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Panasonic DMP-BDT500 review

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500
  • Panasonic DMP-BDT500

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Picture, sound and build quality
  • Excellent feature list
  • Intuitive operating system

Cons

  • No DVD-Audio or SACD playback
  • Touchpad remote can be frustrating

Key Features

  • 3D Blu-ray playback
  • Twin HDMI outputs and 7.1 analogue outs
  • Network streaming from PCs and NAS drives
  • Viera Connect, including Skype & BBC iPlayer
  • Quad Burr Brown 192kHz/32-bit DACs
  • Smartphone control
  • Touchpad remote control
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • High Clarity Sound Plus and Digital Tube Sound
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £309.99

Panasonic’s first ever Blu-ray player, the DMP-BD10, was an unashamedly high-end affair, and ever since then its portfolio has been peppered with similarly enthusiast-focused decks like the DMP-BD30 and DMP-BDD300 (its first 3D-capable player).

These players were always a showcase for Panasonic’s most advanced Blu-ray innovations and hi-def picture technology. But over the last couple of years Panasonic has abandoned this approach, relying on more mass-market players like the DMP-BDT310 to fulfil flagship duties.

Panasonic DMP-BDT500

This year though, we’re pleased to see that Panasonic has brought back a proper flagship machine, the delectable Panasonic DMP-BDT500. This premium player is crammed with all the cutting-edge tech Panasonic has to offer, with particular attention being lavished on its audio capabilities.

Design

But the main advantage it has over the rest of the range is its superior build quality. Its construction is impressive, feeling robust and weighty when you lift it from the box thanks to the chunky casing and brushed top plate – although it’s no match for the likes of the Cambridge Audio 651BD or the Denon DBP2012.

Viewed front-on, the brushed silver strip running along the bottom of the mirrored fascia makes it remarkably attractive; possibly the prettiest Panasonic has ever designed. This front plate drops down to reveal an SD card slot, a USB port and the disc tray.

Connections

The Panasonic DMP-BDT500’s premium status also guarantees a top-drawer selection of sockets on the rear panel. These include two HDMI outputs, which make life easier if your AV receiver doesn’t support 3D. Most enthusiasts likely to be interested in this player will probably already own a compatible receiver, but those reluctant to give up their cherished legacy amps won’t have to worry if they want to watch 3D with HD audio. They’re backed up by a set of 7.1-channel analogue outputs, with the analogue stereo outputs doubling up as the surround rear channels.

Panasonic DMP-BDT500Panasonic DMP-BDT500

The line-up is completed by composite video, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, plus an Ethernet port and a second USB port designed to house the optional communication camera for Skype.

bertjamin

May 16, 2012, 2:18 pm

I am a little confused about your review of this new player. First of all I do own the DMP-BDT310. Is the DMP-BDT500 less good than the 310? You gave the 310 a 10 out of 10 for performance while you gave the 500 "only" a 9 out of 10.

Would bying the 500 mean a significant improvement qua picture and sound compared to the 310?

Do you have any good of the better dac's while using the HDMI connection in stead of the 7.1 analog connections?

Thanks in advance,
Bert

Jerry Mack

October 14, 2015, 5:50 am

As a purchaser of this play I don't recommend its purchase if you plan on using Youtube. The Youtube application no longer appears on this wifi device, after Google updated Youtube April 2015, even though the Youtube logo appears on the box.

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