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Monday, January 08, 2018
Panasonic Debuts HDR10+ OLED TVs, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players and New Technics Turntables at CES


Panasonic announced its 2018 line up of OLED televisions, comprising four new models across two ranges that support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology. The company also debuted four new Ultra HD Blu-ray players.

2018 OLED TVs

The new FZ950 and FZ800 ranges will be both available in 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes. Featuring new OLED panels, combined with the newest generation of Panasonic's Hollywood-tuned HCX video processor, the FZ950 and FZ800 provide significant under-the-hood advancements. The four new models will be the first OLED screens available in 2018 which support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology and able to stream several hundred hours of Amazon Prime Video HDR10+ catalogue. The FZ950 range is complemented by the addition of a 'Tuned by Technics' Dynamic Blade Speaker - a thin audio system optimized by Panasonic's hi-fi brand to deliver a refined and powerful field of sound.

Before shipping, Panasonic will seek coveted Ultra HD Premium and THX certification for all its OLED screens.

Panasonic says that its proprietary HCX 4K video processor provides "incredible black levels and a color gamut of one billion shades" - a result of Panasonic's ability to show almost 100 per cent of the DCI color space.

The biggest under-the-hood change to the HCX processor is the introduction of a new 'Dynamic LUT' system. LUT (Look Up Table) technology is used in professional post-production and broadcast circles in Hollywood and beyond to ensure color accuracy. Until now, LUTs were fixed according to the color space used by the source; the HCX automatically monitors the average brightness level of a scene and uses picture analysis to dynamically load an LUT appropriate to that scene. This brings improvements to mid-brightness scenes, making them look much more natural.

To improve color accuracy in shadows, Panasonic has included additional layers of LUT data at much darker levels than previously. This means that while improving the transition from pure black, the colors in the shadows are even more accurate.

Finally, Panasonic has extended the range and reduced the interval between calibration steps at the darkest end of the RGB and gamma scales. This can be adjusted by the user via Panasonic's Color Management System. The FZ950 and FZ800 support Imaging Science Foundation (isf) calibration settings and new calibration points at 5 per cent and - in an industry first - just 2.5 per cent luminance. These new calibration points will also be supported by Portrait Display's CalMAN software with AutoCal functionality. Panasonic FZ950 and FZ800 are now CalMAN Ready.

All of this year's new OLED screens boast an Absolute Black Filter, which helps ensure accurate black levels by absorbing ambient light in order to eliminate reflections - especially beneficial in brightly lit rooms.

These OLEDs will support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology which will offer considerable benefits to viewers through optimizing the viewing experience on a scene-by-scene basis.

HDR10+ is an open, royalty-free, dynamic metadata platform for High Dynamic Range (HDR), created by 20th Century Fox, Panasonic and Samsung. Once the HDR10+ license program is open, the three founding companies will incorporate HDR10+ technologies in all future Ultra HD movie releases, selected TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray players, and other products.

Furthermore, Panasonic TVs which support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology will be able to stream the entire Amazon Prime Video HDR library in HDR10+.

Panasonic has added a new Dynamic Scene Optimizer function, which uses picture analysis to mimic dynamic metadata when playing an HDR10 source on its new 4K TVs. Furthermore, a new Auto HDR Brightness Enhancer function allows viewers adjust manually or automatically how HDR content looks in a brighter room.

To match the TV pictures of the FZ950, Panasonic has developed a sound system. Sporting a 'Tuned by Technics' logo, the Dynamic Blade Speaker uses audiophile grade Hi-Fi components and promises to offer "best-in-class" sound for an integrated TV speaker. With no less than eight multiple speaker units (four larger woofers, four squawkers and two tweeters, plus a quad passive radiator to boost bass) and 40 per cent increased volume, the Dynamic Blade Speaker was developed in conjunction with engineers from Technics.

Satisfying the demands of gaming enthusiasts, Panasonic's FZ950 and FZ800 screens have evolved to offer an enthralling 4K HDR gaming experience thanks to quick response times. The screens' dedicated Game mode uses exceptionally fast image processing to deliver finely detailed images, even with fast-moving 4K and HDR games that require quick reaction times.

First Ultra HD Blu-ray Players which support HDR10+

Panasonic is also launching its latest Ultra HD Blu-ray Players, including two models - the DP-UB820 and DP-UB420 - which support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology. And with the accompanying DP-UB330/DP-UB320 series, the line-up for 2018 comprises four players, all Ultra HD Premium certified.

The 2018 line-up of Ultra HD Blu-ray players is powered by an HCX Processor.

Panasonic's 2018 Ultra HD Players support voice control from both Amazon Alexa (coming soon) and the Google Assistant (coming soon).

Two of the new Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray players, the UB820 and UB420, support HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology which will offer considerable benefits to viewers through optimizing the viewing experience on a scene-by-scene basis.

Furthermore, as a step up model, the UB820 also supports Dolby Vision.

The 4K engine powering the line-up is Panasonic's proprietary HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray. This has been improved by applying chroma and gradation processing to the video technologies which were developed at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL).

The UB820, UB420 and UB330/320 have an original 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling feature that up-converts Full HD to 4K resolution for displaying beautiful colors.

In addition, Panasonic's new players use unique technologies to provide three HDR adjustment functions:

1. HDR Optimizer

HDR-compatible TVs use tone mapping to match the brightness range of images according to the static metadata within the content, but optimal results are sometimes not possible due to the manufacturer or specific model. By conducting the tone mapping on the player, stable HDR picture quality is delivered regardless of the TV. Panasonic's original image processing technologies achieve HDR images with higher definition while tone mapping is used to adjust the brightness level of the content. Even HDR images from ordinary HDR10 and TV footage provide optimal playback.

2. HDR to SDR conversion (Optimised Tone Remapping for SDR-TV)

Dynamic Range Conversion reproduces images with greater brightness and beauty than ordinary Blu-ray Disc images when played on a non-HDR TV with standard dynamic range (SDR-TV). This feature maximizes the image expression that is inherent to Ultra HD Blu-ray.

3. HDR Adjustment for various viewing conditions

These models have a HDR adjustment feature which reproduces dark and bright areas with high fidelity regardless of the viewing environment. Dark scenes in HDR images are sometimes difficult to see when viewed in a bright room and may require brightness adjustment. Because HDR signals are inherently different from SDR signals, existing adjustment functions are insufficient. The UB820, UB420, UB330 and 320 use an original technology to optimize HDR video signals, which enables them to freely adjust the brightness of the HDR images. An HDR Setting button on the remote control allows the user to simply select the optimal setting for the viewing environment.

7.1-channel analogue audio output

The UB820 supports analogue 7.1-channel audio for direct connection to a home theatre system . Each terminal is gold-plated to resist oxidization and maintain high signal conductivity.

Twin HDMI Pure AV (Audio/Video isolated twin HDMI)

The UB820 and UB420 Series feature dual HDMI outputs for isolating and transmitting TV (4K video) and amplifier audio.

High-Res audio playback

The UB820, UB420, UB330 and 320 are designed for high-resolution audio reproduction. In addition to conventional WAV/FLAC/MP3/AAC/WMA formats, DSD (11.2MHz/5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz) ALAC and AIFF music files can be reproduced.

Digital tube sound with up-sampling

The warm, comforting sound characteristics of tube amplifiers are faithfully simulated on the UB820 and UB420. Six different kinds of sounds from vacuum tubes with 96-kHz/192-kHz up-sampling can be enjoyed in high quality.

Compatible with 4K VOD

Two models in the 2018 line-up, the UB820 and UB420, both support 4K VOD (Video on Demand) services.

4K camcorder video and JPEG playback

4K videos (MP4 format) taken with a camera or camcorder can be reproduced using Panasonic's 2018 Ultra HD Players, while JPEG data can be created in 4K resolution.

DP-UB820 Series Main Features

  • Picture
    • Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback (4K/HDR)
    • HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
    • Supports HDR10+/ Dolby Vision dynamic metadata technology
    • 4K High-Precision Chroma Processing
    • 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling
    • 4K 60p/50p/4:4:4 Output
    • HDR Optimizer
    • FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback
  • Sound
    • 7.1ch Analogue Audio Output
    • TWIN HDMI PURE AV (Twin Isolated Output)
    • High Clarity Sound Premium
    • HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process
    • Digital Tube Sound with Up-sampling
    • High-resolution Audio Playback (DSD (11.2MHz/2.8MHz/5.6MHz), ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF)
    • 192kHz/96kHz Surround Re-master
  • Smart Features
    • Viewing Experience Controlled via Voice
    • 4K VOD
    • 4K Networking (4K Video/ 4K Jpeg Playback)
    • Internet Apps
    • DLNA (Client/Renderer)
    • Network Drive Access
    • External HDD Playback
    • Mirroring with Smartphone / Tablet
    • Web Browser
    • Wireless LAN Built-in
    • Stylish GUI
    • Quick Start
    • Home Screen Wallpaper
    • Control by HDMI Connection

DP-UB420 Series Main Features

  • Picture
    • Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback (4K/HDR)
    • HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
    • Supports HDR10+ dynamic metadata technology*1
    • 4K High-Precision Chroma Processing
    • 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling
    • 4K 60p/50p/4:4:4 Output
    • HDR Optimizer
    • FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback
  • Sound
    • TWIN HDMI PURE AV (Twin Isolated Output)
    • High Clarity Sound Premium
    • HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process
    • Digital Tube Sound with Up-sampling
    • High-resolution Audio Playback (DSD (11.2MHz/2.8MHz/5.6MHz), ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF)
    • 192kHz/96kHz Surround Re-master
  • Smart Features (same as DP-UB820)


DP-UB330/320 Series Main Features

  • Picture
    • Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback (4K/HDR)
    • HCX(Hollywood Cinema Experience) Processor for Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
    • 4K High-Precision Chroma Processing
    • 4K Direct Chroma Up-scaling
    • 4K 60p/50p/4:4:4 Output
    • FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Playback
  • Sound
    • HDMI Low Clock Jitter Process
    • High-resolution Audio Playback (DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz), ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF)

Smart Features (same as DP-UB820)

New Technics Technics SP-10R and Technics SL-1000R Direct Drive Turntable Systems

Renowned for its direct drive technology and performance, the Technics range has extended its Reference Class line-up of audio components with its newest direct drive turntable and turntable system, the SP10-R and SL-1000R.

The legendary SP-10 Series of Direct Drive Turntables and their accompanying Direct Drive Turntable Systems have become synonymous with direct drive technology.

The SP10-R includes a double coil twin rotor-type coreless direct-drive motor with coils on both sides for 12-pole, 18-coil drive, and high enough torque to drive the heavyweight-class platter with ultimate sovereignty. The result is a stable rotation of 0.015% wow & flutter or less, which is considered to be the measurement limit.

The turntable also features an impressive turntable platter with a 10-mm-thick brass weight, enhanced with tungsten weights on the outer periphery. The brass weight is laminated onto the aluminum die-cast, giving the platter a total weight of approximately 7.9 kg and an inertial mass of approximately 1 ton・cm. A deadening rubber for eliminating unwanted vibration is attached to the rear surface to form a three-layer construction to achieve an even higher rigidity and provide excellent vibration-damping characteristics.

To achieve further noise reduction, the control unit is separated from the main unit and its switching power supply is equipped with unique technology that provides a voltage supply with minimal noise via a newly-developed 'unwanted noise reduction circuit'. In addition, the communication between the main unit and the control unit are engineered to resist the effects of external noise whilst increasing reliability. These noise-reduction measures enable the SP-10R to achieve the World's highest level S/N.

The Technics SL-1000R system features an S-type universal tonearm with a lightweight, high damping magnesium tonearm pipe. The gimbal suspension construction tonearm uses high-precision bearings, and Japanese craftsmen handle all assembly and adjustments to achieve a high initial-motion sensitivity to precisely trace the grooves cut into the records. OFC is used for internal wiring, so that the music signal relayed from the cartridge is not dampened and the musical energy cut into the record is not lost.

The tonearm base, to which the tonearm is mounted, is strongly integrated with the turntable. To safeguard tonearm performance, the tonearm bearings, turntable bearings and needle position remain constant - providing a structure in which the vibration caused by the rigidity of the turntable base materials has minimal effect.

The SP-10R has been developed to be completely interchangeable with previous SP-10 Series models, such as the SP-10MK2 and SP-10MK3. In order for users to continue using the turntable base and turntable of these previous systems, the shape and screw positions have been designed to allow for complete backward compatibility. The control unit is also the same shape and size as the SP-10MK2 power unit for trouble-free replacement.



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