By Steven Burke
Panasonic’s DMP-BD30K Blu-ray player will ship to stores within a week, packed with full Profile 1.1 compliance and advanced audio support.
The next-gen player had been expected sometime before Christmas, but the announced November 5th, 2007 ship date is sure to come as a pleasant surprise to those wondering how soon after the BDA’s October 31st profile 1.1 compliance deadline a stand-alone final profile Blu-ray player would be made available. Conflicting reports peg the official release date for either the 12th or 19th of November, but Panasonic VP of Corporate Development Eisuke Tsuyuzaki told Home Media Magazine that the player will be available “by the bucketload” for the holiday season.
According to specs posted on Panasonic’s website the DMP-BD30K will support a number of new features for a Blu-ray player. Its Profile 1.1 compliance means it will include dual stream audio/video support, enabling true picture-in-picture, a feature previously available only on HD DVD players.
The new deck will also support advanced audio codecs via bitstream right out of the box. The DMP-BD30K complies with “dts-HD Advanced Digital Out,” which means it will bitstream both dts-HD High Resolution and dts-HD Master Audio to any HDMI 1.3 receiver with dts-HD Master Audio decoding. This has been confirmed via an early first review of the player by Big Picture Big Sound’s Chris Boylan.
For those with older HDMI receivers without advanced audio codec decoding or multi-channel inputs, the DMP-BD30K will support internal decoding of dts Encore (up to 1.5 Mbps) and Dolby Digital only, both of which are extracted from the Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD and/or MA tracks on select Blu-ray discs.
The DMP-BD30K also supports 1080p/24, 1080p/60, Panasonic’s P4HD (Precise Pixel Progressive Processing for HD), an SD memory card slot for AVCHD and JPEG playback and a host of output options including HDMI version 1.3b.
Panasonic has set a suggested retail price of $499 for the player.