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Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB

Introduction

Released in 2011, this 3D Blu Ray player is the June 2011 Sound & Vision Test winner for ‘What Hi Fi?’ magazine. It looks great, it plays great and it is great…Or so we’re told. But does it pop out at you or is it still a little flat? We pelted our intrepid reviewer with rocks and bits of broken bottles until he agreed to find out for us…

THE SPECS

With a weight of 2.2 kg, this isn’t the lightest Blu Ray player in the world, however, despite being a little on the large side, the Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB 3D still won’t take up too much space. This is a highly regarded, big-selling model, which it would have to be in order to justify a larger retail price than we’re used to.

Blu Ray offers the best quality sound and image available in home entertainment right now and 3D Blu Ray is in even higher demand, but it is worth noting that a 3D Blu Ray player will not make a 2D TV work in 3D. It is also worth noting that without a 1080p HD TV, you won’t even get the best quality out of your Blu Ray in the first place. In addition, you will require a decent stereo system in order to really get the most out of your purchase.

This player comes complete with a built-in WiFi connection, which allows you to use apps, view streamed content and even make Skype calls.

THE PRICE

At £150, this is one of the more expensive Blu Ray players. It remains to be seen whether it will drop further in price over the coming months (the RRP in February of last year was £230, but we’ve seen far bigger reductions on others since then). To be honest, the price is likely to be this product’s major stumbling block.

THE PERFORMANCE

Fairly easy to set up, the Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB 3D glides along like a dream. Each model is equipped with ‘Ultra Fast Booting Time’ as the adverts boast, so you can buy with confidence that you won’t be subject to the (sometimes painful) loading times of certain Blu Ray players.

The Skype option is a lot of fun as well, as you can conduct conversations with multiple people and nobody has to push. In addition, the improved sound of the TV really makes up for the sometimes-dodgy transmissions received during regular Skype calls.

The quality of the 3D is simply stupefying and this Blu Ray can certainly provide you and your friends or family with a satisfying evening of home cinema.

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

Despite the vast majority of Amazon’s product reviewers giving it perfect (5 star) reviews, it only has an aggregate score of 4/5. The user ‘James Hagerty’ said that whilst the player was mostly excellent, the laser was very sensitive, noting that even faint smudging or scratching can cause big problems for the viewer.

‘Sunflower’ based in London, pointed out a very serious flaw that I didn’t notice (but definitely bears mentioning if it is indeed the case) that the Internet apps are limited only to those that are pre-programmed in advance. This means that whilst you will get Youtube and Facebook, you will not be able to get iPlayer (or any number of others).

Other reviews (by the delightfully named ‘Porkchop’ amongst others) expressed annoyance that the streaming is actually very difficult and temperamental, in addition to the claim that a disproportionate amount of file types are not actually supported by Panasonic players. ‘Mememo’ (despite offering a 4/5 review) does mention that the player makes an annoying noise whilst playing, something that was also mentioned in other reviews.

‘Tabbycat 23’ (who, I can only imagine is not an actual cat) gave a perfect score, as well as saying that (s)he could not discern any noise emanating from the device (and cats are supposed to have good hearing!), whilst ‘Mark’ adequately described the visuals (before 3D) as “staggering” which is a genuine plus point.

Our Verdict

This is obviously a very good player. However, with the recent price drop taking effect, is it worth paying nearly £70 extra? Personally, I don’t think so.

Too many of the reviews I collated were very critical of Panasonic’s ‘lazy’ customer service and of their Blu Ray players being nowhere near as user friendly or compatible as a Sony or a Samsung.

Blighted by unwillingness to play certain file types and an extremely restrictive WiFi, the Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB 3D doesn’t really live up to the hype. For £150, we have every reason in the world to expect more. This does not mean that the Panasonic DMP-BDT110EB 3D is bad, just that it isn’t as good as Panasonic think it is.

Features:

5/10

Performance:

5/10

Design:

8/10

Value:

7/10

Was: £159.99
Now: £139.99

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

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Tags: blu ray player