We also tried out ”The Dark Knight” and the BD60 is equally at home with live action as it is with computer pixels. The opening bank robbery scenes are mesmerising, with Gotham’s skyscrapers looking well-rounded and three-dimensional, while fine detail on clothing and the ornate bank interior is rendered with razor-sharp precision. Dark scenes are also beautifully realised thanks to the excellent contrast range, which allows objects and detail within the darkness to remain visible.
The player passes the main tests on the Silicon Optix HQV disc. It immediately locks on to the cadence of video and film resolution loss tests and takes the rotating bars in its stride, rendering the moving diagonal lines without any feathering or stepping.
We also tried out a range of DVDs and the BD60 shows few signs of weakness. The upscaling is clean and free from artefacts, colours are bright and fulsome, and there’s lots of detail in the picture. At 1080p, the results don’t come close to true hi-def but the images are good enough to ensure that your DVD collection is in safe hands.
As for HD audio performance, the BD60 ekes out the delicate nuances of ”Wall-E’s” superb sound design, like the scuttling cockroach and our titular hero’s cute chirps and bleeps, which makes for an absorbing listen. More action-packed movies like ”The Dark Knight” are utterly thrilling through our Onkyo TX-NR906 amp, and if you want to use the BD60 as your living room CD player then its crisp CD sound quality from the analogue stereo outs should stand you in good stead.
Panasonic continues its great work in the Blu-ray field with yet another feature-packed player that offers sensational picture performance and a user-friendly operating system. Viera Cast proves to be an attractive addition to an already impressive list of talents, and while the limited choice of YouTube and Picasa won’t appeal to everyone, we think there’s a lot of fun to be had watching video clips on your living room TV. The suggested retail price seems very good too and is on a par with the LG BD370 which offers a similar feature set. However, the DMP-BD60 has a far superior picture performance, made possible by the magnificent UniPhier chip.
Score in detail