If you’ve been waiting patiently for the Panasonic UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player that will supposedly get released in the US sometime this month, you might wait a bit longer for the UB700. The new model was just announced by the company at IFA in Berlin, Germany as a cheaper alternative to the UB900.
Panasonic’s UB900 was first shown as a prototype at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, but has only been released outside the United States where it has received rave reviews given its THX certification, twin HDMI ports separating video and audio, and support for high-resolution 32-bit/192kHZ DAC (digital to analog converter) for formats such as ALAC and DSD.
But the elusive UB900 is priced much higher than already-available UHD BD players from Samsung and Philips (the only two currently available in the US). At $699 (the listed price at Best Buy, although not available to pre-order), the UB900 would be around $400 more than the Samsung UBD-K8500 ($315) and Philips BDP7501 ($299).
That’s where Panasonic’s new player comes into play. The UB700 will be priced more competitively than the UB900, expected to sell for about 400 Euro. Converted to dollars (about $450 US), the player is still higher than other models but Panasonic may reduce the MSRP slightly to compete with Samsung and Philips.
How does the UB700 compare to the UB900? The player inherits many of the features of the UB900 including the twin HDMI outputs for high-resolution audio, DLNA compatibility, and of course 4k video with HDR (high dynamic range). It also features a 4K High-Precision Chroma Processor and 4K Direct Chroma up-scaling technology.
However, audiophiles and home theater experts may grunt upon hearing the UB700 doesn’t support 7.1 channel surround sound and isn’t THX certified like its better-equipped sibling.