The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is a budget Blu-ray deck that offers the same core features as the DMP-BDT320, but knocks a good £50 off the price with a few nips and tucks. The step-up model impressed us greatly with its stunning picture quality and top-notch connected features, so provided the BDT220 doesn’t stray too far from its blueprint we could have a real budget belter on our hands.
The main differences between this and the step up model are cosmetic. The DMP-BDT220 is a lot less flashy than the BDT320, ditching the gorgeous sloping edges and dappled top panel, while at 38mm high it’s chunkier too. Also missing are the front disc slot and touch sensitive controls on top. Despite these differences, the BDT220 is still a svelte, fashionable unit with a tasteful black finish and solid build quality.
A flap covers the entire front panel, keeping everything nice and tidy. Open it up and you’ll uncover two buttons (play and stop), the disc tray plus an SD card slot and USB port. These could be invaluable if you want to play your digital files through your TV or home cinema system, plus if you have designs on BD Live content you’ll need to keep a 1GB SD card nestled in that slot.
Joining the single HDMI v1.4 output on the back are composite, analogue stereo and optical digital audio outputs, an Ethernet port and a second USB port designed to house Panasonic’s pricey Skype communication camera. It’s a basic line-up but Panasonic is wisely assuming that by now most people have suitably-equipped 3D-ready receivers to plug it into.