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Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Review

amirm

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#1
This is a quick review and detailed measurements of the audio performance of the Panasonic DP-UB820-K. It was purchased in May of this year and kindly sent to me by a member for testing. It costs US $500 so definitely premium priced relative to dirt cheap players you could buy. The hope is that its analog output provides decent performance above what you may get in your AVR being fed over HDMI.

The player is quite light but the plastic front gives it a bit of class:

Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Audio Review.jpg


As you see there are multichannel analog output which is the focus of our interest:

Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Audio Review back panel HDMI RCA Multichannel Home Theater.jpg


Initially I could not get any audio out of the analog outputs. After some head scratching, I decided to look in the menus and found that it was disabled. I don't know why they would do this other than maybe to lower power consumption a tiny bit or pass regulatory certification better.

To feed it data I used a USB thumb drive with my measurement files on it. Oddly the player pretended to play all of them, two of them would not play (dynamic range and multitone). One was at 192 khz sampling so maybe that was the issue but the other was a mono 44.1 kHz file so it should have handled that without issue.

UHD Player Audio Measurements
I played my 24-bit, 44.1 kHz 1 kHz tone used in my dashboard and this was the result:

Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Audio Measurements.png


Nice to see 2 volt output but sad that 2nd harmonic distortion is up in -95 dB range. Add a bit of noise to it and you get the SINAD of 92 dB as compuated:

Best UHD Player Audio Review 2020.png


In other words, you don't have transparency to 16 bit content let alone higher bit depth. This is typical performance of an 8-channel DAC that sells for 50 cents (I am guessing here).

The only other file I could play was jitter:
Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Player Jitter Audio Measurements.png


Best in class DACs have the noise floor underneath the AudioScienceReview logo. We are about 20 dB higher. And have tons of interference tones that seem to go well beyond the typical power supply spikes.

Conclusions
Panasonic states this in feature list of the player:

1601330839384.png


Well, no "basking" was to be had here. The DAC implementation can't even clear 16 bit content let alone high-res audio at higher bit depths.

The statement about HDMI is also incorrect/misleading in that audio is slaved to video in HDMI. So even "audio only" HDMI output has video in it, usually in the form of a black video signal.

Overall, the audio performance of Panasonic DP-UB820 is very disappointing even for a mid-class player. Let's hope a company like Panasonic steps up to the plate and produce SINAD of at least 100 dB in such a class.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Panasonic DP-UB820 for analog audio output. Use your AVR's DAC over HDMI as it is likely to perform better.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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vkvedam

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#3
I had decent expectations from this if I am being honest :(
 

PeteL

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#4
I agree that it's expensive for what it is. But I'm not so convince why, we should expect better performance from the analog outs than "what you may get in your AVR being fed over HDMI". After all the main purpose of this is to be a BluRay Player, where an AVR main purpose, if you strip it down to it's most basic concept, is to be a Multi-Channel DAC. I don't know so many people that would purchase a Blu Ray player for the Dac that's in it? And the vast majority of people will connect tis to an AVR using HDMI, not analog? No?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #5
But I'm not so convince why, we should expect better performance from the analog outs than "what you may get in your AVR being fed over HDMI".
It is part of the value proposition in this player to justify the much higher price than a bargain player. After all, if all you care about is digital transmission, might as well get a $150 player and be done with it. Dating back to SACD/DVD-A times, multichannel analog outputs in the player were supposed to be built to high standards given the pitch for the sources of that kind. As I noted this is one of the top 5 or so features highlighted by the company so it needs to deliver. Or don't put the analog out in there and advertise that it is great.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #6
What would it take to measure output from a test tone DVD, from the HDMI output? I don't really see any value in measuring a DVD player from a USB input.
The DAC doesn't care how the bits arrive at it with the small exception of jitter. So I expect the performance to be the same with both sources. I could burn a DVD-R but I don't even know where I still have blanks. :)
 

Vini darko

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#7
Seems ok for a AV product. Its main job is make movies go. Even cheapo dvd players have a usb stick port on front these days.
Your "no basking to be had" got a laugh though thankyou :D
 

PeteL

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#8
It is part of the value proposition in this player to justify the much higher price than a bargain player. After all, if all you care about is digital transmission, might as well get a $150 player and be done with it. Dating back to SACD/DVD-A times, multichannel analog outputs in the player were supposed to be built to high standards given the pitch for the sources of that kind. As I noted this is one of the top 5 or so features highlighted by the company so it needs to deliver. Or don't put the analog out in there and advertise that it is great.
OK, I guess I'm not part of the target market for this.
 

Vini darko

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#9
Screenshot_20200929-010421.png

Got this for my mother recently. Even it has usb in for basking in hires music. Probably preforms about the same audibly.
 

North_Sky

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#10
This is not the player for audio buffs, it's for the video buffs.
But then the Sony X800M2 is half the price, plays SACD and DVD Audio discs (true universal player), and of course plays 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. It also supports Dolby Vision.

The Panasonic 9000 is the better player, for $1,000 US. But universal it's not.
 
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#11
This device‘s claim to fame is HDR tone mapping (most relevant for projectors). It does a pretty decent job if the meta data in the movie is accurate and tone mapping is very rare in blu ray players. The only alternatives at a similar price point are: madvr on an HTPC or a LLDV (low latency Dolby vision) hack on an HDFURY device.
 

Zedly

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#12
It is part of the value proposition in this player to justify the much higher price than a bargain player. After all, if all you care about is digital transmission, might as well get a $150 player and be done with it.
The main value proposition of this player is its video processing, not its analog output. In particular, its primary selling point is the HDR Optimizer, which does advanced tone mapping that adapts to the capabilities of your display.
 

Dj7675

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#13
Certainly not good if you were hoping to use it as a DAC for listening to cd's etc. I actually have the cheaper UB420 which I think goes for around $250 and it is excellent as a bluray/4k player. The real reason to get the panasonic's is for the HDR optimizer. In particular if you have a projector, it does a very nice job.
Edit: I had my JVC projector professionally calibrated and the HDR optimizer in the panasonic is a huge improvement to the built in capabilities of the projector.
 

wwenze

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#14
It even has an audio-out HDMI connector

Somehow I suspect even that won't be perfect due to post-processing "enhancement"
 

Dj7675

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#15
It even has an audio-out HDMI connector

Somehow I suspect even that won't be perfect due to post-processing "enhancement"
Wouldn't HDMI out simply be digital audio out send to an AV receiver to be converted by the DAC in the receiver? Is this a setting you are referring to in the Panasonic? I am assuming it is just straight digital audio sent to the receiver to decode...
 

Chrispy

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#16
Wouldn't HDMI out simply be digital audio out send to an AV receiver to be converted by the DAC in the receiver? Is this a setting you are referring to in the Panasonic? I am assuming it is just straight digital audio sent to the receiver to decode...
Aren't the video plus audio hdmi outputs to accommodate getting around lack of current video standards in an avr primarily? Or I suppose for some projectors?
 

MZKM

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#17
This device‘s claim to fame is HDR tone mapping (most relevant for projectors). It does a pretty decent job if the meta data in the movie is accurate and tone mapping is very rare in blu ray players. The only alternatives at a similar price point are: madvr on an HTPC or a LLDV (low latency Dolby vision) hack on an HDFURY device.
Doesn’t tone mapping happen by default with DV & HDR10+? I though just plain HDR10 doesn’t have tone mapping?
 

Zedly

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#18
DV and HDR10+ have what's called "dynamic tone mapping." That means that the tone mapping can change from scene to scene to best represent the dynamic range of each scene. Regular HDR10 uses "static tone mapping". That's a single mapping that applies to the entire movie as a whole.
 

North_Sky

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#19
Audio from this player is moot; the people buying it is for its video dexterity.
For Audio you simply use the other HDMI output and let your pre/pro or receiver do the decoding and DACcing and preamplifying/amplifying.

Get the 420 and save money.
 

bobbooo

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#20
Audio from this player is moot; the people buying it is for its video dexterity.
For Audio you simply use the other HDMI output and let your pre/pro or receiver do the decoding and DACcing and preamplifying/amplifying.

Get the 420 and save money.
The 420 doesn't have Dolby Vision. That's a deal-breaker for me.
 
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