Panasonic's DMP-BDT310 and BDT-210 Blu-ray players open with a wave

Panasonic, frustrated with the traditional eject button, has decided to rethink the whole taking a disc out thing, and has come up with a new hand-waving technique for its new Blu-ray players.

Ian Morris
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Panasonic's new DMP-BDT310 and DMP-BDT210 Blu-ray players are as capable and great to use as always, but now the company has added another feature to attract your attention and spending power. So what is this new trick? It's the ability to open the disc tray by waving your hand over the top of the player.

No, we don't know why you'd want that either. But it is kind of cool, and does reduce the amount of time you have to spend looking for a tiny eject button. The only problem we could see is that most people will put the player somewhere that doesn't make waving at the top of it all that easy.

This technology is only available at the top end of the Panasonic range. The BDT310 also has Panasonic's twin-HDMI output system, which allows people with older AV systems to connect the 3D output to their TV, while using the second HDMI to send audio to their sound system.

The company has also managed to get disc-load times right down too. The test movie Coraline, in 3D, loaded in around 10-15 seconds. Panasonic can't do anything about those horrific copyright warnings, but it can at least cut down on the rest of the waiting time before you watch the movie you've paid for.

Panasonic is also very proud of the fact that these smaller players use less power than before, take up less space on your shelf and can ship in tiny boxes. Two of these things are great for the environment, and one is great for your home-cinema system.

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The DMP-BDT310 is the top of the range player.
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Here's the DMP-BDT210. Honestly, we couldn't tell the difference, but the 210 has just the one HDMI out.
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The new players are deliciously thin and well designed.
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Twin HDMI outputs on the 310 mean you can send one 3D signal to your TV and audio only to a non-3D capable AV system.
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The great and the good of technology journalism all line up to test the new wave-to-open system. Under duress, it has to be said.
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Here is CNET UK's editor, Jason Jenkins, performing an 'open sesame' move to get a disc in the player.
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Panasonic has made some new, swanky menus. These are great, but the system menus look the same as they always have.
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An operating wattage of 7.5W is actually pretty reasonable.
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The player uses 0.1W in standby, which is good, but still not as good as the 0.0W you achieve by turning the thing off.
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Reducing the box size also helps cut down the shipping cost and carbon waste.

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