Panasonic announces 2nd-gen portable Blu-ray players

Panasonic has announced two second-generation portable Blu-ray players, with the step-up DMP-B500 featuring built-in Wi-Fi and support for VieraCast.

Sarah Tew/CNET

LAS VEGAS--When Panasonic released the first portable Blu-ray player at CES 2009, it received a lot of skepticism, but when we actually reviewed it, we found ourselves liking it a bit more than we expected. Yes, it was too bulky, too expensive, and you had to get really close to see the visual benefits of Blu-ray, but it did enable you to watch your new Blu-ray collection on-the-go. Plus Panasonic made it work as a fully-functional standalone unit too.

Panasonic has now announced its second-generation portable Blu-ray players, with two models this year: the DMP-B100 and DMP-B500. Here's a quick look at the announced features.

Key features of the Panasonic DMP-B100:

  • 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD display
  • 3.5 hour battery life
  • PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • SD card slot
  • Adjustable position screen
  • No release date or pricing announced

Key step-up features of the Panasonic DMP-B500:

  • 10.1-inch WSVGA LCD display
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Supports Panasonic's VieraCast streaming content portal, which will feature content from Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora, and Twitter
  • No release date or pricing announced

Editors' note: We've updated this section with new information on battery life.

Panasonic hasn't released the most important information yet--pricing--but the new players are definitely upgrades over last year's DMP-B15K. The sleeker design and built-in Wi-Fi on the B500 is nice, but to us the big new is that both players will now have a battery life of 3.5 hours, an hour more than last year's player. Portable Blu-ray players will likely still a niche product, but we expect these models to be a little more popular than the DMP-B15 now that Blu-ray is more established.

Featured Video

Your phone's screen is ruining your sleep

Staring at your Phone's screen might be hazardous for your sleep, unless you change the color temperature. Sharon Profis explains on "You're Doing It All Wrong."

by Sharon Profis