Panasonic's DMP-UB900 was the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player to be launched in Australia, but when it's released onto store shelves later this month it'll be more expensive than its Samsung competitor, thanks to some higher-quality audio components and apparently superior video output. Internationally, Panasonic now has two new 4K Blu-ray players launching that -- if they come to Australia -- should be pretty damn tempting, and provide stronger competition at for anyone looking to get into the new format without breaking the bank.
The DMP-UB900 is expected to come with a local price tag in the order of $1200, but the Panasonic DMP-UB90 currently only available in Japan is around 50 per cent cheaper -- its circa-70000 yen price translates into an (extremely rough) Australian price of around $900. That's still a long way from the $599 Samsung UDB-K8500, but Panasonic's home entertainment products have always justified their higher prices with superior internal components that genuinelyt do translate into superior pictures and audio.
And then there's the extremely expensive DMR-UBZ1 -- about $3500 in Australian dollars at current exchange rates -- which incorporates an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, three digital TV tuners, and a 3TB hard drive to store digital TV content and digital media like music. It's just as expensive as an actual 4K TV, which makes it pretty damn ridiculous, but it's good to see that Panasonic is investing a little in diversifying the Ultra HD Blu-ray market away from a single player. And, as the months go on, the average price of a 4K Blu-ray disc is still sitting around the $50 mark. [Panasonic]