twice connect

Panasonic Gives Pricing On Blu-ray Decks, HTiBs

3/11/2009 03:25:00 PM Eastern

Panasonic's BD-70V

New York — Panasonic announced pricing and availability of its next-generation Blu-ray players and Blu-ray-equipped home theater in a box (HTiB) systems, all of which add Panasonic’s Internet-delivered VieraCast service to turn existing TV sets into IPTV sets.

The three Blu-ray players are the $299-suggested DMP-BD60, $399-suggested DMP- BD80 and $399-suggested DMP-BD70V, a VHS/BD combi unit with 1080p up-scaling of VHS content. The combi unit will be available in April. The other two players are already available, said national marketing manager Alex Fried during a press conference here.

The two Blu-ray HTiBs are the 1,000-watt SC-BT200 at a suggested $599 and the $699-suggested 1,250-watt SC-BT300, both due in April to replace a $999 Blu-ray HTiB.

All players and Blu-ray HTiBs decode all authorized Blu-ray surround formats, feature BD-Live with the addition of a 1GB SD card, USB input to connect MP3 players, and PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus image-processing technology, which was developed in conjunction with Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory. The HTiBs add iPod A/V dock that slides out from the front panel.

In related home-theater developments, the company said it plans May shipment of two DVD-based HTiBs with five-disc changers at a suggested $299 and $399 and plans late-fall shipment of the SC-ZT1 wireless speaker system. The ZT1, meant as an add-on to a TV and disc player, comes with four tall, but thin, amplified speakers and a set-top box that incorporates 2.4GHz transmitter and surround decoders.

The company also priced the industry’s first portable Blu-ray player at a suggested $799, said it doesn’t plan this year to replace its sole A/V receiver when supplies run out, and bundled iPod docks with three LCD TVs. The TVs are outfitted with software to display an iPod-like menu and iPod videos as well as enable iPod control from the TV’s remote.

In Blu-ray products, Panasonic incorporates its upgraded VieraCast service, which streams YouTube, Amazon video-on-demand (VOD) standard- and high-definition video, online Picasa Web Albums from Google and Bloomberg information services. All BD devices feature an Ethernet port to network to the Internet for accessing BD-Live content and VieraCast. A wireless-network option wasn’t included because of unpredictable wireless-network performance, Fried said.

The players and Blu-ray HTiBs also feature 1,080/24 fps playback; Deep Color and x.v. color support; 192kHz/24-bit DA audio converters; and 96kHz surround remaster to enhance the sound quality of CD, DVD and BD sources. All models also offer AVCHD playback from SD cards and recordable DVD discs.

The $399 BD80 player adds DivX playback from DVD and USB sources, 7.1-channel analog audio outputs and enhanced audio performance.

The Blu-ray HTiBs, both with wired 7.1 speaker systems, differ in power output and speaker complement. The BT200 features seven small one-way speakers, and the BT300 comes with floor-standing front left/right speakers, which are also one-way models. The subwoofer in each features 6.5-inch woofer with 10-inch passive radiator.

The wireless theater system transmits audio from its slim surround decoder/wireless transmitter to four powered slim towers with front-firing tweeters and midranges and a base that doubles as a down-firing subwoofer. Panasonic calls this speaker configuration a 4.4 speaker system, which delivers a virtual 7.1 soundfield. It features HDMI-repeater input capable of receiving 7.1-channel linear-PCM audio. Built-in decoders are limited to Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Virtual Speaker. At International CES in January Panasonic targeted a $1,599 price point.

Ultra HD OLED TVs In IFA Spotlight

At IFA, all Ultra HD makers are quickly expanding

Jack Wayman, the Father Of International CES

Tributes continue to pour in for Jack Wayman, who

Nationwide PrimeTime 2014

Scenes from Nationwide PrimeTime buy fair held in

ProSource Meeting Filled With Optimism

San Antonio — Optimism reigned at ProSource’s

Ingram Draws 500 To Spring Vendor Expo

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Ingram Micro Consumer