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Panasonic used its annual product launch event to announce its fifth 2018 Ultra HD Blu-ray player and two compact soundbars.

At CES 2018, Panasonic unveiled four new 4K Blu-ray players (and two new OLED TV ranges), spearheaded by the DP-UB820 model. However, that won’t be the brand’s flagship player this year.

At Panacon, Panasonic's annual product launch event, the company announced that its 2018 flagship player will be the DP-UB9000 (not to be confused with the DMP-UB900 – the brand's first 4K player, launched in 2016).

Like the DP-UB820, the DP-UB9000 supports HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDR, Alexa and Google Assistant voice control (via a future software update), and 7.1 channel audio.

The emphasis will be on audio performance, with the DP-UB9000 having a dedicated audio power supply, a 'high-performance' DAC and an XLR balanced output.

Housed in new vibration-reducing casework, a thick steel plate fixes the optical disc drive to the chassis to reduce noise during disc rotation.

It also features the latest HCX (Hollywood Cinema Experience) processor and 4K upscaling and HDR optimisation technology that form part of the 2018 range.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, and the DP-UB9000 is not expected to go on sale in the UK until the second half of 2018.

More after the break

Panasonic also introduced two new soundbars: the SC-HTB200/208 and SC-HTB258.

The SC-HTB200 is exclusive to John Lewis - there will be a version called SC-HTB208 which is exclusive to Dixons, and both will sell for £149. The SC-HTB258 will cost £249. 

Both models feature Bluetooth, two full-range speakers, an H.bass function to enhance low-frequencies, and ‘virtual surround’, ‘music’ and ‘cinema’ sound modes. Inputs include HDMI with ARC and digital optical.

The soundbars are compact, measuring 45cm wide and 14cm deep. The SC-HTB250 comes with a slim wireless subwoofer, which can be placed either vertically or horizontally.

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