Please Assist with Some Panasonic UB9000 Setup Queries...

Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
I am a (relatively) new owner of a Panasonic DP-UB9000 and while it's not connected to the most ultimate of flat screens (a Samsung NU8000), I want to confirm that I'm set up correctly in order to take advantage of the HDR Optimizer with 4K playback (and even ensure that it's connected right for regular Blu-ray and DVD upscaling).

Is there anyone who could assist with this?

For my display, is MIDDLE/HIGH LUMINANCE LCD the right choice for the display type?
(Note: 4K Blu-rays with HDR, such as Aquaman, look fantastic on the player using the Optimizer, but I just want to be sure.)

Does anything need to be touched in that sub-menu for the Optimizer (the sliders for Tone Curve, Dynamic Range, etc.) or can they be left at "0"?

My display automatically goes into HDR mode when it senses the HDR signal from a source like the Panasonic, so it maxes out Backlight and Contrast and puts Local Dimming on "High"...should these settings stay the same when the Optimizer is on?

When viewing regular Blu-rays, I noticed, when I pull up the playback data via the UB9000's remote, that the unit is taking the 8-Bit 4:2:0 data of the Blu-ray and sending out 10-Bit 4:4:4...is this because of the Panasonic's Chroma Upsampling feature, and is this correct?

If anyone could lend any insight, I'd appreciate it.
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Can anyone assist with these questions?
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Okay, let me ask/explain this another way...

I own a Samsung UN65NU8000 and recently purchased a Panasonic DP-UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-ray player to replace a Cambridge Audio CXUHD unit that was connected to my NU that was giving me some trouble with DVD playback (and which their repair center couldn't fix even after sending the player out twice). While the Panasonic delivers gorgeous Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray images to the NU8000, I have some questions related to HDR settings and HDR10+ behavior as they relate to a special feature in the UB9000 called "HDR Optimizer"...

First of all, when I viewed UHD discs on my previous player, the Cambridge CXUHD, the unit would just send out the HDR10 signal (I didn't own any discs with HDR10+ yet) and I would leave the NU8000 in its default HDR-Movie mode settings (so Backlight would be maxed out, Contrast would be maxed out and Local Dimming would be on High), as I was told that this is what needed to be done so that the TV could tonemap the incoming signal properly. With the new Panasonic player, there's a feature called "HDR Optimizer," which is supposed to take HDR10 content and perform the tonemapping before it gets to the display, if I understand it right; it's an on/off toggle in the player's menus, with some sliders to adjust beneath it (for things like Tone Curve, Brightness and Dynamic Range, but I leave these on "0").

Now, when I watch discs that were previously really bright and punchy -- such as Aquaman and The Fate of the Furious -- on the Cambridge through the Panasonic with the HDR Optimizer ON, the image looks even BETTER, with incredibly punchy highlights and just more detail to the picture. In the Optimizer's menus, there's a setting for choosing the right kind of display that's connected to the player, and I leave this on "Middle/High Luminance LCD" for the NU8000, which is the default setting out of the box (the other selections are "OLED," "Super Bright Lumiance LCD," "Basic Luminance LCD" and two options for projectors); before I go any further -- should this "Middle/High" setting be correct for the NU, or should it be on "Basic Luminance LCD"?

Here's my primary question about all this: When using the HDR Optimizer in the player, should the default HDR picture settings in the Samsung remain where they are? In other words, should I be leaving Backlight on 50 and Contrast on 50 if the PLAYER is supposedly doing the heavy lifting of the tonemapping process?

Now, in getting to my HDR10+ questions -- we picked up our first UHD Blu-ray Disc with this format, The Shining, and ran it through the Panasonic last night. I can confirm that the player and display were indeed showing the HDR10+ layer of the disc (it also comes with a Dolby Vision layer and, of course, the base HDR10) as evidenced by the Panasonic putting up the "HDR10+" logo upon loading. Here's the thing though: While the transfer of the film looked awesome and miles ahead of the DVD version I've been watching for years, I didn't really notice that much of a difference between the HDR10+ presentation and the HDR10 presentation on other films we've watched on the NU; I realize that HDR10+ is supposed to be Samsung's "answer" to Dolby Vision in that it's a dynamic HDR format that optimizes scenes on the fly, so to speak (and that Samsung doesn't include DV in their displays), but I didn't really notice anything that had me thinking this is a "different experience" than HDR10...

My wife actually noticed a couple of moments where she claimed the screen seemed to "fluctuate" and auto-adjust between different shots of characters in one scene, as if the screen would get clearer and brighter and then go back again...but my eyes, unbelievably, didn't really catch this. I just chalked this up to the HDR10+ system "doing its thing" and correcting on a scene-by-scene basis.

Here's what I'd like to know: Is it normal that HDR10+ or Dolby Vision for that matter doesn't really look much different from regular HDR10? Is this something that is going to be title-dependent?

Also -- when viewing HDR10+ content, do my NU8000's settings in HDR-Movie mode remain the same? Does Backlight and Contrast still get maxed out, or are there different settings that must be made for this content?

If someone could lend some insight here it would be greatly appreciated.
 
P

ParisB

Junior Audioholic
Leave everything on Auto/default settings and enjoy it.
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
I appreciate the response, Paris, but I need some more specifics with regard to how the unit is interacting with my particular display -- specifically, with regard to the HDR Optimizer.
 
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ParisB

Junior Audioholic
I appreciate the response, Paris, but I need some more specifics with regard to how the unit is interacting with my particular display -- specifically, with regard to the HDR Optimizer.
Hi,

I've been meaning to respond but I don't like typing on my phone. I'll do it next time on my PC
 
P

ParisB

Junior Audioholic
Thanks.

Do you own this player?
Hi,
Yes I do. I have it paired with an A9G. I previously had the older UB900 as well.

Looking back at your original post, couple quick notes. I apologize if you have since gotten answers..

For your display, the best starting choice is the Middle/High Luminance. Your TV can hit about 700-800 nits, so what this setting does if you Enable the HDR Optimizer, it does the heavy lifting tonemapping of HDR content and brings it down to 1,000 nits (if the content is mastered at max 1,000 nits then it doesn't do anything). From there, your TV tone maps the rest. I have faith that Panny's tone mapping is superior to Samsung. You can also try flicking between Optimizer On vs Off to see the effect. Do not use the Basic Luminance setting, as that will bring it down to 500 nits and you will not be using your TV's full capability.

The remaining HDR settings within the player do not need to be touched unless you have specific reason to. My advice for now is to leave it alone and leave at 0. These are usually more important for projectors.

Your TV settings when watchign HDR content should have max backlight and contrast, and local dimming on High. That's correct.

The other note, discs contain 4:2:0 8-bit for regular blu-ray. The weird thing is, HDMI spec does not allow that to be transmitted, so at minimum the player will send it as 4:2:2 8-bit and the TV will convert to 4:4:4 and then to RGB. The panny Auto settings do the full 4:4:4 conversion and also use their bit mapping to take 8-bit content and upscale it. So the TV has easier job to decode it with less chances of banding. Auto is fine to leave as is.
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Hi Paris,

So sorry for the delay in getting back to you; I didn't expect anyone to actually respond to my post...

Let me say, right off the bat, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I truly appreciate it.

Hi,
Yes I do. I have it paired with an A9G. I previously had the older UB900 as well.
Awesome; indeed, I know the 900 was their first UHD player on the market, but at the time we weren't ready to jump into 4K (I believe the UB900 debuted in 2016, correct?) and I ideally wanted to hold out until Oppo released a player, being that I was so pleased with the previous Blu-ray deck we had in our system for over a decade, the BDP-83. Unfortunately, by the time the UDP-203 was released, we still weren't prepared to get a UHD disc player, and we lost the opportunity to snag one when Oppo closed down...I also wasn't prepared to pay somewhere near $2K for a used 203 on eBay, which I believe they still go for.

Interesting about Panasonic first generation players: I still own the company's DMP-BD10A BD player, the first generation unit with the flip-down plastic panel on the front (like the cheap UB820, which I bought and returned for a Cambridge Audio CXUHD, which itself turned out to exhibit a DVD noise problem during playback that the repair center couldn't fix....a story for another time), and it's still in use in our bedroom. Funny how I've kind of come full circle with Panasonic, being that my very first non-progressive scan DVD player was from the brand (and I STILL own that, as well, being used as a CD player in our gym!) and then getting the BD10A in the high definition era and now owning the UB9000....

Looking back at your original post, couple quick notes. I apologize if you have since gotten answers..
I've gotten kind of elusive answers on all this elsewhere, so I appreciate your feedback!

For your display, the best starting choice is the Middle/High Luminance. Your TV can hit about 700-800 nits, so what this setting does if you Enable the HDR Optimizer, it does the heavy lifting tonemapping of HDR content and brings it down to 1,000 nits (if the content is mastered at max 1,000 nits then it doesn't do anything). From there, your TV tone maps the rest. I have faith that Panny's tone mapping is superior to Samsung. You can also try flicking between Optimizer On vs Off to see the effect. Do not use the Basic Luminance setting, as that will bring it down to 500 nits and you will not be using your TV's full capability.
Thank you very much for explaining this to me as simply as possible -- I will keep the HDR TV Type on Middle/High.

I really can't explain it, but with the previous UHD disc player we owned -- the Cambridge Audio CXUHD, which is basically a copy of the Oppo 203 -- even well-mastered demo discs like Aquaman didn't look as good or as punchy as when running through the UB9000 with the Optimizer on. It was like watching it for the first time, and all I did was flick the Optimizer on; didn't mess with any of the sub-menu settings...

To our eyes, it just seems like the Panny gives a better, brighter, yet well-controlled HDR image with 4K discs compared to the Cambridge (which didn't have any kind of onboard tonemapping save for the HDR-to-SDR conversion algorithm) -- as a matter of fact, we recently received Bad Boys for Life in 4K in the mail, and that disc looked MIND BLOWING on the NU8000 using the 9000's Optimizer; I mean, almost Aquaman level in terms of highlights and richness of color saturation.

Just one question for you about something you said above: You mentioned that the Panasonic's Optimizer will "bring the image down to 1,000 nits" -- but what do you mean "bring it down"? Do you mean if a disc is mastered at OVER 1,000 nits it will bring it down to 1,000 and then the Samsung will do the rest?

The remaining HDR settings within the player do not need to be touched unless you have specific reason to. My advice for now is to leave it alone and leave at 0. These are usually more important for projectors.
Thank you for confirming this; again -- much appreciated.

Another question relating to the above: Is there ANYTHING in that HDR sub-menu in the player that can be adjusted to try and mitigate the nasty, horrendous light bleed/blooming I get when viewing HDR in a dark room when the content exhibits letterboxing? This bleed/bloom is due to the edge-lighting nature of my Samsung, and I hate it, but until I can save up for a better display (either FALD or OLED), is there anything in the Panasonic's menus that may help tame the extreme light bleed I get when a dark scene in a film is punctuated by a bright object near the black bars? This always causes the light to spill into the letterbox areas, and the blacks become an off-putting gray...

I realize that this is mainly because the HDR default settings of my display are pushing the backlight to max and contrast to max (plus putting the local dimming on high) and that the edge-lighting system simply can't handle it, so to speak, but would anything in this HDR menu help this? Maybe the Tone Curve (Black) slider?

Your TV settings when watchign HDR content should have max backlight and contrast, and local dimming on High. That's correct.
Thank you, again, for the confirmation; while we're on the topic, I'll present something to you that's related to what I was asking above...

Do you think I can perhaps lower the local dimming setting to perhaps medium (Samsung calls this position "Standard") to mitigate the HDR blooming I'm experiencing with letterboxed films? Or can I try something else in the DISPLAY'S settings, maybe the brightness (black level) or gamma (lowering either or both)? I don't really want to lower the backlight level, as a max backlight is necessary with HDR, but is there anything you can suggest that may help with the blooming?

The other note, discs contain 4:2:0 8-bit for regular blu-ray. The weird thing is, HDMI spec does not allow that to be transmitted, so at minimum the player will send it as 4:2:2 8-bit and the TV will convert to 4:4:4 and then to RGB. The panny Auto settings do the full 4:4:4 conversion and also use their bit mapping to take 8-bit content and upscale it. So the TV has easier job to decode it with less chances of banding. Auto is fine to leave as is.
Thank you; are you referring to the "chroma upsampling" feature of the UB9000 here?

I have some questions about some other settings in the player's setup menu, such as the "4K/60P" adjustement; would you be able to help me with those?

Thank you, again, Paris for all your help!
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Paris:

I think I experienced my first major issue with the UB9000...

Last night, I threw on the last 4K Blu-ray we bought, Bad Boys for Life, and while the disc looked awesome in HDR10 with the 9000's HDR Optimizer running (even the first time we watched it when we first received it), I decided to go into the Playback Info menu and see what was what....and what I saw concerned me.

According to the player's onboard data, the disc was sending out YCbCr 4:2:0 10-Bit video, but the Panasonic was outputting 4:2:2 12-Bit to my display -- shouldn't this have been 4:4:4 to the display? I have everything set up in the UB9000 to output the correct video, I believe, including YCbCr 4:4:4 (12-Bit Priority): AUTO.

Is this wrong? Can you or anyone else assist with this?

What's weird is that with my previous player, the Cambridge CXUHD, it DID put out YCbCr 4:4:4 video to my Samsung display when viewing 4K Blu-rays, according to its data menu, so why isn't the Panasonic?
 
P

ParisB

Junior Audioholic
Yea, the Panny is a really nice player. Works wonders, especially with mid to upper tier TV's.

Correct about the "bringing it down". I just meant it tone maps it so the max nits will be 1,000 nits for the Samsung to do the rest to a more manageable level. Since it's not a high nit TV, I just don't think it's tone mapping capabilities come close to the panny, hence why it's noticeable difference for you. Your TV probably can handle 1,000 nits tonemapped to it's peak brightness a lot better.

I don't think you can do much about the haloing/blooming. That's just the limitations of the TV and its technology/hardware (i.e. lack of local dimming zones). The only thing you can really do is through the TV settings, maybe turn down brightness (the light output, not the black level) but that defeats the purpose of HDR. You will either have to learn to live with it or upgrade the TV, unfortunately. If you start messing with the other settings, you will go down a rabbit hole and negatively affect other things to try and improve others.

You can try putting the local dimming to Standard too. Whichever looks or works the best to help mitigate your blooming issue. That wouldn't do any harm if Standard looks better. But i agree, try to keep the backlight to Max during HDR content.

None of the 4k/60 settings will matter unless you watch Gemini Man or Billy Lynn's halftime show (or whatever that movie is called). Those were filmed in high frame rates (+60). For normal 24p movies, these settings are moot.

 
P

ParisB

Junior Audioholic
Paris:

I think I experienced my first major issue with the UB9000...

Last night, I threw on the last 4K Blu-ray we bought, Bad Boys for Life, and while the disc looked awesome in HDR10 with the 9000's HDR Optimizer running (even the first time we watched it when we first received it), I decided to go into the Playback Info menu and see what was what....and what I saw concerned me.

According to the player's onboard data, the disc was sending out YCbCr 4:2:0 10-Bit video, but the Panasonic was outputting 4:2:2 12-Bit to my display -- shouldn't this have been 4:4:4 to the display? I have everything set up in the UB9000 to output the correct video, I believe, including YCbCr 4:4:4 (12-Bit Priority): AUTO.

Is this wrong? Can you or anyone else assist with this?

What's weird is that with my previous player, the Cambridge CXUHD, it DID put out YCbCr 4:4:4 video to my Samsung display when viewing 4K Blu-rays, according to its data menu, so why isn't the Panasonic?
It is correct. It's the way the Auto settings work. Because the metadata is 12-bit Dolby Vision, it has to send it as 4:2:2 12-bit because it doesn't support 4:4:4 12-bit for HDR. When watching SDR, you'll see 4:4:4 8-bit.
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Thanks so much, Paris; I will respond in kind to each of your posts as soon as I can.
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
It is correct. It's the way the Auto settings work. Because the metadata is 12-bit Dolby Vision, it has to send it as 4:2:2 12-bit because it doesn't support 4:4:4 12-bit for HDR. When watching SDR, you'll see 4:4:4 8-bit.
Hi Again Paris,

Okay -- so let me start by responding to this post...

First, my Samsung doesn't support Dolby Vision -- so I only get either HDR10 or HDR10+. But do you mean that ANY UHD Blu-ray signal is going to come over as 12-Bit? I thought all Ultra HD Blu-ray is encoded at 10-Bit...

When you say "it doesn't support 4:4:4 12-Bit..." do you mean my DISPLAY doesn't support it? Someone else on another forum had suggested this, as well, but I'm not sure about it -- my previous 4K player, a Cambridge Audio CXUHD, would ALWAYS send 12-BIt 4:4:4 video when watching UHD Blu-rays. Why would it have done that if my Samsung NU8000 couldn't accept it?

With regard to SDR, did you mean whenever I watch regular Blu-rays being upscaled to 4K I should see 4:4:4 8-Bit? If so, I THINK the Panasonic is sending out 10-Bit 4:4:4 with these discs...

Can you confirm any of this for me?
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Yea, the Panny is a really nice player. Works wonders, especially with mid to upper tier TV's.
It would be the ideal all-in-one-box solution if it weren't for the myriad of quirks that I hate -- the lack of zooming controls (like on the OPPOs) for stretching 4:3 content to fill the 16:9 frame (a preference of mine; I still own a TON of full screen DVDs along with concerts and other content, and I HATE watching these discs with side pillarboxing) as well as blowing up non-anamorphic DVDs to their proper ratios (another big deal for me, as I own a lot of titles without the widescreen enhancement), the ridiculously asinine automatic power off feature after 20 minutes that can't be defeated (I hear there may be a firmware update to fix this at some point; it's due to the fact that the 9000 model wasn't originally intended for North American distribution, so it's locked into a European energy savings standard mode) and lack of resume playback for DVDs and some Blu-rays once a disc has been ejected (this is a feature my old OPPO BDP-83 had as well as the Cambridge CXUHD).

As it stands, I have been forced to begin rebuying some of my favorite titles on Blu-ray to replace the full screen DVD versions and some discs that don't have the anamorphic enhancement; while some of these, arguably, could/should have been rebought because their masters are just old and the transfers don't look so hot anymore, I don't like the fact that the UB9000 has "forced" me to invest in replacements.

Correct about the "bringing it down". I just meant it tone maps it so the max nits will be 1,000 nits for the Samsung to do the rest to a more manageable level. Since it's not a high nit TV, I just don't think it's tone mapping capabilities come close to the panny, hence why it's noticeable difference for you. Your TV probably can handle 1,000 nits tonemapped to it's peak brightness a lot better.
Got it; thanks.

I don't think you can do much about the haloing/blooming. That's just the limitations of the TV and its technology/hardware (i.e. lack of local dimming zones). The only thing you can really do is through the TV settings, maybe turn down brightness (the light output, not the black level) but that defeats the purpose of HDR. You will either have to learn to live with it or upgrade the TV, unfortunately. If you start messing with the other settings, you will go down a rabbit hole and negatively affect other things to try and improve others.

You can try putting the local dimming to Standard too. Whichever looks or works the best to help mitigate your blooming issue. That wouldn't do any harm if Standard looks better. But i agree, try to keep the backlight to Max during HDR content.
I think you're right about all this; thank you.

None of the 4k/60 settings will matter unless you watch Gemini Man or Billy Lynn's halftime show (or whatever that movie is called). Those were filmed in high frame rates (+60). For normal 24p movies, these settings are moot.
But does this setting (4K/60FPS) affect DVDs that are being upscaled by the player, being that the Panasonic sends them as 2160/60P to my display?
 
Kaskade89052

Kaskade89052

Junior Audioholic
Hey Paris,

Just wondering if you ever had a chance to look at the other questions I had with regard to your responses above...
 

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