We've already seen the entry-level LG BD370, but now we've gotten a glimpse of the step-up Blu-ray player in LG's 2009 line-up: the BD390. The BD390 includes all of the features of its little brother--DVD upscaling, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio, BD-Live/Profile 2.0 support, and the ability to stream online video from Netflix, YouTube, and CinemaNow. But it also adds some nice upgrades: built-in Wi-Fi (so you're not limited to wired Ethernet), 1GB of on-board memory (no need for a USB stick to access BD-Live features), and 7.1-channel analog outputs (maximum compatibility with … Read more
One of the biggest disadvantages to Blu-ray has been its lack of portability. While DVD players are virtually everywhere and portable DVD players are cheap, when you buy a Blu-ray Disc you're typically limited to watching it in your home theater. The Panasonic DMP-B15 looks to address this; it is the first portable Blu-ray player and it's also designed to be used easily around the house with a built-in stand. Here are the details.
Key features of the Panasonic DMP-B15:8.9-inch WSVGA (1,024x600) LCD screen Three-hour rechargeable battery Profile 2.0 compatible Bitstream output for Dolby … Read more
It seems weird to put Lo-Fi VHS tapes and 1080p high-definition Blu-ray movies in the same box, but that's exactly what you'll be able to do with Panasonic's DMP-BD70V, which (as far as we know) is the first combination VHS/Blu-ray player. Aside from adding VHS playback, the specs look to be identical to the standard DMP-BD60 Blu-ray player. Here are the details.
Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BD70V series:Blu-ray and VHS playback from a single player Profile 2.0 compatible Onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio Essential decoding SD card slot and USB input Access … Read more
Panasonic had a stand-out 2008 on the Blu-ray front, with the DMP-BD35 earning the first Editor's Choice award for a standalone Blu-ray player. After mastering most of the basic Blu-ray functions, like BD-Live and high-resolution audio decoding, it looks like the two new players, the DMP-BD60 and DMP-BD80, are mostly incremental updates to the existing Blu-ray players, with the biggest new feature being Viera Cast support.
Key features of the Panasonic DMP-BD60:Profile 2.0 compatible Onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio Essential decoding SD card slot and USB input Access to Viera Cast Internet content, including Amazon Video … Read more
Samsung's got three new all-in-one home theater systems for 2009, all of which are headlined with built-in Blu-ray and support for streaming online Netflix video and Pandora's free Internet music service. The HT-BD8200 and HT-BD7200 are both "lifestyle" systems with minimalist form factors, funky designs, and front-only virtual surround sound (the former is a speakerbar with wireless subwoofer and the latter sports a 2.1 design). But if you want real surround sound, you're going to need actual rear speakers--and that means the more traditional 5.1-channel design of the Samsung HT-BD1250.
Samsung, of course, … Read more
The HT-X710T was one of Samsung's funkier home theater products of 2008, a 2.1-style (two speakers plus subwoofer) home theater system with a tapered, wall-mountable DVD player head unit. While the 2009 follow-up shares a similar "Touch of Color" red-accented design and curved enclosures, the HT-BD7200 gets a Blu-ray upgrade (replete with BD-Live capability and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding) and support for streaming Netflix online video and the Pandora music service. It's also Wi-Fi-ready, but you'll need to invest in a separate USB 802.11n dongle, or stick with wired Ethernet … Read more
The Samsung HT-X810T--which debuted at 2008's Consumer Electronics Show--wasn't the first sound bar home theater system with a built-in DVD player (that'd be the Philips HTS8100). When CNET eventually reviewed it, we praised the inclusion of the wireless subwoofer, but included this knock: "the [built-in] DVD player's nice, but a Blu-ray player would have been even better." Well, it seems Samsung took that criticism to heart. The 2009 version, known as the HT-BD8200, does indeed get the upgrade to a Blu-ray player. Like the other models in the Sammy's '09 line-up, it'… Read more
Your flat-screen TV looks awfully lonely mounted on the wall by itself--why not give it a companion? That, we assume, is the rationale behind the Samsung BD-P4600 wall-mountable Blu-ray player. The BD-P4600 looks to include all the features of its step-down sibling, the BD-P3600: Profile 2.0/BD-Live, Netflix and Pandora streaming, 1GB onboard memory, built-in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, "Touch of Color" style accents, and--the big upgrade for 2009--802.11n Wi-Fi via an included USB dongle. But unlike the 3600, this ultraslim 1.5-inch model has a slot-loading disc drive and can be mounted … Read more
The BD-P3600 Blu-ray player includes much of the same basic feature list as the Samsung BD-P2550 released last fall: Profile 2.0 (BD-Live), built-in Netflix and Pandora streaming, and 1GB onboard memory. But the 2009 model includes a few niceties missing from the 2550: an included USB dongle adds 802.11n Wi-Fi (in addition to Ethernet) and the 3600 should support DTS-HD Master Audio decoding out of the box (no need to wait for a future firmware update, as with early purchasers of the 2550). On the design front, the BD-P3600 will also sport unusual topside button placement and Samsung'… Read more
In case you didn't know, Sharp makes Aquos Blu-ray players, and it's got two new models lined up for the first half of 2009, the BD-HP22U and BD-HP16U. The major difference between the two is that the BD-HP22U ($299.99)--due to hit stores in May--supports Profile 2.0, also known as BD-Live, and delivers Blu-ray's interactive features through an Ethernet-enabled Internet connection. Meanwhile, the marginally less expensive BD-HP16U ($279.99)--due out in March--does not.
Both models have a new slim, compact design and piano-black finish to match Sharp's Aquos TVs. In terms of specifications, … Read more