Sunday, June 27, 2021

Panasonic DP-UB9000 Reference Class THX Certified Streaming 4K Player Review

If you are looking for home theater gear, you may be like most people who are stuck at home, quarantined during the pandemic. You realized that you could use some better gear. Maybe you made the jump to 4k, but are working on now getting content. Or maybe you have a cheap 4k player and are now looking to upgrade to a quality 4k player. Either way, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 could be just for you.

Features and specs:

Our Highest Level of Home Entertainment

Reference class quality is here with the DP-UB9000. Our HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor optimizes color, clarity and detail in 4K/HDR formats like HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The result is a exciting array of highest quality video and audio options from 4K UHD Blu-ray discs to 4K upscaling, VOD 4K streaming, voice assist and more.


Ultimate Picture Quality

Panasonic's precision Ultra HD Blu-ray player supports 4K/HDR formats like next-generation HDR10+TM dynamic metadata, HDR10, the standard HDR format for films and UHD Blu-ray discs, as well as Dolby VisionTM and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG).


HCX Processor

Panasonic's Hollywood Cinema Experience processor enables optimum HDR processing with precise chroma processing, a new HDR Optimizer, HDR to SDR Conversion and HDR adjustment for a variety of viewing conditions.


Real Life Image Quality

Panasonic's image processing technologies produce HDR images with higher-than-ever definition. From one scene to the next, mapping is applied to instantly adjust brightness levels for true-to-life color and detail in all your 4K/HDR content.


4K Direct Chroma Upscaling

By upconverting Full-HD chrominance and luminance signals directly into 4K signals, Panasonic's upscaling technologies produce 4K images with natural textures and incredible depth. (To fully enjoy 4K Upscaling a 4K/UHD TV is required.)


Pure Audio Performance

The UB9000 provides analog audio circuits that include a dedicated audio power supply, high-performance D/A converter and XLR balanced. The player's stylish alumite-treated aluminum chassis is designed for high rigidity and a lower center of gravity to reduce vibration for high sound quality.


Exceptional Clarity

192-kHz/32-bit 4-DAC supports high-resolution audio to reveal full, rich sounds and delicate tones of musical instruments, and even the breathing of vocal performances. Twin HDMI terminals separate and transmit video and audio signals for higher, more satisfying sound quality.


Enhanced Purity

HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process faithfully reproduces the original sound recorded onto your Blu-ray™ discs and DVDs for exceptional audio no matter which brand of TV or AV receiver you have.


Theatre-Level Quality

The THX certified DP-UB9000 faithfully reproduces the finely nuanced colors and rich, detailed images that the film creator intended, and provides lifelike surround sound for theatre quality entertainment at home. *THX and the THX logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries.


Studio Master Sound

Connect to your home audio system to enjoy music sources equivalent to true studio master quality. In addition to WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA/AIFF formats, DSD (5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz/11.2MHz) and ALAC music files can be faithfully reproduced for Hi-Res sound.


Versatile Audio Outputs

Outputs include twin HDMI, a 7.1 channel and separate 2 channel equipped with a balanced XLR output terminal in addition to the RCA terminal, and optical audio.


4K VOD Streaming for NETFLIX/ YouTube/Prime

YouTube, NETFLIX and Amazon Prime streaming enhances your 4K content choices. These high-definition internet video signals are processed by Panasonic's 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor to give you crisp, beautiful images


Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Panasonic's DP-UB9000 conveniently supports voice assist with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 came in a great looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the player. Opening the box revealed a well-protected player, held in place by Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was almost all metal, with some plastic in the remote. Quality of materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. Also found was the power cord, remote, and manual.


I love the design of the Panasonic DP-UB9000. The first thing that stood out to me was that this thing is built like a tank! There are a lot of Oppo Digital fans out there among audiophiles and videophiles. I am one of them. Sadly, Oppo Digital is long gone as far as providing new players. There’s been talk about this being the new Oppo Digital. Seeing the build quality of the Panasonic DP-UB9000, it looks even better! It can’t however fully replace my old Oppo player as it doesn’t support DVD-Audio and SACD. But other than that, I’m impressed so far.


The rest of the design of the Panasonic DP-UB9000 is killer. Not only is the front panel brushed aluminum, but so are both sides. It’s front is simplistic with just the display, power and navigation buttons, and single USB slot. The rear has all of the connections you would ever need, with HDMI out, audio only HDMI out, network connection, USB, optical, coaxial, 7.1 analog audio out, even stereo XLR outputs. Panasonic also did things right on the inside of the chassis, with separate power supplies for the audio and video. The chassis itself features a dual layer design for rigidity to keep noise and vibration low.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 is also very projector friendly. So, if you use a front projector in your home theater, this player is worth a serious look. Projectors don’t have the brightness needed to fully take advantage of HDR. But thanks to Panasonic’s 2nd generation HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor, it uses tone-mapping to extract the best possible picture out of your projector. Now that we know it has the build quality and features, let’s see how it looks and sounds.


To begin the setup, I was happy to see that the remote was very well laid out, and easy to use…I especially liked the fact that the buttons can light up, which is a necessity in a dark room. The home screen was also very simply laid out. Here you can select from videos, music, photos, home network, network service and set-up. And doing the initial set-up through the set-up screen, as well as connecting the player on Vue, was simple to follow in the Network Service Screens. Now that it’s set-up, let’s see how well it works.


For viewing, I turned to a few quality movies, The Great Wall, Wonder Woman, and Avengers: Infinity War. No matter which movie I watched or which scene, they all appeared true to the reference source. And the eye candy that the Panasonic DP-UB9000 provided satisfies all of the expectations for the 4k format. Fine details were resolved excellently. Shadow details were also excellent. Colors were vivid without being overly saturated. And the depth of image…as I stated before, it all translates to pure eye candy!


In the Great Wall, one of my favorite scenes is when they are at the Imperial City. The towers have stained glass windows, with all the colors of the rainbow. When the light from outside shines through the glass, it’s a visual feast. In Wonder Woman, when she is standing at the dock with her mom the queen, you can see the details of the individual strands of the fur in her coat, as well as her hair. And the fine details revealed in the queen’s armor, was exquisite. In Avengers: Infinity War, there were also a great number of moments that were eye candy. When Thor shows up at Wakanda via the Bifrost, the rainbow colors of the Bifrost was excellent, subtle, but well saturated. When Wanda is using her red powers to destroy the mind stone in Vision’s head, her powers are red and extremely bright and vivid yet controlled and not overly exposed. Unfortunately, the details in the photos don’t do justice to what was actually seen on screen.


The Panasonic DP-UB9000 does an excellent job on checking off the boxes for a premium 4k player. There are built-in streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon video. It’s even THX certified. The only thing missing for it being the Holy Grail of 4k players, is SACD and DVD-Audio support. Based on its design features, quality and performance, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 has earned our Editor’s Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at

Reference Gear:  Onkyo TX-RZ920 Receiver, Outlaw Audio Model 7000X Amplifier, Emotiva BasX A-500 Amplifier, Helios AS-P603W Smart Power Surge and Line Conditioner,  Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Player, RBH Sound SI-663R Signature Reference Series In-Wall Speakers, RBH Sound SI-760R Signature Reference Series In-Wall Speakers, RBH Sound SI-615 Signature In-Ceiling Speakers, RBH Sound SI-1212 In-Ceiling/In-Floor Subwoofer with DA-1802DSP Subwoofer Amplifier, Sony Bravia Front Projector, Elite Screens fixed mount screen.