After reading of the improved Panasonic color processing, I wanted to months ago purchase the BD-35 Blu-ray/DVD player. But because they were impossible to find I purchased the BD-60 the first day they were availible.
As I've owned a Sony PS3 for several years it was only natural that I compare it to the BD-60.
Pixel Processing Gets Better
Why not state the findings first?
The Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-ray/dvd player's image quality is superior to the Sony PS3. It mates especially well with my Samsung 950's larger color gamut by (re)generating a tangy, lustrous wider spectrum colors with added clarity and detail. Standard Dvd playback at 24p is enhanced too. Simply set the player to output 24p and picture to "fine".
It is well known that the color portion of an image is sampled much less than the luminance. Original studies dating back in the 1950's gave justification for lowering this sample rate. Can we see the ill effects of using this lower color sampling rate, especially with the new wider LED color gamut displays? Easily. So what can be done to restore the original pixel-level integrity?
A solution is provided in Panasonic HD/DVD players:
The Panasonic Hollywood Laboratories PHL Reference Chroma Processor studies and improves restoration, color correction, compression and digital conversion, then up-samples (4:2:0 to 4:2:2) the color information in decoded video signals. The unique PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus expresses the fine details and nuances of movie scenes by reproducing clearer color boundaries, providing all the qualities that a Blu-ray (and DVD) disc has to offer.
P⁴HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD) Technology
To get the best high definition images from a Blu-ray (and DVD) disc, you need a player that renders high-quality progressive images, expresses motion smoothly, and draws sharp diagonal lines. The Panasonic-unique P4HD technology processes more than 15 billion pixels per second, generating each pixel correctly according to information obtained from up to 60 surrounding pixels, and applies the optimum processing to every pixel in the video data on the disc. The result is images with exceptional resolution. (Note: for optimal PQ set players output to 24p).
Compare all this technology which does make a noticeable improvement in picture quality to reviewers who still rate a player based upon its largely obsolete de-interlacing capability.
In just a day of ownership I find no downsides to the BD-60. Any bugs were fixed in the BD-35. It is a pleasure to use!
It uses less power, is quieter but is not a full fledged media server. (PS3 owners should download the "PS3 Media Server" application. Its awesome!).
It has an Ethernet port finally allowing for convenient updates.
Lastly I don't see how the Oppo 83 can compete with the unique image processing provided by these Panasonic. Pricewise the tables are turned with the Oppo having a 40% higher MSRP. We won't even mention technical and human interface bugs.
Without a doubt the BD-60 is the player to beat. I do not recommend paying extra for the analog outputs of the BD-80, as virtually all receivers and A/V controllers are equipped with HDMI inputs.
Consumer Reports Rates the Panasonic 80 even with the Oppo 83
Oppo BDP-83 Score: 83 Price: $500
"It's a "universal" player that can play all types of discs, including high-resolution (mostly obsolete) SACDs and DVD-Audio titles."
Panasonic DMP-BD80 Score: 83 Price $350
"This Panasonic Blu-ray player offers excellent overall performance. It includes Panasonic's VieraCast online service, for access to videos from YouTube, digital photos from Picasa, and soon, Amazon Video on Demand. It has internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD lossless audio, and 7.1-channel analog outputs. It includes an SD card slot and can play back AVCHD video files.
Excellent HD picture quality with Blu-ray discs, and excellent picture quality from standard DVDs. It's a BD-Live-ready model with an Ethernet port, and can access extra Web-based content from movie studio servers, or download firmware updates. A USB port provides access to photos, videos, and music stored on a USB flash drive.
Requires an optional 1GB SD card for BD-Live feature. It was unable to load a badly damaged Blu-ray disc that other players could handle."
Note: Members with HDMI receivers should instead consider the Panasonic DMP-BD60 which omits the legacy analog outputs. The Panasonic DMP-BD60 and its clones have a current street price of $200. This would have made the product an obvious "best buy" had CR tested it rather than the 80.
Panasonic DMP-BD60 MyScore: 83 Price $200*
*An AVS Best Buy