We've looked at the Panasonic DMP-BDT300 3D Blu-ray player before, but at the company's 2010 product showcase we managed to have a look at the machine in person. Panasonic is confident it will be one of the first companies to sell Blu-ray 3D players this summer, but a lack of pricing information has us a little worried. It immediately leads us to conclude it's going to be very expensive.
We might be worrying about nothing though, as Panasonic's pricing on its VT20 series 3D TV is much more reasonable than we were expecting, at £2,000 for the 50-inch model. There are other issues to consider, however: mainly that there aren't yet any 3D films out there to play on the machine. While it's more than happy to output 2D too, we can't see people paying extra for a 3D machine unless there's already compelling stuff to play on it.
As a normal Blu-ray player, the BDT300 is a well-specified machine. It comes with analogue 7.1 audio out, the ability to play photos, music and video from SDXC cards up to 2TB in capacity, and Blu-ray profile 2.0 support. Panasonic also promises more content for its online VieraCast service this year, including pay-per-view movie content with DRM. We can only hope it gets some of the UK catch-up TV services on there too. SeeSaw and iPlayer would make us very happy indeed.
As soon as we have a price for this machine, we'll let you know. Until then, take a look at some close-up photos and tell us in the comments section if you'll be first in line to buy one of these when they hit the shops. Meanwhile, we'll do our best to get you a full review as soon as possible.
Two HDMI outputs are needed for compatibility with older, HDMI 1.3 equipment such as surround-sound amplifiers. Although there aren't many differences between HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.4, the 3D can't be guaranteed to pass unharmed through older, HDMI 1.3 systems. So one of these connects to your 3D TV, while the other goes to your surround-sound system.
Analogue audio outputs are also provided, in case you want to send lossless audio to your older AV receiver. Coaxial and optical digital audio outputs are also included, and will appeal to people using soundbars and older Dolby Digital decoders.