Until now the options to choose an Ultra HD 4K Blu-Ray player were quite slim. However, companies are starting to launch players with a somewhat more accessible price. This is the case of the Panasonic DMP-UB700, a player with a price of around 400 euros and is just below the Panasonic DMP-UB900. The latter is one of the highest rated breeders of the past year. Will your little brother reach the same level? We have had the opportunity to test the Panasonic DMP-UB700 for a few days and we will tell you what we think .
If you have purchased a 4K television, it is likely that you want to enjoy it in all its splendor. Although we can currently consume 4K content from some streaming services, none of them reach the image quality of an original 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray .
As we said, until now we had very few players on the market. Also, they had exorbitant prices. However, manufacturers seem to want to bring this technology to the general public . One of the players that can get it is the Panasonic DMP-UB700.
Panasonic DMP-UB700 Datasheet
|Compatible discs||Blu-Ray 4K, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D, DVD, CD|
|Sound||Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, DSD|
|Connectivity||2 HDMI outputs (video and audio), 2 USB, Optical digital, Ethernet, SD card reader|
|Wireless connectivity||Integrated WiFi|
|Dimensions||430 x 61 x 199 mm|
|Design||Metal and shiny glass finish|
|software||Compatible with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube in 4K, DLNA|
Despite not being a high-end 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray player, the Panasonic DMP-UB700 offers a really nice design. What's more, at first glance it is very difficult to differentiate this model from its older brother. We have a player of a considerable size, which combines metal with shiny glass in its housing.
In the front part we do not have any type of connector in sight, not even the tray for the discs. All this is hidden under a lid that folds down when we open the tray or manually. Also under this cover we have a USB connector and an SD card reader. When closed, this glossy lid only reveals a small screen that will give us information about the playback.
The controls are also quite discreet. We only have two touch sensitive buttons on the top right of the player . One of them is used to turn on the device and the other to remove the tray.
The top of the player also sports a gloss black finish , practically mirror-like. The sides are the only ones that don't have that gloss, with a matte finish.
Design is not the only thing this player inherits from its older brother. The Panasonic DMP-UB700 is also UHD Premium certified. And it is not surprising, because it supports the BT.2020 color gamut and has a brightness range of 1,000 to 10,000 nits .
Inside we find the Panasonic 4K High Precision Chroma processor . This manages to scale to 4K resolution of sources with a very interesting lower resolution.
But how does it behave with the different fonts? We started the test with a Blu-Ray in 4K. The image is very good, although it does not reach the level of its older brother. The player displays a clear image, with a very balanced color gamut and no distortion, even in fast images . However, it lacks a bit more sharpness, brightness and depth to achieve a striking image.
Something similar happens when we play a Blu-Ray. The image is very good, we know that this is a high-end Blu-Ray player. But it doesn't have the punch that high-end Ultra HD players get .
However, you can't ask for much more from image scaling. We have tried playing several DVD movies and the noise levels are minimal. The image is more than decent and the movement stable. Certainly the processor in the Panasonic DMP-UB700 does a great job of scaling .
Connectivity and software
The connectivity section is, perhaps, the one that has suffered the most with the player's price cut. As we have already mentioned, in the front we have an SD card reader and a USB port. At the back we find another USB port and two HDMI outputs . One of them is for video and the other for audio, in case we don't have a 4K compatible AV receiver.
Also at the rear we have the Ethernet input and the coaxial optical digital output. Nothing else, in this model we find neither analogue outputs nor coaxial digital output . We do have an integrated WiFi connection.
As for the software, two points to highlight. The first is that the player supports 4K content from Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube . If we have a sufficient Internet connection to play at this resolution, we can do it directly from the player.
The second is that the Panasonic DMP-UB700 supports high resolution audio playback . Besides conventional formats, it can also play ALAC and DSD music files.
The Panasonic DMP-UB700 is a more than decent 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray player. However, we expected it to be somewhat closer to the UB900 in terms of image quality . This does not mean that we will not have good results with this player. We will achieve a natural image, with good colors and fluid movement. We can also enter the 4K world with a somewhat tighter budget.
Otherwise, it offers a premium design and first-class finishes . Yes we will have to look closely at the connections, especially if we want to connect some older equipment.
Software wise, it is acceptable, but let's not expect to use this player as our main entertainment center if we want more than Netflix, Amazon or YouTube.
The Panasonic DMP-UB700 is available in specialized stores with a price of around 400 euros .