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CES: Panasonic’s New Line of Blu-ray Players Includes 3-D, Wireless

Panasonic unveiled a whole new line of Blu-ray players at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Three new models – the DMP-BD45, DMP-BD65 and the DMP-BD85 — all based on the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus — will enter the lineup for the manufacturer. In addition, Panasonic revealed its first 3-D Blu-ray Disc player, the DMP-BDT350.

The BD85 features built-in wireless networking functions and the BD-65 will support wireless through an optional wireless LAN adapter. The entry-level BD45 offers basic functions needed to fully enjoy the Blu-ray 1080p High Definition experience. All three models sport Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding built-in.

Additionally, Panasonic provides what the company calls the “HDMI Jitter Purifier” on the BD85, which they claim offers, “robust bass sound faithful to the original.” The BD85 also features a Digital Tube Sound Simulator. To further enhance the audio portion of the Blu-ray experience, the B85 uses gold plated terminals and the 192kHz-24 bit D/A converter, all of which contribute to high end audio complimenting the Blu-ray High Definition 1080p picture quality.

Panasonic's 3-D Blu-ray Player: The DMP-BDT350

All four players provide streaming media content features that Panasonic dubs, VIERA CAST. The Internet-enabled technology lets the consumer access selected Internet sites without the need of either an external box or a PC and enjoy the entertainment provided by sites including Amazon Video on Demand™, YouTube™, Google’s Picasa™ Web Album , Bloomberg and The Weather Channel. For 2010, Netflix™, Pandora, Twitter and Fox Sports have been added to the VIERA CAST functionality, providing the consumer with two premium movie sites, a music service and a sports site to enhance the entertainment quotient.

Unlike previous Panasonic players, which came with no memory cards, the BD65, BD85, BD45 and 3-D Blu-ray Disc Players will also include an SD Memory card this time around for BD-Live support right out of the box. The BD65, BD85, and BDT350 will also include a USB slot for easy connection with a Wireless LAN Adaptor for wireless connection to online content such as VIERA CAST and BD-Live. USB memory with JPEG/MP3 and DivX movie data can also be enjoyed.  (BD65 is not compatible with DivX)

“With the expansion of the unique VIERA CAST functionality, improved start-up time and a slimmer product design, Panasonic continues to be at the forefront of further developing Blu-ray technology and the home entertainment experience,” said Richard Simone, Director, Panasonic, the Entertainment Group. ”Panasonic prides itself on listening to the consumer and start-up time of a disc was one of the main areas that consumers wanted to see an improvement in. Our engineers did just that.  Consumers also told us that they would like the option of more than one premium movie service, so Panasonic again listened and added Netflix to the entertainment mix.”

All players are expected in Spring 2010.

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