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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Panasonic Introduces First Profile 1.1 Blu-ray Disc Player

Panasonic announced today the introduction of the DMP-BD30, the company's first High Definition 1080p Blu-ray Disc player than conforms to the Profile 1.1 specifications of the Blu-Ray disc format.

Panasonic claims that DMP-BD30 is the first Blu-ray player to be introduced with Final Standard Profile, which adds a variety of new features. Note that all Blu-Ray player released after the 31st of October should support the Final Standard Profile. But unique to the DMP-BD30 is the inclusion of an SD Memory Card slot for playback of High Definition content recorded in the AVCHD format. The SD slot also allows for viewing of digital still images recorded to an SD Memory Card.

Final Standard Profile (BD-ROM Profile 1.1) is an advanced function added to the Blu-ray standard, which opens the door to new functions such as Picture-in-Picture (which displays a second image in a sub window) and Audio Mixing (allows the consumer to switch the sound between the main and sub windows). However, the player is not BD-ROM Profile 2 capable. BD-ROM Profile 2 will be required for the "BD Live" interactivity that enables downloading special features from the Web, including interactive features. Players that will feature "BD Live" will have to be equipped with an 1GB storage medium (built-in or removable), support BD's Virtual File System (VFS) and of course offer Internet/network connection, Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and Audio mixing (secondary audio) capabilities. Most BD player makers are still supporting the Profile 1 specifications although the "grace period" expires today. The majority of the upcoming BD players from Denon, LG, Marantz and possibly Samsung will support the Profile 1.1.

With an SRP of $499.95, the DMP-BD30 also features Deep Color Compatibility, and HDMI 1.3B, that bumps the step gradation from 8-bit 256 all the way up to 12-bit, 4,096 step gradation. The player also provides 1080/24p playback. This eliminates the need to utilize 3.2 pull down, a process to convert 24-fps images to 60-fps, resulting in a smoother picture.

Coupled with the AVCHD codec, the DMP-BD30 allows for images recorded on a high capacity HD SD card to be outputted directly from the player's HDMI terminal in their original 1080p form. The DMP-BD30 provides an AVCHD Direct Navigator function that makes it easy to search for particular scenes. The player can also play back JPEG still images on an SD card. The DMP-BD30 converts the images to 1920x1080 resolution for viewing on a 1080p HD Plasma and output them through the HDMI terminal.

Like its predecessor, the DMP-DB30 features the EZ-Sync HDAVI Control that allows the consumer to operate their Panasonic home theater system with one remote.

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