Originally Posted by trptguy
Would you care to elaborate on this point please? I have a X700 hooked up to my E7 and am trying to determine if the upgrade to the UB820 is worth it for a 2017 OLED. Since you've owned both, what specifically shines on the Panny over the Sony? Does it upscale better? Optimizer help in a noticeable way?
This thread has been primarily dominated by the projector crowd and for good reason for them, but I'm not finding nearly was much detailed Intel from the OLED crowd on the benefits of the Panny over the Sony.
Sure thing. Before I returned the X700 I did some A/B comparisons with Blu-ray, UHD HDR10, and UHD Dolby Vision content. For BD, the Panasonic upscaled better than the X700 by a small but significant (to me) margin. For UHD HDR10 content, the dynamic range was handled better, with less black crush. For Dolby Vision, the same was true, and the image also looked more even from bright to dark--the X700 Dolby Vision looked a little garish by comparison, with the bright end less controlled and more of a "wash of brightness" effect. (These are not technical descriptions, I realize.) These impressions are all with the display type set to OLED and the HDR Optimizer to ON with the Standard setting (the latter does not add any changes to the dynamic range). The HDR Optimizer only affects HDR10 material, of course. I did try turning on the LG's Dynamic Tone Mapping for HDR10, as some said it was complementary to the HDR Optimizer, but the results didn't look as good to me (blown out highlights in some cases), so I turned the LG's Dynamic Tone Mapping back off.
I do think the display setting for OLED (within the main setup menu) makes a difference for everything, though with the skimpy Panasonic documentation I couldn't tell you what, exactly, is happening beyond setting the player's output for a maximum 1000 nits with some kind of extra help for the WRGB pixel structure of the OLED panel. I speak under correction here! (Edit:
's post above has a more succinct and accurate description than mine: looks like the TV Type setting imposes a maximum output level, while the HDR Optimizer uses that maximum level as the top level against which it does tone mapping. I hope I have that right! I still see some effect with the TV Type set to OLED and the HDR Optimizer off, but I'm guessing the highlights are just getting clipped.)
For color, the Panasonic was also a clear winner, with smoother gradations and richer textures.
It's also nice that the Panasonic auto-detects Dolby Vision discs, while the X700 would not--I had to turn DV off for HDR10 and SDR content, then on for DV content, assuming I spotted the DV mention in the fine print on the back of the UHD disc jacket.
So the Panasonic's auto-detection was a big draw for me initially. The superior video quality was more surprising. All in all, the improvements added substantially to the immersiveness of the experience.
Disc handling is speedier, there's a small but occasionally helpful display on the machine itself, and while I don't use the multichannel analog output (I route audio via ARC back to my Oppo 105D), I'm glad it's there. Build quality is also appreciably more robust, though still quite plastic-y.
The big downsides are a) the remote, which is annoyingly tiny with buttons it's easy to miss (aside from the large Netflix button, which it's easy to hit by mistake); and b) the streaming apps, which are buggy so far. (Netflix has an a/v sync issue, and Amazon stutters on UHD content--though both look better than the built-in LG apps, presumably because of the video processing.)
Put all that together, and that's why I say "far ahead."
For more on the technical reasons for the better video on the Panasonic. Vincent Teoh's review of the upcoming flagship 9000 model has some interesting details:
. I wish Panasonic's documentation were more detailed. Isn't there a geek's guide, an engineering white paper, or something?