Panasonic DP-UB820P-K initial impressions

rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,976
I’ve been recommending this BD player, largely based on reviews. Figured it was time to let people who are curious to know why. I’ve only watched 9 movies on this player, so keep that in mind.

References:

Figure I need some type of scale, and some sort of reference to that scale, so I simply made one up. Since I’m only evaluating the video oF this player why not use three different TV’s

I think one of the best displays out there is Sony Z9D, so that’s the upper end of the scale.
The 900F is no slouch, and what I’m using for the evaluation, so that’s the low end of the scale. I feel that the Z9F, while very good, just isn’t as good as the Z9D, when viewed from directly in front of the screen. Call it about 70 percent better than the 900F, on this scale. If for some reason you think that the Z9D doesn’t have the best display, I wouldn’t bother with the rest of this post. I’m a moron and have zero credibility in your mind. Feel the Z9F is a little better or worse, at least you have some general idea of what I’m about to ramble on about.

The 820 has separate HDMI outputs for audio and video, if you choose to use the, and I did. Audio is connected to my Yamaha RX-A2060 with a 1.5 meter Shunyata Venom HDMI cable and video to the TV with a 3 meter Shunyata HDMI cable. ARC is also using a 3 Shunyata cable for those that are curious. I’m using the stock power cord plugged into a Panamax PM-4300 power conditioner.

I chose to make no adjustments to the player, but did check the luminosity setting to ensure it most closely matched my set. It’s at medium, factory default. That should about cover that

Processing Magic:

Like many, I was shocked when Oppo decided to exit the market, and wondered what will I do. Took me about a minute after first seeing one that I picked decided it would be my next player. Yeah that worked out.

So I learned Panny was going to release a player or two to the U.S., and started reading things. Found some fan boys that claimed the previous one was as good as or better than Oppo, and the new versions are supposed to be improved. Before I go on, I am not nor will make that claim. I am saying that there are people out there that think the video processing magic that Panasonic has is as good as or better than Oppo has. I don’t own an Oppo player, so I can’t comment on nor will I comment on another’s opinion.

So at $500, and not very many choices left in the 4K player market, I decided to give it a shot. Some may feel it’s a little pricey, and that’s ok, I feel if it preforms well, go with it.

First things first:

I’ve posted my impressions of the Sony 900F, and after playing with it a little, like it even more. I was, and still am very impressed with its video capabilities, given the price range. Since I only have the one 4K player, I had to put the TV’s processing capabilities head to head with the player.

Video input 2, on the side of this set, will send the signals to the TV’s onboard processor, no matter what the signal is. In other words a 4K signal sent to this HDMI terminal will be processed by the TV. So I watched about 1/2 hour of Black Panther using this input. I then switched the cable to input 4 located at the bottom, and let the TV play the signal unprocessed.

To me, there was a noticeable difference. The BD player was noticeable better. The pattern on Black Panther’s suit was much more well defined, and objects appeared more 3 dimensional. Using the above mentioned scale, I would say the BD player was about 20 percent better than Sony’s processing capabilities. Keep in mind, different sets will give different results, so I am not claiming this to be the best video processor ever. It could very well be inferior to other sets.

Blue Ray upscaling:

I chose to use Avengers, Infinity Wars for this comparison. Lots of things going on in this movie. Bright and dark scenes, not to mention explosions taking place in both. I did sit through this complete movie, back to back, and didn’t try to be nit picky. I just wanted to see how different the two formats were.

Let’s face it, 4K is simply amazing. I read were a lot of people are waiting for 8K, because it’s just around the corner, and they’ll just stick with 1080 until then. I call those people foolish. Going from blue ray to 4K was like VCR tapes to DVD. But, that’s not the point of this evaluation.

This player does a phenomenal job of upscaling Blue Ray. I won’t imply that you aren’t missing anything not getting the 4K version. I will say there is about a 75 percent improvement when viewing 4K content. Does a really good job with Blue Ray, and I don’t see me replacing any Blue Ray content, just because it’s availability in 4K. I will say that future purchases will be 4K only.

Standard DVD:

Most of us still have them, even if your embarrassed to admit it. When I viewed DVD content on my old player, it wasn’t even close to Blue Ray quality, and it still isn’t. This player can only do so much. Now if I compared the upscaling of this player to my old one, that’s a different story.

I’ll say that if I were to compare standard DVD to Blue Ray strictly on my old player, DVD would be somewhere around 30, on my made up scale. Like I said, not even close. Definite improvement on DVD preformance. Still somewhere around the 30 mark compared to Blue Ray quality compared to this player. In comparison to my old player, I would say the DVD preformance is closer to about 50. So a noticible improvement, but not drastic.

Issues:

Had a glitch in the first 3 movies, in standard DVD. The screen would go black with no sound for about 10 seconds, best guess. The first movie happened 4 times, the second twice, and the third once. Didn’t happen after that, even though I replayed one of those movies. Can’t really explain why it happened.

Few days ago my CD player shut down in the middle of a song. Only happened once, so I really didn’t investigate. I’m thinking it could be time for a new power conditioner, but thought I should mention the issue.

If one is going to post an opinion on a piece of electronic equipment, and doesn’t mention any issues, no matter how minor he feels they are, he should never have posted anything. It may have been an issue with the BD player, or it may be something else. It did happen, and if it’s related to the player, I will post an update in the comment section should it prove an issue.

Conclusion:

If your looking for a BD player that is very good at playing movies, you may want to consider this one. There are cheaper ones out there, but at $500, a good product that is priced fairly. This isn’t a universal player, so if your looking for a player that plays silver disk other than movies and standard CD’s, this isn’t for you. You’ll want to look at Sony and Pioneer.

The short comings, providing that the blank screen thing doesn’t happen anymore, is the loading mechanism. Would have preferred a better build quality, but the flagship model is supposed to have a better one. It’s also pretty light. Supposed to weigh nine pounds, but it feels lighter than a gallon of water to me, so vibrations may pose a problem for some.

As far as putting a really good picture on my TV, it has that covered. So far, I’m pretty happy with this player. Could be the newness factor, but I’ll know in the near future. Won’t say run out a buy one or you’ll hate life, but you may want to consider it, if your in the market for a really good movie player.
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