Panasonic launches third generation Blu-Ray player in November

During a presentation yesterday we were witness to Panasonic’s official unveiling of their latest Blu-Ray flagship. The new DMP-BD30 which will become available in stores on November 12 will ring in a new generation of Blu-Ray players for a number of reasons.

Not only has the player been completely re-designed, resulting in a chassis that is an inch lower and a full inch shorter in depth which gives the player an incredibly slick look. But also on the inside the player has been entirely revamped. According to Panasonic executives and engineers who gave us a presentation of the player during the Blu-Ray press event in Los Angeles, this player has been designed from scratch. A new processor has been developed for the unit, called P4HD, which allows pixel precision processing in a way that has not been possible before. Featuring the full HDMI 1.3 implementation, including 1080p/24 output, the player also adheres to the final standard Blu-Ray profile. This means it is fully capable of picture-in-picture display and real-time audio mixing. In addition the players makes full use of the Panasonic’s EZ Sync technology, which allows you to hook a all your components through HDMI and control them with a single, intelligent remote control.

Panasonic has also gone to work on the decoding algorithms used in the unit and with its increased processing power is now able to improve picture quality quite dramatically. I have to be honest. I thought Blu-Ray looked pretty good the way it did with current generation players, but a series of presentations during the press event gave us the chance to see first hand, just how much better the BD-30 player looks in comparison to its competition, and even the second generation Panasonic players. Using a variety of clips to compare the improvements side by side, I found one showcase the most striking. Selecting a few minutes of footage from “Pirates Of The Caribbean” Panasonic showed these clips not side by side but one after another. And even without the direct side-by-side comparison it was very easily noticeable just how much better the picture looked on the new DMP-BD30 player. The improved color fidelity was simply staggering as was the razor sharp definition of the image itself. I am not easy swayed but I have to admit that I was very, very impressed.

Of course the player also supports all conceivable audio formats as well as image and video playback from external sources, such as SD memory cards.

Panasonic’s new DMP-BD30 player will be in stores on November 12 with a $499 price tag.

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