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Panasonic DMP-BD60

The Panasonic DMP-BD60 is the company's entry-level Blu-ray player and successor to the DMP-BD35. It keeps everything we liked about last year's model, including Profile 2.0 support, excellent video quality, and onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Front panel

The exterior design is nearly identical to the DMP-BD35. Compared with the sleek and glossy designs of Samsung and LG, the DMP-BD60 looks pedestrian, as if it has a job to do, rather than attract attention.

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Under the flip-down panel

The disc tray (not pictured) is in the center of the unit, behind an automatic flip-down door, and farther right is a manual flip-down panel that reveals an SD card slot, a USB port, and some minimal playback controls.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Soundtrack decoding

The DMP-BD60 has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential. That means it can decode those soundtrack formats so they can be played back on almost every HDMI-capable AV receiver. Bit stream output is also supported, if you'd rather the decoding be done in your AV receiver.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Back panel

Connectivity on the DMP-BD60 is standard. There's an HDMI output, capable of outputting 1080p HD video, and high-resolution multichannel audio. Component video, which can output Blu-ray movies at 1080i and DVDs at 480p, is also available.

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DMP-BD60's connectivity

Audio connections are minimalist, with just an optical digital audio output and a stereo analog audio output. Rounding out the connectivity is an Ethernet port.

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VieraCast

VieraCast is Panasonic's proprietary online content portal, available on its Blu-ray players and some HDTVs. As of publication time, the available services on VieraCast include YouTube, Picasa, weather, and stock quotes; Amazon Video On Demand is slated to be available in May. The inclusion of Amazon's streaming service contrasts to competing Samsung and LG Blu-ray players, which offer Netflix streaming on all their players.

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The remote control

The remote control is the same as last year's, and for the most part we like it. Important playback buttons are large and in blue, and the main directional pad is surrounded by unique buttons for important functions like the pop-up menu. Our biggest gripe is that the VieraCast button--which lets you access online content--is small and hidden at the bottom of the remote.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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