Once again, the early adopters have benefited us all. Proof, if any were needed, is here, in the shape of Panasonic’s new DMP-BD75 Blu-ray player.
True, it’s not compatible with 3D content, and it has only a minimum of connectivity.
But in other respects it’s well on the pace: as well as being compatible with the majority of video and audio discs, it’s able to play via USB 2.0 and can join to your DLNA network and play music, videos and still pictures saved on a server. All for £100.
Well-built for the money
What’s more, there’s very little about the Panasonic that smacks of a product built down to price.
Construction is sturdy, on-screen menus are comprehensive and even the remote control is grown-up and logical.
Only the fascia display, with its kindergarten combination of upper- and lower-case letters, seems a bit cheapskate.
The DMP-BD75 is gratifyingly swift to load a Blu-ray of the opinion-dividing Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and having done so delivers an acceptably exciting DTS Master Audio soundtrack experience.
The soundstage isn’t the most expansive, but it’s tightly unified and integrated – and detail levels are high.
Centre-channel information, so critical to the movie experience, is distinct and expressive, and effects are moved confidently around the stage.
Only a slight lack of dynamic clout and a rather diffident way with really low frequencies gives any causes for concern.
Picture-wise, the Panasonic is colourful and high-contrast. Motion is gripped effectively, skin-tones convince and there’s a decent amount of detail available even in very dark scenes.
Textures are persuasive too, though edges could be drawn more rigorously and the BD75’s soften rather during the most complex scenes.
So while 12 months ago a Blu-ray player of this quality, at this price, would have been met with delight mixed with incredulity, these days the Panasonic’s just fractionally off the pace.