From our point of view, the Panasonic DMP-BD30K had been the landmark for the blu ray format, being its first player that could actually be recommended whole heartedly. The DMP-BD30K complied to Profile 1.1. Panasonic DMP-BD50K, being its direct successor, retains everything that was good that was found in its brother, great video quality along with on board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential with an addition of a title that it is the first stand alone player and also the one that complies to Profile2.0.
Design wise, Panasonic DMP-BD50K Blu-Ray Disc Player has a lot of similarities to the BD30K model. On the whole it is slimmer and lighter, having its dimensions as, (W X D X H) 430mm x 313mm x 59mm, weighing 3.3kgs. It has a sleek and glossy design as the Samsung and LG players. It possesses a black and silver theme with the blu ray logo towards the left end followed by the Panasonic logo and model name. In the center lies the LED display, which has an appreciable large size, making it visible from across the room.
Unlike its brother, which had a pedestrian look, the DMP-BD50K Blu Ray Player adds on some style factor too. The disc tray is in the middle part of the unit, behind an automatic flip door. Far, towards the right end you will find a manual flip down panel that reveals the other ports such as, SD card slot, a USB port, and some minimal playback controls which are of great use when the remote control goes missing. There is also a bright light located toward the top of the front panel, which is an indicator for the SDHC card slot. Annoyingly though, as in the case of its predecessor BD30, BD50K has its disc opening and power buttons in the wrong place. We guarantee that you will turn the deck off when you mean to eject the disc, on a day to day basis.
The same remote control:
Though there are slight tweaks made with the design of the player, the design of the remote control remains stagnant. There is nothing to criticise on retaining the remote control as it had been designed logically and for most of its parts, we liked it. The important playback controls are big and blue, with the main directional pad surrounded by unique functions like that of the pop-up menu. The clicker can also be used to control a TV and AV receiver if programmed to do so.
Input and output:
DMP-BD50K Blu Ray Player offers most of the main inputs that you would ever need. Towards the rear is where you will find the Ethernet port through which you can access both Viera Link-enabled HDMI output as well as the BD Live content. The most important connection includes the HDMI output which is capable of handling high definition video of up to 1080p and the high resolution audio too. For analog high-definition video, there is also a component video output, but Blu-ray Discs are limited to 1080i over component and DVDs to 480p. Well, when it comes to audio, you get the 5.1 multichannel analog outputs along with the built-in decoding that gives you the pleasure of enjoy Hi-res audioeven on receivers that is devoid of HDMI connectivity. It would have been very handy if 7.1 mulitchannel analog outputs were included, but this will be an issue only if you have a 7.1 audio system setup.
Despite the sophistication of the DMP-BD50K DVD player, setup is straightforward. As far as the interface is concerned, the DMP-BD50K features the same luster lacking user interface. In terms of navigation and ease of use, there is not anything much to complain, and in fact, it is very good. But, it does not match with the eye candy that the other competing models possess.
Panasonic DMP-BD50K is the first standalone Blu-ray player that is compatible with Profile 2.0,which is also known as the BD Live. Having the BD Live feature, it is capable of accessing the internet enabled features that is available in some of the movies like Walk hard and Rambo. The lack of built-in memory, makes the players seem quite cheap for its kind of price point. Hence, an empty SD card has to be kept as handy inorder to access these features. The card is not supplied and the feature will not work without one. Another thing that you will have to keep in mind is, the player has to be connected to internet via the Ethernet port. The bonus content consists of nothing other than couple of trailer downloads along with the remix this movie software. The PS3 handles BD live content like a pro and is very evident especially while working with the interactive content. The DMP-BD50K, being compatible with the Profile1.1, otherwise called bonus view, can access the picture-in-picture commentary tracks in some of the discs such as Sunshine. Another small unique feature of DMP-BD50K is that, it is Deep Color-compatible.
Panasonic DMP-BD50K features state of the art silicon capable of advanced audio visual signal processing. In terms of picture, it has the capacity to output up to a 1080p24 when it comes to Blu-ray discs and clocks the same processing power of the BD30. Lurking beneath the UniPhier chipset would be the P4HD pixel processor (that comes in handy with detail retrieval) along with the PHL Chroma Processor (which aides in upsampling colour data maxing out nuances in the BD format). However, while the chipset is the same as that on the BD30, the software is different. Consequently, the player does not give exactly the same performance as its predecessor.
Panasonic DMP-BD50K blu-ray player has an outstanding support for sound tracks. Onboard decoding facility is available for most of the high-resolution soundtrack formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, which eliminates the need for any new receiver in order to take advantage of an improved audio quality. This Blu-ray player also has the ability to output high-resolution soundtracks in bit stream format, which gives you an option of letting your AV receiver handle the decoding duties. You will be able to get a better bass management if bitstream is used.
Memory card slot:
The SDHC card slot under the flip down panel on the front will allow you to read different media types including MP3s and JPEGs with resolutions up to 1,920×1,080. And another thing to be noted is that, it can play back high-definition AVCHD video from high-definition camcorders that record on SD cards.
DMP-BD50K Blu-Ray performance:
Coming to the part of performance, all the details were well presented and no jaggies will be noticed. The overall picture quality is very good and in par with the high end models that it had been put in comparison with. The disc loading performance also seemed to be much better than what was expected out of it. The discs take 23 seconds to load with the player left on and also takes just a little more than half a minute with the payer switched off. Though these speeds are quite good, they are not as good as that of the LG BH200.
Though the DMP-BD50K is a Blu-ray player, DVDs are still the ones that are widely available and cheap and so, this is one of the major factors that is to be taken in to consideration while reviewing a Blu-ray player. The DMP-BD50K displays the full resolution of DVD with no visible image instability. But, some of the video based features are disappointing.
Panasonic offers DMP-BD50K one year warranty for parts and labour.
Panasonic DMP-BD50K is Profile 2.0-compliant with excellent image quality with the Bluray discs, onboard decoding for all high-resolution soundtrack formats SDHC card slot can play high-definition AVCHD video. But the player is expensive when compared with the PS3. The standard DVD playback lacks luster and the operational speed is still sluggish. Panasonic DMP-BD50K’s big plus its solid rock performance, but if you are looking for some latest and high tech features, then you will have to look elsewhere, for some other strong competitors like Sony. The main rivals that were released in par with DMP-BD50K were the Samsung BD-P1500 and the Sony PlayStation 3.
Panasonic DMP-BD50K Blu Ray Player – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||Panasonic DMP-BD50K|
|Product Type||Blu-Ray disc player|
|Form Factor||Table top|
|Dimensions (W X D X H)||430mm x 313mm x 59mm|
|Media Type||CD, DVD, CD-R, BD-RE, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, BD-ROM,
DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM
|Built-in Audio Decoders||Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD decoder , Dolby Digital Plus|
|Media Load Type||Tray|
|Supported Digital Video Standards||DivX , AVCHD|
|Supported Digital Audio Standards||MP3|
|Remote control type||Infrared|
|Additional Features||BD-Live, JPEG photo playback, Progressive scanning,
3:2 pull down compensation
|Connector Type||1 x HDMI output
1 x Ethernet – Rear
1 x Component video output
1 x S-Video output
1 x Composite video output
1 x Audio line-out
2 x SPDIF output