Customer Reviews: Panasonic DMP-BD10 - Blu-ray Disc player - upscaling
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on February 24, 2007
I have recently purchased the Panasonic Blu-Ray Player, and have been blown away by its picture and sound. Right off the bat, I downloaded and upgraded the firmware, carefully following the instructions, and it greatly improved the boot up and load speeds for discs. Aside from an poorly-designed cheap-feeling remote, Panasonic has really produced a stand out product here.

My journey into the world of Blu-Ray began with a PS3. I purchased a 60GB PS3 initially to play games and movies, thinking that it was a great bargain - $600 for a fully featured Blu-Ray player and game system. The PS3 locked up three times during playback of "The Guardian". The add-on remote for the PS3 is Bluetooth, which otherwise would be great, but could not be programmed into my Universal Remote, and was extremely counterintuitive to use. There was no upconversion of my existing DVDs (I have a lot, so this was really a downer). The game on the PS3 that I was interested in purchasing (Resistance: Fall of Man) was a 720p title, and so it downconverted to 480p on my 2 year old 73" CRT HDTV.

The online service for PS3 was woefully inadequate compared to the XBOX 360 - very little of interest to download in movies or games.

So I returned the PS3 and bought the Panasonic. I didn't feel that sinking in my stomach at having to return something cool - it was much more like a relief to unload this turkey.

I fretted a little at the cost of the Panasonic, but elected to purchase it after seeing a demo, and knowing that I had a 30 day return window. I hooked it up in less than an hour, and fired it up. A big smile attached to my face when I started watching "Blackhawk Down" on the Panasonic. The image and sound were stellar. Same with "Flyboys". Same with "Stealth". Popped in the "Fifth Element" and expected a crappy picture, but except for some very early shots having lots of dirt, the rest of the film's picture quality handily blew away my Superbit version of the film. I also have the HD-DVD add on to the XBOX 360, and I can not see any appreciable difference between a well mastered HD-DVD (I would cite "Superman Returns" as an example) and a well mastered Blu-Ray.

Have not looked back on the decision with regret - only joy.


Astounding Picture and Sound Quality

Great Upconversion of Regular DVDs

True Theater Experience

After upgrading the firmware (1.4), much quicker boot up and load times

Worth twice the price of the PS3


Remote should be lighted for this many $$$

Jog wheel TOO sensitive
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on October 17, 2006
Forget about what others say about Blu-ray not having a great picture. There were some problems with the early Blu-ray titles released by Sony/Lion's Gate as they were poor transfers that used old Mpeg2 encodings. In some cases they even used dirty prints (The Fifth Element). They were simply rushed out the doors to make it to market the same time as HD DVD.It was a bad decision on the part of the BDA. Since then studios such as Disney, Paramount, and Fox have moved to encoding in Mpeg4/AVC and VC-1, the new advanced video codecs. Also, the first Blu-ray releases were on lower-capacity single-layer 25GB discs, which meant the video quality suffered. Fortunately, those days are over, and over quickly they were.

Now the dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray discs have finally arrived, and the 'BD-50' releases are beginning to pour out. 'Click' was the first, and there are more coming or out already from Fox, Warner, Paramount, and Sony. This higher capacity (HD DVD tops out at 30GB for a dual layer disc) will allow for higher quality video encodings, and more advanced interactive features and bonus features, also helped out by the higher bandwidth allowed on Blu-ray (48Mbps) as opposed to HD DVD (~ 32Mbps).

Now, on to the player itself:

This Panasonic player is not only far superior in picture and sound quality than the Samsung Blu-ray player which was also rushed to market, but it suffers from far fewer bugs and glitches than any high-def player on the market, and that includes the two Toshiba first generation models, which required a whole slew of firmware updates to run properly - and they still have problems. This Panasonic when playing back Blu-ray titles that use the same encodings as the HD DVD release (speaking of the few titles that actually appear on both formats) looks identical, not almost as good. In some cases, it looks slightly better. This is most likely something to do with the hardware, and not a software issue. The blacks are black as coal, colours pop off the screen. Great Blu-ray titles look almost three-dimensional. The copy of Eight Below included in the box looks stunning!

The standard DVD upscaling also works quite well, making the DVDs look very good - though not as good as HD.

The sound is superb . The player can playback 192/24 uncompressed PCM audio in 7.1 channels, but it also supports new audio formats like Dolby Digital+ and, soon - as the registration card inside the box states -through a future free firmware upgrade (some say around January) the player will decode the new, lossless audio codecs Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, both up to a resolution of 192/24 at 7.1. This will allow for true high resolution sound well beyond Dolby Digital and DTS, and equal to uncompressed PCM, but utilising less space and less bandwidth than PCM, once again making more room for better video transfers and more bonus features.

Also for the audiophiles out there, it is worth noting that the Panasonic also plays DVD-As (and CDs), and the video circuitry can be turned off for pure audio listening delight.

This is a great player, with perfect picture quality when playing back well done Blu-ray titles. Don't blame the player for a bad title, just like you can't blame a DVD player for a bad DVD transfer. This player is well worth the price.
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on June 1, 2007
Due to be replaced late summer with DMP-BD10A. Next gen player at $600.
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on June 21, 2007
This is indeed a very fine Blu-ray player. The machine has the stability/reliability of a regular DVD player, and it also loads pretty quick compared to other hi def players. Excellent picture quality too.

The previously review mentions that new 10a model makes this one obsolete, but the 10a is the exact same machine as the 10 - it just comes with the new 2.0 firmware, 5 free movies, and and MSRP of $599.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 4, 2006
I purchased this Blu-ray player because I am a movie fan and I have a fairly large collection of DVD-audio CD's that this player will handle. The picture quality when playing a well mastered Blu-ray disc on this player is awesome! It also does a great job when up-converting standard DVD's. The sound quality is outstanding when playing movies or just listening to music. It has individual user adjustments for picture quality or you can just use any of the preset modes such as cinema, normal, fine, etc. for viewing. In other words you can tweak it as much as you like or just use the easy setup mode for your viewing and listening pleasure. It seems to be well built and plays everything it is designed to play without any problems. It is expensive but if you shop around you can occasionally find it discounted. In this case the old saying "you get what you pay for" is true.
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on November 22, 2006
I've been on the fence between HD and Blu-ray wanting to commit to one despite knowing full well they both could go down the tubes. Everything about the level of committment and capacity/potential of Blu-ray points to it, in my opinion, as the source that will prevail. Samsung problems are legendary and Sony specs don't add up to the Panasonic. The chip set in the Panasonic is the same one that Denon uses in its most high end machine. Sony (I hear) is more solid (i.e. heftier transport) but the chips in the Panasonic are sweeter. Both video and audio are stellar and the machine has no quirks. It starts up faster than anything in HD and plays both regular and Blu-ray disks superbly. But face it, it's the Blu-ray that you'll get hooked on, its unbelievable. I'm very happy with the Panasonic and will be even happier when Sony gets their machine to market and the PS 3 gets the Blu-ray momentum where it should be.
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on November 1, 2006
After viewing several HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases and looking at the ultimate sharpness of each and I can say that the Toshiba HD-DVD and the Panasonic DMP-BD10 really are equal in picture quality. It all boils down to the source material not the player. The equipment used for this analysis is the Sony SXRD projector VPL-VW100 on a 10 foot screen. At this point in time the Toshiba beats the DMP-BD10 in sound quality only because of the ability of the Toshiba to output TrueHD. The advantage of the DMP-BD10 is it's quick startup and ease of operation.
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on October 17, 2006
Solid well built machine. I own a Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD player and this machine is far superior. Greater GUI, far more user friendly but more expensive. As far as picture quality, when the software is good, (tears of the sun, etc.) its as good as the best HD DVD has to offer. Its an expensive unit but very much worth the money if you can afford it. Far superior to the Samsung BD1000.
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on October 24, 2007
Good blu-ray player would recommend it to anyone. A little slow on loading times but noting to be picky about. Easy setup has plenty of audio options you can switch from dts-hd to regular dts if your reciever doesn't support newer formats.
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on August 22, 2007
Plays Blu Ray beautifully but seems unresponsive at times take for example when I insert a disc, then it starts to read, then I select to eject it or stop it ignores my request until it has fully read the dvd.
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