When Panasonicthe DMP-BD50 at CES 2008, home theater enthusiasts who didn't want a game console as their Blu-ray player finally had a fully-featured standalone player to look forward to. The Panasonic DMP-BD50 promises the two big elusive features: and onboard decoding for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Tuesday, we attended a demonstration of the DMP-BD50 and learned some new details. Here's a quick glance at the spec sheet as far as we know right now.
Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BD50:
- Blu-ray Profile 2.0 (BD-Live)
- Onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding
- Can output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in bit stream format
- Can output DVDs and Blu-ray discs in 1080p at 24 frames per second
- 5.1 analog outputs
- SD card slot capable of playing back AVCHD video
- $700 list price, available this spring
The big news that we didn't know from CES was the $700 list price, which is more than we were expecting. Whether it's fair or not, all standalone players are going to be compared with the
Compared with the recently announced
We're starting to sound like a broken record, but our instinct is that the majority of buyers are going to stick with the cheaper PlayStation 3 until quality standalones become more affordable. What do you you think? Will any of these standalone players compete with the relatively cheap PS3? Or is the PS3 positioned to be the best Blu-ray value for (at least) the rest of 2008?