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Panasonic Cuts Price, Upgrades Blu-ray Player

Panasonic said it is now shipping an upgraded version of its Blu-ray Disc player — model DMP-BD10A — at a reduced $599 suggested retail, down $700 from the $1,299 original launch price.

Panasonic said the new version of the player, which originally launched last year as the DMP-BD10, will include an “audio upgrade package” featuring 7.1-channel surround, Dolby True HD and DTS-HD high-resolution audio decoding technology, in addition to Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital and DTS surround decoding.

The original model was positioned as part of a multi-component Panasonic home theater system, but the newest iteration will receive broader distribution as part of a package or as a standalone product, said Alberto Reggiani, Panasonic national marketing manager for DVD products.

“The only difference between this player and the one that launched last year is the addition of Dolby True HD and DTS-HD high resolution audio,” Reggiani said. “For the prior version, we will be making a firmware upgrade available shortly to bring those features to their models as well.”

“With the reduced price and the bundling promotion we look forward to very exciting things happening in the next 30 days as it comes to retail floors,” said Reggiani.

The DMP-BD10A also incorporates Panasonic’s EZ-Sync system for integrated control between other Panasonic home theater components.

To support the player Panasonic will bundle five Blu-ray Disc titles with the DMP-BD10A. These include Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Transporter;” Fox’s “Fantastic 4;” and Lionsgate’s “Crash.”

The player will support HD output of up to and including 1080p resolution. It will also play audio CDs and will play and automatically up-convert to 1080p standard-definition DVDs via its HDMI v1.2 output.

The DMP-BD10A also features Panasonic’s P4HD technology that converts IP sources at the pixel level for improved detail, a 297MHz 14bit Video D/A converter with 4x oversampling, video noise shaping that improves signal-to-noise ratios by shifting noise to an unused band.

Panasonic said the player also features “theoretical support” for nearly 4,400 billion colors.

The DMP-BD10A includes BD-J (Java application) interactive support, and is compatible with Panasonic’s HD camcorder model HDC-DX1, via the AVCHD (H.264) codec.