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Old 11-06-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
HDTV1080P HDTV1080P is offline
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Default Panasonic DMP-BD35 And DMP-BD55 Are The Best Quality Blu-ray Players Available

On pages 82-84 of the December 2008 Home Theater magazine there is a professional review on the Panasonic DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 BLU-RAY players. According to the review these new Panasonic players have the best picture quality, sound quality, and over all best performance compared to any other current BLU-RAY player on the market at any price. Of course the players are not perfect. The Panasonic players do not have 1GB of internal memory for BD-LIVE, hopefully future 2009 Panasonic players will have 1GB of internal memory. At least the Panasonic players are using a front loading SD memory card slot for external memory instead of the hard to access rear panel external USB memory slot found on the Sony BDP-S350 and BDP-S550. The Panasonic players are one of the fastest BLU-RAY standalone players on the market with only the PS3 machine having faster load times. The PS3 has 1GB networking speed and the Panasonic only offers 100MB networking. One awesome unique feature found on the Panasonic BLU-RAY players is the ability to up convert film based 480I DVD's to 1080P/24. All or most current BLU-RAY players only upconvert DVD's to 1080P/60 with 3:2 pulldown. The Panasonic is the best BLU-RAY player for DVD player up conversions.
I have also noticed that many retail and mail order companies are out of stock on the new Panasonics. The new models are one of the most popular players for consumers to own.

Quotes from the review

"Despite the DMP-BD50's recent release, these two players replace the current DMP-BD30 and DMP-BD50 models. These new players are identical except for their analog audio outputs. The DMP-BD35 only has a two-channel analog output, while the more expensive DMP-BD55 supports 7.1 channels of analog audio. All the other features are the same, so for this roundup, I'll fuse these two players together in regards to performance unless otherwise noted."
"As I mentioned earlier, the only difference you'll find with these players is with their back panels. The DMP-BD55 features a 5.1 analog audio connection that you can couple with separate stereo output for full 7.1-channel analog output. The DMP-BD35 is limited to two-channel on the analog audio side. Both players support HDMI 1.3a, with Deep Color."
(Note above quote author met to say 7.1 instead of 5.1.)

"Both players are BD-Live compatible and have a LAN connection, which lets you link up the player to your home network so you can download Blu-ray features and firmware updates. Please note that Panasonic still requires you to purchase an SD card to meet the BD-Live requirement of 1 gigabyte of "local storage." While SD cards are quite cheap, I'm disappointed that Panasonic didn't include onboard memory to meet the minimum spec or at least supply a card with the player. Uninitiated consumers may scratch their heads when the latest BD-Live disc doesn't work."
"Panasonic has made some headway with its transport speed. These new players power up and load a bit faster than Panasonic's last generation of players, even if they still come up a bit short compared with the lightning-quick Sony PS3."
"They also support DVD upconversion to 1080p/24 via HDMI." "Panasonic has included the ability to play back standard DVD's at 1080p/24, which is a rarity for Blu-ray players. For all the people with 1080p/24 capable displays, it's a bonus to be able to take advantage of removing the judder that's associated with 3:2 pulldown."
"On the audio side, they support both bitstream output and full internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio lossless. The DMP-BD35 is the cheapest standalone player on the market that offers full audio decoding, and I'm glad we're seeing this level of flexibility."
"Internal decoding is convenient for Bonus View titles since the Picture - in - Picture audio needs to mix with the main soundtrack. This isn't allowed when an AVR or surround processor does the audio decoding. By decoding internally, the player can mix the soundtracks and output the audio as PCM (or in the case of the DMP-BD55, as multichannel analog), which makes the process seamless."
"Connecting to the Internet was simple. The player automatically set the IP protocol after I connected it to my network. The player can trigger updates from the setup menu, which makes firmware updates simple and easy.
"Unlike some Blu-ray players, the Panasonic players do not offer a bitrate meter for video and audio."
"These new players did outstanding in our new video processing test set. They support full deinterlacing of high-definition and standard DVD playback with great results. These players have definitely set the bar for video performance at these price points, and it will be interesting to see how the competition responds."
"The DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 did a spectacular job in our video tests. These are the first Panasonic players that pass all of our video processing tests for deinterlacing."
"You would truly be hard-pressed to find better video performance with Blu-ray and DVD playback at any price."
"Menu navigation and load times were never an issue. It was a big step up from the majority of the standalones I've used so far."

Conclusion
"The DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 deliver the best standalone values I've seen from the format yet." With Bonus View and BD-Live compatibility, great video processing, and full support of Blu-ray's advanced audio, its value is hard to beat."

http://hometheatermag.com/discplayer...u-ray_players/

Last edited by HDTV1080P; 12-21-2008 at 09:36 PM. Reason: UPDATED WITH WEBLINK
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:52 AM   #2
sheedoe sheedoe is offline
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So the main question is how does it measure up against the mighty PS3 in performance?? Is the video quality better with the Panasonic than the PS3?

Last edited by sheedoe; 11-06-2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:59 AM   #3
HDTV1080P HDTV1080P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheedoe View Post
So the main question is how does it measure up against the mighty PS3 in performance?? Is the video quality better with the Panasonic than the PS3?
According to the test results the Pansonic has a better picture quality then the PS3. The Panasonic passed all the video tests where as the PS3 fails some of the video tests. Of course the PS3 is still the fastest for load times and for BD-LIVE downloads.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:12 AM   #4
WSYacullo WSYacullo is offline
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Default Best Blu-Ray

Thanks for posting the review of the Panasonic 35/55. After months of research, I decided on the Panasonic 35. Thanks to the Blu-Ray members who posted reviews from CNET and Sound and Vision Magazine.

This most recent review from Home Theater Magazine convinces me that my research paid off! I am very pleased with my player.

Perhaps someone can assist me with this issue. I have set the player to convert to 1080/24p. I noticed that whenever playing blu-ray discs, this setting remains. It is not necessary to program this information each time that I play a blu-ray disc. However, when playing standard DVDs, it is necessary to reset the display each time to 1080/24p. If I pause the disc, the setting remains. If I eject the disc, it is necessary to reset the player to 1080/24p playback. The setting remains at 1080p; however, I need to reprogram the player for 24p. As I mentioned, this resetting is necessary only for standard DVDs. Overall, this is really not a big issue.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:01 PM   #5
Mr. Cinema Mr. Cinema is offline
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I'm enjoying both the new Panasonic BD35 and Sony 550. I haven't tried the upconverting in the Panny yet. Between the two, I have noticed the Sony handles java menus a bit better than the Panny. Selecting options is a tad smoother.

The Panny powers up pretty quickly and load speed is pretty good. I did notice the Matrix seemed to take a bit longer than most to load completely.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #6
krisjan krisjan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSYacullo View Post
Thanks for posting the review of the Panasonic 35/55. After months of research, I decided on the Panasonic 35. Thanks to the Blu-Ray members who posted reviews from CNET and Sound and Vision Magazine.

This most recent review from Home Theater Magazine convinces me that my research paid off! I am very pleased with my player.

Perhaps someone can assist me with this issue. I have set the player to convert to 1080/24p. I noticed that whenever playing blu-ray discs, this setting remains. It is not necessary to program this information each time that I play a blu-ray disc. However, when playing standard DVDs, it is necessary to reset the display each time to 1080/24p. If I pause the disc, the setting remains. If I eject the disc, it is necessary to reset the player to 1080/24p playback. The setting remains at 1080p; however, I need to reprogram the player for 24p. As I mentioned, this resetting is necessary only for standard DVDs. Overall, this is really not a big issue.

Any suggestions?
This is by design. Here's a quote from Panny engineering:

"After confirming with the factory they said that: it is designed that customers have to set the 24p setting for every standard DVDs, because some standard DVDs is made by 60i, then if the discs is played by 24p mode it can not be played smoothly. It is difficult for BD Player to judge standard DVDs 24p or not, so we forced customers to set for every DVDs. If we misunderstand your comment, please let us know in detail. So 24p works on some DVD disc, the one we tested here did not work. It will display 24p in the status window when DVD-Video playsback in 24p."
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
HDTV1080P HDTV1080P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisjan View Post
This is by design. Here's a quote from Panny engineering:

"After confirming with the factory they said that: it is designed that customers have to set the 24p setting for every standard DVDs, because some standard DVDs is made by 60i, then if the discs is played by 24p mode it can not be played smoothly. It is difficult for BD Player to judge standard DVDs 24p or not, so we forced customers to set for every DVDs. If we misunderstand your comment, please let us know in detail. So 24p works on some DVD disc, the one we tested here did not work. It will display 24p in the status window when DVD-Video playsback in 24p."
It is great that the new Panasonic players offers this unique feature but having to set it manually for every DVD is not consumer friendly. Hopefully future BLU-RAY players will automatically detect film based DVD's and upconvert the image to 1080P/24.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:59 AM   #8
WSYacullo WSYacullo is offline
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Thanks for the feedback about 24 output for standard DVDs. I suspected that this was the case. However, the confirmation is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:57 AM   #9
Docfletcher Docfletcher is offline
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WOW! That was quite a review indeed. I am in the market for a blue ray player.
After reading much online about the Pani BD55, Sony 550, and Samsung BD2550 As a consumer I find trying to compare players a daunting task.

I would like to know if the the Samsung BD2550 has been tested, and if so how did it do? I ask this because I have read that it has a superior chip (HQV) that enables it to upconvert standard DVD's to 1080P with much higher picture quality than other players. Is this true? It is the only player I found that has the Pandora feature for Netflix.

Thanks in advance for setting me right.

Here is the description etc.

Experience thrilling high-definition from Blu-ray Discs and even convert your standard DVDs to high-definition with this 1080p Blu-ray disc player. Ethernet and USB 2.0 interfaces allow you to access firmware upgrades.
Product Features

* Blu-ray Disc format compatible for high-definition movie playback with resolution up to 5 times greater than DVD
* Delivers greatly enhanced video performance with standard DVDs by upconverting their video resolution to HDTV-compliant 720p or 1080p via the HDMI interface and the built-in HQV chip
* Built-in decoders for next-generation Dolby Digital Plus and lossless Dolby TrueHD (7.1-channel)

* Plays BD-ROM, BD-R and BD-RE discs; backward compatible with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, CD and CD-R/RW discs
* Plays Blu-ray media that can store up to 50GB of high-definition video and audio
* Compatible with VC-1, MPEG2 and H.264 formats
* Built-in Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports for network connection and firmware upgrades
* BD Live support with 1GB of internal memory for game, sub title and special feature updates through the Internet
* 10-bit/108MHz video digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion
* 24-bit/192kHz audio digital-to-analog (D/A)converter
* Enjoy full HD 1080p video output on your 1080p display
* Outputs: 1 component video, 1 composite video, 1 HDMI, 1 stereo audio, 1 optical digital audio, 1 7.1-channel analog output
* HDMI-CEC networking lets you operate compatible HDMI products with a single remote
* Includes remote with batteries and A/V cable
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:02 AM   #10
LostinHD LostinHD is offline
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What is the Pandora feature for Netflix?
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:55 AM   #11
Docfletcher Docfletcher is offline
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Hooks up to computer so you can download movies from Netflix/Pandora and watch then on your TV. I don't know much about how it does it.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #12
LostinHD LostinHD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docfletcher View Post
Hooks up to computer so you can download movies from Netflix/Pandora and watch then on your TV. I don't know much about how it does it.
Sounds much too complicated for me.....
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:38 PM   #13
horseflesh horseflesh is offline
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"These new players are identical except for their analog audio outputs. The DMP-BD35 only has a two-channel analog output, while the more expensive DMP-BD55 supports 7.1 channels of analog audio. All the other features are the same"

So if that's the only difference between the two models, and I use (and presumably will only ever use) HDMI, does that mean that to me both players are identical??

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Old 11-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #14
jappler jappler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseflesh View Post
"These new players are identical except for their analog audio outputs. The DMP-BD35 only has a two-channel analog output, while the more expensive DMP-BD55 supports 7.1 channels of analog audio. All the other features are the same"

So if that's the only difference between the two models, and I use (and presumably will only ever use) HDMI, does that mean that to me both players are identical??

Basically. If you can use audio over HDMI, the 35 is an easy choice. The only people who benefit from the 55 are those like me whose receivers can't decode TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.

Luckily I found the DMP-BD50 on sale cheap. Otherwise the 55 woulda been my choice.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:46 PM   #15
JJ JJ is offline
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As if I needed ANOTHER reason to pick up a 35 soon,

And the other difference between them - the "vibration-reducing" feet on the 55.



#HozayCinema - 9.1ch
Sonus Faber Venere - Verus Grand Center
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Vizio P75-C1 - Denon AVR-X4000 - Sony PS4 - Oppo UDP-203

Last edited by JJ; 11-08-2008 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:18 AM   #16
ShelbyGT500 ShelbyGT500 is offline
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Question SD cards??

So I'm looking at getting my brother the 35 for x-mas and I was wondering do I need to get a SD card for him in order to watch BD live disk's? Can a BD live disk be watched w/o the card or does the card only matter if you use the live feature. Like with Ironman I had my PS3 go online to check it out, but all I did was watch the movie like normal, I didnt use any of the live features while watching it.

Also do you need the SD card to save the firmware updates or is that all internal?
TV: Sony - 42" KDF-E42A10
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Speakers: Onkyo - SKS-HT540 7.1 Speakers
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:21 AM   #17
horseflesh horseflesh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jappler View Post
Basically. If you can use audio over HDMI, the 35 is an easy choice. The only people who benefit from the 55 are those like me whose receivers can't decode TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio.

Luckily I found the DMP-BD50 on sale cheap. Otherwise the 55 woulda been my choice.
See, this is where I get a bit confused with the new audio formats/options
At the moment I have a PS3 connected to my Sony STR-DG910 (I don't know if there's an equivalent American model) and get all the HD sound formats. So does that mean I can literally replace the PS with a BD35 and still get all the HD audio formats?
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:37 PM   #18
HDTV1080P HDTV1080P is offline
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The original magazine article is now available online for reading
http://hometheatermag.com/discplayers/panasonic_dmp-bd35_and_dmp-bd55_blu-ray_players/
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGT500 View Post
So I'm looking at getting my brother the 35 for x-mas and I was wondering do I need to get a SD card for him in order to watch BD live disk's? Can a BD live disk be watched w/o the card or does the card only matter if you use the live feature. Like with Ironman I had my PS3 go online to check it out, but all I did was watch the movie like normal, I didnt use any of the live features while watching it.

Also do you need the SD card to save the firmware updates or is that all internal?
i just got the panny and i upgraded fine without the sd card. by the way , i love the panny
Philips 47PFL7403D 47" 120hz LCD for Movie viewing
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Panasonic BD35 BluRay PLayer
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:50 PM   #20
3560freak 3560freak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseflesh View Post
"These new players are identical except for their analog audio outputs. The DMP-BD35 only has a two-channel analog output, while the more expensive DMP-BD55 supports 7.1 channels of analog audio. All the other features are the same"

So if that's the only difference between the two models, and I use (and presumably will only ever use) HDMI, does that mean that to me both players are identical??

I believe the BD55 also supports Divx playback and the BD35 does not. This is almost a closer for me on the BD55
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