Originally Posted by Bill Mac
The only player that would be close to the 203 would be the Pioneer LX-500. The Panasonic's are not comparable due to the fact that they are not universal players. If all you are looking for is 4K playback grab an inexpensive 4K player to compliment your Oppo (model?) Blu-ray player.
It is turning out that the Pioneer UDP-LX500 is difficult to find, and the UDP-LX800 impossible, at least here in the USA. They are not perfect, but per the article (referenced earlier):
and in particular the table:
they had to be considered as alternatives to the Oppos I can no longer get. I had good experiences mostly with a Pioneer DVD player (it is still kicking around the house somewhere), so I of course checked their line out. Granted, not sure I should really care that much about the DACs, being realistic, mostly being fed into the receiver via HDMI, that is 95% of the way I would listen. So I guess I would prioritize ability to play UHD and Blu-Ray back cleanly the highest. The streaming I could care less about, I have a Roku Ultra (4k) and there is an Amazon Fire TV Cube (4k) on the way (Black Friday), so those will be handling that particular chore (why both? The Amazon is probably the better/faster hardware, but they keep getting into tiff's with Google and others, so the Roku has better selection). I would have preferred WiFi, to be frank. My Oppo has that, and it is handy for firmware upgrades and downloading previews. I do not mind a unit needing firmware updates, that is I suppose inevitable, but I do prefer that they be automatic, I would prefer not to have to run around with USB-keys or even checking, just prompt me OK and go.
I suppose if I leave the Oppo (BDP-93) I have hooked up, that would cover some of the older format audio disks, and so I could consider the Panasonics. The Panasonic DP UB-820 seems a nice enough unit, somewhat hard to find at the moment, but order-able, and its support for OLED TVs and some of the newer video formats (ex. HDR 10+) seems a tad better than with the Pioneers. I cannot find at all the UB-9000, though that seems closer to the Pioneers (and Oppos) in build quality. But the Panasonics support HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision, and the HDR optimizer sounds like a nice feature too. That is after all the main thing, the ability to play 4k HDR discs. And at least judging from the Blu-ray experience, that was kind of something the players had to have firmware updates periodically, to do well. I had a Panasonic DVD player/rewriter for years, though it did eventually quit on me, but on the whole, I would say a positive experience.