The Good Excellent picture quality on Blu-ray and DVD; DVD upconversion to 720p, 1080i, and 1080p; on-board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution; HDMI output; DVD-Audio support; sleek design.
The Bad Bad remote; annoying front flip-down panel; somewhat slow load times.
The Bottom Line If you're set on a standalone Blu-ray player, the Panasonic DMP-BD10A should definitely be on your short list.
Editors' note: Panasonic has released a new Blu-ray player, the DMP-BD30, which meets the requirements of Blu-ray Profile 1.1 (more info here) and adds bitstream output for high-resolution audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. However, the DMP-BD10A is still worth considering as it has built-in decoding for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, plus it has 7.1 analog multichannel outputs--which may make it a better choice for audiophiles with older receivers.
When Panasonic rolled out the DMP-BD10 last September, we were impressed but ultimately gave it only a lukewarm review. Despite good performance, the BD10 had an MSRP of $1,300, which ultimately was just too much. And although Panasonic promised a firmware update to add support for internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution--two of the new, high-resolution surround sound formats--we've been fooled too many times by the "we'll fix it in the firmware" attitude to take this kind of promise at face value.
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Blu-ray player buying guide
A Blu-ray deck will be a wise investment if your eyeballs crave crisp 1080p pictures. Allow us to help you choose the right machine.