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169 of 188 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
The dmp-bdt500 is Panasonic's answer to the audiophile's desire to have a machine that offers superb video AND audio playback--they have succeeded. The highlights of this machine are the four Burr-Brown 192kHz/32-bit DAC's, 7.1 channel analog output, higher end capacitors and a more robust construction. I will express my opinion(s) about the design, engineering and performance. This machine is a Blu-ray player (and dvds of course), a cd player and is has built-in Wi-Fi for streaming movies, music and such. Therefore, it has the potential of being a 'one stop' solution for all of our home media needs and desires. And hopefully, it will have the ability to satiate the needs of the audiophile without sacrificing performance for the sake of convenience.


This machine is handsome, if not understated. It is sleek without being tiny. It is elegant--not ostentatious. It 'hits the mark' without trying too hard. Panasonic, though a quality brand, has not always had the prettiest components. For many years (of late) I found myself scratching my head at the eccentricities of some of Panasonic's designs. There were weird, translucent stripes buried within the skin(s) of their televisions and disc players. Panny's had conservative looking shapes in a market rife with "pretty" electronic sculptures, and digital displays that featured antiquated sticks rather than the more aesthetically pleasing dot matrix variety. For these reasons, I am very impressed with the design of the dmp-bdt500. The deck is a well built machine with a mirrored facade; the bottom third of the front facade fades from a mirror to a nice brushed silver finish. The "Panasonic" logo is centered onto the mirrored section of the faceplate. The top of the machine is sort of blackish, with four touch-sensitive buttons and a brushed appearance. The brushed look gives the machine a feeling of cohesion (with the faceplate) and will serve to obscure any future scratches. Another welcome design feature is the bright metal feet--they look elegant, but also serve to stabilize the deck. These circular feet are the best I've ever seen on a Panasonic disc player.

My critique of the design has to do with the look of the player once the faceplate drops down to reveal the disc tray. The look of the front panel is dull in comparison to the mirrored faceplate. It is a sort of washed out black color which does not seem to gel appropriately with the aesthetic of such a high-end machine. Keep in mind--this is Panasonic's highest end offering--her flagship deck. It is not terrible though...just nearly so. But, once the disc tray closes and the faceplate swings back into place, it is like a so-so looking wife who transforms into gorgeousity ( it is not a word) once her face is painted. The player is pretty though, but not perfect because of the previously mentioned reasons. But, it will not look out of place in the company of higher end components--it's a classy deck.

Score: 9/10


I am not an engineer--or a scientist (this is why I am so charming). However, spec-wise this player is a tremendous value. In order to get Burr-Brown 192kHz/32-bit DAC's into a disc player, the consumer usually has to spend about a thousand bucks or more (do the research if you are inclined to disagree). The dmp-bdt500 also has 7.1 channel analog output, high end capacitors, gold plated terminals (a gimmick as far as I am concerned), and nice, stabilizing feet. The construction of the deck is hefty and substantial. The touch sensitive buttons are also a nice addition to this player (although many BD players have this these days). Just by looking at the spec sheet, it should be evident that this is Panasonic's best offering yet. On paper, it is the best deck Panasonic has ever built...and it is only $350 (or less). Value-wise, this player is simply untouchable, one would have to spend three times the amount to get the same "stuff".

Score: 10/10


But how does she play? I am here to tell you...she plays like buttuh.....this deck is n-i-i-i-i-c-e. Although music is most important to me, I popped in a Blu-ray. Since I really dig classic movies on Blu-ray, I played Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief". This disc is already great looking, but I have never seen it look like this. is evident that, although most BD players look excellent, it IS possible to bring it up a notch. This is just an arbitrary rating with no basis in objective metrics, but I have a really good eye, and I will say with confidence that this player will make your Blu-rays look about 20% better; remember, all Blu-ray players look "good", so this is really sayin' something. I then popped in "North By Northwest"----stunning. "The Ten Commandments" looks so good, it got me reading my Bible again. So, I will say that videophiles will love this machine.

I l-o-o-o-v-e music. The cd playback is the most important aspect to my satisfaction with this deck. My taste is eclectic. I love reggae/ska, classical (Bach fanatic), punk rock and have a lot of new wave cds (hey...I'm in my thirties man). This player plays everything good. With reggae the sound is tight with fast base (not too fast though); there is nice punch to the base. The sound is smooth, but dynamic. Dynamic range is very important to the audiophile...this aint no 'run of the mill' dvd player here, this deck is good...really good. All of Bach's cello suites sound fantastic--good enough for any audio snob. This player has very good punch and attack (the leading edges of notes). I have B &W speakers and a good, clean HK amp, so I am able to extract the goodness from this player. I tested the dynamic range (which rates at a respectable 105db) of this deck by playing "Seed" by Sublime, "Beverly Hills" by Weezer and "Darkness" by Black Uhuru. She is dynamic. As you may know, the biggest appeal of SACD's is the dynamic range. Although this deck does not play SACD's, she is good and dynamic. Highs are top notch, mids are tight and composed and the base is deep and punchy. The sound is neat and dynamic...not sloppy at all. Classical will sound classy, punk will sound, uh, punk-y, reggae will sound exceptionally IRIE and and you will certainly be able to 'rock out' with any hard rock stuff you choose to play--as long as you have good speakers and a good, clean amp or receiver. For a $350 (or less) deck, you will not be able to do better with movies and music--period. You will find yourself breaking out all of your favorite cds. If you are reading this, you probably know that you should use analog cables to listen to cds...just checkin'...all the kids now are listening to compressed music--I only do that on the go.

How does she the wi-fi any good? I recently upgraded from the Panasonic dmp-bdt320. This player (the 500) is better with movies and MUCH better with cds. But, she broke my heart a bit with the wi-fi. I really like to listen to Pandora. This player sounds great with Pandora, especially when you activate "high clarity sound" and have it in "digital tube" mode (number'll see). Pandora (or other digital files) will sound like nectar if you use the previously mentioned enhancements. Just make sure you use no sound enhancements when you are listening to cds via analog inputs. I always make sure sound enhancements are turned off when I listen to cds--it makes a huge difference...just let the sweet Burr-Brown DAC's do their thing.

The wi-fi on the 320 is better than the wi-fi on the 500. This player is more inconsistent with wi-fi, especially Pandora. After a few songs, I keep getting an Error message "-6". It just bugs me. I do not have the patience to dance around with some Panasonic customer service rep on the phone! The 320 streamed Pandora for hours without issues. Perhaps it has to do with the placement of the wi-fi unit inside of the component itself--I don't know. But, the fidelity of the Blu-ray and CD playback is good enough to temper my aggravation with the quirky wi-fi in the 500. I guess you cannot have it all for $350.

Video Score: 10/10

CD Playback Score: 10/10

Wi-Fi Score: 5/10


If CD playback is very important to you, this player will please you. If a top-notch Blu-ray image is what you are after, buy this deck. If you want a fantastic wi-fi streamer, and do not care about CD playback as much (some do not) then the dmp-bdt320 is all you will need. It has a fantastic Blu-ray image and is a very good wi-fi playback is just adequate--not audiophile caliber, because the dynamic range is not as good as the 500. But, if you want an audiophile caliber CD player, a videophile caliber Blu-ray player and do not care about wi-fi as much, the dmp-bdt500 will 'blow your hair back". You can always get a separate unit for wi-fi and many people have it built into their tvs. For the low price, the audiophile on a budget could do no better, especially if s/he does not have a SACD collection and does not want to start one.
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72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2012
One simple comment: A couple of months ago I ordered the Oppo 93 & 95 and I returned them to the seller. These players got great picture but the sound quality, contrary to many hyped reviews, is not worth the money. They just sound cold to me (I already use tube amplifications). But with the Panasonic I found the picture is just as great. More importantly, it sounds better than the two Oppo. Inner details, micro-dynamics, musicality, all are there for you. I am writing as a 20 years audiophile. I use Audio Note Amp., Conrad Johnson preamp., and JBL speakers. The Panasonic is a great product for the audiophile. Buy it. It's actually cheap by comparison. The Panasonic team deserves congratulations!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
This review is to clarify why you would want this unit over other models. It is not entirely clear from Panasonic or some tech reviews. It is not a player for universal downloaded formats, it is a near audiofool unit at a consumer friendly electronics price.

I was shopping for 3D BD player with dual HDMI output for future use and analog surround out for immediate use. Few models caught my attention, as few are available. This model is 2-5X cheaper (based on Amzon July '12 promotions) than other well reviewed options. This unit is considered reference on BD and excellent on DVD playback by industry review, and on new VT50 TV I would agree. However this is not an accomplishment any more as models less expensive have the same rating. Infact, that is the purpose of digital media. What does spending 4-20X more money get you? Maybe less with more gimmick features.

But the real reason to get this model is this unit is equipped with four independent 192kHz/32-bit Burr-Brown DACs for 7.1 channel sound on analog outs. While inexpensive parts they are only seen on high end avrs. It also has separate sound and video HDMI options for legacy AVR without HDMI 1.4 pass through. It can easily down mix to 5.1 for older AVRs. I have legacy Marantz SR6200 (6.1). While you lose 'mostly useless' functionality of on board decoders going with analog outs on avr's, most of those features are not present on legacy systems anyway.

There is a TREMENDOUS difference between online streaming over optical out and HD playback such as VuDu HDX with 7.1 dolby digital decoded to analog ports. I got several unpromted responses. (I was not fishing for compliments.) There could be many technical reasons aside from signal source, but I am please with result. Sadly I feel like I never got much out of Marantz SR6200 until I just now bypassed preprocessor. Yes it is that good!!

A few other notes about WiFi reported drop out. Used with an amp it is VERY important to keep this player cool. Amps have much higher tolerances for heat than this or similar units. It will last much longer away from amps. I am sure this is the case with a portion on the returns, but not all.

I would not consider this if you are looking for a true universal streaming media player. WD Live might be one option. That feature does not interest me much though. Smart TV is limited and likely to stay that way. I am a fan of the new TuneIn app here though. Try it and you might be too.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I bought this player specifically to replace a previous Blu-ray player that I was very dissatisfied with due to some audio problems (let's just say "Life wasn't Good"). What I didn't expect is that the Panasonic player would also substantially improve both the video and audio I had been experiencing.

The player was shiny and beautiful out of the box which I will have to work to keep it that way since I imagine fingerprints will easily show up. But the real beauty is on the inside. The first Blu-ray I watched was The Gremlins and I immediately noticed that the picture quality was better than I had with the old player. My TV is only 720p, but the quality and the contrast of the picture seemed better to me. I first thought I might be imagining it since one might tend to bias themselves towards new equipment, but the next day while watching High Fidelity a friend of mine asked if I had a different TV because he thought it looked better than usual.

There is two audio features on Panasonic players that will help improve the dialog to music ratios by compressing the dynamic range of the signal and mixing more of the center channel into the stereo field (the center channel is generally more dialog heavy). Since I only have a 2.1 sound system I found these features to be great when playing movies at night as I don't have to keep adjusting the volume when listening at less than normal levels. The neighbors probably are happy I use this feature too.

Some reviewers have also complained about the touchpad on the remote, but after using it a few times I discovered I like it since I have memorized the proper commands and can usually do everything without looking at the remote at all.

I'm leaving off one star for now because I've had a bit of trouble getting the touch sensor button to open and close the tray properly. Sometimes I have to touch it several times to get it to work. I know it's detecting the touch because the player beeps, but the door doesn't always open or close for me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong somehow, but if it keeps up I might have to get it repaired/replaced. One of my HDMI cables didn't work with it either that works fine on other players so it's perhaps a little picky about HDMI cables.

All in all, short of buying a very expensive Denon, Oppo or Cambridge Audio Blu-ray player (which hover close to the $1000 mark), I think this is one of the best choices for consumer players. If you don't need the dual HDMI outputs or analog audio outs, there is several cheaper Panasonic models as well that presumable have similar high-end performance.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
I have this player since June 2012, updated the firmware the first time it was hooked-up, and replaced my old Sony blu-ray which is a good player. Quite happy with everything, pictures clarity, sound, playing blu-ray movies, etc. except the WIRELESS STREAMING. It will just disconnect while watching either Netflix or Amazon movies and won't reconnect again until you reboot the player. Sometimes this will happen twice before finishing one movie. I know it's not my router because I have a decent new router Linksys EA4500 with updated firmware, it is not far enough to disconnect because if it is connected it is showing 5 bars. Also my other wirelss stuff (iPhone, Ipad, laptop) are always connected without any problems on the same spot, and my old Sony Blu-ray BDP S570 did not have this kind of problem. I have read different reviews with this same problem as mine. PANASONIC SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I never write a review until now, since this is quite annoying for a defective product coming from a reputable company and nothing is being done about it inspite of so many complaints.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2013
I have to say I did a lot of research on so many players and found this one to be really good. The picture and sound quality is awesome. I was debating between the Sony BDP-S790 and this one. I think in the end whichever one you go with you will be fine between the Sony BDP-S790 and this Panasonic. Read all the reviews, and was said that the Panasonic had a little better sound and I think boy were they right! Once you get all your personal settings tweaked that is! But with the S-790 you will have to do the same thing as well. I had bought a Sony BDP-S5100 at first, but it just felt small and cheap and it only had a coaxial output and my receiver is digital (toslink), I know you can buy a converter but the bdp-s5100 just didn't feel right so I returned that and started looking at Sony's flagship the S-790 and the Panasonic DMP-BDT500, started weighing in the reviews. The price tag was a little higher for the Sony and in the end reviews were saying the picture quality was awesome on both, but sound was a little better on the Panasonic, most reviews gave it one less star because of the remote. All these people are talking so bad about the remote, it really is not bad at all. It's a hybrid remote in that you have the play, stop, pause... etc. (regular buttons), but you do have to use the touch pad to make selections and navigate (the old OK button). It's definitely not like a laptop touch pad, it's more like the touchscreen on your cell phone. If you want to move the arrow right, just swipe your thumb to the right, if you want to move the arrow to left (swipe your thumb to left) and to make a selection tap the middle with your thumb, it's not hard people, you have to kinda retrain yourself cause you are used to having the up, down, button and then the ok button, but think of it like your cell phone, to navigate over to next screens you swipe over, to navigate right on the remote you swipe over. If you can't train your mind to do this, although I don't see why it is that hard then you can simply go on e-bay for $11 and order a replacement remote for Panasonic dmp-bdt220 (older style remote that will work with this) or they have a free app. where you can remote control from your phone. I swear some people just have to find something to complain about. Anyways, Picture and Sound is awesome! I just have a Vizio Soundbar with wireless sub and surround speakers.
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2012
I received this from Amazon on Friday, and set it up on Friday evening. This was ordered to replaced a unit that was a couple of years old and cost $150 less. The old player was working OK but I was intrigued by the specs and hype for this player. I have a decent surround sound system (Polk top-of-the-line speakers) and a plasma TV (Samsung). The video: I have my TV set to Movie mode and with this player the video really does look like movie mode (at least more than the old player), I turned off the Chroma Process on the BDT500 because of way too much color saturation, and still had to re-adjust the plasma TV just a little lower (not much) for both color and contrast, and now the picture is great, better color than the old player and darker blacks, and great detail. The audio: I'm using the HDMI Sub feed to my receiver, and the sound took some tinkering too, I tried the sound effects but didn't really like the "tube amp" sounds, so they're turned off, I also turned off the analog sound circuit. I turned on High Clarity Sound which seemed to reduce the strength of the center channel a little, so I turned on the Dialog Enhancer, which increased the center channel a little bit too much (but more is better than not enough if you want to hear the voices). My speakers were balanced by the Audyssey feature of the reciever, and I didn't want to mess with it, but I decided to increase all the speakers by 1 db (except the center). It worked OK because this is the best sound I've gotten from my system so far. The only thing I'm having trouble with is the touch screen on the remote - makes me crazy sometimes (frustration), maybe time will help. This player allows so many adjustments to the video and sound that most people should find something preferable. I'm glad I ordered it and I think it's worth the cost. My home theater is improved.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2013
First of all, this is a great Blu-ray player for both video and audio.

I don't rate the streaming features, because the software guys keep changing what works and if you really want this, get a PC. This is not a computer. I also don't care about streaming. I want full rez, full frame rate discs.

The picture quality is excellent as is the startup and navigation. Disc access is quick.

The audio part is where this unit shines. Analog sound is outstanding, especially when connected to a high quality amp. CDs really sound great, much better than a conventional player or IPod. Digital is also excellent.
Build quality is excellent, similar to the old Technics audio line. Solid.

Also, plays SD cards, so video in AVCHD and photos from digital camera are easy to watch on TV.

What could be better:
1. The time display on the unit needs to have much better viewing angle, when set above the TV. It is hard to read through the flip-up panel due to the brushed aluminum obscuring the time display.
2. Ditch the touch panel remote and use the BDT220's remote, which is good. The touch panel remote is plain annoying and more work.
3. Please, please, make all Blu-ray players' remotes have the ability to hit the number keypad and the CD track plays. No need for the TV to be on or hitting extra keys or menus. It should work just like a Technics CD player. Easy. Add CD playback features and I will pay extra.
4. This unit has a CD tray, which is one of the reasons I bought it. Ditch the slot loaders on the other mode
5. No buttons on top. These should be on front, so stacking doesn't get in the, as they scratch discs.

Overall, a great player with a few annoyances, but minor and nice to see someone build quality, rather than cheap. Very happy with it.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2012
I ordered two of these blu ray players and found the same problem with both of them. The player is great as far as picture quality, menu, sound, and features. After a few days with each player, though, they both had network issues. The first would not connect to my wireless network after only a few days use. It would not connect to the internet at tall, wired or wireless. The second player, after only a few days use, experience the same problem. It would see my wireless network, and would show that it could connect to the internet. Unfortunately, it would not connect to ANY online features, including my Netflix. After returning the second player I decided not to try a third. Amazon promptly refunded the entire purchase price to my account.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
As a Blu-Ray player its a fine product. As a WI-FI network device, it fails miserably.

-Great Blu-Ray player
-Beautiful up scaling with DVD
-Good sound and features
-FLAC support
-Marginal UI software
-Broken WI-FI subsection
-Touch pad on the controller

This will be the 2nd unit going back to Amazon. If you need or want wireless support with this device, just don't buy it. I have replaced my wireless router to eliminate that as the cause. It still loses its LAN address and the only way to recover is to pull the power plug. It will not recover and reconnect to the router with a power cycle. And it frustrating that it will play a Netflix move for hours and lose its LAN connection, generally right before the big reveal. And let me be clear: It loses its LAN address, the router does not lose its WAN connection to the internet. I was initially interested in this device because of the FLAC support. Yes it plays FLAC music but the user interface is so weak that its not worth while. And the touch pad on the remote is just dumb - real buttons please.
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