Panasonic has already announced itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Blu-ray market this year with the DMP-BDT310 and DMP-BDT110, two superb 3D-ready decks that deliver best-in-class picture quality and a cavalcade of cutting-edge features.
Sandwiched in between these two models is the DMP-BDT210, which takes many of the BDT310’s best bits but chops out a feature that not everyone needs in order to bring the price down.
On the outside the design is virtually identical to the DMP-BDT310. The top panel has the same textured feel and superficial-yet-snazzy Touch Free Sensor, which opens and closes the disc tray with a wave of your hand. It also shares the super-slim dimensions, which make it easy to accommodate and cuts down on unnecessary packaging. It’s nothing spectacular, just a tasteful, good-looking player.
The front panel is covered all the way across by a flap, behind which is a couple of playback keys, an SD card slot for MPEG-2, AVCHD, JPEG and MPO playback plus BD Live storage and a USB port, which supports playback of MP3, JPEG, DivX HD and MKV from FAT32 drives.
The back of the deck sports most of the sockets you’ll need, but there’s one thing missing – the second HDMI output as found on the BDT310. So if your AV receiver doesn’t feature HDMI v1.4 inputs and you harbour desires of watching 3D pictures accompanied by HD audio, then you can’t – you’ll have to settle for regular Dolby Digital or DTS from the optical digital output. Some players work round this with separate multichannel analogue outputs but they’re missing too.
You also get composite and analogue stereo outputs, an Ethernet port and a USB port designated for the Skype camera (see Features).