At 2010 CES, Panasonic introduced three mainstream Blu ray players. Unlike Sony or Samsung, Panasonic’s line up didn’t include any 3D compatible Blu ray players. Panasonic offered up DMP BD45, DMP BD65, and DMP BD85. Like last year’s model, the DMP BD45 represents the entry level model. DMP BD65 and DMP BD85 represents the middle and top end model respectively. While Panasonic did announce 3D compatible Blu ray player, they did not commit to release them with the three mainstream Blu ray player models. Oddly, the DMP-BD45 is the direct successor to the DMP BD60 model from the previous generation. You would normally expect higher model number for the newest generation players. Nevertheless, the DMP-BD45 is the entry level model announced at the 2010 CES.
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The DMP-BD45 is a full featured Profile 2.0 player. The most current BD-Live features are fully compatible with this player. Also, Panasonic decided to include SD card slot as well as USB port. SD card slot will come in handy for people who own digital devices that require SD cards. Audio wise, it is fully able to decode Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High resolution natively. This is fairly common feature on most Blu ray players. The high definition audio is no longer a main domain for high end Blu ray players. Other features include network streaming via VIERA CAST. VIERA CAST is Panasonic’s proprietary internet streaming platform that include Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg news feeds, weather channel, and many other streaming services. Panasonic is touting the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus imaging processing technology on the latest Blu ray players. Panasonic claims the technology will improve the accuracy of colors better than the conventional processing technology.
The DMP BD45 has fairly straight forward design. The LCD and playback functions are located on the right. The front face has glossy finish like many other Blu ray players. The dimension is slightly smaller than the previous generation player giving it more modern design. Back of the player contain HDMI, Ethernet, Video and Audio output. Unlike other entry level models, the DMP BD45 comes with 5.1 channel audio line output. The player also has the standard optical and digital audio output as well as composite audio output. The lone USB port is located on the front along with the SD memory card slot. The remote control has large button and clean layout. The numeric buttons are the top of the remote followed by playback buttons and directional button. The color coded buttons are located the bottom. It shouldn’t take you long to familiarize yourself with the remote control.
Performance and Video
Panasonic claims .5 second booting time for DMP BD45. This is somewhat misleading as most consumers will think it is the boot time of the movie. This is not the case. While loading Blu ray movie is indeed faster than previous players, the load time is nowhere near .5 seconds. While Panasonic did not truly advertise the load time as .5 seconds, it does sound like it would load in that time frame. Instead, the .5 second advertised time is the boot time between off and on for the player and not the actual movie loading time. The actual video processing of the player showed no problems at all. While I didn’t notice any difference in color representation from this player to another without the Chroma processor, I wouldn’t rule out any improvement without any precision color test. The three Blu ray movies tested on the DMP-BD45 had no problem handling overall video processing. No sign of video defects were present. Moiré, jaggieness, or motion blurs were all absent from the movies. You should expect no defects in the latest Blu ray disc players. It would be rare to see any defects present in the first generation players.
The onboard audio decoded all the audio formats as advertised. The high definition audio formats had no problem being decoded without the aid of separate receiver. As advertised, the player had no problem with MP3, AVCHD, and CD wave formats. The 5.1 analog channel output included on the player should be a big bonus for people that need this option. This feature is rarely seen on the entry level player.
There are only few minor complaints about this player. First, this doesn’t come with any WiFi functionality. While this isn’t a common feature on entry level models, it would have been nice to see the option. Second, the .5 second booting time can be misleading. The movie does not load in that time frame. Instead, it is the booting time not the loading time that is advertised. Lastly, the DVD upscaling is not quite as sharp as the other players. While this is not a major deal breaker for most, it can be a big negative if you have large library of DVDs. Overall, this is competent player from a leading manufacturer. You could do better for your money. You could also do lot worse.
Buy Panasonic DMP BD45 Now!
|Panasonic DMP-BD45 Ultrafast-Booting Blu-ray Disc Player (Black)
Sale Price: $239.99
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Start watching your favorite High-Definition movies almost instantly with the Panasonic DMP-BD45 Blu-ray Disc player, which features an ultra-fast 2-second boot time. It also includes a Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot, making it easy for you to view and share both digital still images and HD video recorded with an HD camcorder in the AVCHD format…
- Ultra-fast 0.5 second startup
- SDXC/USB Slot for viewing JPEG still and AVCHD video
- More compact Design
- More efficient energy consumption
- VieraLink for control with a single remote control
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