Another alluring feature is the side-mounted SD card slot. Not only can this can be used for BD Live content storage, but you can also play hi-def JPEGs, SD video and AVCHD files. It doesn’t support DivX, MP3 or WMA though, which means they have to be played back from CD-R/-RW discs.
The DMP-B15’s rechargeable battery clips onto the underside of the unit, which adds extra bulk, and offers 2.5 hours of playback, which should just be enough to squeeze in one movie. Of course, none of that matters when using it in the car or at home, as you can power it using the supplied mains or cigarette outlet adapters.
The rest of the features are impressive. It’s reassuring to see PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus pulling the picture strings, as it has delivered pure, accurate colour reproduction on Panasonic’s other players. Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio can be passed on from the HDMI port and there are built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. You get a range of picture presets, noise reduction modes and a user-defined setting that lets you adjust contrast, brightness sharpness, colour and gamma. Under the LCD Menu there’s another bunch of display settings and on the audio side Dialog Enhancer aims to boost the clarity of speech.
We’re pleased to report that the DMP-B15 is incredibly easy to use, which counts for a lot when using it in a cramped space. Ignore the inconveniently placed buttons on top – the supplied remote is much better, boasting well spaced and clearly labelled buttons. Particularly useful is the Option key, which provides quick access to the setup screen and other crucial menus. The onscreen displays are similar to those found on Panasonic’s regular Blu-ray players, using a simplistic-yet-clear design and a bold, welcoming colour scheme.