Panasonic DMP-BDT700 Blu-ray Review

What is a Panasonic DMP-BDT700?

The DMP-BDT700 is Panasonic’s latest flagship Blu-ray player, a reversion to a format’s early days when decks were big, beautifully done and directed during enthusiasts. But hopefully though a delayed front loading times…

This is not a arrange of actor we bung in your trolley during ASDA. Not customarily does it exaggerate facilities and sockets blank from many bill spinners; it’s also staunchly focused on performance, with THX acceptance and higher audio circuitry. Naturally a reward actor like this doesn’t come cheap, though if you’re critical about home cinema afterwards it could be income good spent.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Panasonic DMP-BDT700 – Design Connections

The DMP-BDT700’s solid, complicated construction is impressive, a universe divided from a groundless cosmetic of many bill players. It’s not utterly adult to a industrial standards of OPPO or Cambridge Audio, though this is Panasonic’s best-made Blu-ray actor given 2012’s DMP-BDT500.

Style-wise, Panasonic has left for capricious minimalism. The rug is black from tip to toe, with brushed tip and side panels lending a clarity of elegance. It’s substantially giveaway from clutter, interjection to a brushed-aluminium fascia that covers adult a front tray, SD label container and USB port, while buttonry is limited to a quarrel of touch-sensitive controls on top. A transparent LED arrangement shines by a window in a front panel.

The behind quarrel is anything though minimal. Twin HDMI sockets concede we to outlay cinema and audio alone – useful if your AV receiver doesn’t support 3D or 4K passthrough. Although a arrange of chairman shopping a £550 Blu-ray rug will substantially have a flattering present receiver.

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Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Even improved news for owners of cutting-edge 4K TVs is that a categorical outlay is HDMI 2.0, that can hoop 4K during 60fps (HDMI v1.4 surfaced out during 4K 30fps). That means we can use a built-in 4K Direct Chroma Upscaler to upscale Blu-ray discs to 4K 60p on a concordant TV. You can also perspective 4K JPEGs directly, side-stepping a common routine of downscaling them initial and afterwards upscaling them again.

It’s also good to see a set of 7.1-channel analogue outputs on a back. This means a actor can decode 7.1-channel Dolby True HD or DTS HD Master Audio marks internally and siren a decoded PCM to your amp’s analogue inputs. That’s useful for comparison amps though HDMI inputs.

The choice is finished by optical, coaxial and analogue stereo outputs, and an Ethernet pier that provides a some-more quick choice to a built-in Wi-Fi connection.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700 – Features

State-of-the-art socketry is a usually a tip of a iceberg. You’ll also find a resources of network functionality, including DLNA record streaming, Miracast and an Internet portal that offers a accumulation of online apps. It’s fundamentally a same choice of network facilities as cheaper Panasonic players like a DMP-BDT360.

Panasonic’s preference of Internet apps is disappointing. There are some vast names here like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, though until Panasonic adds things like ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5, Now TV and Spotify it’ll continue to play second fiddle to Samsung and LG. There’s a engorgement of games and frothy lifestyle apps accessible to download in a Market menu, though zero value essay home about.

On a flipside, a arrange of reward players we find during this cost are customarily light on intelligent content, so Panasonic has an advantage in that respect.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

You can tide files from PCs, NAS drives and smartphones on a same network as a player. It supports MKV, XviD, AVCHD, WMV and MP4 video files, as good as FLAC, MP3, WAV, AAC WMA, WAV and JPEG – supposing your DLNA server also supports them. Hi-res FLAC files are upheld adult to 192kHz/24-bit. You can also play these files from USB peep drives, while AVCHD, MP4, JPEG and MPO are upheld from SD cards.

Other facilities embody 3D playback (with 2D to 3D conversion) and Panasonic’s common progression of sound modes – Dialog Enhancer, High Clarity Sound (which turns off video circuits to stop them interfering with a audio signal), Digital Tube Sound, Night Surround and Re-Master. 

Panasonic DMP-BDT700 – Operation

The DMP-BDT700’s new Home menu looks some-more worldly than Panasonic’s cheaper players. The switch to a black credentials with a quarrel of tiles regulating by a centre is transparent and classy, nonetheless it lacks a one-touch navigation that creates a DMP-BDT360 such a sharp operator.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

From a Home menu we can burst loyal to Videos, Music or Photos on disc, USB or SD card. Select ‘Home Network’ and we can try DLNA servers, while a ‘Network Service’ choice is your gateway to Internet content.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Select any of these and a successive menus are customary Panasonic fare, regulating vast boxes, corpulent calm and a grey/yellow colour scheme. It’s simplistic, though creates all easy to follow. The DLNA/USB playback menus are easily presented. When browsing a song library, cover art is displayed alongside any lane in a list, nonetheless customarily metadata is displayed while playing.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Panasonic hasn’t altered a Internet Apps menu for years, though it could do with an update. It splits a apps opposite a array of pages, 7 per screen. Thankfully a customarily apps value regulating are all shown on a initial page, though it’s unwieldy to use – hopefully Panasonic will revamp it subsequent year to simulate a TV intelligent menus.

We’re tender by a deck’s well-spoken operation, that allows we to skip by menus and hunt Blu-ray discs with no delays. The Wi-Fi tie is stable, too, streaming bandwidth-hogging web videos though a hitch.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Press ‘Option’ during playback and we can perspective a front playback options or a Playback Information Window, that displays a audio/video bitrates and formats.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

It also lets we make pattern and sound tweaks on a fly, and pattern perfectionists will be gay by a deck’s consummate operation of adjustments – one of a facilities that acquire it a THX sign of approval. Among a options are adjustments for luminance, colour and sharpness, block, pointless and butterfly sound rebate and bandwidth reduction for liughtness and colour.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700You also get 7 pattern presets, including new Retro Cinema, Fine Cinema, Live and Animation modes, and dual presets that optimise a pattern for opposite displays (TV or projector). Adjustments can be saved in dual memory settings.

The remote is a step adult from Panasonic’s common handsets. This one is long, glorious and robust, temperament a same brushed finish as a player, that is a unequivocally good touch.

The remote’s symbol blueprint is as good as we’ve come to pattern from Panasonic, with a instruction pad placed passed centre and associated keys dotted around it. The buttons are vast and clearly labelled, and we adore a inclusion of dedicated keys for scarcely any underline and menu. But a best news is that it’s backlit, creation it easy to navigate in a dark.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700 – Performance

Forget a facilities and design; a loyal interest of a DMP-BDT700 lies in a guarantee of ‘uncompromising’ performance, and on that measure it doesn’t disappoint. Let’s not kick about a brush – a Blu-ray pattern peculiarity is positively stunning, quite if we spend a small time tweaking a endless pattern settings beforehand.

We kicked things off with a RoboCop remake and from a start a rug serves adult bold, palatable visuals. Pat Novak’s OTT practical studio is peppered with colourful publication colours and deep, sable blacks in a background, while Omnicorp’s strip-light splendid labs demeanour frail and striking.

The rug has no difficulty picking out pointed shading and variations in colour tinge that give a façade of three-dimensionality. Skin tones and other pointed hues demeanour realistic, and we extol a deck’s ability to say a firmness of splendid and pale colours within a same shot.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Excellent contrariety creates any stage demeanour abounding and punchy, quite brightly-lit exteriors. The DMP-BDT700 also has a penetrating eye for fact – a dry buildings, burst roads and smashed signs of a ED-209-patrolled Tehran streets are crisply rendered.

Its display of Pixar’s Monsters Inc. is equally jaw-dropping. It pulls out pointed sum like strands of fur and a hardness of bricks in a credentials as Mike and Sully wander to work, while splendid colours fire from a screen. The film also highlights a deck’s consultant doing of quick transformation – there’s no judder as Sully and Randall jump from doorway to doorway on a circuit belt.

This fortitude also pays dividends when examination 3D transport like The Hobbit. Armies of bustling creatures and layered view keep their clarity as Peter Jackson’s camera uniformly plummets by a caverns of Goblin Town, display few signs of blur. Obviously your 3D TV has to be singing from a same strain sheet, though a BDT700 does all it can to safeguard an immersive 3D experience.

The DMP-BDT700 also has a talent to make lower-quality sources demeanour terrific. We incidentally threw a The Adventures of Baron Munchausen DVD in a tray, and when upscaled to 1080p a movie’s exuberant sets, outlandish costumes and dainty colour palette punch from a screen. It’s not spotless, though many improved than many bill players. If we wish to breathe new life into your DVD collection, this is a actor for you.

We also streamed SD shows from BBC iPlayer, ropey aged WMV clips and several YouTube videos, and in any box a images are well-spoken and watchable, notwithstanding a unavoidable participation of sound in a picture.

For a somewhat some-more systematic analysis we installed adult a Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray to see how a rug copes with a uncanny video cadences and wily exam patterns. It didn’t put a feet wrong with any of them. We also checked a deck’s front loading times regulating a realistic Terminator Salvation front and from an open tray it started personification a video calm in usually over 30 seconds, that isn’t quite quick though acceptable. Discs with reduction Java calm to gnaw over will start adult many faster.

The DMP-BDT700 is a really able audio performer too. Fed to a Onkyo TX-NR818 from a deck’s 7.1 analogue outputs, Hellboy II: The Golden Army sounds sensational. As Hellboy squares adult to Nuada during a climax, there’s a crisp, aggressive tinge to a carnage, copiousness of fact in a brew and brawny drum behind any punch and explosion.

The rug also passes pattern as a CD player, regulating a high-quality digital-to-analogue converters to broach expressive, well-balanced playback by a analogue stereo outputs.

Panasonic DMP-BDT700

Should we buy a Panasonic DMP-BDT700?

With a robust, glorious design, cutting-edge facilities and overwhelming pattern quality, a DMP-BDT700 is value any penny if you’re critical about home cinema.

Detailed pattern tweaks, THX certification, inexhaustible connectivity and high-quality construction rouse it above a bill masses, while pattern and sound peculiarity are phenomenal. It’s also easy to use, quick in operation and a sharp DLNA streamer. Internet calm could be better, though that’s a customarily genuine negative.

We’re not observant it outperforms players such as a OPPO BDP-105D and Cambridge Audio BD752, though these decks will make a many bigger hole in your bank balance. Panasonic’s bid is some-more practically priced, though compromising on opening or features, and for that reason it’s a enormous purchase.

Verdict

Panasonic targets hardcore home cinema fans with a glorious THX-certified Blu-ray rug that puts a importance on build peculiarity and performance, while throwing in copiousness of cutting-edge features.

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