Panasonic DMP-BDT300 £200
16th Apr 2011 | 08:30
Bright and bold 3D player ideal for old-school AVR owners
The DMP-BDT300 was Panasonic's premium Blu-ray player at launch and the two-tone styling and rugged build have a whiff of quality. The price has eroded a little, so look out for deals.
As well as 3D playback, this machine has several picture enhancing technologies onboard and great connections. The second HDMI output could be invaluable if your AV receiver pre-dates HDMI v1.4 switching, as it means you can send 3D images to your TV, while piping high-resolution audio to your amp.
It's also the only deck with an SD card slot, which is great news for video camera users looking for a quick way to watch AVC HD files in hi-def on a TV.
The online Viera Link apps are limited to YouTube, Picasa and the like, and its DLNA streaming talents cover pictures and video, not music.
More frustrating is the user interface, which feels long-winded against other machines. On the plus side, the remote is very well designed and Panasonic has improved the disc bootup times considerably.
This deck scores highest where it counts and picture quality in 3D is bold, bright and clearly three dimensional. As always, the picture is softer and darker in 3D mode, but the deck copes well to provide a relatively vivid image.
Switch to 2D mode and the picture improves further with consistent colours and crisp edges. Even DVDs look spruce with credible upscaling up to 1080p.
Sound quality isn't forgotten either. There's on-board decoding for all surround sound formats, which sound accurate enough via HDMI, while stereo sources are treated to Tube Sound mode. That's a codec Panasonic has added to give CDs a warmer, analogue-style tone.
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