This just in from CES: Panasonic has just unveiled the new DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player with full BD Live (profile 2.0) implementation. The player will internally decode Dolby TrueHD as well as DTS HD Master Audio and will have the same SD card functionality as the current DMP-BD30. Panasonic intends to release the player this spring at a price point slightly above that of the current DMP-BD30 player.
Panasonic's New DMP-BD50 Blu-ray Player
BLU-RAY DISC PLAYER DMP-BD50 FACT SHEET
The DMP-BD50's Ethernet terminal is a gateway for Internet connection, which paves the way to an entirely new form of movie-plus-Internet entertainment. In the future, BD-Live users will be able to participate in quizzes and challenge each other to interactive games that are linked to bonus movie content on BD discs. BD-Live also supports other interactive functions, such as Picture-in-Picture and Audio Mixing.
With Picture-in-Picture, a small sub-window is displayed over the main image. There are four examples of Picture-in-Picture modes, each offering distinct functions. They include Enhanced Commentary, Backstage Pass Function, Peek Behind The Animation and Audio Mixing.
BD media goes considerably beyond the kind of audio commentary provided in many DVD movies, such as a director discussing the film. Enhanced Commentary makes it possible, for example, for the director or actors to appear in the sub-window (as if they are standing in front of the screen) and point to actors or equipment as they make their comments.
Backstage Pass Function*
This lets you access additional information provided about people, places or things in a BD movie. Use the remote control to select an element highlighted on the screen, and a sub-window opens with the information. For example, there could be notes about the clothing or accessories an actor is wearing or the restaurant in which a scene is set.
Peek Behind The Animation*
While playing back a movie with dubbed-in voices – for example, a feature-length animation – this feature lets you watch in a sub-window as the actors read their parts. You can see the actors' gestures and expressions as they speak, giving you an inside look at a whole facet of moviemaking you've never seen before.
The Audio Mixing function lets you choose which soundtrack to listen to: the one from the content playing in the main window, the one from the sub-window, or both at the same time. The sub-window soundtrack can also be reproduced in 5.1-channel surround sound.
*Depending upon program contents.
Other BD-Live Possibilities
The future is expected to bring a host of imaginative new features. For example, the DMP-BD50 will be able to connect directly to the Internet and download additional content from Websites to an SD Memory Card for more viewing and playing enjoyment.
HIGH-DEFINITION PICTURE AND SOUND QUALITY
Combining a PHL Reference Chroma Processor with advanced P4HD imaging technology, Uniphier, the Precise Digital Video processor reproduces crisp, natural colors that are extremely faithful to the original movie. The beautiful images are complemented by an exceptionally pure, accurate sound achieved through Audio Re-master and other leading-edge audio technologies. Uniphier reflects the advanced encoding and authoring technologies developed by Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) in collaboration with film industry professionals. With Uniphier at its heart, the DMP-BD50 provides a level of image and sound quality that meets Hollywood's stringent demands – so you experience movies just the way they were meant to be experienced.
Precise Digital Video
PHL Reference Chroma Processor
The PHL Reference Chroma Processor up-samples (4:2:0 to 4:2:2) the color information in decoded video signals. Using proprietary Panasonic technology, this innovative circuit faithfully reproduces the fine details and nuances of Blu-ray video streams that have been recorded with high quality image compression system. It generates images with all the clarity and depth that BD-Video movies have to offer.
P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD)
To get the best HD images from a BD-Video disc, you need a player that renders high-quality progressive images, expresses motion smoothly, and draws sharp diagonal lines. The DMP-BD50's P4HD processes more than 15 billion pixels per second and applies the optimum processing to every pixel in the video data on the disc. The result is images with exceptional resolution.
The DMP-BD50's HDMI output is Deep Color compatible. While the earlier HDMI V.1.2 offers 8-bit, 256-step gradation on 4:4:4, HDMI V.1.3 enables video signals to be sent on 12-bit, 4,096-step gradation at any format. This helps the DMP-BD50 reproduce natural looking colors with smooth gradation and minimal color banding.
*An HDMI™ V.1.3 compatible TV is required.
The DMP-BD50 provides 1080/24p output (via HDMI) for Blu-ray titles and DVD titles. It reproduces movie images from a Blu-ray Disc in their original 24p form, with no need for conversion.
HD Audio Format Decoding and Output
The DMP-BD50 is equipped with decoders for the high-quality, lossless Dolby® TrueHD and DDTS-HD Master Audio™ audio formats. These formats theoretically contain the information to reproduce original sound sources in their entirety. Connection to an AV amplifier with 7.1-channel input capability enables sound quality on the level of a studio master system.
Audio Re-master for All Media
The DMP-BD50's Audio Re-master function compensates for data lost in the compression process used in BD and DVD recording. This helps create a fuller, richer sound that is extremely faithful to the original. It also brings re-mastering to the Blu-ray Disc for the first time ever.
HD Networking with SD Memory Card
The DMP-BD50 comes equipped with a slot for SD Memory Cards. Just take the SD Memory Card from your HD camcorder or digital still camera, and you're ready to view high resolution photos and motion images on your TV.
Linking with an HD Camcorder
The DMP-BD50 can play back AVCHD-format images shot with an HD camcorder, such as the Panasonic HDC-SD9. Images recorded onto the camcorder's SD Memory Card are output directly from the DMP-BD50's HDMI terminal in their original, high-quality 1920 x 1080 resolution. The DMP-BD50 also provides an AVCHD Direct Navigator function that makes it easy to search for particular scenes.
Linking with a Digital Camera
The DMP-BD50 can play back JPEG still images on an SD Memory Card, such as those recorded with a Lumix FZ3 digital camera. The DMP-BD50 can output the images to 1920 x 1080 resolution – ideal for a full-HD TV – and output them via the HDMI terminal*. Using the Slideshow playback feature, you can play a music CD at the same time you're showing the photos, so viewers enjoy both beautiful images and their favorite music.
You Can Control Your Blu-ray Disc™ Player with the TV Remote Control*
When the TV is on, the VIERA Link function lets you switch to home theater mode using just the Panasonic VIERA TV's remote control unit. Simply press the VIERA Link button on the TV's remote control and select "BD Player" on the VIERA Link Menu screen. The BD player's menu will display on the TV screen, and you can begin playback of a Blu-ray Disc or select from the Blu-ray disc
Sweet! This is the player I've been waiting for from Panasonic, I had purchased their BD30K model but didn't have full lossless audio decode so I returned it back. Now this one has it and with some extra cool features!! :-)
Why don't any Blu-ray players besides PS3 include Wi-Fi? That is the single most attractive feature of the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player. I don't want to run an extra cable to my Blu-ray player, nor do I want my modem by my TV. Wi-Fi please! Is it really difficult to do or something? Does anyone know why this method of connectivity is not more widespread?
As others have already said, DANG, I just bought a BD30 too! But at least I have an Onkyo 805 that can decode ALL the codecs, so not sure if the BD50 will be worth it for me if it costs more than $600.
As a sidenote - everyone is going so crazy about this, no one noticed they are also going to release the world's FIRST THX certified Plasma TV! As far as I can tell, it will support Deep Color, but the hottest part is that with a touch of one button, it will apply a total THX picture adjustment!!!! Check out the Panny press releases about it. The only thing not mentioned though, is if it will do 1080p/24 - but I would imagine if it got THX certification for picture quality, it would HAVE to have this as well.
So there ya go, both the perfect BD player and a perfect THX Plasma!!!!!
Deep color isn't that important, at least not right now since the only thing that can record in deep color are a select few Sony camcorders, hopefully movies will eventually be recorded with it, especially since my tv can handle deep color, and the PS3 has HDMI 1.3 which also supports it. I'm going to be very happy when this comes out, because that means Sony will finally be able to release firmware for the PS3 that will allow internal dts-HD MA decoding. This should be another great year for home theater.
This player sounds to have everything. Since I have a Denon receiver made one year before HDMI, I need something that will send the new soundtrack formats out of the analogs, and my Denon does have 7.1 analog inputs. With 2.0 and internal decoders, this sounds like the player for me (though 2.0 is no big issue as the PS3 I own will be upgraded soon for that). The only thing missing is the HQV Reon processor, darn it. The Panasonic 30, from the reviews I read, is not the greatest at upscaling dvd. Question: are there any players already out there that decode DTS Master and Dolby True and send them out the analogs? Since I have the PS3 for 2.0, I really don't want to wait, and prefer not to spend on an HDMI receiver with decoders right now. I am only aware of the top of the line Denon coming with internal decoders. Anyone?