Panasonic DMP-BDT320 review
We've seen plenty of Panasonic products that are easy to use and have fantastic image quality, but they aren't always particularly attractive. If the company's 2012 Blu-ray line-up is any indication, that's about to change.
The DMP-BDT320 has the same textured finish as last year's players, but the fascia has been completely revamped with a slot-loading optical drive, touch-sensitive buttons and a single line LCD display with a mirror finish. It's not even the top model in the range, but we think it looks gorgeous. An SD card reader and single USB port are hidden beneath a fold-out flap, which let you connect a USB flash drive or the memory card from a camera to play your photos, music and video files. File format support was excellent - all our test files played flawlessly, including the DivX and MKV videos.
Around the back, there's a single HDMI output, analogue composite outputs and a digital optical audio output, as well as a USB communication port for the optional Skype camera (TY-CC10W, £120 from www.sonicdirect.co.uk). There's also an Ethernet port if you prefer to use a cable rather than the player's built-in Wi-Fi. The DMP-BDT320 fully supports DLNA, so you'll be able to stream content from a PC or NAS straight away, or simply get online to access internet content.
Panasonic's internet portal system has finally been upgraded to the same VIERA CONNECT interface seen on last year's TVs, rather than the older VIERA CAST system. There's now heaps more content than before, including a marketplace for downloading new apps as they become available. It's beginning to look rather dated when compared to the smart TV systems we've seen from other manufacturers - Samsung's SmartHub is a better-looking system, as is Sony's SEN interface.
There's plenty of variety, though, including video streaming apps from Netflix and catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer, as well as YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and Twitter integration. Panasonic is so confident its customers will be using Netflix that it has dedicated one of the remote control buttons to loading up the service.
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