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Panasonic DMP-BDT300 review

David Ludlow
11 Jun 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

If you want a 3D TV, this is a great Blu-ray player to accompany it and its secondary HDMI output means you don't have to upgrade your AV receiver.

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If you want to watch 3D movies on a compatible television set, you'll need a suitable Blu-ray player, such as Panasonic's DMP-BDT300. This new player is capable of decoding the 3D information (separate frames for your left-eye and right-eye) and sending it over its HDMI 1.4 output to your television set.

Panasonic has thoughtfully also provided a second HDMI output, which can be used for connecting to an older AV receiver that doesn't have an HDMI 1.4 input. Without this, an AV receiver would strip out all of the control codes necessary for 3D, leaving people to either upgrade their amp or resort to analogue inputs. To cover all bases, the DMP-BDT300 also has analogue audio outputs in case you want the Blu-ray player to take care of decoding sound.

Panasonic DMP-BDT300 ports

Panasonic provided us with one of its high-speed HDMI cables, but we found that 3D worked fine over one of our regular cables. We found the player quick to start up and we were at a 3D Blu-ray's menu in around 30 seconds from powering on. Depending on the disc inserted, the player will either switch to 3D mode automatically (Coraline, for example) or you'll need to select the right playback option from the disc's menu. You can also turn off 3D in the setup menus.

Panasonic DMP-BDT300 remote

Quality, as you'd expect from a high-end Blu-ray player, was excellent. As with other recent Panasonic Blu-ray players, the DMP-BDT300 supports 4:4:4 chroma subsampling, delivering the most accurate colours. All of our test footage looked stunning on our test Panasonic Viera TX-P50VT20B 3D plasma TV. Standard definition footage looked good, too. Spider-man 2 was neatly handled and there was no jagged lines or ghosting visible after upscaling.

The player comes with both an Ethernet port and an 802.11n wireless networking adaptor. Once connected to your network you can upgrade the player's firmware, access BD-Live features (you'll need to insert an SD memory card for storage) and stream content from a DLNA media server.

We found that JPEG pictures and MP3 files all worked flawlessly when streamed from our Windows 7 PC. Most of our test videos played correctly, except for our WMV and one our HD AVI files - it's a little strange as the DLNA client in Panasonic's TVs play everything bar the WMV HD file. Alternatively, you can play the same range of files directly from connected storage using either the USB ports or SDXC memory card slot. Panasonic's Viera Cast media portal lets you get content from the internet. It's rather sparse, though, with only YouTube streaming and Picasa Web Albums likely to be of the most interest.

Panasonic DMP-BDT300

Whether or not this player is worth buying really depends on what you want to do. If you don't have a 3D TV and aren't planning on getting one, it's an expensive option and the Sony BDP-S370 is far cheaper and has a much wider range of streaming options, including iPlayer.

That said, if you really want an 3D TV, you'll need a suitable Blu-ray player and this one does a great job. Unlike Samsung's similar player, which is £100 cheaper, the second HDMI output on the DMP-BDT300 means that you don't have to upgrade your AV receiver. This makes Panasonic's player the slightly better choice for most people that want 3D.

Details

AwardN/A
Price£400
Rating****

Buying Information

Price£400
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.houseoffraser.co.uk
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk

Features and Connections

Blu-ray profile2.0
HDMI outputs2
HDMI Version1.4
Component outputs1
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs1
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless standard802.11n
USB ports2
Mass storage supportyes
Supported memory cardsSDXC
Other connectionsEthernet, USB
BD Live storageSDXC

Video, Audio and Photo

Video playback formatsMPEG-2, DivX, AVCHD
Image viewing formatsJPEG
Audio playback formatsMP3
YouTube streamingyes

Audio

Dynamic Range Controlyes
Dolby TrueHD supportyes
DTS-HD MA supportyes

Physical

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on19W
Extrasremote control
Size430x245x66mmmm

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