Panasonic DMP-BDT100 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Panasonic_DMP-BDT100_Bluray_player_review.gif Panasonic has just released a new 3D-capable Blu-ray player, the DMP-BDT100. Priced at $249.95, this model is a lower-priced alternative to the DMP-BDT300 ($399, Best Buy only) and DMP-BDT350 ($429.99) and consequently lacks some of the features offered on those step-up players. We have not performed a hands-on review of the DMP-BDT100, but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BD-Live Web functionality and BonusView/picture-in-picture playback, and it offers the full suite of high-resolution audio decoders. The DMP-BDT100 is wireless-ready, requiring the addition of the optional DY-WL10 USB WiFi adapter ($99.95). You can stream content from a PC or DLNA-compliant server, and the player supports Panasonic’s VIERA Cast Web platform, which includes access to Netflix and Amazon video-on-demand, Pandora, YouTube, Picasa and more. This model has a smaller form factor than its predecessors, measuring just 16.94 x 8.16 x 1.38 and weighing 4.6 pounds.

In the connectivity realm, the DMP-BDT100 does not offer the second HDMI output found on the step-up models, a feature that allows you to send the 3D video signal directly to your 3D-capable display via an HDMI 1.4 output and still send HDMI audio to your A/V receiver via HDMI 1.3 (so you don’t have to upgrade to a 3D-compatible receiver). This model offers a single HDMI output, as well as a single component video and composite video output (no S-video). The player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. Picture adjustments include the ability to choose between preset picture modes or go with a user mode in which you can adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, gamma and noise reduction. The setup menu also includes options for chroma process, detail clarity and super resolution.
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On the audio side, outputs include HDMI, optical digital (no coaxial) and 2-channel analog. The DMP-BDT100 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks the multichannel analog audio outputs found on the step-up models, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI. Audio adjustments include dialog enhancement and the ability to select different sound-effect modes (Re-master 1, 2 and 3, plus Night Surround).

The DMP-BDT100 supports BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx Plus HD, MP3 and JPEG playback. You can add the player to your home network either by using the back-panel Ethernet port or by attaching the optional wireless LAN adapter to the front-panel USB port. The DMP-BDT100 lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content, but an SD card slot is provided for this purpose. Both the SD card reader and USB port also support music, photo and movie playback. The player lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.

Competition and Comparison
Compare the Panasonic DMP-BDT100 with its competition by reading the reviews for the Panasonic DMP-BDT350, LG BX580, Samsung BD-C6900, Samsung BD-7900, and Sony BDP-S570. Learn more about 3D-capable Blu-ray Players by visiting our Blu-ray Players section.

High Points
• The DMP-BDT100 supports 3D playback, when mated with other 3D-capable components.
• The player supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• It has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources.
• It supports BD-Live and BonusView.
• The player supports the VIERA Cast Web platform, as well as DLNA media streaming.
• You can add an optional WiFi adapter.
• The SD card slot and USB port allow for easy playback of digital media files.

Low Points
• This model does not include dual HDMI outputs to send separate signals to your 3D TV and A/V receiver.
• It also lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it’s not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• WiFi is not built-in; it requires an add-on adapter.
• The player lacks internal memory, and Panasonic does not supply an SD card for this purpose.
• There’s no advanced control port like RS-232.

Panasonic was wise to add a less-expensive 3D-capable Blu-ray player to its line in order to compete with Samsung and Sony, but the DMP-BDT100’s $249.95 MSRP is still a bit higher than the entry-level 3D models from those other guys. Still, if you’re looking for a Panasonic-branded player that offers the core Blu-ray functions plus features like VIERA CAST, WiFi-readiness and especially 3D playback, you now have a more economical choice.