Culture

Panasonic's DMP-BD85K sports 7.1 analog outputs, but it's slow

CNET reviews the Panasonic DMP-BD85K, finding it has great image quality and its 7.1 analog outputs are a nice plus, but it's slow and less featured than competing models.

Panasonic DMP-BD85K
Panasonic DMP-BD85K

Panasonic made the first standalone Blu-ray player good enough for us to recommend; however, since then the company's Blu-ray line has lagged behind that of other manufacturers. None of Panasonic's 2009 Blu-ray players support Netflix video streaming or include Wi-Fi, two features that now seem must-have as media streaming becomes a big reason why people upgrade to Blu-ray.

The DMP-BD85K is the midrange player in Panasonic's 2010 Blu-ray line, and it corrects many of errors the company made with last year's model by including a USB Wi-Fi adapter and adding Netflix--as well as Pandora in the future--to its VieraCast streaming content portal. On the other hand, Panasonic still seems to be a step behind the competition as built-in Wi-Fi is now the norm.  Also, Samsung and LG offer more streaming services, and the DMP-BD85K feels sluggish compared with other 2010 Blu-ray players.

If you need 7.1 analog audio outputs, the DMP-BD85K is one of the few affordable players still offering it.  Otherwise, we can't find much to recommend it over competitors such as the LG BD570 or Sony BDP-S570.

Read the full review of the Panasonic DMP-BD85K.