Blu-ray Players

Panasonic DMP-BDT230 Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 Blu-ray Player On The Bench

Beyond the colorspace issue that I discussed earlier, there is another problem I found in the DMP-BDT230. It applies some extra sharpening to the color information that you can't defeat, and has the potential to cause some moiré or other visual effects due to it. The Spears & Munsil chroma zone plates clearly demonstrate this issue. I'm not sure why Panasonic changed processing chips this year, but it seems to have some issues that weren't present on the last model.

On the Benchmark tests, the Panasonic does great in the DVD section, with a single failure, and pretty good in the Blu-ray section. More and more players are failing the mixed film and video tests, with combing present in the text, for reasons I'm unsure of. The biggest section of issues arose from the lack of colorspace selection, and the player does poorly in responsiveness. The Viera Connect screens are particularly sluggish. Noise reduction failed as there is no option to engage it, and the DVD wedges look very rough in comparison to other players this year.

The Panasonic only supports one colorspace, but it does YCbCr 4:4:4 perfectly. Perhaps they will fix the sections later and the others will work as well, but I don't know if it will or not.

On the loading tests, you see the Toy Story 3 one look really slow in comparison to recent players. That is because of the Menu key not working properly for it and having to bring up a pop-up menu to select Menu to get that to work. Since this took extra time to figure out when running the test, I left the extra time in there. I imagine it might take other users even longer, or they might not be able to find the option. Without that, the DMP-BDT230 is quick, but not the quickest, and takes a while to load a disc from power-off.

On the overall test set, the Panasonic DMP-BDT230 does very good with most disc content, and falls short in the settings and options available. Without multiple colorspaces to choose from, or noise reduction to enable, there are a lot of instant failures here, and the incorrectly working Menu key causes it to fall short on the speed tests.