OPPO UDP-203 vs Panasonic DMP-UB900: Picture Quality Comparison

OPPO UDP-203 vs Panasonic DMP-UB900: Picture Quality Comparison


The OPPO 203. The Panasonic UB900. These are two of the best, not to mention
most expensive, 4K Blu-ray players on the market today. For months, owners and non-owners have been
debating which one actually gives a better picture. In this video, we’re going to do a scientific,
technical comparison of their picture quality, and settle the argument… at least for today. Stay tuned. Hello everyone, my name is Vincent Teoh, and
I’m a professional TV reviewer and calibrator at HDTVTest. In this channel, we do scientific TV reviews,
video interviews, settings tips and tricks, and also the odd unboxing video, so if you’re
new to this channel, please consider subscribing by clicking this button right here. Let’s get on with the comparison. To kick things off, let’s get something out
of the way: the OPPO UDP-203 has one unassailable advantage over the Panasonic DMP-UB900, in
that the OPPO will be able to support Dolby Vision HDR format following a firmware upgrade
later this year. All current Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-ray players
on the market, including the UB900, will not support Dolby Vision, at least that’s what
Panasonic engineers tell us. So if you own a Dolby Vision-capable television
like a 2016 or 2017 LG OLED, you should probably choose the OPPO 203 to take advantage
of the theoretical dynamic metadata benefits of Dolby Vision. As of April 2017 when this video was filmed,
there are no Dolby Vision discs and players available on the market, so we can’t definitively
say it’s superior to HDR10 4K Blu-rays until we can do a proper comparison. Ok, with that out of the way, let’s start
by comparing how the OPPO 203 and the Panasonic UB900 handle 4K Blu-rays. Both players have been updated to their latest
firmware respectively… version 329 on the OPPO UDP-203; 1.73 on the Panasonic DMP-UB900. We hooked up the players to the same HDMI
port on a calibrated Samsung KS9500 full-array local-dimming LED LCD, and to compare the
video output between the players, we simply swapped HDMI cables, and took photos with
a locked-off camera. As I explained in a previous unboxing video
of the OPPO 203, 4K Blu-ray discs are encoded in 4:2:0, so what will separate one player
from another is the quality of chroma upsampling from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 or 4:4:4. If we put up a chroma zone plate pattern that’s
been mastered in 4K HDR, we can see that the Panasonic resolved more fine chroma detail
than the OPPO. Now don’t get me wrong: firmware update 329
has improved the OPPO a lot in this respect, but its chroma frequency response is still
slightly behind the Panasonic – on the OPPO, the circles towards the edges of the screen
became more jagged faster, whereas the Panasonic maintained their smoothness better. Can you see this difference in real-world
4K Blu-rays? Well, in all honesty, probably not from a normal
viewing distance, because we’re now getting into pixel-peeping territory, but hey, these
products are of such high quality that we have to do this to separate them. The biggest difference is seen when you watch
a 4K Blu-ray that’s mastered in native 4K or higher with a high bit-rate, for example
Lucy or Sully, on a television that can faithfully reproduce 4:4:4 chroma. Under these conditions, the Panasonic UB900
just resolves the finest coloured detail that bit cleaner, smoother and brighter. Moving onto upscaling of 1080p Blu-rays, we
again used a chroma zone plate pattern from the excellent Spears and Munsil Benchmark
test disc, only this time it’s in SDR 1080p. Here, the Panasonic kept the curves smoother
too. Again, in real-world viewing the difference
is going to be extremely minor, but if you play a high-bit rate Blu-ray such as Oblivion
or Skyfall, the Panasonic UB900 is going to resolve the finest chroma detail just marginally
better. So far, we’ve been talking about differences
that are extremely subtle between the two players, but the next one is very obvious,
and it’s in the area of HDR-to-SDR conversion. Now, many of you will ask, why would anyone
bother converting HDR-to-SDR? The answer lies in what produces the best
image from 4K Blu-ray movies on a low-brightness display, such as projectors or 2015 LG OLEDs. On these displays with low peak brightness,
HDR doesn’t look that good, either because there’s simply not enough dynamic range to
do HDR justice, or in the case of projectors, the black floor has to be elevated to try
and hit certain peak brightness. What some owners have been doing is to convert
HDR-to-SDR when watching 4K Blu-rays, so they can still get the 4K resolution and maybe
wide colour gamut benefits from Ultra HD Blu-rays… even in the absence of HDR. Now on the surface, the OPPO 203 is better
than the Panasonic UB900 for HDR-to-SDR conversion, because the OPPO offers two modes. If you go into the HDR Setting menu, selecting
HDR off will ask the player to output SDR with Rec.709 colours, whereas choosing “Strip
Metadata” will ask the player to output SDR with Rec.2020 colours. On the Panasonic UB900, you don’t get this
choice. If you turn [High Dynamic Range Output] to
“Off”, then the player will use the EDID of the display to decide whether to send Rec.709
or Rec.2020 colours in SDR. And most of the time it’s going to be Rec.709. If you want to get Rec.2020 colours in SDR
one hundred percent of the time on the UB900, you have to buy an external device such as
the HD Fury Integral to feed the necessary EDID to trick the player into outputting SDR
BT.2020. However, the result of Panasonic’s HDR-to-SDR
conversion is much better than the OPPO’s. The OPPO 203’s HDR-to-SDR implementation suffers
from a few problems, regardless of whether [HDR Setting] was set to “Off” or “Strip Metadata”. If you look at this test pattern that is originally
in HDR but has been downconverted to SDR, the OPPO is not only crushing some shadow
detail just above black, but also introducing some posterisation in the gray ramp at the
bottom of the screen, especially in the darker regions. The colour remapping was also off, causing
colours to look less saturated. In real world-content, you can see these issues
in this scene from the 4K Blu-ray of the movie Pan. Notice how the shadow detail are missing in
the boy’s hair, and also in the background, and how the gradations on his arm are stair-stepped
rather than smooth. Also, if we summon the interactive graphics
layer, the scene selection thumbnails appear washed out with elevated blacks, probably
because of not using the correct transfer function. For comparison, here’s how the Panasonic UB900
handled this exact same scene, converting HDR to SDR. The shadow detail remain intact, the skin
tone gradations in the arm are smooth, and the scene selection buttons are correctly
rendered. Bottom line is, if you want a 4K Blu-ray player
that can accurately convert HDR to SDR, the Panasonic DMP-UB900 is our pick. So there you have it: both the OPPO 203 and
Panasonic UB900 are high-quality 4K Blu-ray players, but except for the lack of Dolby
Vision, the Panasonic just does a few things better than the OPPO, especially after the latest
1.73 firmware update which adds a 10-bit video output mode, as well as a [Dynamic Range Adjustment
control] to make HDR content more watchable in a brighter environment. Of course, OPPO may issue a firmware update
in the future that may tilt the balance in its favour, and we haven’t tested the Sony
X800 or the LG UP970, but for now, the Panasonic DMP-UB900 is our reference Ultra HD Blu-ray
player. If you can’t stretch your budget to the UB900,
the step-down Panasonic UB700 and UB400 will also deliver essentially identical picture
quality. If you’ve found this video useful, please
click the like button, and subscribe to the HDTVTest Youtube channel for future videos
like this. Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you the
next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Just purchased the Panny UB900 and I'm disappointed that the Picture Settings only has Cinema 1 and 2 and nothing else with respect to Vivid, etc…It even caused my Sony TV (not 4k yet) to mirror this in the picture adjustments..Do you know why this is and can it be changed..? I know it's supposed to be a more realistic picture however the consumers should have the ability to choose…Thx…

  2. Thanks for one of the greatest reviews I've ever seen. Though Panasonic looks like a winner on picture quality, I'll still get Oppo for the support they have for .mkv and other formats. Also sound quality is important for me, which I believe Oppo does a better job.

  3. i own a standard xbox one but when i bought the Samsung ks9500 i bought the xbox one s just to play 4k movies on it ! i dont think i will buy an expensive 4k blu ray player because the quality is the same when you watch a movie the normal way but if you want to take comparisons and pause at every frame go buy an expensive blu ray player = not worth it for a normal home. but if you have a Home Theater in your home and you want the best picture you can get = its worth it

  4. Panasonic's bluray drive's are their problem , Have been thru 4 Panasonic bluray players , now I have the oppo , no problems at all and their built like a tank

  5. Vincent , I noticed a very different brightness or Gamma level in the pictures comparing the HDR to SDR conversion.  The boy's picture  – on the Oppo player, you almost can not see the wall behind the TV, but on the Panasonic it is very visible. The exposition level of these still images is hugely different. It looks to me that those 2 images are not equal ISO settings… Could you explain this? Different ISO settings on your camera perhaps??

  6. Hi vincent, do you the result of the comparison is still the same in october 2017? I heard that oppo corrected a lot of things this year. I heard about noise in the image about the ub900, what would you say about it ?
    Currently i hesitate between the two to feed my pana 950.
    Thanks for the answer.

  7. Interesting moiré on your shirt there. You may wish to consider wearing plain shirts in future, or maybe just change the camera with one not susceptible to moiré.

  8. Is this a firmware issue? If so, any idea if it has been adressed? I'm also wondering since many other reviews talk in favour of Oppo.

  9. OPPO is only a OEM of the Chine company, the core components from Japan SONY and Panasonic and other parts of the company, more meaningless, OPPO is a Chinese Guangdong VCD factory, renamed OPPO AND VIVO, OPPO is not a professional HIFI equipment production and R & D company, Panasonic can produce HIFI CD, DVD, BD, UHD and professional television audio and video equipment, the Olympic Games professional playback equipment is Panasonic's equipment, The real situation is that OPPO and Samsung LG and other third world companies do not have the technology and capabilities to manufacture ULTRA-HIGH-DEFINITION BLU-RAY PLAYER.

  10. OPPO can not even make 20 years ago VHS tapes, open the OPPO shell, we see SONY laser driver and Yamaha decoder, Sanyo's resistance module, OPPO where?

  11. Could Oppo through the last firmware updates to the picture quality of the Panasonic? I am in the first place around the normal Blu-ray playback?

  12. Great video! Very informative, but I do have one question, maybe for another video. Which player sounds better on Movies & on CD's & SACD's? And will you be testing the Sony & the Samsung anytime soon? I love a detailed sounding player! Thanks!

  13. I was lucky enough to test the Oppo 203, Panasonic UB 900 i.V.m the Panasonic EZW 954 65 inch on the weekend. My final verdict is: Pro Oppo 203. The Oppo 203 is high-quality processed, better haptics and is also better in the picture and sound quality. The Oppo 203 is lightened in the picture opposite the Panasonic UB 900, the picture is more plastic and above all the transmission in the dark areas is better. Oppo was able to significantly improve the image quality (the support at Oppo is very good). The sound in the multi-channel operation spatially and / or more detailed and beyond synonymous noticeably more dynamic. I chose the Oppo 203 because of the better picture and sound quality. The Panasonic UB 900 goes back to Amazon. Thank God I have formed my own opinion, otherwise I would have to assume that the Panasonic UB 900 is the image reference, he is not!The image quality between the Panasonic EZW 954 and the Panasonic EZW 1004  is also the same!!!

  14. any body please suggest me Dolby atmos audio support 4k uhd player my brother have already oppo udp 203 he says me oppo udp support Dolby true hd

  15. I need some help, I own an LG C6 55" OLED 4k tv that has support for dolby vision. Which player should I buy to get the best out of my tv? If a lower priced model gives me just as good picture quality give me suggestions. Thanks in advance.

  16. UB900 is unfit for file based playback. More here: https://panasoniccustomercommunity.force.com/default/s/question/0D54A000055T62J/serious-networkusb-decoding-issue-with-ub900

  17. Great!! For a 65" qled curve q8…you recommended pana or oppo??pana 900 and 700 is e exactly the same quality picture and procesor??thanks?

  18. 😀 oha herkesten beklerdim ama hadiseden beklemezdim ifşasını yayınlamışlar bakın http://odosipuzebabupa.tk/?youtubeBfr3_Fe

  19. Vincent I have a 4k optoma uhd65 projector. I have the Panasonic 900 blue ray player. I assume I would be better off doing sdr due to the lower nits correct? If so would i need to get the coverter for rec 2O20, or does 709 and rec 2020 differ so much that I will see a difference atm with this projector? Thank you in advance

  20. I'd rather have the OPPO 205, but the 4K player does not trouble me, it's the 4k DVD.!
    Looking at some of these 4K movies, they are no better than 1080p. Now it comes down to REAL 4K vs FAKE 4K.

    http://realorfake4k.com/list/

  21. I have the Panasonic DMP-UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player in house as well, and that player was used to draw some comparisons between the two formats. Every UHD Blu-ray disc comes with the HD Blu-ray, and in each case the HD Blu-ray at 1080p through the Panasonic set at 1080p or 2160p looked smeared by comparison, displayed reduced colors, and had flat contrast compared to the Ultra HD Blu-ray played through the OPPO. They are two different video systems at work, and Ultra HD Blu-ray is more than just an increase in resolution, because many UHD discs are from 2K masters. Using the very latest firmware (as of Feb 2018) the Oppo 203 just wins out over the others with PQ and of course format versatility.

  22. Oppo's latest (Beta) firmware provides excellent HDR tone mapping > SDR BT.2020 far surpassing their "Skip Metadata" function which greatly improves their HDR playback PQ, especially projectors. It's passed the Panny is this regard.

  23. One cannot compare the two. Oppo can do sacd-/ dvd a / and a multitude of media. and the kicker? Customer service. Oppo has the absolute best! have dealt with Panasonic CS. They work off a general answer computer. Oppo will have a tech respond, and almost immediately

  24. Love the new features on the Oppo 203 with latest March FW ..just great that they can keep adding to this already superior machine.

  25. https://www.audioholics.com/editorials/oppo-digital-bids-farewell-ends-us-manufacturing
    understandable though..
    Yep.. props to Oppo for their longstanding commitment to quality tech.

  26. Extremely good info, but do you know if the Panasonic ub900 support “Dolby Atmos and DTS-X audio format?”

  27. Hope you see this vince!
    Just bought this today and it does NOT support 1080p on netflix app !😡
    Im still rocking a txp65vt65, no intention of upgrading just yet.
    (I have ks8000 in another room, prefer my plasma any day!)
    Get in touch with panasonic vincey and drag the over hot coals ! HDMI IS SUPPOES TO BE COMPATIBLE BACKWARDS !

  28. I am at a wonder how the Oppo will compare with a Linear Power Supply upgrade? Whats your opinion on this upgrade and if it will be better than the Panasonic as people who have done it state that it makes the picture quality better.

  29. Was wondering if Vincent will do a review of the Cambridge Audio CXUHD Blu-Ray Player. They share the same ARCHITECTURE DECODER Mediatek MTK859. They claim that by removing the DAC that there is less noise in the picture.

  30. @HDTVtest this great video deserves an upstate! There are a number of UHD Blu-ray players that support Dolby vision now, but almost no reviews or comparisons of their DV capability. Please enlighten us!

  31. What a shame Oppo ditched these, particularly the 205. Panasonic UB9000 is the compromise now. I'll definately use the XLR outputs to QSC PLD4.3. I have a couple of Amplifiers in a server cabinet. UB9000 now has Gen2 video processor.

  32. Not sure why all the rave reviews of the UB900. PQ on mine is terrible. Blacks are washed out, image is soft, colors lack vibrance. I've tried tweaking it via Spears & Munsil and AVS HD discs. I've tried factory reset and rebooting the player. None of that works. My other three players, Sony X800, Samsung K8500, Samsung M9500, all blow the Panny away. If the Panasonic UB900 is a reference player, it is a reference for Dull.

  33. Presently now I listen to mostly uncompressed HD audio via my HTPC, but I still have a huge collection of Cd's. I was looking at getting a vintage CD player. I have my eyes on a Pioneer PD-91. When I was young I dreamed about it, but at the time I could never afford it. I just drooled over the brochures. How do the older high end players compare to a modern one? The new Pioneer UDP-LX500 UHD player is targeted toward audiophiles. The Oppo UHD players get awesome reviews as audio players as well. I currently use a Marantz 6011 receiver with Energy Connoisseur C-7 fronts and a C-C1 center. There are lots of different opinions on forums, but I'd like an answer from an expert like yourself.

  34. Any way to get the Panasonic to play 444 in 60p someone tell me Haha I dont know if I'm looking past something in the settings or it's just not possible

  35. hello a technical question I ask experts like you Which among the Sony ubp-x800 and Panasonic ub820 has a better image / video quality? With greater realism more sharpness, details and colors? Thank you

  36. Very imformative but his review seem so longer than the time and not the most exciting reviewer can make you fall asleep could of done video in half the time.

  37. Hi Vincent, would there be a chance you can do the same tests again to see if the firmware updates have improved the picture quality. Nobody seems to have done this on YouTube and its something I'm interested in.

  38. hm, i watch a comparison from the 800 vs 900 panasonic… and the picture quality from the 800 was a bit better 4 me! i don't agree vince, that the 900 has the same picture quality…

  39. Thank you for making this video. Does anyone know which 4K Blu Ray Player has the best picture quality? I’m looking to build a new system and I’m trying to get the best equipment. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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