LAS VEGAS--Panasonic is one of the major players in the new push to 3D and the company announced its first 3D Blu-ray player at CES 2010. Like most of the 3D announcements so far, there hasn't been that much information released, but here's what we know so far.
Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BDT350:
- 3D Blu-ray player
- Two HDMI outputs
- PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor
- Supports Panasonic's VieraCast streaming content portal, which will feature content from Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Netflix, Pandora, and Twitter
- SD cart slot and USB port
- 14-second boot up time
- Wi-Fi ready; requires USB dongle (not confirmed whether or not this is included)
- No release date or pricing announced
Panasonic didn't announce it in the press release, but when we took a tour of the booth we noticed that the DMP-BDT350 features dual HDMI outputs, which is unique compared to all the other 3D Blu-ray players announced at CES 2010.
The reason for the dual ports is to deal with the fact that 3D Blu-ray requires HDMI 1.4 and all existing AV receivers only support HDMI 1.3. The Panasonic DMP-BDT350 will integrate more easily with existing AV receivers, by sending the high-bandwidth 3D video directly to your HDTV, and the audio to the receiver. Other 3D Blu-ray players will require new HDMI 1.4 AV receivers if you want to use HDMI for audio. We think it's a smart design choice and it differentiates the DMP-BDT350 from the other 3D Blu-ray players at the show.
As far as 3D Blu-ray goes, we haven't had enough hands-on testing with the new format to report whether it's worth upgrading. Although the DMP-BDT350 will let you use your existing HDMI receiver, you'll still need a new compatible HDTV, new HDMI cable and 3D glasses, so the true cost of 3D will be relatively high. There's also the issue of 3D Blu-ray media, which will probably be scarce for all of 2010.
Panasonic also, the DMP-BD45, DMP-BD65, and DMP-BD85.