Entertainment

Panasonic Unveils New Blu-ray Hardware

vieracast.JPGPanasonic this morning showed off their latest Blu-ray hardware, including two new Blu-ray recorders, a couple of Blu-ray players (BD Profile 2.0 FTW) and a portable Blu-ray player with the power to solve world hunger. Okay, maybe not, but it’s still pretty cool.The two new Blu-ray recorders (DMR-BW850 and DMR-BW750) bring BD-Live capability, H.264 encoding and DivX playback via USB and DVD to the range. It also adds Viere Cast – an IP service that lets you access YouTube and Picasa web albums on your device. Both have twin HD tuners, with the difference being that the 750 has a 250GB HDD and the 850 boasts 500GB. Pricing’s still in the premium range – with the 850 going for $2,199 and the 750 for $1,979.

The Blu-ray players (DMP-BD60 and DMP-BD80) Bring BD Profile 2.0 to the range, something that’s been sadly missing from Panny’s lineup (although BD-Live is still somewhat inadequate). The BD80 also has DivX playback, and both feature Viera Cast. They have, howvere, been hit by the financiapocalypse and the crappy Aussie dollar, with the BD60 going for $549, and the BD80 for $719.

The portable Blu-ray player (DMP-B15) has an 8.9-inch screen, doubles as a digital photo frame, and is also BD Profile 2.0 (although that’s through a wired LAN connection, sadly). It comes with a HDMI socket so you can use it as a standalone player. It’s fairly pricey though, at $1,319.

All the players and recorders will hit stores in April, except the portable Blu-ray player which lands in June. We’ll be getting out hands on the Portable unit as soon as we can to give it a thorough going over as well.

[Panasonic]

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