Secaucus, N.J. — Panasonic said Monday it will ship this month the world’s first portable Blu-ray Disc player.
Model DMP-B15, which made its debut at January’s International CES, will carry an $800 suggest retail price.
The unit features a high quality 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen and includes Panasonic’s Viera CAST Internet
accessibility and BD Live functionality, as well as a SD Memory Card slot.
The unit, which features most of the top performance features of the company’s Blu-ray Disc decks, employs a PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, developed in collaboration with Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, to handle image-processing of each pixel in the vertical direction. Color data is said to be reproduced with “twice the accuracy of conventional systems, resulting in faithful and sharp colors.”
“Panasonic was the first company to bring to market a portable DVD player and standalone Blu-ray players to feature Bonus View and BD Live; and with the B15 we continue that tradition of being first to market with unique technology,” said Richard Simone, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Entertainment Group director.
Because it also features Viera Cast functionality, the B15 can bring various IPTV services to a TV set.
The portable player will include the same Web access technology found in Panasonic’s three standalone Blu-ray players.
The Viera Cast system will access select Web sites, including Amazon Video-on-Demand; YouTube; Google Picasa Web Album; Bloomberg and a weather channel.
The Amazon VOD will be available in late June.
Viera Cast does not require an external set-top box, nor is there a fee for the service. And, as additional web sites are added to the service, they will automatically appear. Viera CAST and BD-Live features require an Internet connection via the LAN port.
Other features in the DMP-B15 include a 2.5-hour rechargeable battery, outboard connection to an HDTV via HDMI, to have the portable unit double as a home deck.
When connected to a compatible A/V receiver with HDMI inputs, the player can make use of the latest surround sound technologies included on Blu-ray Disc titles.
An optional headrest mounting bracket can be purchased for use in car.