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Panasonic DMP-BDT220 review

Tom Morgan
19 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
160
inc VAT

A fairly inexpensive player with extensive options for picture tweaking

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The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 might be an entry-level Blu-ray player, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t packed with features. As well as VIERA Connect services and integrated Wi-Fi and DLNA support, the incredibly comprehensive picture and audio settings menu could make this the ideal player for film fans on a budget.

Panasonic DMP-BDT220

Although it doesn’t have the same gorgeous exterior as the more expensive Panasonic DMP-BDT320, the BDT220 is still a reasonably attractive player. It’s also surprisingly compact, taking up very little room under a TV or in an AV rack. From the front it looks a little bare, with just a mirror finish plastic cover hiding the disc tray and single line LCD display, as well as SD and USB ports. There’s no internal storage for BD-Live content, so you’ll need to find a spare SD card if you want to make the most of the extra features of your film collection.

Around the back, a single HDMI output is nestled between composite, analogue stereo and digital optical audio outputs, as well as an Ethernet port and a USB port designed specifically for Panasonic’s Skype camera (part code TY-CC20W, £79 inc VAT from www.very.co.uk).

Panasonic DMP-BDT220

If you don’t want to run a network cable to your TV, the BDT220 has integrated Wi-Fi to help you get online. Wi-Fi Direct is a new feature for 2012 that lets you create a point-to-point Wi-Fi connection to stream internet content from a laptop or phone over DLNA. We had no problems playing all our test videos, including DivX and MKV files. You can also play your files directly from a flash drive connected to the front USB port.

Panasonic DMP-BDT220

When you run out of your own content, there’s plenty more in Panasonic’s VIERA Connect service. It’s as comprehensive here as it is on the TV range, with catch-up TV services from the BBC, YouTube video streaming and Netflix movies on demand. Netflix integration is much more than an afterthought – the remote control has a dedicated button that will take you straight into the service from the main menu. Other services include Facebook, Picasa, Skype and Twitter, keeping you connected without the need for a PC. The traditional remote control makes it easy to control everything – we much preferred its normal button layout to the sometimes awkward touchpad remote bundled with the BDT320.

Panasonic DMP-BDT220

Despite all its extra functionality, Panasonic hasn’t ignored the core features of the BDT220. It’s an excellent Blu-ray player, loading discs in around 10 seconds and resuming from its low-power sleep mode incredibly quickly. 3D support is now to be expected on all new players, but Panasonic has done well to add support for both side-by-side and Full HD 3D content, as well as 2D to 3D upscaling.

However, what makes the BDT220 stand apart from the competition is its range of display and audio settings. As well as the usual noise reduction, colour modes and super resolution, there are welcome extras in the form of chroma process and detail clarity settings. In practice, these settings help create stunning images, with accurate colours and pin-sharp edges. It might lack some of the high-end audio adjustments of its more expensive sibling, but our test discs still sounded fantastic.

At £168, the BDT220 is around £30 more than our current favourite budget Blu-ray player, the Samsung BD-E6100. It might lack the visual flair of its competitor, but the incredibly comprehensive picture controls should appeal to true film fans. For most people, the additional settings aren’t worth paying extra for, but if you’re constantly tweaking your TV to get the best possible quality, this could be the Blu-ray player for you.

Details

Price£160
Rating*****

Buying Information

Price£160
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk

Features and Connections

Blu-ray profile2.0
HDMI outputs1
HDMI Version1.4
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless standard802.11n
USB ports2
Mass storage supportyes
Supported memory cardsSDXC
BD Live storagevia external storage

Video, Audio and Photo

Video playback formatsAVCHD, DivX HD, MKV, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, WMV 9, MOV, XVID
Image viewing formatsJPEG
Audio playback formatsMP3, WAV, FLAC
YouTube streamingyes

Audio

Dynamic Range Controlyes
Dolby TrueHD supportyes
DTS-HD MA supportyes

Physical

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on9W
Size430x38x179mmmm

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