Panasonic is undeniably a leader in the industry of the Blu-ray players. It has been continuously producing new landmarks in the history of the Blu-ray players. Its latest range of players seem to prove this fact time and again. The company has brought in three strong line-ups this year, which includes DMP-BD60, the Blu-ray/VHS combi DMP-BD70 and the set-up DMP-BD80. Panasonic DMP-BD60K is the successor of theDMP-BD35 and has kept all the excellence of its previous model. The greatest feature inclusion in this model is that of the Viera Cast, a functionality that is also available in some of Panasonics latest television ranges. But the Viera Cast is just the cherry on the ice cream, the DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player is loaded with a lot of other features and picture enhancing technologies such as the onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio Essential and Dolby TrueHD.
The Panasonic DMP-BD60K is not having a very attractive look but is not ugly too. We actually get this feeling after looking at the eye-popping gorgeous design of the Samsung BD-P4600 and the latest LG Blu Ray players. It still has the slim profile with a sleek black finish with silver letterings. It would not be fair, if we do not mention that the built quality is outstanding. In the center of the facia is the disc tray behind an automatic flip-door and towards the right end is the SD/SDHC card slot, a USB port and some basic playback controls such as the stop, play and pause, behind a manual flip-down panel. The chapter forward and backward is missing in that line up. The DMP-BD60K is the first player in the market to feature both a USB port and an SD Card slot. On the far left is a LCD panel whose light can be dimmed but not completely turned off.
The rear side of the DMP-BD60K Blu Ray Disc player has just the required amount of connectivity similar to the other similarly priced players in the market. The connectivity ports just formed a small cluster which included component, composite and the stereo audio outputs, an Ethernet port, HDMI 1.3 as well as an optical digital audio output, but the multi-channel analogue outputs are absent and if you really cant do without them, you can opt for DMP-BD80.
Well designed remote control:
The remote control is same as the one used by its predecessor. It looks colourful and well-designed with exceptionally clear labelling. The remote lacks any kind of back-lighting but its playback buttons are highlighted. The main playback controls are big and in a distinguished blue colour. The main directional pad is surrounded by unique and important buttons which also includes the pop-up menu, disc menu and a general display button, and the circular design of these buttons add to the good looks of the remote control. The display button brings up for you a menu that contains picture presets, dialogue enhancer and sound modes. The seller point, the Viera Cast’s dedicated button is a tiny one placed in the bottom of the remote in a way that it can go unnoticed. With Panasonic boasting so much about the Viera Cast in its online portal, we had actually expected a special place for it. There is one caveat in the design that you will have to remember while accessing the Viera Cast menu, that is, you will have to press the left direction key to go back to the previous menu and not the top menu button that is easily pressed which switches you to the blu-ray disc menu. This remote can also control a TV and an AV receiver.
User friendly but unattractive menus:
The user interface in Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu Ray High Definition Player is also the same as its previous years model which is easy in terms of navigation but does not score for the “attractiveness” factor, on which its competitors give some attention and work. All the menu options are grouped in a very logical fashion and the cursor gives instant responses. The picture presets offered by Panasonic include Normal, Soft, Fine, Cinema and User.
The SD/SDHC card support allows you to play the files of the format JPEG, AVCHD and MPEG-2 files whereas, the USB port allows you to play MP3, DivX and JPEG formats. The SD slot is also used to store the content that you download via the Ethernet as this player does not have any internal memory like the current hi-end BluRay players.
The Panasonic DMP-BD60K being Profile 2.0-compliant, it is capable of handing any kind of Bonus View and Bd live content that you wish to play but the Wi-Fi feature is not available. The absence of Wi-Fi is quite unfortunate as most of the home theatres do not support an Ethernet cable.
Viera Cast technology:
Viera Cast is a technology that allows you to access the internet through the players Ethernet connection and browse through some of the targeted sites such as YouTube similar to LG’s BD370. But unlike LG BD370, it does not stop with browsing sites, you can also have your hands over Google’s Picasa web album. But the Amazon VOD and Blooberg support is not available that is included in the US version of this player which is expected to be added soon.
The VieraCast interface is more aesthetically pleasing than the standard interface.
When you press the above mentioned seperate Viera Cast button in the remote control, the main menu of this feature will greet you with the YouTube in the left of the display and Picasa in the right. If your selection is YouTube, the following screen will be taking you to the video browse of YouTube where you can choose from “Featured”, “Most Viewed” or the “Top Rated”, all the terms that YouTube fans will be familiar of. You can also have your own search using the virtual keyboard. You can also narrow your search to a specific region and sign in into your account. The video clips are lined up in the left side of the window and they are played in the right. All that you need to do is highlight over the video that you want to watch and press enter, this will take the video into your full screen. An interesting beep is played when the cursor is moved which might annoy some and some might enjoy. There is no aspect ratio control and you will not be able to pause your video using your remote control, you will have to use the on-screen playback controls. The whole system is simple and straightforward.
The Picasa also functions in a similar fashion. You can type in your search contents and get the images that you want or you can also play the entire range of images as a slideshow along with any track as background music. As all the images are displayed in crystal clear hi-definition, it will definitely be a treat to your eyes.
UniPhier single chip, P4HD and PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus:
The Panasonic DMP-BD60K blu-ray player uses the same UniPhier single chip LSI which produced incredible picture qualities in its predecessors. In this technology, the entire signal processing circuit has been packed in to a single chip which results in reduced power consumption. The DMP-BD60 uses sixteen percent lesser power than its predecessor DMP-BD35. This is what Panasonic means by the term up gradation. The P4HD, a component of the UniPhier LSI chip not only handles all the major video works such as, diagonal processing , 1080p DVD up scaling and 16-level motion detection, but also is capable of processing and optimising more than 15 billion pixels per second. The P4HD emphasises on the fine patterns and textures without introducing any unwanted noise or crawling. Panasonic has also employed the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus which takes the role of processing and correcting each and every pixel ensuring the highest level of accurate colour reproduction.
Time consuming Start-up:
The DMP-BD60K blu-ray Player from Panasnoic features a Quick Start mode which eats up ten times more power in the stand-by mode than the usual. This mode boots up the player swiftly. The disc loading time of this Blu-ray player is very disappointing when compared to its rivals by taking a minute to play after shutting the disc. But once the picture is put-up, it immediately makes you feel that “its worth the wait”.
The picture quality displayed by the player is sensational leaving its similarly priced rivals perplexed. The pictures look much sharper and smoother around the edges comparatively. The colours are very rich and vibrant and the deep black levels gives the most adorable finishing touch to the images. There is a staggering amount of details added to the pictures, courtesy, P4HD. The clarity of each picture is astonishing. You will not be able to find even the slightest of a jaggie. The excellency of the dark scenes are obtained with the excellent contrast range which retains the visibility of the darkness.
The incredible video performance is well complimented by the audio performance. Even the delicate nuances of sounds are well presented.
The overall performance of Panasonic DMP-BD60K blu-ray player is excellent. The Viera Cast is certainly going to be the magnet of the YouTube and Picasa fans. Though the price is a little higher than the other models, it justifies its price with its awesome performance. We are fully impressed and hence we recommend Panasonic DMP-BD60K.
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Panasonic DMP-BD60K – Technical Specifications, Features
|Product Type||Table top, Blu-ray disc player|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||49 X 430 X 249 mm|
|Compatible media formats||CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD+RW,
DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD, CD, DVD+R DL, BD-R,
BD-RE, BD-ROM, DVD-R DL
|Video DAC||12bit / 148.5MHz|
|Audio DAC||24bit / 192kHz|
|Memory card compatible video formats||AVCHD, JPEG (HD), MPEG-2|
|Media Load Type||Tray|
|Video specifics||Viera Cast
PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, P4HD Precise<
Pixel Generation, 16-Level Motion Detection with
Pixel-Based Motion Adaptive,
Diagonal Processing, 3:2, 2:2 Pull-Down Progressive Processing,
Up-conversion to 1080p Playback, Progressive Scan,
Digital Noise Reduction (3D-NR/ Integrated NR),
Picture Adjustment, NTSC Output Selectable.
|Built-in audio decoders||DTS decoder, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby
Digital, DTS-HD decoder, Dolby Digital Plus
|Supported audio formats||DTS digital output , Dolby Digital output ,
DTS-HD digital output , Dolby True HD digital output
|Audio details||Sound Output Mode is Surround Sound, Surround Sound
Effects, Response Bandwidth- 4 – 44000 Hz,
Digital Audio Format is DTS digital output,
Dolby Digital output, Signal-To-Noise Ratio 115 dB
and Total Harmonic Distortion 0.003%
|Remote control||Yes, universal remote control|
|Output Resolution||480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p|
|Input and output connectors||1 x 7.1 channel audio line-out ( RCA phono x 8 ) – Rear,
1 x HDMI output ( 19 pin HDMI Type A ) – Rear,
1 x Ethernet ( RJ-45 ) – Rear,
1 x SPDIF output ( RCA phono ) – Rear,
1 x Component video output ( RCA phono x 3 ) – Rear,
1 x Composite video output ( RCA phono ) – Rear,
1 x SPDIF output ( TOSLINK ) – Rear
|HDMI Ports||One, supported version is HDMI V.1.3a and supported features are
Deep Colour, x.v.Colour, High Bit rate Audio
|Digital audio output||1 Optical and 1 Coaxial|
|Memory card slot||1 x SDHC Memory Card|
JPEG photo playback,
3:2 pull down compensation
VIERA Link(HDAVI Control 3),
Super Hi Speed Scan
Audio/JPEG Navigation Menu
|Power||AC 120 V|
|Power consumption||22 Watt|