Panasonic DMP-BDT320 Blu-ray player
This 3D Blu-ray player has excellent image quality and a funky remote control
- Excellent design
- Excellent Blu-ray picture quality
- Very detailed DVD up-scaling
- VIERA Connect needs more features
- New remote's trackpad is imperfect
- Poor file support over DLNA
If you want the best picture quality from your Blu-ray and DVD movies, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is an easy choice - it's one of the best players we've tested for both 2D and 3D Blu-rays, as well as DVDs. Over and above this it's got Panasonic's acceptably good VIERA Connect service, which has a decent range of video on demand but can be sluggish. If you don't need to play high-definition video over the DMP-BDT320's DLNA, and can use USB for your downloaded video, the player is an excellent choice.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is the company’s best Blu-ray player — with built-in Wi-Fi, 3D Blu-ray support, a touchpad remote control and some power-saving smarts, it’s superior to the cheaper DMP-BDT220 and DMP-BD77. Its slim, futuristic design sets it apart from the more conventional DMP-PWT520 Blu-ray PVR and DMR-HW220 set top box.
Panasonic DMP-BDT320: Design and setup
The Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is, like the WT50A LED TV, a step in the right direction for the company’s design team. It’s a very slim player, measuring only 27mm tall, with a mirror-finish front fascia. At 430mm wide and 179mm deep it’s a standard size for home entertainment equipment.
The body of the DMP-BDT320 is trapezoidal — it angles inward from top to bottom, looking futuristic and attractive. The same motif continues around the central, slot-loading Blu-ray drive. The mirrored panel to the right of the Blu-ray drive flips down to reveal an SD card slot and powered USB port.
The DMP-BDT320’s all-important power button is a physical one, on the top left of the player. Buttons for stopping and starting playback, and ejecting the disc, are touch-sensitive and slightly recessed into the body of the player, and can be found at the top right.
In terms of video and audio output, this Panasonic Blu-ray player sits in the middle of the pack. It’s got a single HDMI output for connecting a modern TV or HDMI A/V receiver, while older devices can use the standard definition composite A/V jacks. An Ethernet port enables the DMP-BDT320’s Internet features, although Wi-Fi is also built-in, and an optical digital audio output means an external amplifier can handle sound if needed.
The DMP-BDT320 has two USB 2.0 ports. The front input can be used for connecting a portable hard drive or flash drive to play media files, while the rear input will only work with Panasonic’s Skype camera. The front USB port supports a wide range of file types, including JPEG picture files, MP3 and FLAC audio, and MP4/MKV/MPO/AVI/DIVX/ACVHD video files. It’s important to note that DLNA media access is restricted to AVCHD, JPG and MP3 files, which is disappointing if you have high-definition MKV files and FLAC audio stored on a NAS, for example.
The new remote control bundled with the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 uses a touchpad, doing away with the traditional playback buttons of a regular candy-bar remote control. Interestingly enough, only this remote control is included with the DMP-BDT320 — no standard clicker is included — so you’ll need to learn the functions of the touchpad model from scratch.
The touchpad is surrounded by a few buttons to access the main features of the DMP-BDT320, but you’ll be using the touchpad in place of navigation keys and playback controls. The touchpad concept works well once you’ve become used to the gestures — buttons are arranged in contextual grids in three separate tiles, like you’d find on an iPhone’s home screen — and the on-screen guide is a useful help, but we can’t help but feel a traditional remote control would have handled these functions with less learning required.
Panasonic DMP-BDT320: Picture quality and performance
The Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is able to play both 2D and 3D Blu-ray movies, and it can play DVDs at 1080P thanks to internal up-scaling. We used the HDMI output for all of our testing, connected to Panasonic WT50A and Samsung Series 7 LED TVs. Our test material ranged from The Dark Knight, Terminator: Salvation and Avatar 2D Blu-rays, to Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Avatar 3D Blu-rays, and The Matrix, The Dark Knight and Batman Begins on DVD.
We found that the DMP-BDT320 had exceptionally good picture quality with 2D Blu-ray movies, thanks to some very high quality picture processing with excellent levels of detail. The level of fine detail we were able to see from the DMP-BT320 equals any other consumer-level Blu-ray player we’ve tested — you’d need to spend big and invest in something like a Oppo Blu-ray player to get noticeably better video.
Unlike some other Blu-ray players from previous years that artificially boost contrast and interfere with gamma to create ‘punchier’ pictures, the DMP-BDT320 stays true to the original material and is able to retain full shadow and highlight detail. This was most evident when we compared night-time scenes from The Dark Knight between the DMP-BDT320 and an older Sony BDP-S580, which lost some detail in the darkest parts of the screen.
The DVD up-scaling of the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is also worth praise. It does the best job we’ve seen of getting the maximum possible quality out of older 480p DVD video, with some smart sharpening, resizing and smoothing to remove any artifacts, and ensure sharp video with minimal aliasing.
Panasonic’s VIERA Connect service makes an appearance on the DMP-BDT320, and is the same iteration as can be found on the company’s Smart TVs and other Blu-ray products. For a run-down of the video on demand and social media services included in VIERA Connect, read our review of the Panasonic VIERA ST50A plasma TV. It’s acceptably good — it’s got access to major video on demand services as well as Facebook, Twitter and Skype — but you’ll find a wider range of features on competing players from Samsung, LG and Sony.
Panasonic DMP-BDT320: Conclusion
The Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is an excellent Blu-ray player for cinemaphiles — it does a sterling job of displaying the full detail of both Blu-ray and DVD video. Its touchpad remote is a decent replacement for a normal remote, but requires some practice. Above and beyond movie watching, the DMP-BDT320’s VIERA Connect service does a decent job but competitors are better.
If you don’t want to spend big, this is the Blu-ray player we’d pick for outright picture quality. Pair it with a high quality TV — our current choice being the VIERA ST50A — and you’ll have an excellent home theatre setup for next to nix.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior PHP Developer - SymfonyQLD
- CCScada Project ManagerWA
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Procurement Specialist -| 3mth ContracVIC
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksWA
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTSupport OfficerSA
- FTOAM Specialist | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- CCSplunk Software DeveloperVIC
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - Technology and StrategyQLD
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTTelecommunications Provisioning LeadQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSecurity Dev Ops and Java DeveloperVIC
- CCWeb DesignerQLD
- CCICT Security Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCSalesforce Marketing CloudNSW