Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Panasonic DMP-BD30K Blu-ray Disc Player

Just Announced
So, you think you want a Blu-ray player? Well your timing is dead on; this is the first Blu-ray player to use newer technologies many avid AV heads have been waiting for. The Panasonic DMP-BD30K Blu-ray disc player uses the ‘final’ standard profile (who knows if it’s really finalized, nonetheless) it is an impressive upgrade. Conversely, HD-DVD has had most of these enhancements from its inception. The upgrade, A.K.A. profile 1.1, gives this Blu-ray player some unique capabilities, among the Blu-ray playing sets. These enhancements include picture-in-picture mode upgrades, which are unusable until Blu-ray disc content catches up, and an internal decoder for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. These additions compete more directly with HD-DVD.

The Panasonic DMP-BD30K is a quite the upscale piece of technology… literally. The video signal from content recorded in 480i/p, 720p, or 1080i is up-converted using high-speed image processing technology. Pixel Precision Progressive Processing (P4HD) generates each one of the resolution enhancing pixels using information drawn from up to 60 pixels surrounding the original image’s pixels. This debonair disc spinner than categorizes these generated pixels into 16 motion categories: stationary, slow moving, fast, and so on. This image processor effectively does away with those screwy pixels, rendered by older up-scaling technologies, which get stuck or make jagged or choppy images.

Panasonic took this up-converting a step further, they are very seldom out done, by utilizing deep color (12 bit) reproduction via HDMI and 3:2 pull down. CNET reviews were most impressed by these video rendering features. 3:2 pull down optimizes the image processing based on whether the source of the footage is video or film. Sticking with the “Panasonic Family Time” theme, if you own or are looking to own a Panasonic HD camcorder you can watch your cinematic musings with the onboard SD card slot present on the player at full 1920x1080. The price of this player is a bit of a sticking point and you can get a Playstation 3 that plays Blu-ray and does a lot more…for less, although AV purists should be quite content with this decked out disc player’s capabilities.