Unfortunately, driving the deck is a bit like playing a deeply unrewarding level of Super Mario Land. I lost track of how many times my attempts to navigate were misinterpreted.
Touchpad remote could be more finger friendly
This may not matter a jot, though, when balanced against the deck’s audio visual performance. Video playback, with both 2D and 3D Blu-rays, is outstanding. It also does a wonderful job upscaling DVD and is an extremely advanced audio player.
The UniPhier SoC at the heart of the DMP-BDT320 comprises a number of circuit blocks for audio, video, signal processing, interface control and the like. Using a single chip solution like this has its benefits, in that reduces the number of connected signal lines on the deck’s PCB, which inherently reduces noise.
Viera Connect Portal
On this model, Panasonic has gone a stage further, offering the option to partially shut down blocks within the UniPhier chip that relate to the analogue video DAC and HDMI Video output. This further reduces the general electrical hubbub from within. Panasonic call this a High Clarity Sound mode.
Valve effects on-board that don't need time to warm up
And there’s more. Root around the Special Effects audio menu and you’ll find so-called Tube Sound filters. These effectively add controlled harmonic distortion to the player’s audio output, creating a warm sound characteristic of the valve amps of yore. You may scoff, but my SHM-CD of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs (Japanese special edition) has a treble edge that can cut glass. Listening whilst applying just such a filter restored the requisite level of glam. Try selecting Mode 5 when you have a sultry female vocal or Mode 1 for some retro smoothness.
Overall, the DMP-BDT320 is a splendid bit of kit, albeit not without complexity. Video quality is fabulous, and sonically the deck shines. But I’m unimpressed by the new touchpad controller. It’s a nuisance when navigating and will prove a complete mystery to anyone who hasn’t studied Panasonic’s operational tutorial. Still, you can always download the brand’s generic control app, I suppose. ®
Panasonic DMP-BDT320 3D Blu-ray player
"The player sucked in a Java heavy copy of Goldfinger and had the 007 menu onscreen in a respectable 52 seconds. A less complicated platter reached its menu in just 31s."
And an HD ripped version of Goldfinger starts to play immediately and without all the crap and fancy effects and menus that nobody really cares for much. Oh, and you also don't have to sit and admire the "Piracy is copyright theft" lies screens as well (there is such thing as "copyright violation", but not "theft"), and in the case of much Disney tat, the unskippable trailers.
Why can these types of players handle all sorts of file formats from USB but not over LAN?
Re: Indeed it looks great, but will it compete against Sony Playstation 3 at that price?
"it has a better DAC"
Unless you are using component video or 6 channel discrete audio, there is no "DAC" in the commonly used sense - HDMI and SPDIF are all digital - the DACs are in the TV and Stereo.
How can a player of this price not include a coax digital as well! (Nothing against optical digital, just that I have two inputs of each and it's nice on the expensive components to pick which to use, so that the cheaper ones can take the optical inputs where you don't get a choice!)
i find this really annoying. its almost like its been deliberately done. surely a device doesnt really know where the data sits. whether its via lan, HDD or some other magical method. it should just read, buffer and play the data.