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Panasonic DMP-BDT230 review

 Review: June 2013  
 

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: Top 2D & 3D picture quality, Smart TV, built-in Wi-Fi and display mirroring make this Blu-Ray player an outstanding addition to your home entertainment system.



 

Design & looks

We've tended to criticise the looks of Panasonic products in the past, but this new Blu-Ray player for 2013 goes a long way to dispel Panasonic's reputation for boring design. Shaped like an inverted frustum (that's your new word for today), it lurks purposely beneath your TV clad in glossy black plastic and looking ultra-modern.

The remote control is more conventional-looking, but is actually very practical, with buttons grouped and coloured by function, and even with a dedicated Netflix button.

Playback

All Blu-Ray players support 1080p high definition video and HD audio, yet Panasonic is definitely a level above the crowd when it comes to picture and audio quality.

Not only are Blu-Ray disks played flawlessly at native 1080p, but the player convincingly upscales DVDs to full 1080p HD resolution. The x.v.Color and Deep Color features support a wider color gamut, enabling more faithful renditions of scenes with high dynamic range, making the picture quality more vivid and realistic, with greater detail visible in each scene.

Audio quality is excellent too, and the player supports 5.1 high definition audio, WMA, AAC, MP3 and the lossless audio codec FLAC. Output is via HDMI or digital optical audio.

The player can play Blu-Ray disks, including full HD 3D disks and BD-R/-R DL and BD-RE/-RE DL. It supports the Xvid and MKV formats.

It can also play DVDs, including DVD+RW/+R/+R DL and DVD-RW/-R/-R DL. Xvid and MKV are supported here too.

Both DVD and 2D Blu-Ray disks can be converted into 3D. You can even watch your own home movies in 3D, as camcorder movies stored on a memory card can also be converted into high definition 3D. The amount of depth in the converter can be modified for maximum realism.

The player will also play CDs, including CD-R and CD-RW.

VIERA Connect

Panasonic's Smart TV offering is called VIERA Connect and includes BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Dailymotion, Picasa, Netflix, Skype, Facebook and Twitter. For this, you'll need to connect the box to the internet using an ethernet cable, or via the built-in Wi-Fi.

Connectivity

Connectivity is another outstanding feature of the BDT230. It connects to your TV via a HDMI connection, and a digital audio output is also available for connection to amplifier/speaker systems. Connection to the internet is via an ethernet cable or using the built-in Wi-Fi.

In addition, the player can accept USB devices and memory cards, enabling you to view photos and videos from connected devices.

The player can be easily integrated into your home network using either the ethernet connection or the built-in Wi-Fi. Being DLNA-certified, it's easy to connect devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to the player so that you can stream movies, music and photos from connected devices to your TV. The Miracast feature lets you stream full HD video directly from a smartphone or tablet to the player using the Wi-Fi Direct connection, so you can access any content or video apps installed on your smartphone.

Panasonic's free remote control apps will turn your iPhone or compatible Android smartphone or tablet into a powerful remote control.

Conclusion - an outstanding and affordable player

The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 costs a little more than the average Blu-Ray player, but it delivers a lot more. Whilst most Blu-Ray players do pretty much the same job, the BDT230 delivers a little extra. Not only does it include 3D playback, Smart TV and built-in Wi-Fi, but it over-delivers on picture quality and audio quality. You won't find better than this unless you're prepared to increase your budget considerably.


Panasonic DMP-BDT230 features include:

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What is its price in UK? Is it available in Argos?

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