The Good Excellent Blu-ray image quality; Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and YouTube streaming; Wi-Fi capable with included USB dongle; 7.1 analog outputs; plays music, videos, and pictures off a connected USB drive or SD card.
The Bad Competing models don't need a dongle for Wi-Fi; sluggish, despite superfast "quick start" mode; selection of streaming sources is on the small side; user interface is outdated and Wi-Fi difficult to setup; not DLNA compliant; no 3D Blu-ray support; no onboard storage.
The Bottom Line Panasonic's DMP-BD85K has great image quality and its 7.1 analog outputs are a nice plus, but it's slow and less featured than competing models.
The DMP-BD85K is the midrange player in Panasonic's 2010 Blu-ray line, and it corrects many of errors the company made with last year's model by including a USB Wi-Fi adapter and adding Netflix--as well as Pandora in the future--to its VieraCast streaming content portal. On the other hand, Panasonic still seems to be a step behind the competition, as built-in Wi-Fi is now the norm. Also, Samsung and LG offer more streaming services, and the DMP-BD85K feels sluggish compared with other 2010 Blu-ray players. If you need 7.1 analog audio outputs, the DMP-BD85K is one of the few affordable players still offering it. Otherwise, we couldn't find much to recommend it over competitors such as the LG BD570 or the Sony BDP-S570.
Sony 4K Blu-ray player might not arrive until 2017
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Ultra HD Blu-ray specification now complete, logo unveiled
The Blu-ray Disc Association today announced it has finalized what could be the last major disc-based movie format: Ultra HD Blu-ray.
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.