So begins the Apple rumormongering – this time, it’s chit-chat about a...
Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Players for 2012
New Models Feature Enhanced VIERA Connect, Smartphone Remote, Improved Super Resolution Processor, Built-In WiFi System and Reduced Power Consumption
For 2012, Panasonic is introducing six Blu-ray Disc Players, four of which are Full HD 3D models and two budget-priced 2D models starting at $89.99. All four of the 3D models include Panasonic's proprietary VIERA Connect IPTV platform, while the 2D models feature IP VOD, a service that offers a targeted selection of sites including Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube on TV.
- Panasonic DMP-BD77 Full HD 2D ($89.99)
- Panasonic DMP-BD87 Full HD 2D ($119.99)
- Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Full HD 3D ($149.99)
- Panasonic DMP-BDT320 Full HD 3D ($199.99)
- Panasonic DMP-BBT01 Full HD 3D ($269.99) (available May 2012)
- Panasonic DMP-BDT500 Full HD 3D ($349.99) (available May 2012)
Panasonic's Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc players (BBT01, BDT500, BDT320 and BDT220) include an improved UniPhier chip processor, 24p output for VOD, an expanded VIERA Connect functionality, and FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), 192Hz/32bit Audio DAC (not available on the DMP-BBT01), Smartphone remote control capability, a new touchpad remote control (available on DMP-BBT01, DMP-BDT500, DMP-BDT320), 2D-to-3D up-conversion, which can convert 2D images from VIERA Connect, DVDs and Blu-ray discs into 3D with natural depth perception, a new slim design and a unique slot-in drive that is found in two of the models (the DMP-BBT01 and DMP-BDT320). The slot-in drive allows the user to insert a disc without the need for a tray and prevents inadvertently loading a second disc. In addition, the DMP-BBT01 introduces a new design concept and a greatly reduced form factor featuring a stand and enables operation either vertically or horizontally.
The top four models can convert 2D content from VIERA Connect, DVD discs and Blu-ray Discs into 3D images with stunning depth. Also new for 2012 is technology that allows for VOD 24p output, thereby synching with the original 24 fps (frames per second) video format and delivering film-like motion characteristics. Using 24 fps, each frame is uniformly converted, so more natural and flickerless images are reproduced.
For audio, the DMP-BDT500, DMP-BDT320 and the DMP-BDT220 utilize a 192kHz/32bit audio DAC, while the BDT500 also includes high-grade audio parts (gold plated terminals, high grade electric capacitor and insulator) to reproduce audio content that is faithful to the original. The BDT500 also provides for 7.1 channel output and includes twin HDMI outputs, allowing one to be dedicated for audio output. Not only does this result in less interference with the video signal, but the additional HDMI makes the BDT500 compatible with legacy amplifiers. Audio is further improved via Panasonic's unique clock control technology that drastically reduces jitter during HDMI transmission, thereby lessening noise and delivering pure sound. Furthermore, the 2012 players are compatible with a variety of formats such as the lossless audio codec FLAC, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. In addition, the Blu-ray Disc players simulate the warm, comforting sound of tube amplifiers with six distinct sound environments.
Panasonic's VIERA Connect IPTV platform, now under the Smart VIERA umbrella, has been expanded and now utilizes cloud technology to offer access to a virtually unlimited collection of many of the most popular applications for social networking (including Skype voice and video calling, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter), video content (including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Ustream), professional sports (including FOX Sports, MLS Matchday Live, NBA Game Time, and NHL Game Center), gaming (Accedo Funspot, Gameloft, and PlayJam), fitness (including BodyMedia, ifit, and Withings), music (including Pandora and Shoutcast) news and information (including AccuWeather, Associated Press, and WSJ Live) and more.
The two 2D players (DMP-BD87 and DMP-BD77) feature IP VOD, a targeted internet solution that offers consumers access to Netflix, CinemaNow, Vudu and YouTube.
The entire 2012 line features easy connection to other DLNA-equipped products and VIERA Link, which provides connectivity to other VIERA Link-compatible products and NAS compatibility. This year's players are also compatible with the NTFS format HDD. Five of the six Blu-ray Disc players provide built-in WiFi, while the DMP-BD77 is wireless ready. To personalize the experience, the new multi-user mode allows one to register four users and each can record individual, favorite settings. They can also select a personal icon from 16 pre-installed images, or photos from an external source. To further personalize the player, there is the option to customize the home screen with any image the consumer chooses. Also new this year is the ability to use any Smartphone as the remote control. There is also a new touch pad remote control that offers simple, intuitive operation.
All 2012 models are ENERGY STAR qualified. However, the DMP-BDT320 features a Smart Eco Sensor which detects the user's movement and switches to the quick start mode (boot time 0.5 seconds) automatically. When a user is within 16 feet of the player it is in ECO mode, using approximately 0.1 watts. When motion is detected within 16 feet the player turns on the quick start mode (approximately 3.2 watts). The BDT320's new slim design also cuts down on packaging, thereby saving on paper and allowing more players to be placed on a pallet, which can reduce carbon emissions due to transportation.
- The UniPhier single chip signal processing LSI employs a simplified circuit architecture that eliminates unnecessary wiring and reduces noise on the picture and sound signal to the absolute minimum. The UniPhier chip produces high clarity sound and turns off the analog video circuit when not needed — otherwise the analog video circuit is working even when not in use, causing interference to the other circuits.
- Adaptive Chroma Processing, a high quality image processing technology, precisely processes the video signal of each pixel in vertical and horizontal directions, resulting in a 50% increase in vertical color data processing as compared to 2010 models.
- A redesigned DVD Super Resolution Processor helps produce natural pictures with no false contours, higher resolution for details and a reduction in noise, all resulting in richer gradation.
|Full HD 3D||-||-||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Adaptive Chroma Processing||-||-||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|High Clarity Sound Plus||-||-||-||Y||Y||Y|
|Digital Tube Sound||-||-||-||Y||Y||Y|
|7.1 Analog Output||-||-||-||-||-||Y|
|Pure Audio on HDMI||-||-||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Smartphone Remote Control||-||-||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Touch Pad Remote Control||-||-||-||Y||Y||Y|
|Smart Eco Sensor||-||-||-||Y||-||-|
|Linear PCM/FLAC Compatibility||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Multi User Mode||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Ultra fast Booting and Loading||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Low Power Consumption||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Energy Star Qualified||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|