The Panasonic DP-UB820EB straddles the line between premium and mid-range 4K Blu-ray players. While the price is reasonable, it manages to offer features and performance you'd expect from a player that costs you a lot more.
That places this deck high up in our list of the best Blu-ray players (opens in new tab). That's not to say it's perfect, as build quality isn't the most premium and CD playback leaves a little to be desired. But for a superb 4K Blu-ray image quality and excellent sound reproduction this is a truly stand out player.
Panasonic DP-UB820EB review: Picture quality
- 4K picture quality
- HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
The Panasonic DP-UB820EB uses second generation HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processing to deliver 4K image quality that's fantastic. Pictures are crisp and detailed with well defined edges and refined dynamic range.
The 4:4:4 color sampling that Panasonic uses results in precision and depth that makes colors stand out but without being too overbearing. This can also be varied using the HDR optimizer to suit the environment you're watching in. This is particularly useful when watching dark movies where the definition between blacks can be enhanced.
Expect lots of detail here from accurate skin tones to intricate lines on complex nature scenes. This also works well for upscaling 1080p content, making regular Blu-ray discs look far better, not only in detail but also in color and contrast.
Panasonic DP-UB820EB review: Audio quality
- Great audio output
- Ideal when paired with surround sound or soundbar
You can expect a commanding sound from this deck with a real weight and depth to everything. That makes it an ideal pairing for a surround sound system and perfect for big action movies.
The Panasonic DP-UB820EB also works well with dialogue, using that power to help push the vocals clearly out, even when through lots of other background sound effects and noise.
For music you get a well defined range of instruments all while keeping that impactful performance, which is especially noticeable in movies with classical scores.
It will play CDs and does so well but you can get a better performance out of it if you adjust settings using the Digital Tube up-sampler.
Panasonic DP-UB820EB review: Design, build and features
- Good build quality
- Streaming apps built-in
The Panasonic DP-UB820 has a decent build quality but it is mid-range and not premium. As such you get less of the metal you'd expect from a high-end deck and more plastic. That said it does still feel reassuringly solid and looks decent.
The 3D Glass Cut finish makes this look attractive while the front is kept as minimal as possible to make sure this doesn't stand out and rather fits in. Round the back are two HDMIs, Ethernet, USB and optical audio output. You also get a 7.1 channel audio out selection of ports making this ideal for connecting to a sound system.
WiFi is onboard as are a selection of apps for streaming including Netflix (opens in new tab), Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) and YouTube. In the case of Netflix you also get a dedicated button on the remote control. This is where that HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support can come in very useful.
This also features SACD and DVD-Audio disc support as well as 24-bit hi-res audio playback.
Panasonic DP-UB820EB review: Price
- $500 MSRP
- One year warranty
The Panasonic DP-UB820EB launched in 2020 with a price of $500. Since it's not been around that long, at time of publishing, that price has held up quite well. So if you do find it for less anywhere we'd recommend jumping on that deal. The Panasonic DP-UB820EB also comes with a one year limited warranty as standard.
Should you buy the Panasonic DP-UB820EB?
The Panasonic DP-UB820EB is a Blu-ray player that gets you both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ playback without the top-end price of flagship decks. Yet you still get a decent build quality, all the streaming apps you could want and image and audio quality that's tough to rival by any player. Not the cheapest for a mid-range unit but definitely one of the best for pure quality results.