Panasonic is promising the new DMP-UB700 will match its more expensive sibling when it comes to picture performance - and we were pretty impressed with the 'UB900, to put it mildly.
But while the two models have plenty in common, there are of course differences, notably in terms of connectivity and, most likely, audio performance.
Build and design
The new Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player doesn't stand quite as tall as its sibling, largely due to the absence of the dampening feet seen on the '900. Naturally we'd assume this change in design could affect overall performance.
Otherwise the front fascia and overall design is pretty similar, with a simple display and hidden UHD Blu-ray drive.
More after the break
Turn the player around and you'll see a stripped-down selection of outputs compared to the top-spec Panasonic player.
There are still two HDMI outputs, allowing you to send audio and video signals separately, plus a digital optical connection and an Ethernet port. But that's your lot.
There are no analogue audio outputs here, Panasonic having removed the 7.1-channel and stereo analogue outputs. Nor is there a digital coaxial output.
For the slightly more budget conscious consumer, we'd figure Panasonic thinks it less likely these connections will be required.
The key video specs and features do seem to have been carried across to the new player.
It's Ultra HD Premium certified, supporting the BT.2020 colour gamut and High Dynamic Range (HDR) with frame rates up to 60p, and claiming a brightness range of 1000 to 10,000 nits. It also has the 4K High-Precision Chrome Processor.
Amazon, Netflix and YouTube are all on board too, complete with 4K content available to stream.
While Panasonic says the video performance of the two machines should be nigh-on identical, Panasonic did tell What Hi-Fi? that there's a different DAC inside the cheaper model.
The DMP-UB700 does still support hi-res audio and formats including ALAC and DSD.
We're going to level with you: there was no way of judging the audio and video performance of the new Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player in any meaningful way.
The DMP-UB700 was running on the Panasonic stand but while the 4K picture naturally looked very impressive, offering any sort of comparative judgement to the more expensive model when viewing it in isolation would be foolish. And there was no chance to hear the sound, either.
Panasonic was strangely stubborn in its assertion that the cheaper model would deliver video pictures every bit as impressive as the existing, more expensive model, but we'd find it easy to believe it may not be quite as impressive for audio purists due to the lower spec.
A more affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray player from Panasonic is most definitely a good thing. And the promises around picture performance, backed-up by the solid video spec, suggest this shouldn't feel like a 'budget' option.
That said, those wanting the ultimate home cinema experience, which is what 4K is all about, may find the stripped-down audio options off-putting.
Either way, at £400 and due out in October, we look forward to seeing how the Panasonic DMP-UB700 performs in a full review.