Previously posted on Official Panasonic DP-UB820/824 Owner's Thread:
Originally Posted by ibrewmination
I purchased an LG UBK90 last week to accompany my LG OLED65B7P. After putting in a Man of Steel 1080p bluray, I was very dissatisfied with the upscaling... I’ve also learned about the UBD820’s tone-mapping capabilities and am curious if I’d see diminishing returns/competing interests in that regard when coupled with the LG OLEDs capabilities for the price.
So, having about six days to return the UBK90, I’ve ordered the UBD820 to compare the two (almost) side-by-side. I will compare upscaling and dynamic range/PQ of the two. The only 4K DVDs I own thus far are “Into the Spiderverse” and “Dynasties.” I will likely borrow a friend’s copy of “Into the Spiderverse” for direct comparison.
See results of said test here
I got a lot of feedback on running the tests and what to look for, so decided to run them again, because I had not conducted the comparisons with the Panasonic UB820’s HDR Optimizer turned on, which means the tone-mapping for which it was renowned was not even activated, explaining why I saw such little difference.
Yesterday was the final day to return my UB820.
I've spent as much time as possible (not nearly as much as I'd like) over two nights doing a comparative analysis of both players using Mad Max Fury Road, during the storm scene at around the 28 minute mark (esp. 28:27-28:38).
I will say that spending so much time scrutinizing this movie frame-by-frame leaves me immensely impressed with the level of detail that went into this movie. I dare say, you miss quite a bit by NOT viewing it frame-by-frame (at least in the storm scene) ... though I don't expect anyone to take the time to do that.
I did not change the display-type settings on the UB820 (I left it on OLED), but cycled through the HD Optimizer's sliding scale for comparison. I found that when I slid the HD Optimizer below the base-setting, the blacks would begin to darken as well... if only with a very slight gradation.
I messed with the UBK90 in an attempt to get the comparisons as equivocal as possible, finding that the "Movie" setting (I think it's called) had the most similar effect to the HDR Optimization the UB820 was performing. Though, I believe the display settings to be based on sliding-scale adjustments rather than the algorithmic functions of tone-mapping. I was using the 28:27 mark (car explosion with a man hanging from the front of the car, in the air of the storm) and having a very hard time telling the difference in any substantial way.
That is, until I forwarded, frame-by-frame to around the 28:38 (??) mark. A truck was exploding and the explosion was beginning to engulf another man. I examined a black/dark grey/brown, sandy storm wind/cloud, portion of the same scene near the right edge of the screen and noticed that the UBK90 (on “movie” setting) was slightly crushing the blacks where the UB820 was not.
Then, kind-of the deal breaker, the silhouette of the front of the truck (also being engulfed) was visible in the explosion in red. On the UB820, there were around four distinct shades of red, while on the UBK90 there was only around one, maybe two.
The sound also seems clearer, a bit brighter, on the UB820.
The next day, yesterday, right after work, I took both players back and anguished over which one to return in the Best Buy parking lot for a minute or two. I even began to take the UB820 into the store.
The dog was confused.
I took back the UBK90. They did indeed take it back, even though the time to return the UBK90 had expired, after explaining I was keeping the more expensive product after testing them. Note: Their return limit exemption policy seems pretty
liberal. Halfway through explaining it, I asked the girl behind the counter if she needed to hear this (my lengthy explanation). She replied, "You can go ahead and tell me," like she just wanted to know, you know, personally.
I'm still uncertain the difference in the pictures warrants the cost differential, and am not ENTIRELY certain it will be noticeable most of the time. But, the fact remains that I know there is a difference... and I did see it.
That, coupled with the annoyance of UBK90 turning on seemingly at random and hijacking my AVR.
I wish I would have had time to do even more testing. But with what little testing I did, I can only conclude that it was a sample portion indicative of other notable variances I would have come across within different scenes, titles, ranges/gradients, etc.
I should note that I conducted all tests with the LG OLED65B7Ps tone-mapping both “off” and “on”. From what I understand, the LGs TM is dynamic (i.e. scene-by-scene) whereas the UB820's is static.
The scenes tested retained the greatest amount of detail and had the least amount of clipping with the LG's TM "On" and the UB820's HDR Optimization "On" and the HDR Optimizer sliding-bar set in the middle.
Comparatively, the settings were adjusted as closely as possible (with eye-calibration
) on the LG UBK90 Player as well (i.e. with/without the television's TM "on" and switching <more limited> display settings on the UBK90 (i.e. "movie," "vivid," "user," etc.). The LG UBK90 had the least amount of clipping with the LG t.v.'s TM "On" and the UBK90 set to "movie". This, as previously mentioned, did result in a slight loss of detail (crushing) of the blacks/very dark regions.
I hope this helps anyone trying to make the same decision.
Signature change forthcoming.