Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Although the DMP-BD30 ($499.95) has been on the market for over a year, this Profile 1.1 player is still a worthwhile option for someone who is not interested in BD-Live bonus content. It is best mated with a newer receiver that has high-resolution audio decoding.

panasonic_dmp-bd30.gifThe $499.95 Panasonic DMP-BD30 was one of the first Profile 1.1 players to hit the market in late 2007. The Profile 1.1 designation means it contains the secondary audio and video decoders needed for picture-in-picture playback. However, it does not support BD-Live Web functionality. In terms of video connections, the player offers HDMI 1.3, component video, S-video and composite video outputs. For HDMI, the output resolution options are 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60 and 1080p/24. This model does not have a dedicated Source Direct mode; you must set up the player for either 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 in the menu. For component video, 1080i is the maximum output resolution for Blu-ray, and 480p is the maximum output resolution for standard-def DVDs.

Additional Resources
• Learn more about Sony and Sony products.
• Read dozens of Blu-ray reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Read reviews of Blu-ray movies on hometheaterequipment.com.
 

In the audio realm, the DMP-BD30 offers HDMI, coaxial and optical digital audio, and two- and 5.1-channel analog audio outputs. You can bridge the analog outs to create a 7.1-channel set-up. The DMP-BD30 doesn't have internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoders, but it will pass these formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI. This means you need a receiver with high-resolution audio decoding in order to listen to these formats.

The player supports BD, DVD, CD, MP3 and JPEG playback through its disc drive, and it has an SD card slot through which you can view JPEGs and AVCHD high-def video. It does not have an Ethernet port to access BD-Live Web features on Blu-ray disc or perform quick firmware updates. To update the firmware, you must download the new software from the Panasonic Website and load it onto the player.

Read The High Points, The Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2


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High Points
• Blu-ray movies look very good at both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24
• The player passes the high-resolution audio bitstream over HDMI
• It can play picture-in-picture bonus content, such as video commentaries and making-of featurettes
• This player has faster start-up, load and navigation times than most early-generation Blu-ray players
• The SD card slot allows for easy viewing of digital movies and photos

Low Points
• The DMP-BD30 lacks an Ethernet port, so you can't access Web features on Blu-ray discs
• The lack of onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoders means you need a receiver with the proper decoders to enjoy high-resolution formats
• Standard-def DVDs look good overall, but the picture is not quite as clean and detailed as we've seen on other Blu-ray players

Conclusion
The Panasonic DMP-BD30 offers very good Blu-ray performance, and its quick, glitch-free operation makes it more enjoyable to use than a lot of early Profile 1.0 players. It's best mated with an A/V receiver that has high-resolution audio decoding. If you don't care that much about Web features on Blu-ray discs, then this player is a good choice at a good price.

Additional Resources
• Learn more about Sony and Sony products.
• Read dozens of Blu-ray reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Read reviews of Blu-ray movies on hometheaterequipment.com.

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