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Panasonic Blu-ray Home Theater Preview

ZDNet got a demonstration of Panasonic's new DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 Blu-ray players, which debuted at CEDIA 2008, as well as the company's SA-BX500 receiver. Here's a photo play-by-play of the presentation.Go back to the original article: The Toybox: Panasonic Blu-ray Home Theater Preview
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1 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Panasonic's new DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 Blu-ray players replace the BD30 and BD50 and were first announced at CEDIA 2008. They are expected to ship in October, for an as-yet unspecified price. Here's a shot of the front and back of one of the units.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
Go back to the original article: The Toybox: Panasonic Blu-ray Home Theater Preview
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2 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Here's another shot of the front and back of one of the units.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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3 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Lots of Panasonic signage around the room.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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4 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Panasonic's SA-BX500 receiver, intended for use with the Blu-ray players, was also on display. It's also due to ship in October, for $799.95. Here's a shot of the back panel and the circuitry inside.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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5 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Here's a close up of the back panel of Panasonic's SA-BX500 receiver, due to ship in October, for $799.95.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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6 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Here's a quick shot of the general setup for the presentation.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The right side of the presentation setup.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The center unit of the presentation setup.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The presentation kicked off with the announcement of the two new Blu-ray players. The DB35 and BD55 are Internet-ready BD-Live (Profile 2.0) out of the box, and come with the company's PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus (for pixel-by-pixel color reproduction), VIERA link (for one-remote control) and SD memory card slot (for storage). The BD55 also supports 7.1ch Lossless Decode and Analog Output.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
One Panasonic representative said the company's intention is to "bring the movie experience into the living room."
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Panasonic was eager to compare the new units to the previous ones and justify the release of the BD35 and 55 so soon after that of the BD30 and BD50.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Here's a closeup of the technology inside the units. The engineers, present at the presentation, were particularly proud of their advances.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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13 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
One of the lead engineers explains how they kicked color reproduction up a notch in the new devices with the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus. The previous generation were what Panasonic calls 4:4:2 signal technology, while the new unts are 4:4:4 (hence the "plus").
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
More explanation of the difference between 4:4:2 signal reproduction and 4:4:4.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
More explanation of 4:4:4 up-conversion.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers showed us a test comparing the new Panasonic devices with two Blu-ray players by Samsung and Sony (Samsung BD-P1500, our review here, and Sony BDP-S350, our review here)
This is a shot of the Samsung's performance. Noting the terrible compression strip at the bottom, the engineer scoffed at Sony and Samsung's lack of in-house semiconductor manufacture, saying that "they have no know-how about BD processing." Chris Boylan of BigPictureBigSound said under his breath that it's not a fair comparison between the Samsung BD-P1500 and Panasonic's new BD35.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
This is a shot of the performance of Panasonic's BD35 on the same test.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers pointed out the difference between the performance of their BD35 and the Samsung unit, noting the clarity of the lines on the edge of the test, thanks to the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The Sony BDP-S350's performance on the same test.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Another test, this time with movement. Though it's not evident here, the BD35 had crisper lines on the two pairs of three lines toward the edge than the competition. The BD35 also didn't have any flicker in the center square quadrants (both other units did).
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The Samsung during the second test. Though it's not evident here, the edges of the two pairs of three lines toward the edge were slightly pixelly and the center square quadrants flickered rapidly.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers used the same setup to show us how a true Blu-ray disc would display on the unit. This is the BD35.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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23 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Here's a shootout between the Sony and Panasonic's BD35. Though not evident here due to the darkness of the room and blur of the shot, the Panasonic was slightly more crisp on edges than the competition. But it was barely noticeable, even on that large of a display.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
An attempted close-up of the BD35's performance.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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25 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
An attempted close-up of the Sony's performance.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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26 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
Time for the audio demonstration. The engineers explained how the new receiver handles various codecs.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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27 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers also explained sound reproduction using the setup in the room, which took advantage of Panasonic's SB-TP1000 home theater speaker system.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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28 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers explained that the receiver could switch from 2.1 to 5.1 and 7.1 sound automatically, without rewiring or resetting, thanks to its patented "bi-amp/bi-wiring" system, which allows the receiver to automatically switch its internal circuits each time it receives a 2-channel signal (cables do not need to be reconnected to switch between 2-channel and 7.1).
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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29 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The engineers also explained that there is the slightest bit of lag on Blu-ray setups between the screen and the audio. Though nearly imperceptible, the company explains how they've synced it.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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30 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
The company explains all the devices the new receiver can handle, including an iPod dock.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
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31 of 31 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Panasonic Blu-ray Preview
One last shot of the SA-BX500 receiver's back panel.
Read our reviews of their predecessors: Panasonic DMP-BD30K and Panasonic DMP-BD50
Go back to the original article: The Toybox: Panasonic Blu-ray Home Theater Preview

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