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Panasonic Shows Off New Blu-ray Players

18 Sep, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Replacing their BD30 and BD50 players, Panasonic showed off its two newest Blu-ray Disc players Sept. 18 at the Sheraton Universal City hotel. The players were first announced at the CEDIA conference in Denver earlier this month.

Shipping to retailers in October — but with price points still under wraps — the DMP-BD35 and the DMP-BD55 are BD Live (profile 2.0) and Bonus View (profile 1.1) capable, and feature SD Memory Card slots, three HDMI inputs and video processing technology that beats any other Blu-ray player on the market, Panasonic officials said.

The PHL Chroma Processor Plus technology aims to present colors as close to the original video master as possible. The processor offers a 4:4:4 function, creating a video signal that color-compensates for every pixel, presenting as sharp a picture as possible.

The major difference between the two players is that while both decode high-def audio codecs (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, etc.), and can offer 7.1 channel surround sound on systems that do not support HD audio, the BD55 decodes 7.1 channel analog as well.

“We’re still improving on our Blu-ray players,” said Takeshi Kuraku, manager of Panasonic’s audio and video marketing team, overseas sales and marketing group. He and other Panasonic officials put their new players up against the latest from Samsung and Sony, showing a sharper image, especially with moving objects.

“We have improved on the BD30 and BD50,” said Tetsuya Itani, Panasonic’s chief engineer, product engineering group, advanced development team.

Comparing their new players to Sony’s BDP-S350 and Samsung’s BD-P1500, Panasonic officials played a visual test disc on two identical plasma HDTVs to demonstrate that their players show off more detail, and can better handle to the information in moving objects, resulting in fewer interlacing artifacts.

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