The specs for Blu-ray discs and players hold the promise of loads of cool
features, including stuff like games, Web-based interactivity, and video
picture-in-picture where you can see the director discussing the movie on an
inset box onscreen while it plays in the background. Problem is, the current
crop of Blu-ray players don’t all support such features.
When it came out last fall,
Panasonic’s DMP-BD30 BD player was one of the first models to meet the “Full
Standard Profile” (a.k.a. 1.1) specs. At CES, the company is demo’ing its
forthcoming DMP-BD50 BD-Live model, which satisfies all the requirements for a
Profile 2 player.
What the hell does that mean?
First, you get a mandatory Ethernet jack for Internet hookup plus 1 GB of local
storage for data downloads. Second it has dual audio/video decoders to enable
the video picture-in-picture feature that’s gotten so much attention — mostly
because studios releasing Blu-ray discs haven’t yet properly implemented it,
and the bulk of players out there have so far been unable to support it. But
you’ll be both PIP and BD-Live ready when Panasonic ships the DMP-BD50 later this
Other features to look
forward to on the DMP-BD50: full onboard decoding for Dolby True HD and DTS-HD
Master Audio, HDMI 1.3 output, 7-channel analog audio jacks, 1080p/24 video
out, and an SD card slot.
Just remember to also pick up
the company’s 150-inch plasma TV to watch your discs on.
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