Panasonic DMP-BD30

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Panasonic DMP-BD30
  • Panasonic DMP-BD30
  • Panasonic DMP-BD30
  • Panasonic DMP-BD30
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Great picture quality, DVD up-conversion to 1080p

Cons

  • No Ethernet, no built-in high-quality audio decoding

Bottom Line

Panasonic's DMP-BD30 entry-level Blu-ray player offers fantastic video quality, but isn't able to decode high-resolution audio without a dedicated AV receiver.

Would you buy this?

Panasonic's DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc player is a budget model that offers Blu-ray 1.1 compliance and great picture quality, but lacks features, such as high-resolution audio decoding, that appeal to enthusiast users.

Stylistically, the DMP-BD30 subtly differs from its predecessor, the DMP-BD10. The controls on the front of the unit are hidden behind a flip-down panel. An LCD on the front shows all necessary information and is easily visible from across a large room. Compared to earlier models, this player is reasonably fast when starting up and playing back discs, though the eject function sometimes takes several seconds to register the command.

The Profile 1.1 Blu-ray features are easily accessible; the source input and the picture-in-picture commentary selection are accessed from the base of the remote. Although Blu-ray Profile 1.1 doesn't support an Internet connection for online functionality, it does mandate secondary audio and video decoders for picture-in-picture display. The DMP-BD30 is the first player from Panasonic to include Profile 1.1, which is set to become the standard profile that all new players must support. In the future, Profile 2.0 will become more common, offering Internet access and interactivity, but this will likely be restricted to top-of-the-range models.

On the audio side it was evident that the DMP-BD30 is a budget model, as it lacks the ability to internally decode Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD or newer formats like Dolby TrueHD. On the plus side, it has the ability to output the latest formats of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in a bitstream format, which allows newer audio receivers to play back audio that is identical to the movie's original copy. Additionally, it internally decoded standard formats including DTS and Dolby Digital without any problems in our tests.

The player has plenty of connections, providing HDMI, component, composite and S-Video outputs, as well as separate 2-channel and 5.1 audio outputs. It also has an SDHC card slot, from which you can play back many file formats, including AVCHD video from high-definition video cameras that use SD cards.

The picture quality displayed from the unit is crystal clear. Running it through a series of scenes from The Guardian and Pearl Harbour, we were impressed by the high quality of the visuals. Fast-motion playback was seamless, with no visible jaggedness or artefacts. Small details such as facial hair and grains in wood were easily visible throughout the test viewing, giving a sense of immersion. Colours were also natural and un-tinted. Like other recent Blu-ray players, it has no problems de-interlacing 1080i video into a progressive format.

Up-scaling from DVD was seamless, offering a far superior picture quality compared to a standard DVD player. As with most Blu-ray players, the DMP-BD30 allows for DVDs to be converted to 1080p when the HDMI cable is used. The well-known lobby scene in The Matrix looked great when fully up-scaled into high definition, with details — that would be missed at lower resolutions — clearly visible. While up-scaling doesn't offer the same native picture quality as Blu-ray, the player's conversion feature means you'll be able to enjoy your older DVD purchases on any new HDTV.

With its great quality video playback from both Blu-ray and DVD, the player's overall test performance is only slightly hampered by its inability to internally decode the latest audio formats. We think it's still a good choice for any consumer looking for a standalone Blu-ray player.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?