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Panasonic DP-UB824 or Sony UBP-X800M2 or ...?

LTig

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#1
Hi,

my 10 year old BD-Player (Pioneer LX52mk2) has just finished working - I played a disk and it froze after 20 minutes, and did not want to play another disk even after a cold reset - it read and read and never got into any menu. Since reading in disks got slower and slower in the preceding year I think there is a problem with the drive.

The Pioneer never was a fast player. Therefore I think about getting a replacement instead of trying to fix the Pioneer. These are my conditions and wishes for the new player:
  • The player feeds a 2k beamer (no TV). The beamer is 10 years old as well and the next one would be a 4k beamer for sure. So an UHD player it shall be.
  • Short read in times
  • Quick reaction to the remote
  • Quiet operation - the Pioneer has a fan but I never noticed it even without the beamer.
  • Analog audio outputs not required, HDMI and SPDIF suffices.
  • A display would be nice but even the one from the Pioneer was almost useless ...
  • I have just a handful SACDs and no SACD player so a universal player might be a nice addition.
I checked the availability and could get these players on short notice:
  • Sony UBP-X800M2 for € 283: klicks universal player but I don't know if it is possible to play SACDs without a display. Switching on the beamer just to be able to play an SACD is out of question, so if this is necessary I wouldn't play SACDs.
  • Panasonic DP-UB824 for € 419: Klicks the display but misses SACD playback. It is said that it has better video controls which might be good for the beamer. Amazon critiques mention a slow reaction times.
My questions to the community:
  • Any hints what else I should check for to ease the decision?
  • Are there other players I should check?
  • How important is the ability to play SACDs? Mine are all hybrid disks with a CD layer.
  • Should I try to stick with the Pioneer?
Thanks a lot!
 
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#2
The DP-UB820-K seems to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. The UBP-X800M2 supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, but not HDR10+. If Dolby Vision wins over HDR10+, then support for the latter will not matter. All of this matters only for future-proofing for 4K HDR content playback at 4K (HDR is more of a benefit than the resolution difference between 2K and 4K). Will not matter for your present 2K beamer.

I think both players have HDMI 2.0 (or 2.0a or 2.0b) output, HDCP 2.2, and can decode HEVC and VP9. But you should check these on the specs to make sure.
 
OP
LTig

LTig

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Thread Starter #4
The DP-UB820-K seems to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. The UBP-X800M2 supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, but not HDR10+. If Dolby Vision wins over HDR10+, then support for the latter will not matter.
Looking into a crystal ball: what would you (or anybody else) think wins: Dolby Vision or HSR10+?
 

Fillius

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#6
Looking into a crystal ball: what would you (or anybody else) think wins: Dolby Vision or HSR10+?
Dolby Vision is certainly more widespread at the moment. But HDR10+ is starting to pick up too.

Out of my 255 UHD Blu-Rays, as a rough guess I have around 80 - 100 DV discs but only 15 - 20 HDR10+ discs.

Out of the 15-20 HDR10+ discs, at least half of them also have DV, it's becoming quite common to include both formats.

However, I believe the Sony player DV implementation is 'manual' and it's up to the user to enable DV mode if you know the disc supports it. Whereas the Panasonic detects it on the disc and plays in DV automatically if your TV/projector supports it.

The Panasonic also has the HDR optimiser feature which is particularly useful for helping tone map to your projectors capability for HDR.

Some (most?) TV's and projectors have their own tone mapping mechanism built in, but even my 2019 Panasonic OLED benefits from the HDR optimiser being enabled on content that's mastered at 4000 nits.

I really wish the Panasonic supported SACD's, but I don't actually have any, so it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

I've not used the UB820 myself, but I've got a UB420, a UB450 and a UB9000 which are all great players in their own ways. The UB820 (UB824 in your region) is most like my UB9000 which I'm very happy with, no complaints at all.
 
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#7
Looking into a crystal ball: what would you (or anybody else) think wins: Dolby Vision or HSR10+?
Alas, my crystal ball has always been clouded and cracked. My guess is that both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ will co-exist for a long while to come. As pointed out by member Fillius, many 4K UHD disc releases support both, and there will be some releases that are DV only or HDR10+ only. My guess is that providing HDR10+ information on the disc does not actually require space on the disc for an additional version of the movie, probably just space for frame-by-frame average luminance metadata (just my speculation). HDR10+ is unencumbered by licensing fees, and some smaller studios/distributors may choose to skip DV for that reason alone on budget releases.

As keenly observed by member Fillius, with the Sony UBP-X800M2 requires you to manually switch (using the remote) to DV mode each time you load a DV-encoded disc, which I imagine could get annoying if you watch a lot of DV-encoded 4K UHD discs. Plus, it does not support HDR10+. Also, the Panasonic DP-UB820/824 (per the reviews) has (marginally?) better picture quality and better tone-mapping for projectors, as pointed out by Fillius. Otherwise, both players are full-featured and excellent in hardware and performance.

I actually own the Sony UBP-X800M2, which I bought early this year when my previous player Sony S6700 died. I did not research the purchase, but simply hurried over to the local Best Buy store intending to buy another S6700 for about $100. However, the X800M2 happened to be on discounted sale for $220 that week, so I bought that instead and am quite happy with it. My ten-year-old TV is only of 1080p resolution, and I own only four 4K UHD movie discs at this point (which each also came with a FHD Blu-ray disc), among hundreds of DVDs and Blu-rays that I own. Quite likely, I will buy another UHD disc player that supports HDR better, later this year or early next year before the Blu-ray player market dissolves entirely. The X800M2 will then be a spare player, which is not a bad thing to have if manufacturers exit the market entirely, so that I can view with equanimity the offerings of scalpers currently reselling used (!) Oppo UDP-205s for much more than the original list new price.
 

North_Sky

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#8
A beamer is a front projector right?
If picture quality is your main goal, the Optimizer in the Panasonic player is a positive asset.
 

North_Sky

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#9
The Sony player here in Canada is half the cost of the Panasonic player.
And why Sony didn't make the Dolby Vision automatic instead of manual is a Sony thing ...

We all have our things, our toys to play with, Sony too...Sony players playing with their Sony TVs and projectors. Sony with Sony, Apple with Apple, Windows with Windows, Panasonic with JVC, FOX, Paramount, Samsung, Hollywood, ...
By the way, Panasonic OLED TVs (top models) are considered the best worldwide.
...Available in Europe and in Canada (not in the USA).

* For $500 I find the Panasonic 820 (Canadian model) expensive for a player made of plastic. That's just me...I would go for the 9000 @ over double its price in Canada.
But I went metal cheap with Sony...and I use the extra money for content, in my own personal contentment. Another time another year I'll check what will be coming up...an 8K/3D player from Pioneer Elite, made in Japan ... who knows now with this crazy world under the spell of a crazy pandemic...COVID-19.

Yeah, cheap plastic the 820/824 ... should be cheap price too. IMHO
 
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LTig

LTig

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Thread Starter #10
I bought the Sony. It's cheaper than the Panasonic, plays SADCs and a colleage who owns the X700 was satisfied with it. One reason to get the Sony was also that Sony is probably willing to produce disk players for a longer time than other companies because Sony owns its own label and sells disks. Chances are therefore higher to get it repaired if something breaks (a shallow hope, I know).

The X800M2 is quite heavy (stable metal housing) and the only "plasticy" thing is the tray - better not use any force on it. It has no fan and except of very low head moving noise during the load phase it's dead silent (for my aging ears).

Somehow I've the fealing that BD sound is better compared to the old Pioneer (subjective opinion). OTOH problems I had with BD audio on several disks (level was so low that I had to set the volume of the AVP very close to max, which I blamed the AVP for because they occured after I installed it) are gone, so this may have worsened audio SQ in those cases.
 

valerianf

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#12
Last year I bought a LG UBK90 that play UHD and DV (automatically). It is an all plastic frame without any display.
I was satisfied by the image and sound quality.
Until I found an issue: I placed another BR player on top of it.
Then, the same BR disk was freezing time to time because of a heat issue ( a few degree up).
Reading the forum about this player I found many users complaining about disk freezing issue.
Also I returned the LG UBK90.
I am still looking for a 4k BR player capable of DV and HDR10+
 

North_Sky

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#13
I am still looking for a 4k BR player capable of DV and HDR10+
Then your choice between these two players is super easy, the Panasonic 820/824

And your next step up is the universal Pioneer Elite LX500 (also plays both SACD & DVD-Audio discs), and the Panasonic UB9000 (reviewed here @ ASR - Audio side only). Both more $$$ too.

 
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Fillius

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#14
Then your choice between these two players is super easy, the Panasonic 820/824

And your next step up is the universal Pioneer Elite LX500 (also plays both SACD & DVD-Audio discs), and the Panasonic UB9000 (reviewed here @ ASR - Audio side only). Both more $$$ too.

The Pioneer players haven't yet had their promised firmware update to enable HDR10+, it keeps getting delayed.
 

North_Sky

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#15
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valerianf

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#16
The Pioneer Elite LX 500 was a good candidate until I found a forum providing a list of BR that are freezing with that reader.
Also It will be a Panasonic reader for me.
I do not think that new models will come as streaming movies are taking the lead.
But image and sound quality are better with BR.
 
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