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Panasonic DMP-BDT300: Two HDMIs, Full HD 3D Blu-ray and media streaming

Panasonic has a barrage of new stuff for you this week -- first up is its 3D Blu-ray player, which uses two HDMI outputs to handle the three-dimensionality and lossless audio

If mobile phones aren't your bag, Panasonic wants to lighten the burden of this year's Mobile World Congress with some AV news. First to reach us was word of its new 3D Blu-ray player, an ideal match for the company's new 3D plasma TVs, and with some exciting new features and an interesting technological solution to pumping 3D over HDMI.

Getting Blu-ray 3D off to a flying start, the company has confirmed details of its DMP-BDT300, which we had previously been told would be called the DMP-BDD300. The player uses the UniPhier LSI chip to process Full HD movies. If you aren't intimately familiar with Panasonic's new chip, it's at the core of all its Blu-ray players, and handles picture processing. What makes it unique is its close affiliation with Panasonic's Blu-ray pressing facility, which helps ensure what you see is as close as possible to the original movie, and how the director intended.

The BDT300 also comes with VieraCast, Panasonic's Internet system that allows you to watch YouTube videos and photos on Picasa, among other sites. The player also has the ability to stream video over wireless from your home PC -- although there's no word yet on what form this might take, and what codecs will be supported.

In order to handle 3D video as well as lossless audio from Blu-ray discs, Panasonic has had to put two HDMI sockets on its 3D Blu-ray player. One of these will send 3D video to a compatible TV and the other will just pass audio to an AV receiver. This isn't an ideal situation, but until HDMI 1.4 actually becomes available, it's the only practical way for the company to handle the extra HD video and audio throughput that 3D requires. If that doesn't suit you, Panasonic also provides 7.1 analogue audio outputs too.

Panasonic is due to announce its new ranges this week at an event in Munich. Crave will be there, so expect some hands-on videos and more coverage of all these exciting new gadgets this week.