Panasonic recently unveiled its 2011 product line-up at Excel in London and among the hordes of brand spanking new home cinema products on show were three 3D-ready Blu-ray players – the DMP-BDT310, DMP-BDT210, DMP-BDT110 – and two 2D players, the DMP-BDT111 and DMP-BD75. We’ve managed to get our hands on the Profile 2.0 BD75, which may only be this year’s no-frills, entry-level offering but it still reveals some of the big improvements Panasonic has made across the entire range.
The first of these is the external design. With the environment very much at the forefront of its mind, Panasonic has squeezed the DMP-BD75 and its stable mates into much slimmer and compact cases (the BD75 measures just 35mm high), which in turn means less packaging. There is another benefit, though; it’s easier to slide into tightly packed AV cabinets.
Compact it may be, but that doesn’t leave much surface area to play with – as a result, there are just a couple of buttons on the front panel, next to a basic LED display panel and a USB port. The deck is basically a simple, wafer-thin black box, but despite its lack of bells and whistles (such as the Touch-Free Sensor found on decks higher up the range) it retains a sense of style, plus the aluminium casing makes it surprising robust for a budget player.
On the rear panel is more evidence of the DMP-BD75’s budget status. The sockets on offer include an HDMI output, composite video output, stereo audio output and an Ethernet port – this is clearly a deck aimed at buyers with basic requirements. If you want to enjoy HD audio soundtracks you’ll need to pair it with an HDMI-equipped receiver, as there are no multichannel analogue or digital audio workarounds.
The USB port on the front panel is provided for playback of digital media files, but the lack of built-in memory or separate SD card slot means this has to be used for storage if you’re planning to download BD Live content. Unsurprisingly the port doesn’t support Wi-Fi dongles and there’s no built-in Wi-Fi either.