Panasonic's $699 UHD Blu-ray player arrives in September

It's targeting audiophiles with a slew of high-end components and features.


If you thought Ultra HD Blu-ray players were already pretty expensive, Panasonic would like to have a word. Whereas Samsung's player and the recently released unit from Philips aim for a mainstream crowd with $400 price tags, Panasonic is targeting audiophiles and folks with slightly deeper pockets. The DMP-UB900 costs $699 and features a few wild specs like twin HDMI outputs for separating audio and video signals; premium capacitors, circuitry and signal processors; "digital tube sound" that supposedly replicates analog warmth from a digital signal and playback for DSD and ALAC audio formats. Yep, your TV's speakers would be a waste of all this tech.

Everything else is pretty standard fare for the format though, with 4K/60FPS playback, high dynamic range video and Ultra HD streaming apps along for the ride. Contrary to what we heard at CES this year, the UB900 will play nicely with 3D Blu-ray. Panasonic says to expect seeing this at "select" retailers, including Best Buy stores with a Magnolia room, this September.

For now, it's definitely the most expensive UHD Blu-ray player available and definitely isn't for everyone. If you're looking for a UHD machine that does more than just play Blu-rays and video streams, remember, the Xbox One S will launch next month. Whether or not you should buy one is another matter entirely.