Panasonic DMP-BD10: test and review

The father – not only spiritual – format “BD” quickdraw before almost everyone eats his disc of the 21st century (Samsung is also launching its Blu-ray player). A machine looks to the future, boosted in the highest definition possible: the famous 1080p 1920×1080 pixels with progressive distribution. In other words, the exact 24 fps motion picture films. Linked performance Blu-ray format, designed for those images of choice. It also supports a variety of audio formats. Of these, the supreme Dolby TrueHD lossless compressed data, worthy of recording studios, and an enhanced version of Dolby Digital suffixed “Plus”, offering a top quality 7.1.

The DMP-BD10 vehicle image digitally on its HDMI output, in all possible resolutions, the highest (native) to the more conventional. You are free to opt for a good old Scart, for example, or even worse, S-video or composite video. Let there the joke, if your TV or projector has no HDMI input, these HD cakes deserve at least a binding component YUV. The latter comes in 1080i in a fairly extraordinary quality. The credit goes to video converters (quality “broadcast” or “military” by some professionals) and unprotected Blu-ray discs today: eventually, only the HDMI output is supported.

The audio, to which the Blu-ray brings a major gain in quality is not spoiled in the same manner. The DMP-BD10 does not know physically out that its high quality digital amplifier up. To take advantage of new formats, 6-8 analog RCA cables will run up your amplifier. Transit that may limit the acoustic performance, attracting many small parasites and stuff behind your expensive copper spaghetti devices.

Like all first-generation devices, Panasonic is of somewhat complicated shell, supposed to be very design. The public will judge. We find the trouble maker better off than a DVD mid-range player with a sober look forward face. The function keys and the drawer are hidden behind a translucent plate tilting. Only beyond the central logo, and transparency, the fluorescent display indicates the time elapsed during playback and scant information on the ignition and extinction. We would have liked a more verbose unit, elegantly informative. Same thing for the remote, certainly pleasant to use, but fed her keys. The numbers of the latter is greater than that found on a DVD remote control. A small simple effort would not hurt.

With a guide price of € 1700 to launch the HD DMP-BD10 will pay dearly. The HD-DVD competition, the Toshiba case offers the same benefits for € 800 or € 500 if we cross out some functions.

Such selling price merit justification. In addition to higher capacity Blu-ray (operated in 2007), there is the integration of converters, decoding chips, noise reduction and scaling of very high quality. While DVD players usually use integrated chips very economical and efficient correctly, this machine embarks powerful processors delivering an upscale image, worthy of the best DVD players. The diagonals are smoothed, treatments are pixel without common flaws. Insert a single DVD: as long as your monitor or projector is compatible high definition you will receive all the benefits of such advanced algorithms: Lack of jaggies, robust deinterlacing, details abound with a feeling of pleasant three-dimensional terrain.

Profits in standard definition which is obviously found in high definition! With a diffuser actually displaying 1920 x 1080 pixels, is the explosion of details that everyone was waiting for: the little hair that drags on the face, skin texture unveiled on the side players, landscapes biting the horny as they are full of information. Only the fluidity remains questionable when 1080p output is activated. Tested on several screens, the absence of a true “cast” confirms many expert opinions, as what the device would extract the disc 1080p signal, convert it to 1080i then send the conversion circuits that would regenerate 1080p output. An aberration justified by reducing development cost of such an architecture.

The accuracy obtained on subtitles, fixed screens or movies CGI gives an idea of ​​the maximum drive performance. The first Blu-ray limit in effect rendering the quality of their mastering (excessive video noise, calibration perfectible), particularly for European and French editions treated hastily. The encoding of MPEG 2 discs, a small old fifteen year format, adds its share of lower compression artifacts on fast moving scenes and small chromatic variations typical parasites. The arrival of movies in MPEG 4 during 2007 will solve this problem.

What about the other highlights of this expensive player?

Well that’s about all that we can move forward, unfortunately. The device has many defects that make cringe.

On digital outputs HDMI, coaxial or optical it will settle for good old Dolby Digital, DTS and stereo CD. Integrating an HDMI 1.3 output would have no loss carry all possible formats (TrueHD, Dolby Digita Plus, DVD Audio, …). Without HDMI 1.3, this device inherits the status brand new “limited, soon exceeded” instead of “likely sustainable”.

then include the internal software, immature and incomplete. Operating problems, albeit infrequent, are corrected gradually by software updates regularly broadcast on the Internet. At the time of writing, here is a new installation by burning a disc on the computer. Well done, you can finally use the Dolby True HD sound Multichannel (7.1). Without this software component, you had to be confined to other formats. Other developments are planned, every one to two months, as the automatic download on the Internet to take advantage of bonus called “BD-Net”, the most comprehensive multi-format decoding such as MPEG 4 and above all, faster operation .

This is one of the major problems of this device, a victim of a snail syndrome. Ignition of the player far exceeds ten seconds, the disc is ejected far. The insertion of a wafer requires a half minute preparation before the appearance of image. The jump track or chapter lasts several seconds. The menu navigation is now instant (pop-ups on screen, above the video), sometimes reminiscent of the first DVD players “asthmatic”. To see a movie, prepare a good thirty minute patience clicks included in the menus. Energy intensive (42 W), this player is even slightly audible at times. Infuriating.