Panasonic’s DMP-BDT310 is the company’s latest flagship Blu-ray player, boasting all the features found on the cheaper DMP-BDT110 but throwing in a bunch of extra ones for good measure. It’s the replacement for last year’s DMP-BDT300, a universally loved 3D player aimed at enthusiasts. At well over £200, some would consider it expensive considering Blu-ray players can now be found for under £100, but the lengthy feature list could make it well worth the investment – this really is the deck that does it all. Highlights include Full HD 3D playback with a unique range of image adjustments, DLNA networking and access to Panasonic’s internet portal, which now includes Skype.
As well as a heap of fresh features, Panasonic has also conjured up a smart new design for the DMP-BDT310, with one particularly alluring feature not found on the BDT110 – the Touch-Free Sensor. You can open and close the disc tray simply by waving your hand over the top of the deck, which helps keep grubby fingerprints at bay. It’s superfluous, non-essential stuff, but undeniably cool.
The sensor panel is surrounded on top by a dappled pattern, which is oddly nice to the touch, while the bodywork is remarkably compact, measuring 430(w) x 35(h) x 185(d) mm. Not only does it take up less space under your TV but also means Panasonic can ship them in smaller boxes, reducing its carbon footprint. Everyone’s a winner.
Elsewhere, the player’s black finish is sleek and stylish, while the front panel is uncluttered thanks to a flap that extends across the entire fascia. Behind it is the disc tray, a few buttons, an LED display, an SD card slot (which also accepts SDHC and SDXC) and a USB port.
On the rear panel, the BDT310 emulates the BDT300 by providing two HDMI outputs, both of which are v1.4. That means you can pipe 3D pictures directly to your TV using the ‘main’ output, and use the ‘sub’ port to send HD audio to your a receiver, which is hugely helpful if your receiver lacks v1.4 inputs.
Elsewhere on the back is a second USB port. The DMP-BDT110 saw the Skype camera and wireless USB dongle fighting over this socket – the dongle lost the battle and skulked off to the front. But the BDT310’s built-in Wi-Fi means the TY-CC10W communication camera can have the rear USB port all to itself, leaving the front port free for digital media playback. If only all turf wars were this easy to solve.
The line-up is completed by optical digital audio, analogue stereo and composite video outputs, plus an Ethernet port for making a wired connection to the web.