Ten... Blu-ray disc players
Panasonic has packed so many features into this range topper, it’s a wonder that there’s any room left for discs. A Touch-Free sensor on the lid means a casual wave will send the disc tray flying out, and you can customise the home screen by uploading your own JPEG. Its 2D hi-def is class-leading and 3D performance is exemplary – seeming somehow outier than the rest. The player can also depth-convert 2D platters into faux 3D – well, someone must want to do it.
The deck is also a genuinely impressive audio component, doing a cracking job with CDs and multichannel discs. I particularly like the Tube Sound presets, which aren’t as gimmicky as you might first think. Media playback is a less convincing. Across a network, the player fails to identify more than it plays. Best results can be had from USB. Oh, and when you run out of discs, you can always resort to watching content on Panasonic’s Viera Connect smart portal.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Panasonic
With its aerodynamic curves and Silver Arrow finish, Philips’ BDP7600 3D Blu-ray player has a definite whiff of Formula 1 about it. And as it turns out, it’s pretty nippy loading discs too. The single HDMI output is bolstered by a multi-channel analogue audio output, and there’s integrated Wi-Fi. Sadly, IPTV and apps services are thin on the ground (although you will find BBC iPlayer and YouTube).
Blu-ray images, both 2D and 3D, offer the requisite levels of sharpness and nuanced colour. The player doesn’t support Super Audio CD, but regular CDs play back with foot-tapping authority – listen from the analogue outputs. AVI, MOV, MKV MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC files all play across the network and from USB.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Philips