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Photos: Hands-on the Panasonic DMP-BD60 YouTube and Blu-ray player

We've got our hands on Panasonic's first VieraCast Blu-ray player, which lets you stream YouTube videos to your telly, as well as all the usual hi-def gubbins

Ian Morris

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It wasn't so long ago we were taking in a cultural tour of Amsterdam with Panasonic, listening to its hopes and dreams for the coming year. One of its aspirations was to put YouTube and other selected Internet content on TVs across the land. The DMP-BD60 is the first Blu-ray player we've got our hands on to include the VieraCast software that makes this possible.

As far as Blu-ray players go, the BD60 is sturdy, good-looking and -- most importantly of all -- rammed to the lasers with cool features. The BD60 supports Blu-ray's profile 2.0, which means it can grab extra 'BD Live' features from the Web. You get all the profile 1.1 features too, so you can watch picture-in-picture content, including behind-the-scenes documentaries that run alongside the main feature. It's cool, but one of those things you never actually use.

The only feature we think is missing is analogue 7.1 audio output. Sure, HDMI can send both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA to your AV receiver, but not everyone has equipment that can decode these relatively new HD audio formats. That's where analogue audio outputs come in, and this player ain't got them. A shame, we think you'll agree, but not a showstopper.

Now we've got this player in our sweaty little hands, it would simply be rude not to review it. So keep an eye on our DVD reviews channel for our detailed thoughts about this machine. As yet, pricing isn't clear, but early reports suggest it will be around £300. Click through for more hands-on photos and details.

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The BD60 is so new, Panasonic shipped it to us in an exciting flight case. The tension was palpable as we cracked it open.
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Here we go, getting close to the moment where our clammy geek hands would touch the cool, forgiving surface of the BD60.
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And here she is! As well as BD Live and VieraLink, the BD60 has an SD card slot, and a USB interface. There's support for DivX and your photo collection, among other things.
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The remote control is nothing special. It's the usual Panasonic job, but it's a delight to hold, and easy to use.
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Here are the all-important video ports. As you can see though, there's no 7.1 analogue audio out. A shame, but not the end of the world. You do, however, get component video, HDMI, Ethernet and stereo RCA and optical digital audio outputs.
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You'll notice this Blu-ray region thing is still going strong. We object to region locking in every way, but it seems some companies are intent on not letting you watch imported films. Bah!
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On entering the VieraLink system, there are some basic arse-covering warnings and then off you go into YouTube clip-land.
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And there you go. A simple user interface for accessing all sorts of video and other online content. More will be added to this service in the future too, which is smashing news.

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