Panasonic DMP-BD45 review

While this Panasonic does much right, there's no denying that spending a tiny bit more will get you more bang for your hard-earned buck Tested at £150.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Spend a little bit more and you can get a much more talented machine


  • +

    Fine build and looks

  • +

    rich colours

  • +

    good detail and edge definition


  • -

    Picture lacks subtlety of the best

  • -

    sounds insubstantial

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Not everyone who fancies taking the Blu-ray plunge is concerned about wi-fi connectivity, internet widgets or media streaming.

If it's a no-frills Blu-ray player that they're after, Panasonic is only too happy to oblige.

The 'BD45 is the cheapest player in Panasonic's range but from a design and build quality point of view, there's little to distinguish it from the more expensive players in the range.

It's a similar case with the remote control, but this isn't a bad thing: Panasonic's chunky, button arrangement makes for an intuitive wand.

A no-frills machine
Being a no-frills machine, the most glamorous connections you'll find here are an HDMI output, a USB socket and SD memory card inputs.

Though it's speedy at boot-up, we think the 'BD45 is sluggish when it comes to loading Blu-ray discs. Saving Private Ryan takes over 40 seconds longer to load than it does on rival, entry-level machines such as the Sony BDP-S370 and Samsung BD-C6500.

Spin the Blu-ray of Terminator 2: Judgement Day and there's a well-defined image.

Blacks are rich and solid – the player does a good job presenting the textures and details on Arnie's bike outfit. Colours are rich and vivid, but lack the level of subtlety shown by the top decks at this money.

Sounds unconvincing
Sonically, there's an even bigger difference between the Panasonic and its key rivals. As the T-1000 and Arnie do battle in the galleria, gunshots sound insubstantial and there's a lack of solidity to the sound.

The 'BD45 may be billed as an uncomplicated entry-level machine, but it isn't much cheaper than class-leaders such as the Sony BDP-S370.

And, given that the Sony machine outperforms the 'BD45, why would you opt for the Panasonic?

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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