Miva Merchant has encountered a fatal error and is unable to continue. Panasonic made its pitch with one of the first Ultra Slot load blu ray player Blu-ray players in 2016 with the UB900. It was masterful, designed to be the highest quality for early adopters and to satisfy the demands of serious AV enthusiasts looking for their 4K fix.
600 price, which is perhaps why the half-price UB700 saw a late-2016 launch with a price that more closely matched the rival Samsung K8500. 300 price point the UB700 loses some of its audio prowess, but retains its knockout punch – stunning 4K Blu-ray visuals. One of the biggest things to set apart the first two Ultra HD Blu-ray players was design.
Panasonic in many ways is more elegant and has the advantage of looking more normal stacked alongside your other high-end AV kit, but one of the changes in the UB700 is the feet and that deep grained finish from the UB900. The UB700 is glossy and black but otherwise inoffensive, although it scratches easily, so don’t put anything on top of this player, and it also attracts a lot of dust. There’s a display behind this panel too, shining through to pass on information.
We couldn’t find a way to turn it off during playback though. The remote that comes with this player isn’t the best.
Panasonic calls it the “simple” remote in its specs for obvious reason: you lose the fun illumination of the UB900’s excellent remote. 3D controls, the one you will miss is our favourite – the playback info button. You can get details on the screen by digging in the menu, where you can see what quality is being output both for audio and video.
One of the direct buttons it retains is the Netflix button, so if you’re a fan of that service, you get direct access. The big difference between the UB700 and the UB900 really comes down to the connections on the rear and the corresponding audio support. The UB700 offers two HDMI outputs – so you have the option to split the audio into a dedicated HDMI, especially useful if you want to run it to a receiver, while the video heads straight to your 4K HDR TV.
There’s optical audio too, if you have legacy equipment, but whereas the UB900 offers a full run of analogue audio connections, the UB700 does not. For your average home cinema user, that may be of no concern at all, but that also defines the positioning of these two players: the UB900 is designed to do everything across audio and visual entertainment, the UB700 has a leaning toward being an Ultra HD Blu-ray player first and foremost.
TV’s HDMI you’ve connected to. You can change the picture settings when playing standard Blu-ray, although Ultra HD Blu-ray is more restricted to preserve the HDR parameters that the player is dictating to the TV.
HDMI audio suits us fine too, with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X supported via bitstream, along with a full run of other audio formats. There’s Wi-Fi for connecting to the internet, as well as an Ethernet port. If you’ve ambitions to use the streaming services that are bundled in then a wired connection is usually preferable. That said, if you’re hooking this up to one of the latest smart TVs, you’ll probably find yourself slightly better catered for through those apps – saving the need to have this box powered on.