroring with Miracast™ enabled phones and tablets
- selectable video resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels
- built-in audio decoding for Dolby® Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS®, and DTS-HD Master Audio
- can pass Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks when HDMI output is set to "bitstream"
- plays AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (.dff and .dfs files), FLAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV audio file formats
- plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device; PCM files up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution, and DSD files up to 11.2 MHz
- 2 HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals
- "VIDEO" HDMI output is HDMI 2.0a (connected 4K TV and/or receiver must have an HDCP 2.2-compatible HDMI input, and must have HDMI 2.0a to support HDR)
- "AUDIO" HDMI output does not output video signal
- Toslink optical digital audio output
- 7.1-channel analog RCA audio output
- two USB ports: front-panel 2.0 and rear-panel 3.0, to play music, movies, and images from a thumb drive or external hard drive
- Ethernet port for internet connectivity
- remote control
- supports voice control of compatible apps:
- 16-15/16"W x 2-1/2"H x 8-1/16"D
- weight: 5.3 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # DP-UB820-K
More details on the Panasonic DP-UB820
Features & specs
|Surround Sound Decoding||
Dolby Digital Plus |
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio
|4K Ultra HD||Yes|
|Internet Movie Streaming||Netflix|
|Built-in Wi-Fi||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Smartphone App Control||Yes|
|DVD Video Upconversion||4K, 1080p, 1080i, 720p|
|Parts Warranty||1 year|
|Labor Warranty||90 days|
|Digital Optical Output||1|
|Digital Coaxial Output||None|
|Analog Audio Outputs||7.1-channel|
|1080p Video Output||Yes|
|Component Video Outputs||None|