We all know what a Blu-ray player looks like, right? Big black box about 40cm wide? Wrong.
With the DMP-BBT01, Panasonic is ripping up the rulebook with a cute compact design that’s ideal for the bedroom and other places where space is tight. But practicality is only half the story – it’s also uniquely stylish thanks to a versatile tabletop stand that allows you to place it vertically, horizontally or floating off the table.
The player itself measures 179mm wide – about half the size of a regular Blu-ray player – and it’s remarkably slim to boot. The weighty square-shaped unit is more solid than Womack and Womack and luxuriously styled with mirrored panels around the sides and the same black dappled top panel that graced the DMP-BDT320.
You can place the unit horizontally on a flat surface as it is, but for added panache you can attach the supplied plastic stand in three different ways, locking it sturdily into the relevant holes on the player. The quirkiest is horizontal diagonal placement, which points the player upwards at an angle, while the more OCD among you can place it square-on to the stand. The vertical option involves disconnecting the two parts of the stand and using one of them as a cradle.
On the front of this cute little box is a disc slot, one of many funky aesthetic features, joined on the front right corner by touch-sensitive power and eject controls. The right side panel is a flap that drops down to uncover a row of LEDs in place of a full display panel (these shine through tiny holes in the flap when closed) plus an SD card and a USB port – exactly the same line-up of auxiliary connections you’ll find on Panasonic’s full-size players.
Inevitably though, the player’s size means the amount of other connections has taken a hit. Naturally there’s an HDMI output, which is fully geared up for high-bandwidth 3D output, alongside an Ethernet port and optical digital audio output – but that’s all.