on April 7, 2011
To give a frame of reference, I replaced a Panasonic BD35 with this Panasonic DMP-BDT210 it is hooked to a Sony HD AV 7.1 receiver and to a Panasonic 50" Plasma TV, and I have a LinkSys Wireless Router (802.11n).
It arrived today and I opened the box at about 6PM, ready for what I expected was going to a long night, just seems to usually work out that way these days, figured it would be issues with getting it on the network, so I started in.
Nothing tricky for my hook-up, just one HDMI connection to the receiver and I used the one that was there from the BD35, and the power cord, that was it for wires.
Put the batts (supplied) in the remote and turned it on, pops up quickly to an Easy Set-Up menu that you can get through in a few seconds and start playing Blu-ray DVD's. I wanted to hook it to the network and I always like to look around at the options, so I opted to go to the other set-up menu.
The Easy Set-up takes you to the option to set up a network connection, if you are not going to use the network features you can just pick no and you are ready to watch a Blu-ray movie. I opted to set-up the network and this is what I thought was going to be the hard part, it asked, wired or wireless, I picked wireless, it found my network in about 15 seconds and put the name on the screen, I picked it and it knew it was a secure/encrypted network connection so it asked for the password, and put up a keyboard to put it in.
Once I gave it the password it started trying to connect to the network, a screen pops up with a number of pass/fail tests it is running, that took another 15 seconds to pass them all.
The rest of set-up can be skipped for the most part depending on your connection to the TV or in my case the player to the receiver and receiver to the TV through HDMI connections, so it knew the capabilities of the TV and set everything right.
If you want to more personalize it or need to set the screen size (standard/wide) then Set-Up offers that an a number of other options, like parental control, the display brightness, a number of audio options and 3D and 2D video options, all in all very nice set of options and again, most never need be messed with if you don't want to, it attempts to optimize itself. (Also, no matter how bad you mess it it, you can just tell it to go back to factory settings and do it again)
After spending about 5 minutes in set-up doing the network and looking around I had to pop in a disc and see how it looked and sounded. I did not really expect a noticable difference from my old one in picture and sound, and perhaps it is just percerption, but both seemed better to me.
However what you notice first is the speed it loads the disc, it is very fast. The BD35 was slow, so slow I would rather watch a bad movie than change discs, I had put in Tron 3D as the first test, killer, video and audio, and effects. Next, I put in Tron in 2D and tried the 2D to 3D, interesting and effective, looked pretty good but I am not a big 3D fan. There are also settings the change the 3D effects.
Next, I went to 2D and again the audio and video were just outstanding, not that the old one was bad at all, this was just better, enough to notice. So for picture and sound it is 5 stars all the way for the price.
The menu navigation is very clean and easy to follow while in the Panasonic menus, and very fast, navigating the disc is also fast, more that quick enough to make those options worth it. So overall navigation and easy of use I have to also give a 5.
Now for something I had not tried before on my TV other than Pay-Per-View via cable, I hit the VeraCast and there was YouTube, Amazon, NetFlix, VuDu, and a bunch of others. I tried out Amazon first and watched a free show, no issues at all. It played perfectly, no picture snags, stops, buffering, audio dropouts, it played as well as from the cable box. Same for NetFlix, the stuff all played fine.
I did notice sluggish menus while on the Internet Movie sites, it was clear that it was not the unit but the sites, and even then by sluggish I mean a few seconds delay on some selections, not like my old unit were somethings could take a few minutes.
So 5 stars on the internet movie, tv, and information features.
I guess no review would be complete with a unit with the ability to wave your hand over the top of the player to open and close the drawer, so here is its honorable mention, it works.
Well my prediction of spending half the night (3 hours) was correct, but it was not in getting it to work, it was watching YouTube and Amazon video's, and parts of a number of movies. A very enjoyable evening.
Overall I give this a solid 5, there was nothing I could find to knock it down, it was easy to set up, easy to use, and outstanding performance and features.
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player
on March 1, 2011
The player is great. The menu system is the best I've used in a player and I returned both a Sony BD560 and a Samsung 6500 before getting this unit. Just a few notes for those that might be thinking of getting it this player.
#1 The internet options are extensive, new options to me like Amazon streaming and Skype, mixed with the mainstay apps like Netflix, Pandora, and many more. make this player very attractive to the streaming and online entertainment user.
#2 The firmware the unit currently ships with will not let you get into the Internet streaming apps or anything for that matter until you update the firmware. Updating the firmware from the 1.09 firmware it ships with will not work as of this date via wireless or wired internet connections. The secondary option is to burn the frmware to a disc. This you think would be straight foward, but it isn't. Using Windows 7 or Vista, you MUST create an ISO 9660 ONLY... I went through 3 coasters before this player could properly read the Firmware update disc I created to bring it up to 1.47. Using any other ISO format will fail.
#3, Netflix... I have 2 accounts, one old, one new and active. Got them mixed up during the install process and had my OLD netflix account essentially bound to the unit. No way to empty the cache, or sign-out and login with a new username and password (It doesn't use the code on screen method like a lot of players, you actually log into netflix from the machine) To wipe out the incorrect netflix ID, I had to factory reset the Blu-Ray player. Which meant setting everything up again. My shared drives (You can map a shared folder on your network to play files, very nice) Wireless, everything had to be set up again.
#4 No on board memory. It supports SD cards for Storage for Blu Ray online features and other apps, but it has no storage of its own. I personally found this to be nice, especially given I have many SD cards laying around from 1 to 8 gigs in size. But if you want to take full advantage of extras on Blue Rays, add the cost of an SD card to your price (Or possibly USB thumb drive??? haven't tested) in order to have on-board storage.
This player is fast, has an outstanding menu system. A very reliable network interface (Take note Samsung!) and has some nice next-gen features such as touch-less ejecting, kind of novel, but I did find myself liking it.... having come from the Samsung 6500 just recently, I found the fact that the player keeps you informed with on screen displays as to what it is doing if their are the common loading delays when first starting Blu-Rays for instance, a very nice change from the black of screen of questioning I always had with the Samsung model. And Sony's 560 had a very lame netflix interface so that wasn't an option for me after seeing it, given I use streaming a LOT.
For the 2011 models, I'd like to see the offerings from the competitors before I whole heartily recommend this one, but I'm very happy with my purchase. Panasonic seems to know what they are doing with UI's, UI user Feedback and general tech savyness in their Blu-Ray players. (aside from the current Firmware glitch)
on May 27, 2011
I bought this hoping Netflix would work as well as being an awesome blu-ray player. When I got it, the blu-ray player worked flawlessly...the Netflix however did not. I was kind of bummed because it had the same issue many of the reviewers here had posted about, so I felt like the warning signs were there. I did the typical thing and called Panasonic, they said they were going to work on it. I took their words as just that, words. Words of Panasonic saying something that would never come to fruition. I was wrong. Today I received an email response to my complaint saying they released a new patch for Netflix with a new firmware update. Version 1.63. I went home, skeptical, updated, and "skadouche", it works. Awesome.
With everything working, it being wireless (built in), and plays disc with minimal load time and zero disc noise, I highly recommend this player.
It has a Netflix button on the remote, and now it has purpose. I felt it my duty to come post about the new firmware update to help future buyers purchase with peace of mind.
on November 20, 2011
I have been through 5 different units with streaming capability (this Panasonic, a Roku 2, Sony & Samsung wifi-capable Blu Ray players, and the stand-alone Sony streaming media player) and I FINALLY found a great little unit that will work for me. I am not a huge Blu Ray user and watch most of my content via Amazon Prime/Amazon Video On Demand. I did go out and purchase a couple of Blu Rays to see what the player could do (including the Avatar directors cut). Here's a breakdown of the different features and my associated ratings:
Blu-Ray: Disc loading is just as fast as everyone on the site says it is. And I know it's gimmicky but I LOVE the touch-free sensor feature that lets you open up the tray by waving your hand over the top of the unit. It has played every disc I've thrown at it flawlessly (including the Avatar Blu Ray discs, which had sputtered on both the Sony and the Samsung). It does a great job upscaling my much more extensive collection of non-Blu Ray discs as well. I also find that shifting between the home screen and a playing Blu Ray is fast. I like the fact that I can take discs in and out of the player without interrupting the streaming feature. This was not always the case on the other players I've tried. It is by far the best of the three Blu Ray players with regard to image quality of the Blu Ray content.
Streaming (General): I bought this unit to use with a wireless router, and so far it is doing a great job with uninterrupted streaming (this goes for Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, and Youtube). It plays the entire length of Amazon movies without a glitch. It has a Viera Cast button on the remote that takes you right to the menu for streaming content, which I find very useful. You can also customize 3 different 3x3 menu screens with shortcuts to whatever services you use most. (I don't use them, but there are Hulu Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Ustream, Picasa, Vudu and Cinemanow services available, to name a few.) Those of you using the player mostly for streaming, here's a tip: leave the DVD tray empty most of the time and you can get to the online services screen in a few seconds (an empty tray directs the software to the home screen, and one press of the VieraCast button takes you to the online services page).
Amazon Content: The menu for Amazon is very straightforward and its easy to get yourself to your purchased content. The Prime videos are harder to navigate, but I believe this is the fault of Amazon (which doesn't have a good interface yet for Prime) rather than a fault of the unit software. Streamingwise, I have not had interruptions, the way I did on the original Roku box I am replacing. The load time on this player isn't bad: with my current wireless setup, it takes about 20 seconds from the time I choose a selection with the remote to the time it begins playing on the screen (the Sony i tried took 1-2 minutes for each selection). The layout is great if you are navigating TV seasons, as it shows a list of episodes, which ones you own, and as you scroll down the list, ep summaries will be displayed. My only gripe is that when you fast forward on Amazon, there is no index of scenes the way there is on the Roku units.
Netflix (the only CON I've found on the unit): It's unfortunate that Netflix interface and picture quality is so great on this player because it makes the constant black fades/flashes that much more frustrating. Every 2-3 minutes the screen will flash black for a second or two (usually 2-3 times in a row). This is apparently a known issue with Netflix/Panasonic and as I understand it, Panasonic has admitted this is a firmware issue but has yet to do anything about it (it seems to have something to do with the way the most recent Netflix software deals with rebuffering). I have found that some videos are much more prone to this black fade problem than others. I've watched content that didn't have it at all, and other content where it happened often. I really hope they fix this because this unit has the best Netflix interface I've ever seen: it is SO easy to find what you're looking for and to navigate your queued items. (there is even a Netflix button on the remote).
Pandora: Yes I know everyone has Pandora on their phone/tablet etc. but still, the Pandora interface on this unit is a thing of beauty. It also does something that I absolutely missed about Pandora when I abandoned my Palm Pre: You can rate/bookmark songs that have already finished playing. It will show the current track in the middle of the screen along with 3 small panels on the right side of the screen that reflect the 3 previously played tracks. These are still bookmarkable/rateable with the remote (I bookmark a lot of songs when I am housecleaning and can't always get to the player when a song is playing). The other nice thing is that you can set Pandora up with a number of different logins, so different family members can bring up their own Pandora collections when using the unit.
Other Good Stuff: This player is impressive in its ease of use. The menus are intuitive to navigate, and if you need to go "behind the scenes" to tweak various settings, its fairly simple to get to the features that you need. It was a relatively straightforward task to link all of the various streaming services/profiles to the unit (which is more than I can say for the Sony players). I also appreciate the little things like the ability to adjust for audio lag. For some reason this is not a standard feature of most players.
If the fading problem on Netflix is not a dealbreaker for you, I highly recommend this unit. I hope that Panasonic fixes this issue because when they do, this will be the best streaming Blu Ray player on the market.
1 MONTH UPDATE: Still loving the player, but I thought I'd add a bit more on the Netflix black flash issue. It REALLY seems to come and go depending on your connection speed. I've watched the same content with no problem and then come back awhile later and there were black flashes every couple of minutes. I noticed that my connection speed to my router had dropped also during this time. So depending on your connection speed, this may not be an issue for you at all. Oh and if you're looking for a universal remote that can mimic the Panasonic IR codes (some remotes can't), I'd recommend the URC-WR7 7-component learning remote. I've programmed it in "learn" mode with the Panasonic codes and it's working like a charm.
on March 12, 2011
My Pros and Cons:
Nice Menu Interface
Good Internet Apps (Netflix, Amazon VOD, Vudu, Pandora, You Tube,Weather,Picasa...)
Blue Ray and DVD movies played without issues
Updated Netflix UI (With search and genres)
Amazon VOD with Prime streaming
One Touch eject\load
Wireless worked with no problem. Haven't seen any buffering.
Limited file support (Only plays jpg, mp3 and mkv on USB drive. Need to add mpg, m2ts, mp4, and avi)
A lot of my .mkv files would not play
No random play for mp3's and jpg's
Can't play music during slideshow
No NTFS support (Cannot play files greater than 4gb.)
Self-Powered USB drive did not work
DLNA still seems to be in beta form
My conclusion is that if you want a Blu ray player with plethora of Internet apps, it is a good unit. But, If you want all that with better support for file formats and ability to use an external USB drive to play your home videos, you should keep looking.
on April 15, 2011
EDIT 12-04-2011: I have read a few reviews that have stated that Panasonic put out a firmware update late summer/early fall that has supposedly fixed the Netflix issue.
Original Review from spring 2011:
Since I do not own a 3D television, the feature on the Blu-Ray player was not a driving factor for me.
I bought the DMP-BDT210 from Best Buy for the Internet streaming options of Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand. I was very disappointed that I was forced to return this player and replace it with the Sony BDP-S580.
The reason I say disappointed is that (PROS) I liked the setup and feel that Panasonic has for its interface. The wireless setup automatically connected to my Wireless N instead of Wireless G using the WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). The DLNA services worked without issue.
The problems (CONS) are with the Netflix streaming. Panasonic uses the login/password method for you to connect to Netflix instead of the activate code used with other products. Once you input your credentials, you are presented with a very nice layout of your Instant Queue, Recently Watched and Recommended. Unfortunately, YOU CANNOT WATCH THEM! When you choose ANY movie/TV show, you get the message "We're having trouble playing this title right now. Please try again later or select a different title."
When I contacted Netflix about it, I was informed that this is a known issue with the T210 and they gave me Panasonic's Support phone number. Netflix also told me to ask for 2nd level support as first level would not be able to actually do anything to fix the problem. Long story short, Panasonic DID NOT HELP with the issue. Their response was that Panasonic is aware of the problem. I was told that someone from 2nd level support would contact me within 24-48 hours. A week and a half later I still had not heard from tech support. I did some Google searches and discovered that this has been a problem since early March 2011. This is now the middle of April!!
As of this writing the latest firmware update is 1.56 and does not resolve the issue.
Now here is the kicker. It appears that this problem is a hit-or-miss. SomeT210's work perfectly while others do not. Something is different on the player other than the firmware/Software. I tried with two different BDT210's from two different Best Buy stores and had the same error with Netflix. I exchanged the Panasonic for the SAMSUNG BD-D6500 and was able to stream Netflix, but it would occasionally freeze. The player also would freeze on the Twitter App. I exchanged the Samsung for the SONY BDP-S580. Sony uses its own custom interface for the internet apps and the Netflix one is not as sophisticated as the Panasonic or the Samsung. Actually Sony's is subpar compared to the competition, but it works. The other (semi-bad) thing about the Sony is that they did not integrate a high end Wireless card in the hardware. The player will not connect to a Wireless N network unless you are broadcasting at the lower 2.4 GHz range. 5.0 GHz will not even show up when scanning for networks. Both the Samsung and the Sony connected to the 5.0 range.
My feelings on the Panasonic: It could have been a very good product. I might have been willing to wait a bit longer for a fix if the Panasonic Tech Support would have been more straight forward about the problem AND had at least responded to me in the 24 to 48 hour time frame that they committed to. I work in a tech support environment and a nonchalant answer and no follow up with the customer would be un-acceptable at my company.
So if you're thinking of getting the Panasonic DMP-BDT210 for Netflix streaming, check on the Panasonic site to see if they have a newer firmware version than 1.56. Also call Netflix to see if the problem is still being reported. Good luck.
Sorry if some folks don't agree with my review, but when I buy a product I expect ALL of the features to work and the manufacturer to take responsiblity for their product. This is a heads up for anyone that DOES want to use the Netflix feature in conjuction with the Blu-Ray.
on April 18, 2011
My mom recently went into a care home and while they have WiFi access in her room, there isn't a phone handy and she is non-verbal. I live out of town, so I decided to buy this player in order to make Video Calls with her over Skype.
If you are buying this player for Skype, one really important thing to consider is that the player ONLY works with the Panasonic TY-CC10W Skype-Enabled Camera priced at $130-$160. Video quality on this camera is fine, but $130 is VERY expensive for a webcam. The similar Sony BDP-S780 Blu Ray Player w/ Skype, by contrast, has installed drivers for several Microsoft webcams that range in price from $50-$80. If you are interested in the Sony unit, I recommend the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema.
That said, I couldn't get Skype to work on the Sony player in my mom's retirement home. Sony basically requires an IMCP pingback to confirm an internet connection and some firewalls have that disabled. This was the case at the retirement home. "It Doesn't Work" is pretty much a deal breaker.
Another major "Skype" related difference between players is that, on the Panasonic, you can have Skype on standby while watching movies or Netflix. If someone calls you, it will alert you and you can click over to Skype. The Sony player requires you to be logged into the Skype screen in order to receive calls.
The other really nice feature the Panasonic has over the Sony player is that there is a "Skype" button and a "Netflix" button on the Panasonic remote. This makes it really easy for the technically challenged to launch these features. Again, my mom is in a retirement home, so that is a really nice feature. The Sony BDP-S780 does not have a specific button for either option and you need to navigate to it from the homescreen. Not horribly difficult, but it's not obvious.
Overall, I was pleased with how Skype worked on the Panasonic player. It's just a real shame that they only have installed drivers for a really expensive camera.
In terms of other internet enabled services, I would give the edge to the Sony player. The major issue is that the Panasonic player is missing Hulu Plus. Sony offers it, Panasonic doesn't (although I guess some TVs have it). They both have Netflix, they both have Pandora, they both have Amazon movies. So from that perspective, the other major apps are covered. Although I will say that I felt Pandora was better on the Sony.
Another consideration if you have an older HDTV is that the Panasonic has HDMI outputs but not Component Video (seperate Red, Green, Blue cables). The Sony player has both Component Video and HDMI.
on October 20, 2011
Totally agree with all the other reviews praising the DMP-BDT210's speed and array of features. I upgraded from a DMP-BD55 and this player is light years faster--both in load time as well as with menu navigation. Network setup was a breeze--setup wirelessly through my home network. Firmware updates are also easier with network connectivity (no need to burn a disc, etc.). All good. Just for reference, my player is hooked up to a Panasonic monitor so that as well was effortless. The DMP-BDT210 is also physically small, which doesn't seem like a huge feature but with the BD55 I was maxing out the space in my entertainment cabinet which of course meant components weren't getting the air circulation one would hope for--now I have the same functionality (well, actually much more...) in a much more compact package. More space, more air circulation=happy electronics and less fire hazard.
Network. Current applications that come up on the network broken into categories (as of this review date)...
Video & Movie: Amazon Video, Bild.de, Break Comedy, CinemaNow, Dailymotion, hulu PLUS, NETFLIX, Ustream.TV, Viewster, VUDU, YouTube
Music: napster, PANDORA, SHOUTcast
Sports: FOX Sports, NHL GameCenter, MLB.TV, MLS MatchDay Live
Games: Blackjack, Chess Challenge, Dracula's Coffin, Free Throw, Gem Reversi, Hangman, Illustration Logic, Mahjong Fruits, Mine Sweeper, Number Place, Penalty Shoot-Out, Poker, Rockswap, Solitaire
Social Networking: Picasa Web Albums, Skype, Twitter
News & Lifestyle: AccuWeather.com, AP, Local Weather, tagesschau, WealthTV 24/7
I've used a few of the applications, not sure how many I'll end up using, but there were definitely a few I was happy to have. Going into this purchase knowing I could stream Netflix straight into my TV, pump Pandora through my entertainment center speakers and Skype from the living room while looking at people on the other side on my TV were all huge attractions.
[Insert needle dragging across the record sound] Skype functionality is not simple (nor cheap)! Again, one of the big attractions to this player for me so to discover this rip-off scheme was a harsh blow. Firstly, they want Skype to be attractive to you--it has a coveted logo spot on the BDT210's packaging, there's even a Skype button on the remote! They know that Skype is part of our lives now and the potential to gather everyone on the sofa while communicating with friends/family from whatever distant locale on a big TV, rather than a computer screen, is a huge draw. The hitch is that only 2 cameras are compatible with the DMP-BDT210 and neither comes with it. From Panasonic's website: "SKYPE - Can I use my Web Camera as a communication camera for Skype? Only the Panasonic Camera Model # TY-CC10W and the Freetalk Camera Model # 7181 certified for Panasonic can be used with a Panasonic Blu-ray player for Skype." Do a quick Amazon or Google search on those two models. You're looking at (again, at the time of this review) $120 or higher. For a Skype camera!!! No, a webcam made for Skype usage will not work even though you are connecting through a standard USB port. To add insult to injury, you cannot use the Skype application at all unless you have one of these two cameras--you cannot log into your account and at least see your friends/family on the big screen even if they can't see you. You CANNOT use the Skype application unless you buy one of these two cameras that cost as much as this player does. Huge disappointment for me. Takes my rating from 5 stars to a 3--granted a fantastic Blu-Ray player, I just don't feel it's fair to advertise Skype functionality, put a prominent logo on the box and then charge $100+ for a necessary accessory to an item that itself is just over $100. If Skype isn't a big attraction for you or a feature you will rarely use then I highly recommend this player. If Skype on the big screen is a huge draw to you, please understand that to have that functionality you are looking at closer to $300 to get it (again, at current prices).
on January 8, 2012
I ordered two of these players prior to the holidays--one for our family, and one to give as a gift. I was initially very pleased with how easy it was to set up the player on our wireless home network, and how rapidly I was able to get to apps for Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Both the Home Screen, and App interfaces are attractive and quite smooth.
The player loads quickly, and provides outstanding image quality on Blu-ray movies. The device responds well to the remote, and the on-screen images looked excellent when a movie was paused.
As far as streaming goes, Amazon Instant worked flawlessly, and looked great. Sadly, this is the last positive thing I have to say about the player. Unfortunately, my machine suffered from the (now WIDELY reported) 'black flash' issue on Netflix. Basically, the whole screen quickly flashes black two or three times in rapid succession every few minutes while streaming anything on Netflix. For me, this was an absolute deal-breaker, and while I loved almost everything else about this player, I can't give it anything other than a '1 Star' because for my purposes, Netflix was an essential function. That said, if you don't plan on ever using Netflix on this device, I'd actually recommend this product.
For reference, I called Panasonic multiple times--and spoke with customer service representatives from Jamaica to the Philippines--and was given a litany of suggestions to try. They had me change the DNS, the subnet mask, adjust the screen resolution, buy and insert an empty SD Card, assign the machine a static IP address, use a different HDMI cable, and so on. None of these supposed "solutions" worked for more than a minute or two. After these answers failed, Panasonic reps eventually began to blame Netflix; my internet service provider; and my router. I told them that we have laptops, an Xbox, a PS3, a Wii, and a Roku that all stream Netflix flawlessly (and all are connected to the same home network as the Panasonic was).
After even more back-and-forth, including being told that a Supervisor would call me directly (which never happened), their final answer was to tell me that I would have to send the player in for service, and I would be mailed a refurbished unit to replace the (days-old) 'defective' one. I told them that I had another unopened, identical player on-hand, and that I'd like to try that one out before I mailed them anything (which I would have NEVER done anyways). Lo and behold, the second player suffered from the EXACT same issues as the first. Fortunately Amazon has an easy return policy, and I have since mailed back these terribly flawed units, and purchased two Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray Disc Players in their place. It's a shame, because I really wanted to like the Panasonic, but I just couldn't deal with having wasted so much time on a (still) broken entertainment product.
If you purchase this machine, I sincerely hope your experience is better than mine!
If you found this information useful, would you mind giving me a "Helpful Vote" please? If you didn't, please leave me a comment, and I'll be glad to furnish anything I may have missed. Thanks for taking the time to read my review!
on March 12, 2011
This is a great blu ray player. Firstly it loads much faster than the previous blu ray players that I have used. Secondly, it has many more features than more expensive models currently on the market. The menu is very simple and easy to use. Connecting to the Internet is also very easy. I was connected via WIFI within just a few moments and was able to download the latest firmware with no problem. There are many Internet uses including Youtube, VUDU, Netflix etc. With WIFI the connection speed is fast enough to watch standard definition movies from the internet and after connecting directly to our wired modem I had a connection fast enough to watch HD movies. The sensor on top of the machine for opening the disc drive is a nice touch. There is also a feature to where you can use SKYPE for video calls/communication but that requires adding a webcam which I believe needs to be of a specific type for this machine. It is also a 3D blu ray player but I have not tried that as I don't have a 3D television. It displays blu ray discs with a beautiful high def. picture and it makes regular dvd's look great as well. Overall this a great machine with many capabilities. Hopefully the firmware will be updated at some point that will include an actual web browser that will allow more independent use of the internet, similar to other products like the Wii.