We spotted Panasonic's DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player way back in October last year when it was given its US launch, with no sign of a UK release date forthcoming. Thankfully, the company has finally done the decent thing and is bringing its Blu-ray Profile 1.1 compliant player overseas, coinciding rather neatly with Sony's announcement of its own two forthcoming similar systems - although they will be available far later.
The specs are oddly unchanged since the DMP-BD30 launched, but that won't stop me reiterating them anyway. Most importantly (pertaining to the Profile 1.1 compliance) there is the presence of dual audio and video decoders and on-board storage, although sadly no Ethernet port for accessing online content or for easy Firmware upgrades.
Elsewhere 1080p output and 24fps playback are also supported, as is Dolby DTS and the BD30 will also play media off an SD card, including the camcorder-friendly AVCHD codec. DivX content can also be played, which puts the player perfectly in competition with the best available Profile 1.1-compliant alternative: Sony's PlayStation 3.
Currently the player is listed for about £350 with Amazon suggesting it will ship within the next couple of months, which is brilliantly specific. Hopefully that's a gross overestimate of the actual likely delay on availability.