Blu-ray Players

Panasonic BD-60 Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

The first thing you will notice with the BD-60 compared to other players (such as a PS3 or an Oppo BDP-83) is that it is a bit slower to boot and load BD-Java than those players are. However, it's quicker and more responsive than some more expensive players that I have tested in the past, and the speed wasn't so slow that I was annoyed by it, it was just slower than my usual player.

The Dark Knight

My initial test disc was The Dark Knight, which I almost always come back to for it's fantastic image quality and soundtrack. During playback, the Panasonic did not disappoint. The image looked as good as it should, with deep blacks and lots of detail, and the 24p feed was perfect. The BD-60 did a fine job with the audio as well, sending a lossless PCM stream to my receiver with all the thunderous explosions and sound effects that I expect to hear in the film. The Panasonic might lack some of the detailed picture controls that a player like the Oppo will have, but with a pristine source like this, none of those extra controls were needed by me. As I mentioned, the load times were not as quick on this BD-60 as on other players, but responsiveness in the menus was fine, and once the movie started you would not have noticed a difference.

The BD-60 features some extra internet connectivity options that helps to differentiate it from the other entry level players out there. The VieraCast menu gives you the options to connect to YouTube, Picassa, and Amazon On Demand, as well as weather updates. Panasonic is also able to keep adding new features to this with future firmware updates if they wish. Trying out the YouTube access, I was able to easily log into my YouTube account and browse my movies, as well as movies that I had previously tagged as my favorites. Searching for other movies was a bit harder since you have to use a remote instead of a keyboard, but I was able to watch a few movie trailers fairly easily. Of course, most things on YouTube look pretty bad when shown on a 50" plasma, but there's nothing the Panasonic can do about the image quality of the source.

Accessing Picasa was quick and easy as well. I logged in and looked around at the pictures of my friend's recent vacation, and at a few of the images that I had recently uploaded as well. Image quality here was better than on YouTube because the source material was so much better, and it made for a really nice way to show friend or family pictures when they come over. The simple weather update applet worked just fine for me, and I was unable to test the Amazon On Demand feature as I do not have an account with any content there. Overall, aside from starting up a bit slower than other players, the Panasonic was a competent player in day-to-day use and lacked any glaring weaknesses.