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Panasonic DMP-BD30 with new hardware inside to support Final Profile 1.1  (Source: Panasonic)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 supports the latest Blu-ray Disc spec with PiP and audio mixing functions for $499

With the rule now in place that all new Blu-ray Disc players must come with the necessary hardware to support Final Standard Profile (1.1), manufacturers will begin releasing their next-generation products that adhere to the new specifications.

Panasonic is the first player maker to officially announce a product with support for Profile 1.1, given the model number DMP-BD30. Besides supporting future software with picture-in-picture (which displays a second image in a sub window) and audio mixing (allows switching the sound between the main and sub windows) features, the DMP-BD30 will house an SD memory card slot for playback of high-definition content recorded in the AVCHD format. The SD slot also allows for viewing of digital still images stored on the media.

Gene Kelsey, VP of Panasonic Entertainment Group, believes that its latest-spec hardware will be able to give it the edge over HD DVD, which has had picture-in-picture features since launch. "The DMP-BD30 will contribute greatly to Blu-ray's mounting lead over the competing format," said Kelsey.

The Panasonic VP continued, "One of the more intriguing aspects of the Final Standard Profile is the Picture-in-Picture feature that would allow the movie fan to access a variety of entertainment enhancements, such as having the director or an actor pop up to discuss a scene you are watching, or with an animated movie, you might see the actor performing their character's voice over, all while still watching the movie. Not only do these features give Panasonic a strong advantage in the high definition market, but they provide the movie community with numerous opportunities to embellish the viewing experience with additional creative elements."

Unlike some other Blu-ray Disc player manufacturers who may be waiting for CES to introduce their hardware, the Panasonic machine appears to be ready for mass market consumption. In fact, CNET already received a test unit for review, rating the products as “very good” with a final score of 7.4 out of 10.

The Panasonic DMP-BD30 retails for $499.99 and should be available in stores early November.




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Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By therealnickdanger on 11/1/2007 8:22:55 AM , Rating: 5
Best Buy is selling the HD-A2 for $179 at regular price.




RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By Schadenfroh on 11/1/2007 9:21:35 AM , Rating: 2
An HD-DVD player with similar features / capabilities as the bluray player posted in the OP would require that you purchase a higher end HD-DVD player than the HD-A2.

Not all HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players are created equal.


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By porkpie on 11/1/2007 10:12:36 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, that $100 HD-DVD player will have *more* capabilities than the Blu Ray drive. It'll have network connectivity built in, better interactivity on the discs, and the ability ot play all discs printed (no region-locking like BD)

But hey, I'm glad BD is finally getting PiP at least. HD-DVD's had it since Day 1.


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 10:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
BD 1.1 spec now does everything you just listed I am pretty sure. I think he may have been talking more 1080p vs 1080i, but most of us know the difference is less than negligible anyways. The full resolution is essentially shown using either format, save yourself the extra cash, unless you own the most expensive 1080p TV out there.


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By masher2 (blog) on 11/1/2007 10:23:57 AM , Rating: 3
> "save yourself the extra cash, unless you own the most expensive 1080p TV out there ."

Actually, almost the reverse is true. If you have a very cheap 1080p set, it might bung up the deinterlace operation. But a quality set is going to deinterlace properly, which means there is zero difference between 1080i and 1080p in image quality, and thus no reason to choose between them.


By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 10:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, its all in the deinterlacer of the set. Although this is not as big of a problem with newer sets, older ones (and some newer sets) that say they can take 1080p signal, sometimes actually down sample the signal to 540p and double the lines. Meaning 1080p on an older set, can look worse than 1080i. I guess it can work both ways, it all depends on your setup ;)


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By porkpie on 11/1/2007 11:00:50 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
BD 1.1 spec now does everything you just listed I am pretty sure
BD still doesn't have region-unlocked discs, its interactivity is still worse than HD-DVD, and I'm pretty sure even the 1.1 spec still lacks network connectivity.


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 1:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Interactivity should now be on par, BD-J has the potential to be pretty cool. All players must now have secondary audio/video decoder, for PIP or interactive commentary. There is still no network connectivity, that will be in the next release (2.0). As for Multi region, many discs are region free, in fact the ones that are not usually have to do with distribution rights in other countries. As for HD-DVD although i do not think they have region codes, many movies are released exclusively in the United States/Canada for the exact same reasons.

All in all feature wise, both players are pretty much on par. Except you won't see too many 1080i BD players out there. Network connectivity is no longer a huge issue either as the spec has been set.


RE: Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By wallijonn on 11/1/2007 11:40:07 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Best Buy is selling the HD-A2 for $179 at regular price.


If they have any in stock. My local BB doesn't have any. Which means that many will have to buy the $300 A3 instead or drive endless miles looking for one. But it shouldn't be long before the retail price for the A3 falls down to $250.


By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 1:48:27 PM , Rating: 3
Doesn't bestbuy pricematch? Futureshop here does(canada), which is owned by and basically is a Bestbuy. All you have to do is bring in a flyer. I don't think it can be on a one day sale or anything either, but in this case shouldn't be a problem.


By FITCamaro on 11/1/2007 4:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
$300 < $500


By notatool on 11/1/2007 5:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
First post (just had to say it)...

....But anyway Sears will have the a3 for 169 on black friday


Going to have to do better
By djc208 on 11/1/2007 7:07:46 AM , Rating: 4
So Wal-Mart will be selling HD-DVD players for slightly more than a regular DVD player this Friday (admittedly in low qantities), and the best the Blue Ray camp has is a press event and this $500 player that is the first to support features that all HD players have had since the beginning.

I'm not bold enough to call anyone a winner right now, but Blue Ray is going to have to do better than that. It's margin of victory isn't big enough that a few more HD-DVD player sales like Wal-Mart's couldn't change that.

Love how he tries to make it sound like this is groundbreaking new tech when it's not only late to the party, it was probably added just because of the HD-DVD spec.




RE: Going to have to do better
By SunAngel on 11/1/2007 7:29:05 AM , Rating: 1
I'm actaully going to purchase the 100GB PS3 next Spring when they update the firmware to include the DVR functionality and add the BDAV recordable drive. At this point I think the PS3 is going to be safe to buy and won't have to worry about too many more advanced features I might miss out on if I bought another one now. Granted, I think price will come in somewheres around $800, but to have a game console, blu-ray recordable drive, linux pc, dvr, dlna server and client and a load of other toys to fumble with is going to be a lot of fun.


RE: Going to have to do better
By Noya on 11/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: Going to have to do better
By Bluestealth on 11/1/2007 10:26:34 AM , Rating: 1
He's not a fanboy, he's a geek, I do wonder how many game's he plans to play :)


RE: Going to have to do better
By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 10:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone is a fanboy for something. To say you are impartial on everything in existence makes more naive and stupid than someone who knows what they want.


RE: Going to have to do better
By Bluestealth on 11/2/2007 6:38:35 AM , Rating: 2
I guess he sort of is, but my point is, if I were actually going to play on a console... I'd want a console and none of the fluff. However the geek in me would want the one with more "apparent" features. Using their gimmicky audio and video player features never really impressed me.


RE: Going to have to do better
By omnicronx on 11/1/2007 10:13:12 AM , Rating: 2
I thought we already came to the conclusion that the tuner in the DVR is a freeview tuner, only available in europe.. hope i didn't burst your bubble. So have fun waiting for your 20 extra GB.

And as for being
quote:
game console, blu-ray recordable drive, linux pc, dvr, dlna server and client
.. Now how many of those things can it do at once? What use is nix, dlna if you have to turn it off everytime you want to play a game or a movie.

Buy a console for what it is meant to do, play games, maybe watch movies. Save yourself some cash, if you want a ps3, wait for the 40gb model and pick one up while they are hot...


Panasonic Blue Ray
By wallijonn on 11/1/2007 11:36:46 AM , Rating: 2
Since this is Panasonic (and not Sony) I would expect the $500 retail price to be about $325 street price. At that price many may pick it up. On the flip side, the $400 PS3 may give it competition. After all why buy a $500 BD player when you can get one for $400? Features - like back lit remote controllers, adjustable zoom feature, fully adjustable settings (sharpness, brightness, being able to connect to computer monitors, RGB enhancement, black level enhancement, true colour, can play MP3s & DivX, etc.)

But I also expect Sony to come out with a stand alone $400 BD player.




Wow
By Locutus465 on 11/2/2007 4:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
How does being late with the PiP feature give BD an advantage over HD-DVD? Perhaps they're relying on consumer ignorance, trying to make people think HD-DVD doesn't already do that?




One of these days...
By Oobu on 11/5/2007 6:56:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think I'll just be happy when you can go to the store and find a player (HDDVD or BD, whichever comes out on top, if either) for under $50 in a few years. Hopefully they'll decide by then. Maybe we'll eventually be able to buy cheap combo players. I know I can go to the store right now and by a DVD/VHS player for $30-40 and a few years ago they were $200+. Personally, since I bought a PS3 I have focused more on BD, but honestly, looking between them I can't see much of a difference in quality of content. I wonder when it'll just come to a point where they can't make picture quality any better than it already is. Or to a point where people just can't see the difference. I've heard some people complain about how it's already like that. I'd have to disagree though, because there are huge differences between DVD picture quality and HD picture quality... and beyond that, a significant difference between 1080p and 720p. You just need a TV that can handle whatever you throw at it. So far the only thing that disappointed me over any of this was the inability to get Transformers on BD, and that's not even a big deal. I bought it on DVD and still enjoy it. I'm probably not going to buy an HDDVD player just for a handful of exclusives though.




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