The Panasonic DMP-BDT110 is a great Blu-ray player, offering 3D support and networked media-playback capability. It's just a shame there's no iPlayer access yet.
Panasonic's DMP-BDT110 Blu-ray player sits somewhere in the middle of the company's range, and sports a corresponding price tag of about £160. Offering 3D support and networked media-streaming capability, it's certainly a tantalising proposition, especially as Panasonic has put much time and effort into making this player beautiful to look at, with all-new menus and a much better feature set than last year's machines.
The DMP-BDT110 is similar to Panasonic's high-end DMP-BDT310, so, in this review, we'll highlight some of the main differences.
The BDT110's design is much like that of its more expensive sibling. It does, however, lack a couple of the BDT310's features. The most noticeable omission is the touch-free control for opening the disc tray. If you wave your hand over the top of the BDT310, the disc tray opens. With the BDT110, you'll have to bear the hardship of pressing a button.
The BDT110's small size and design are both very impressive. We particularly like the drop-down front panel that hides the disc tray.
Like all of Panasonic's new Blu-ray players, this machine offers excellent picture quality. We found that 3D material worked brilliantly, although the quality of your three-dimensional viewing is more dependent on your TV than your Blu-ray player.
The BDT110 offers a few interesting 3D options. For example, you can adjust the depth of the 3D image via the player itself, allowing for a more immersive or more subdued 3D effect, as you see fit.
Interestingly, Panasonic also provides an option that allows you to put an overlay around the edge of the 3D image. The idea is that it softens the transition between the 3D pictures on the screen and the harsh edge of your TV. You can choose from several colours too. We never felt compelled to bother with this feature, but you might want to give it a shot. The BDT310 offers the same option.
There's also a 2D-to-3D conversion mode. We can sort of see the point of this, but most 3D TVs these days have a conversion mode anyway. Also, we aren't entirely sold on proper 3D yet, let alone slightly ropey converted material.
The BDT310 has a twin HDMI output, which allows you to send 3D video to your TV while feeding a non-3D-capable AV receiver with lossless audio. The BDT110 doesn't have this feature, so, if you're planning on running video through an AV receiver without 3D capability, you might want to consider the BDT310 instead.
You can access Panasonic's Viera Cast online service via the player's Ethernet or wireless connectivity. Then you can use the company's various video-streaming apps or the brilliant Skype application. We're really big fans of Panasonic's Skype app and the optional USB video camera.
There are also apps for YouTube and Picasa, among others, but nothing really blew us away, apart from the Skype app. Panasonic has introduced iPlayer to its TV range this year and we're really hoping that it will bring the service to its Blu-ray players before long. We don't know what barriers there are to doing this, but we're ever hopeful.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT110 is a classy machine, and well worth considering. But bear in mind that Sony's Blu-ray players currently offer a better online portal, with access to BBC iPlayer and other similar services.
Edited by Charles Kloet