Appearances can be deceptive, but it’s hard not to be impressed by what Panasonic’s range-topping 3D Blu-ray player has to offer.
There’s 3D Blu-ray playback, teamed with 2D-to-3D conversion for standard Blu-rays; wi-fi connectivity and Skype functionality are also included.
The biggest draw for many users though, will be its twin HDMI outputs. Users of older receivers, unable to pass-through a 3D picture, can send the sound to their amp and the picture straight into their display.
The player is slimmer and more stylish than previous Panasonic efforts – and considerably cheaper than last year’s model.
Fast on the (disc) drawer
It features a new Touch-Free Sensor, which Panasonic claims helps open and close the loading drawer in the dark.
It’s a little hit and miss, but there’s always an open/close button as back-up. The player boots up in seconds and whether it’s upscaling a DVD or spinning a 2D/3D Blu-ray the BDT310 shows some serious skills.
Fed with Avatar, the player offers impressive levels of detail and pin-sharp edge definition.
Motion is handled smoothly, while colours display a fine mix of rich and natural hues. You can tinker with the depth of the 3D, too. We found the best results on setting ‘0’.
Power seduces in soundtracks
Sound quality is of a similarly high standard. Movie soundtracks are delivered with power and precision.
Dynamics are a particular strength, and during the bamboo battle in House Of Flying Daggers there’s a stark contrast between the quiet atmospherics and frenzied fight scenes.
Enable High Clarity Sound (this turns off any current flowing through the anologue video circuit) and there’s a small, but audible increase in subtlety. Finer details are more easily heard.
One more thing. Panasonic has now issued a firmware upgrade to bring the newer (and better) Viera Connect internet portal found on its 2011 TVs to its latest range of Blu-ray players, including this one.
The BDT310 is a class-leading 3D Blu-ray player in its own right – whether you need twin HDMI outputs or not.
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