Panasonic claims its DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player is the first in the world to support Final Standard profile (v1.1) that adds enhanced features and functionality to Blu-ray discs.
For example, a Picture-in-Picture feature displays a sub-screen, and an Audio Mixing function lets the user switch the playback sound between the main screen and sub-screen. Film studios can also add enhanced commentary and additional information about the film in pop-up sub-windows on the disc.
The £350 DMP-BD30 can also output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio in bitstream form with no degradation via HDMI 1.3a, and it supports 1080p/24fps video playback.
Other technical highlights include 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analogue converters, Panasonic's own P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD) technology, and the inclusion of a PHL Reference Chroma processor to create clearer colour boundaries.
For networking convenience, the DMP-BD30 comes with an SD memory card slot for easy viewing of video or images from an HD camcorder or digital camera.
The player comes bundled with two Blu-ray discs, Ratatouille and Cars.
We'll be bringing you a full review of the Panasonic DMP-BD30 in the special High-Definition supplement free with the April issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, on sale from March 6.