Panasonic DMP-BDT110 - Operation

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic DMP-BDT110


Our Score:


As we noted on the DMP-BD75, this year’s Panasonic players boast a gorgeous new operating system, which operates with level of slickness that finally gives Sony’s Xross Media Bar a run for its money.

Hit the Home button on the remote and the great-looking menu appears, sporting a cluster of large icons arranged in a cross that correspond with the direction keys on the remote. So a single button press takes you to that function (or to the next submenu), and it moves to the next screen in a flash. It’s absolute genius and a million times easier to use than last year’s GUI. You can also customise this main menu by uploading a photo from the USB port or SD card slot, although the default graphics are attractive enough as they are.

DLNA operation is simple enough. It doesn’t take long to pull content from connected PCs and the basic top-to-bottom lists are easy to comprehend, although we’d love a search feature – after all, scrolling through a music library containing over 16,000 songs is pretty time consuming.

The other onscreen displays are designed with a real sense of logic and simplicity. The Skype interface, for example, uses bold primary colours and massive bubbly icons down the left-hand side, plus the screen is refreshingly uncluttered. It takes ages to set up an account though, due to the inevitable awkwardness of entering text using the remote. We tried making a couple of calls, which is really easy to do, but they weren’t in. We’ve seen it in action though, and the video quality is excellent, making this a very worthwhile feature overall.

Other useful menus, such as Option, Status and Display, provide quick access to key functions and information while watching a movie. The Display menu contains several tweaks, including a range of picture presets (Normal, Cinema, Soft, Fine, Cinema, Cartoon) and a User mode that lets you adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness, colour, gamma and noise reduction.

These are joined by some other picture enhancements, including Chroma Process, Detail Clarity and Super Resolution. On the audio side are Dialogue Enhancer and a Sound Effects menu that offers Night Surround (for low-volume listening) and Re-master, which attempts to boost the clarity of high-frequencies.

A couple of final operational points – the remote has been rightfully been left alone, keeping the same logical layout, large buttons and foolproof labelling as last year’s zappers. The only problem we found was that the Home button is too near the right direction key, which caused a few accidental visits to the main menu. Helpfully, Viera Cast, 3D settings and Skype all have their own direct-access buttons.

And Panasonic has make great strides when it comes to booting up and Blu-ray disc loading – Terminator Salvation takes a respectable 40 seconds to load, while the 3D version of Avatar takes around 30 seconds. Not bad.


March 14, 2011, 5:59 pm

2D to 3D conversion is never going to be particularly convincing, and is a gimmick that will remain determinedly turned off on my setup when I upgrade to 3D (after a quick test to make sure it actually is as bad as I expect it to be). Studios drop millions of dollars to get a 2D film painstakingly converted to 3D by expert visual effects specialists, and from what I understand of the process a lot of manual intervention is involved, and even then the results are sub-par (Clash of the Titans, anyone?) so automated conversion in a £150 Blu-Ray deck really isn't going to cut it. Like many AV effects widgets (bass boost; "concert hall"-type listening modes; pseudo-surround sound) this really isn't going to do your source material any favours.

Otherwise the deck looks good. No need for wifi or BD Live here, so glad the wifi dongle and local storage are optional extras. 2nd HDMI not an issue for anyone with a decent, recent AV amp with HDMI 1.4 (my Onkyo TX-SR-608 will happily pass the appropriate signals). All I'm waiting for is another generation or 2 of 3D TVs to iron out the crosstalk issue and a range of titles compelling enough to convince me to buy...


March 15, 2011, 2:30 am

Guys, what would you say has the fastest load times of all the <£200 players you've reviewed?

My Sony BDP-S350 annoys me, though it is a fairly early player. The disc load times were excellent for the time, but I'm sure have been surpassed since. Another issue I find with it is that if you switch it on and hit eject it won't just give you the disc. No, it seems to read the entire disc first before it will spit it out...


October 22, 2011, 9:20 am

To get around the low number of USB ports, I connected this player (and a Panasonic Plasma) to the web via a Wi-Fi bridge, using the LAN port
So far I have found no problems connecting to the web, and the Panasonic iPhone apps all seem to work. Having already set up a Wi-Fi network, I had no problem installing a bridge.
I recall that the bridge cost about as much as the optional Wi-Fi dongle. A cheaper option (that I have not tried) may be a bridge that only has one Ethernet port.
I now have more free USB ports than I need.
As noted before I ignored any problems with 2D-3D conversion, I tired of this option on the first day and have not been back to it.
A good 3D Blu-ray movie is however a joy to watch. If you want to see the potential of 3D in a nature doco hire "Cousteau Presents Sharks 3D".

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