Panasonic Corporation of North America, a major developer and contributor to the success of the Blu-ray format, today introduced an expanded Blu-ray Disc player lineup with three new models – the DMP-BD45, DMP-BD65 and the DMP-BD85. In addition, Panasonic introduced its first 3D Blu-ray Disc player, the DMP-BDT350, which when coupled with a Full HD 3D Plasma television and 3D shutter glasses gives the consumer the ultimate home 3D experience.
The BD65 and BD85 combine high quality images with enhanced networking functions, including VIERA CAST's improved and expanded Internet functionality and VIERA Link™, which allows the consumer to operate their VIERA Link capable audio/video components with one remote. To further enhance the networking experience, the BD85 includes a Wireless LAN adaptor, while the BD65 features Wireless LAN capability (a wireless LAN adaptor- DY-WL10 is sold separately). The BD45 offers all the non-networking basic functions needed to fully enjoy the Blu-ray 1080p High Definition experience. In keeping with Panasonic's pledge to reduce the planet's carbon footprint, the new models have been designed to reduce power consumption and also feature a slimmer, more efficient design to reduce packaging waste.
Each of the three models employs the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus. Developed in collaboration with Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, this high image processing technology reproduces clear and vibrant colors that are faithful to the original film. Recognizing that audio is important to the overall entertainment experience, Panasonic's BD65 and BD85 feature a high definition audio decoder (Dolby® Digital Plus, Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio Essential) to take advantage of the exceptional 7.1 channel surround sound now incorporated in Blu-ray Discs. The BD85 features HDMI Jitter Purifier which affords clear, robust bass sounds faithful to the original. In addition, the B85 utilizes a Digital Tube Sound Simulator to produce the warm, realistic sounds associated with a tube amplifier. 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.
VIERA CAST technology featured in Panasonic's 2009 Blu-ray Disc models continues to be available in the 2010 BD65, BD85 and BDT350 Blu-ray Disc players as well. 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 a 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.
The BD65, BD85, BD45 and 3D Blu-ray Disc Players include an SD Memory card, making it easy for the consumer to view and share both digital still images and HD video recorded with an HD camcorder in the AVCHD format.
BD65, BD85, and BDT350 include an USB slot for Easy connection with 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."
To produce the ultimate picture quality, Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc players employ high precision 4:4:4 signal technology, which working in tandem with PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus processes each pixel of the Blu-ray Disc video signal in the horizontal direction to compliment vertical direction processing. P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD) is another technology that contributes to the superior picture quality of the Blu-ray players. P4HD processes more than 15 billion pixels per second and applies the optimal processing to every pixel. Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc players further utilize 16-level motion detection to categorize the image motion of each pixel into one of 16 levels; diagonal processing to detect diagonals and correct the pixels accordingly; 1080p up-conversion to up-convert content recorded in the 480i/p or 720p format to 1080p. The Blu-ray Disc players also provide 1080/24p output, reproducing cinema images from a Blu-ray Disc and DVD in their original 24p form with no need for conversion. This allows the user to enjoy cinema images in the same format used in cinema with a 1080/24p-compatible TV.
In order to obtain a reduction in power consumption, the 2010 Blu-ray Disc players use Power Save Mode, a function that automatically turns off the player when you return to TV operation using the VIERA Link menu. In addition, the Unselected Device Save automatically turns off the player's Quick Start function. When VIERA Link is turned on, Quick Start also turns on. In addition, the development of the UniPhier® single chip LSI makes it possible to pack an entire video signal processing circuit onto a single chip. This helps lower power consumption, reduces the number of parts needed and allows for a more compact design. For example, in 2010 the BD45 reduces power consumption from last year's 19 watts to 14 watts and stand by power consumption from 0.6 watts to 0.1 watts. Continuing its corporate commitment to improve the environment, Panasonic has reduced by 18% the Blu-ray Disc players' depth, resulting in a 15% reduction in the carton's volume. Panasonic engineers have lowered the start-up time, from when the player is turned on to beginning of playback to 14 seconds.
Complimenting the HD audio codecs, the BD65, BD85 and BDT350 Blu-ray Disc players feature 96kHz surround re-master, a function that enhances the sound quality of CDs and other sources, and even improves the quality of the multi-channel audio data on Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. The BD85 further enhances the audio experience with 7.1 channel analog out to produce true 7.1 surround sound, thereby affording the consumer a home theater environment that rivals the movie theater. The BD45 is compatible for up to 5.1 channel decoding.
The BD85, BD65 and BD45 join the BD70V Blu-ray player which will continue as part of the line-up in 2010, offering multi-format playback and premium 1080p up-conversion. The Panasonic Blu-ray players will be available in the spring of 2010.