Panasonic is expanding its range of UHD Blu-ray players introduced earlier this year at CES with a new flagship model called the DP-UB9000, and like the previously announced DP-UB820 which sat at the top of the range until now, the DP-UB9000 offers support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Additionally, the new player delivers what Panasonic claims is "unparalleled sound" thanks to the inclusion of analog outputs and high-quality audio components, all wrapped in a newly developed chassis designed to reduce vibrations.
The new flagship player offers 7.1-channel analog audio output like the DP-UB820 but it also adds two additional analog audio output channels including an XLR balanced output, as well as an RCA output. In addition, Panasonic claims that the player features a high-performance D/A converter, a dedicated audio power supply, and a rigid, vibration-reducing chassis protecting its components. In terms of video, the player offers Ultra HD Blu-ray playback backed by an HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor, as well as Full HD 3D Blu-ray playback, and offers high-precision Chroma processing and direct Chroma upscaling in 4K. Other key specs include THX certification set to be enabled at a later date through a software update, and the integration with the Google Assistant, as well as Amazon's Alexa, which will give users the option of controlling the device with voice commands.
As expected, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 offers additional smart features beyond two voice-controlled virtual assistants, in the form of Internet applications, 4K streaming, as well as built-in wireless LAN capabilities, and the ability to mirror video content to smartphones and tablets. It's also capable of playing content from an external HDD and offers wallpaper functionality. Much like the previous models announced at CES 2018 earlier this year, the Panasonic DP-UB9000 will be released in Europe and possibly some other markets, but its pricing details have not been revealed so far. The newly introduced model will sit at the top of Panasonic's range in terms of capabilities, so it will almost certainly be the most expensive choice, though it will be followed by the more affordable Panasonic DP-UB820/824, DP-UB420/424, and the Panasonic DP-UB330/320.