BigPictureBigSound Forum: Movies, Home Theater, HDTV and Blu-ray Disc - Powered by vBulletin
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Shop With Us | Site Map
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 40

Thread: Hands on with the Panasonic DMP-BD80 Blu-ray player - initial thoughts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default Hands on with the Panasonic DMP-BD80 Blu-ray player - initial thoughts

    UPDATE: See our full review here:

    Panasonic DMP-BD80 Review

    We just got the BD80 (DMP-BD80) in for review and so far it looks great. It's basically the BD55 plus VIERA Cast. I played around a little with YouTube last night and it looks pretty good except for not having control over the screen aspect ratio for YouTube videos. But even at Full Screen on a 50-inch HDTV, many YouTube videos still look watchable.

    Over the BD55 it adds a USB drive for playback of video files (including DivX) and MP3 songs. I tested this and the player detected that the drive had videos and music on it, and it asked which I wanted to watch or listen to - playback of both types of media worked like a champ. Unfortunately I was not able to zoom in on a DivX AVI file to view it full screen but at least the aspect ratio did look correct (unlike the BD55 which stretched DivX videos horizontally).

    For Blu-ray playback, I only watched a little bit of Bolt - the upcoming Disney animation Blu-ray which was giving the BD55 some trouble (on a BD55 with 1.7 firmware). It played back with no problems on the BD80 and the detail and color accuracy seemed on par with the BD55 (though I have not done any real testing yet of video performance).

    There is a "Quick Start" option which does consume a bit more power in stand-by but allows the player to boot up faster. Also, there is a new "High Clarity Audio" feature that allows you to disable the analog audio processing if you're only using the digital/HDMI out.

    Overall, the menus and operation seem to be very close to the BD55, but with the addition of the VIERA Cast feature for direct access to web-based content. And all at the same exact price point - sweet!

    Expect a full review to be published on the site next week.

    -CB
    Last edited by MrBoylan; 06-01-2009 at 01:34 AM. Reason: added link to review
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    222

    Default

    It might be time to open my wallet???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daylightdon View Post
    It might be time to open my wallet???
    Probably a better investment than some stocks right now. You know when your CE gear has a better rate of return than your mutual funds you have a problem!

    -CB
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default

    I'm adding a couple of pics (attached below - click to view enlarged versions). Note the new "VIERA Cast" button on the bottom of the remote and the colored buttons which have been relabeled R G B Y instead of A B C D. Otherwise the remote is not too different from its predecessors (except for the slightly elongated numbers on the numeric keys). Also, the BD80 now offers a USB port (for a USB flash drive) next to the SD card slot, behind a drop down panel on the front right of the unit.

    If anyone has any specific questions on the unit or suggestions on things to cover in the review outside the scope of the regular stuff (performance, ergonomics, etc.) then now's the time to chime in.

    So far it's looking a lot like the BD55 in its video performance and ergonomics, plus the addition of VIERA Cast features such as YouTube and Picasa. Although there is a Quick Start mode, this doesn't have a huge impact on overall load times. They're pretty similar to the BD55 from what I've seen so far.

    -CB
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBoylan View Post
    I'm adding a couple of pics (attached below - click to view enlarged versions). Note the new "VIERA Cast" button on the bottom of the remote. Otherwise the remote is not too different from its predecessors (except for the slightly elongated numbers on the numeric keys). Also, the BD80 now offers a USB port (for a USB flash drive) next to the SD card slot, behind a drop down panel on the front right of the unit.

    If anyone has any specific questions on the unit or suggestions on things to cover in the review outside the scope of the regular stuff (performance, ergonomics, etc.) then now's the time to chime in.

    So far it's looking a lot like the BD55 in its video performance and ergonomics, plus the addition of VIERA Cast features such as YouTube and Picasa. Although there is a Quick Start mode, this doesn't have a huge impact on overall load times. They're pretty similar to the BD55 from what I've seen so far.

    -CB
    Hi Chris,

    I currently own the BD55. I have no interest at all in the new Viera features. My only interest would be PQ, sound and booting/loading speed. Do you think it will be worth upgrading to the BD80? Does the unit loads quicker? Does it have better PQ and SQ?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cortiz View Post
    Hi Chris,

    I currently own the BD55. I have no interest at all in the new Viera features. My only interest would be PQ, sound and booting/loading speed. Do you think it will be worth upgrading to the BD80? Does the unit loads quicker? Does it have better PQ and SQ?

    Thanks!
    Sorry, I forgot something. Maybe you can help. My BD55 does not resume playback after powering the unit off, on a lot of SD DVD's. I have seen a lot of people complaining about the same thing at the AVS forums. Both the BD55and BD35 seems to have the same issue. If it's not a problem, can you confirm the new BD80 resumes playback on SD DVD's?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cortiz View Post
    Hi Chris,

    I currently own the BD55. I have no interest at all in the new Viera features. My only interest would be PQ, sound and booting/loading speed. Do you think it will be worth upgrading to the BD80? Does the unit loads quicker? Does it have better PQ and SQ?

    Thanks!
    If you have no interest in the network-based VIERA Cast features or ability to play back content from USB drives, then I don't think it would be worth the upgrade from the BD55 to the BD80. I haven't done extensive PQ testing yet (some basic HQV tests), but it doesn't seem like a revolutionary upgrade in PQ over the already excellent BD55.

    And the disc load times I've measured so far put it right in the same ballpark with the BD55. It's faster than the Samsung BD-P2500 but slower than the LG BD300. There may be some improvements in the actual BD-Java interactivity. I noticed that the HQV interactive disc menus (Blu-ray version) loaded a bit quicker than they did on the BD55 and I think these are authored in BD-Java.

    In terms of Blu-ray Disc compatibility, the BD80 looks good so far - it plays "Bolt" without problems (unlike the BD55 currently), plays "For Your Eyes Only" which tripped up a few players when it first came out. It still trips up on playing back "Starship Troopers" unless an SD card is inserted, which is the same as the BD35 and BD55. But the Panny engineers tell me this is an authoring problem on the BD itself - the disc actually sends a "stop" command if it detects no memory available for BD-Live (so Panasonic tells me). They say they've reported this to Sony Pictures but gotten no response.

    They also tell me that the BD80 includes a fix for the issue on the BD35/BD55 with truncated subtitles on certain non-anamorphic DVDs (e.g., "The Abyss SE"). On the BD35/BD55, some NA DVDs activate a forced zoom mode on the player which causes any subtitles to be slightly cropped at the bottom. But I can't currently test this as they still have my "Abyss" disc!

    -CB
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Chris,

    I've owned a BD-55 for about a month and finally bought the Bourne trilogy in Blu ray so I could play something. I noticed that unlike my previous Panny DVD players, it does not have a memory position where I can restart where I left off. I also read that this is not possible in Blu ray? Can you help me? BTW, thanks for your very literate responses to many questions.

    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default Lack of resume function on Blu-ray Disc players

    Quote Originally Posted by tdorset View Post
    Chris,

    I've owned a BD-55 for about a month and finally bought the Bourne trilogy in Blu ray so I could play something. I noticed that unlike my previous Panny DVD players, it does not have a memory position where I can restart where I left off. I also read that this is not possible in Blu ray? Can you help me? BTW, thanks for your very literate responses to many questions.

    Tom
    Hi, Tom,

    You are correct that Blu-ray Discs authored in BD-Java (which is getting to be the majority of titles released these days, including the Bourne trilogy), do not support a native and automatic resume feature. Resume play on the BD55 player does work, but only on standard DVDs and on non-BD-Java Blu-ray Discs. From what I understand, this is true of all Blu-ray Players as it is a software issue related to BD-Java.

    The "work-around" is to allow a bookmark or "marker" point to be manually tagged in the player during playback of a specific disc (hit the bookmark button when you want to mark the resume point) and then this marker is retrieved again at playback time when you want to continue watching from that point. But actually, I admit I am not an expert on the Blu-ray "marker" feature and how it works. I know the BD55 doesn't have a marker button on it, while some remotes (like the one for the Samsung BD-P2500) do. I believe that the mysterious green-colored button on BD player remotes (labeled "B" on the BD55 remote and labeled "G" on the BD80 remote) is generally used for a marker function on BD-J titles. But, from what I understand, the marker function actually has to be enabled on the disc as well (and not all discs support the feature).

    I will try to delve into this issue more for my BD80 review because it is a question that comes up fairly often. But really, in this one specific case, Blu-ray is actually a step backwards from DVD, at least for now.

    But if you get a chance, play around with that mysterious green button on your remote and see what (if anything) happens and report back here with your results!

    Regards,

    -Chris
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    5,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cortiz View Post
    Sorry, I forgot something. Maybe you can help. My BD55 does not resume playback after powering the unit off, on a lot of SD DVD's. I have seen a lot of people complaining about the same thing at the AVS forums. Both the BD55and BD35 seems to have the same issue. If it's not a problem, can you confirm the new BD80 resumes playback on SD DVD's?

    Thanks!
    Are there any specific DVD titles that you know the BD55 fails to resume with after powering off? I can try a few but if I start with one that you know doesn't work, then that would make things go a whole lot quicker! The BD80 does have a QuickStart function which leaves the player in a semi-on semi-off (half-asleep?) state, so I will try to test in both modes, but give me a few known "bad" titles so I can at least get a head start.

    Thanks,

    -Chris
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •