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Panasonic Upgrades Their Blu-ray Disc Player, Reduces Price to $600

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 11:41 AM by Scott Jentsch

Panasonic has announced that they have released an updated version of their Blu-ray high definition disc player as the DMP-BD10A (the previous version was the DMP-BD10).

 

Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray Disc Player

 

The technical specs appear to the be the same as its predecessor, with the best news being the new list price ($600 vs. $1,300) and the inclusion of five movies:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
  • Transporter
  • Fantastic 4
  • Crash

I used the photo of the DMP-BD10 above because everything I could find shows the DMP-BD10A to be just a firmware upgraded version of the original at a lower price and bundled with the five movies. The Panasonic press release (included below) didn't even include photos, and their web site is incredibly lacking in any decent details, so I think it's safe to assume that the photo above is representative of the new product as well.

Unfortunately, I could not find any real details about either unit. No information about whether it supports HDMI v1.3, 1080p at 24 frames per second, Picture-in-Picture video, the DTS-HD Master Audio lossless codec, or whether it will be compliant with the October 2007 Blu-ray requirements. Since there is no information to the contrary, I would say "no" on all counts. While these aren't critical features to enjoy a movie, at least some that should be expected in a player priced at $600. It was ridiculous to have these omissions in $1,000+, so at least now it's less ridiculous...

The Panasonic, when released (the date of which is not in the press release), will join the other Blu-ray players whose next generation units have been or will be released which are coming out of the pricing stratosphere. The Sony BDP-S300 is supposed to be available this summer at a price of $600. Samsung's BD-P1200 is available now at the still-pricey $800 mark, and Pioneer will be releasing its new BDP-94HD this month at $1,000 (which is down from the $1,500 price tag of its predecessor).

Thanks to Engadget for making us aware of the Panasonic announcement! 

Press Release

Panasonic Introduces Next Generation Blu-Ray Disc Player

Adding 'dts-HD(TM)' High Resolution and Dolby True HD and Bundling of Hit Movies Highlight DMP-BD10A's Features

SECAUCUS, N.J., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic, one of the industry leaders behind the development of Blu-ray Disc(TM) technology and the market leader in Plasma television, today announced the availability of the DMP- BD10A, Panasonic's next generation Blu-ray Disc player, at a SRP of $599.95. The DMP-BD10A features an audio upgrade package that brings high end surround audio to the viewing experience via the inclusion of 7.1 channel surround, Dolby(R) True HD and 'dts-HD(TM) ' High Resolution Audio decoding technology. The DMP-BD10A also incorporates Panasonic's proprietary EZ-Sync(TM) system for integrated one-touch operation of Panasonic home-theater components. Panasonic's DMP-BD10A further distinguishes itself with the bundling of five mega hit Blu-ray discs. Included with each DMP-BD10A are - "Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl" and "Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest" from Disney, "Transporter" and "Fantastic 4" from Fox and "Crash" from Lionsgate.

"Panasonic is deeply committed to the success of Blu-ray," commented Gene Kelsey, Vice President, Entertainment Group, Panasonic. "High definition entertainment is a truly unique experience and nothing powers the HD experience like Blu-ray. With that in mind, we feel strongly about providing the ultimate high definition entertainment to the consumer and are thrilled to offer five Blu-ray mega hits with the purchase of the BD10A.

"From our format development activities and advanced Blu-ray authoring at the Panasonic Hollywood Lab to our Blu-ray player, Panasonic has been instrumental in the development of Blu-ray from the start and I feel we are in the forefront of one of the most significant technological advances in home entertainment since the arrival of the DVD a decade ago. For the ultimate 1080p high definition experience, the consumer can pair the DMP-BD10A with one of Panasonic's 2007 line of award-winning plasmas."

In addition to playing pre-recorded Blu-ray movie discs, the DMP-BD10A plays conventional standard-definition DVDs (with automatic 1080p up- conversion via HDMI) and conventional CDs. Other key features of the DMP-BD10A include proprietary P4HD technology for performing IP conversion at the pixel level for ultra-fine details, a 297MHz 14bit Video D/A Converter with 4X oversampling, video noise shaping that improves signal-to-noise ratios by shifting noise to an unused band, and theoretical support for nearly 4400 billion colors. The DMP-BD10A also incorporates Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital and dts decoding, and BD-J (Java application) interactive capability. The compatibility between the DMP-BD10A and the High Definition camcorder (HDC-DX1), via the AVCHD (H.264) codec, is a prime example of Panasonic's dedication to the high definition digital lifestyle.

"With the continuing flow of hit movie titles on Blu-ray, combined with aggressive pricing and the increasing awareness of consumers about the unique entertainment experience provided by high definition, the future looks very bright for Blu-ray," added Kelsey.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, a market and technology leader in high definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at http://www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at http://www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

Source: Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company



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