The Panasonic DMP-BD55 basically has it all. It'scompliant, has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and features excellent image quality. Not only that, but we've given it the highest rating we've ever given any standalone Blu-ray player, making it only outclassed by the . And even with all that, the vast majority of home theater buyers looking to get into Blu-ray shouldn't buy it--even if they're set on a standalone player.
That's because, as good as the DMP-BD55 is, Panasonic also has the less expensive HDMI for audio or a digital-audio connection, you won't get any benefit out of the DMP-BD55. In fact, when we met with Panasonic engineers earlier this month, they told us that both models offer exactly the same video quality., which offers almost all of the same features and performance for less money. The major difference between the two players is that the DMP-BD55 has 7.1 analog-audio outputs and some enhanced analog-audio circuitry, but if you plan on using
Read the review for the full details--especially how it compares to the PS3 on image quality tests--but the short story is that unless you plan on using the analog-audio outputs, go for the cheaper DMP-BD35.