Panasonic announces pricing, details for 2011 Blu-ray players

Panasonic released pricing and additional information for its 2011 Blu-ray player line, including confirmation that the players would not feature the Viera Connect app store.

Panasonic DMP-BDT310
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic first announced its 2011 Blu-ray lineup at CES 2011 , but details were scarce, aside from model numbers and some basic features. Yesterday at the company's spring line show, full details for all the players were announced and we've broken down the key differences below:

Panasonic DMP-BD75

Panasonic DMP-BD75
Panasonic DMP-BD75 Panasonic

Panasonic DMP-BD75 back panel
Panasonic DMP-BD75 back panel Panasonic

Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BD75:

  • New graphical user interface
  • Netflix, CinemaNow, and Vudu streaming
  • DLNA compatible
  • 1 USB port
  • $100 list price; currently available

Panasonic DMP-BDT110

Panasonic DMP-BDT110
Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic DMP-BDT110 back panel
Panasonic DMP-BDT110 back panel Panasonic

Key step-up features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT110:

  • 3D Blu-ray playback
  • 2D-to-3D conversion on both Blu-rays and DVDs
  • Full VieraCast suite of streaming-media features, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Streaming, Vudu, CinemaNow, Pandora, Skype, and YouTube
  • Skype video calls, with compatible camera
  • Wi-Fi upgradable (USB dongle sold separately)
  • SD card slot
  • 2 USB ports
  • Optical audio output
  • $150 list price; currently March/April

Panasonic DMP-BDT210

Panasonic DMP-BDT210
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic DMP-BDT210 back panel
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 back panel Sarah Tew/CNET

Key step-up features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT210:

  • Touch-free disc tray sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $200 list price; currently available

Panasonic DMP-BDT310

Panasonic DMP-BDT310
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 back panel
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 back panel Sarah Tew/CNET

Key step-up features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT310:

  • Dual HDMI outputs
  • $250 list price; available in May

If you've been following Panasonic product announcement's this year, you might be surprised to see that the DMP-BDT110, DMP-BDT210, and DMP-BDT310 all feature VieraCast, rather than the app-based Viera Connect service offered on Panasonic HDTV's this year. It's not a mistake, which is surprising since competitors like Samsung, LG, and Vizio will all have app stores this year. It also means that the players may miss out on many services available on Viera Connect. As of now, Hulu Plus and live out-of-market sports (MLB, NHL, MLS) are all offered on Viera Connect and not VieraCast. (It's possible they could be added later, but nothing has been announced.)

Panasonic is claiming much faster load times this year on all models, which is big because Panasonic's Blu-ray players were slower than competitors' last year. A Panasonic representative also said the company is "looking to be the fastest in the industry." We're looking forward to getting review samples soon so we can test those claims against 2011 competitors.

 

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