There are still some among us who are hesitant to dive head-first into the world of 4K, and to those people I can’t stress it enough; its time to take the plunge…
4K isn’t a gimmick. There’s more content available than you can shake a stick at, and not all content is online or subscription based; Ultra HD Blu-ray has been around for some time now with an impressive library beginning to build up. Of course, when they first made their debut, they were pricey. Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 took the crown for first release and it was very well received, winning numerous awards and 5-star ratings.
With home cinema technology progressing so quickly, those of you who were a little hesitant to hit the gas on the whole 4K Blu-ray thing may have made the right decision. Panasonic have just released the DMP-UB400, a scaled down version of its predecessor for a much more affordable price, finally bringing 4K Blu-ray to the masses.
Now in my experience, cheaper isn’t always a good thing. Companies often downsize units, and make compromises on the overall quality. The DMP-UB400 doesn’t seem to bear any of those traits, which is very refreshing to say the least. It still remains in an alloy chassis, which is quite surprising given its low price point, while the front facia is still hidden by a plastic door that drops down to reveal the disc drive and a USB port for introducing a hard drive or memory stick.
Flip the unit around and you’re greeted with two HDMI outputs – one for dedicated audio, another for video out – as well as a dedicated LAN connection and a digital optical connection. All of this is packed in a far smaller unit than its big brother the DMP-UB900, so for those of you tight on space this may be worth looking at first. Warming up the UB400 was a stress-free experience, from startup to display took around 18 seconds, not to much fuss which is always nice. The little Panasonic is also relatively quiet. While some cheaper units can churn out noise from the internal fan, this unit is whisper quiet.
For the initial test I used a copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them in glorious Ultra HD, and as expected I certainly wasn’t let down. I didn’t feel short changed, the display was bright with excellent colour reproduction and incredible amounts of detail. There was some darker scenes in the movie that I felt were a little lacklustre in comparison to the OPPO Blu-ray player I normally use in our demonstration room, but it’s certainly a sacrifice I’d be willing to make when taking the extra cost of the OPPO into consideration.
It’s great news that 4K Blu-ray is really starting to get off the ground and it is brilliant little units like the UB400 that will help the format along the way. It’s no longer the hardcore AV enthusiasts that have the monopoly of the Blu-ray market, it’s finally becoming more of an everyman man product!
If you’re a little unsure on the whole 4K/UHD Blu-ray aspect, or you just fancy a demonstration, then please feel free to pop into your nearest Richer Sounds and let us show you the next step in home cinema quality.
Author: Garrett, Plymouth store