Although available in Europe for some time, Panasonic has announced their 4K/UHD Blu-ray player, the DMP-UB900, is finally set for a U.S. release. It will be available in September at a price of roughly $700.
The UB900 supports 4K/UHD high dynamic range (HDR) playback from disk, up-and-downscaling from UHD-to-HD and back, streaming support via apps for Netflix, YouTube and the like, Miracast WiDi support, and Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition, it has the capability to play files from external drives and from a DNLA server. It also has enhanced audio capabilities with higher resolution audio files and THX certified 7.1 output.
Along with models from Samsung and Phillips, the U.S. consumer can now play the 4K/UHD content that many new consumer cameras and TVs are already capable of. It is hard to say that HD is becoming obsolete when the vast majority of available content is still in HD or lower resolution. However, 4K/UHD televisions are increasingly gaining market share when the time comes for consumers to replace their legacy television sets. The same is likely true when it comes to replacing lower resolution DVD and Blu-ray players, making room for 4K/UHD Blu-ray to become over time the de facto premium option for home playback.