You may well have better luck with your own system but for us it was not an enjoyable experience and we didnt have these problems with rival players from Samsung and LG. But the deck gets it wrong in places too.Panasonic DMP-BDT360 PerformancePanasonic has a long tradition of top-drawer Blu-ray picture quality and the DMP-BDT360 does nothing to tarnish that.SEE ALSO: LG BP645Panasonic DMP-BDT360 Design and ConnectionsThe DMP-BDT360 is an attractive machine, spruced up with curved corners and an understated black finish. A series of tiles representing the different submenus is arranged into a cross that corresponds to the direction pad on the remote.
Should I buy the Panasonic DMP-BDT360The DMP-BDT360 is an impressive Blu-ray player in many ways, but faced with a choice between this and the similarly-priced LG BP645, Samsung BD-H6500 or Sony BDP-S5200 wed probably give the Panasonic a miss.Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray test disc proved meat and drink to the DMP-BDT360, aside from a touch of flicker on the vertically-striped boxes of the Film Resolution Loss test. The deck reproduces exactly whats on the disc with no glitches, dodgy colours or motion tracking issues just eye-popping movie visuals that pull you right into the screen. It also froze a few times when loading a track and played HD videos in SD resolution.
If you feel its pictures arent quite up to par, you can adjust the basic parameters by delving into the Options menu and selecting the User preset. SEE ALSO: Sony BDP-S5200Press the relevant key and you jump straight to that menu, as opposed to the usual process of moving the cursor and hitting enter. Itll play MKV, XviD, AVCHD, MP4 JPEG, MP3, FLAC, AAC, WMA and LPCM, all of which can be played via USB too. Its handy for playing games or watching videos, neither of which are ideal on a tiny screen.
Panasonics players have always offered superb performance and functionality, but in terms of smart content theyve played second fiddle to Samsung, Sony and LG for some time lets see if the DMP-BDT360 redresses the balance. When streaming music from a Windows 7 laptop, the BDT360 listed our 16,000-or-so tracks over a series of pages, but there was a frustrating pause when moving from one page to another, so it took ages to find the track we wanted. The top panel feels plasticky but sports a lovely brushed texture, while the front flap keeps all the clutter hidden for a clean, minimal look. What it comes down to is internet content and streaming performance we think the other three decks boast a better line-up, particularly Samsung and LG which add ITV Player/4OD and Now TV/Spotify respectively.
Simply put, the DMP-BDT360 does nothing to stand in the way of your 3D viewing experience. Were also fans of the decks shadow detail you dont miss anything when Spidey hits the streets at night. There are also Normal, Soft and Fine presets.Panasonic DMP-BDT360 OperationIn most areas the DMP-BDT360 is a joy to use.
When playing 3D Blu-ray discs, the deck offers more of this crisp detail and natural colours while keeping strict control over the fast-moving, layered 3D objects.Next, read our Best Blu-ray players roundup. The DLNA menus basic grey/yellow colour combo is uninspiring, and its not particularly slick either. It loads discs in reasonably quick time too, taking 29 seconds to fire up our Java-heavy Terminator Salvation yardstick, although Samsungs BD-H6500 does it some ten seconds faster.
The decks built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections unlock a range of internet content, now simply called Internet Apps as opposed to Viera Connect.Panasonic DMP-BDT360 FeaturesThe DMP-BDT360 is a 3D-ready player and also upscales movies to 4K if you have a compatible TV. Among its features are built-in Wi-Fi and internet apps, which make this player an inexpensive way of bringing smart content to an older TV, alongside eye-popping hi-def movie playback of course. Just one niggle to report the Netflix button is placed too near the up button on the remote, so its quite easy to press it accidentally, which can be extremely irritating.
VerdictAn attractive, feature-packed Blu-ray deck that does the basics brilliantly, but similarly-priced rivals offer better internet content and streaming performance.These stunningly crisp images are backed up by well-judged contrast that keeps blacks deep and punchy, while bright colours like Spider-Mans iconic red suit blaze from the screen.We loaded up The Amazing Spider-Man on Blu-ray and were entranced by the level of detail in the picture the textures and shapes in Spideys suit are clear and stable, plus it picks out every pixel of the dodgy Lizard CGI. Here you can tweak the brightness, contrast, sharpness and colour levels.
However, you can access your own music, video and photo files stored on PCs and NAS drives thanks to the decks DLNA support. The selection includes BBC iPlayer, Netflix, BBC News, BBC Sport, You Tube Facebook, Twitter and vTuner. Its a minor thing but makes navigation much quicker and easy than most Blu-ray decks. The buttons are helpfully split into sections and the careful layout lets you navigate with minimal hassle.
The DMP-BDT360 is a midrange Blu-ray player that eschews the frills of the flagship DMP-BDT700 and step-up DMP-BDT460 to hit a wallet-friendly price, while offering a better spec than the cheaper DMP-BDT260, DMP-BDT160 and DMP-BD81. However, if youre simply looking for a solid player with a slick menu system, two USB ports and the ability to handle good old-fashioned Blu-ray discs really, really well, then you certainly wont be disappointed by the DMP-BDT360.However on a brighter note the remote is up to Panasonics usual excellent standards, using large rubber buttons and clear labelling to great effect. This beautifully handled palette is helped by smooth tonal blends, a lack of messy artefacts and natural skin tones.
If youre after dual HDMIs or analogue audio outputs then the top-end DMP-BDT700 is the deck for you. Ironically the cheaper DMP-BDT260 has switched over to a new simpler layout, which makes it much easier to find the app you want.Rounding up this appealing feature list is Miracast, which uses Wi-Fi Direct to replicate your smartphones screen on your TV.And in other areas the menu presentation is top-drawer the superimposed Options menu uses crisp fonts and bright graphics, while the Settings menus tidy arrangement makes it easy to configure, particularly when it comes to network setup.
SEE ALSO: Samsung BD-H6500The rear panel bears a typical budget socket selection, namely an HDMI output, optical digital output and Ethernet port. We also found the BDT360s DLNA performance a little frustrating. Build quality is on the lightweight side but slightly better than most decks at this price.Also disappointing is that the DMP-BDT360 uses the same menu for its internet content as last year, which clumsily splits apps across several pages and is a little slow to respond.
There are some gems in there iPlayer and Netflix particularly but do an A-B comparison with Samsungs BD-H6500, which offers ITV Player and 4OD, or the LG BP645 and its exclusive inclusion of Now TV and Spotify, and the Panasonics selection is nowhere near as compelling.Pull down the flap and youll find a pair of USB ports, which allow you to play media files from flash drives and external HDDs FAT32 and NTFS, alongside a disc tray and LED display the latter is missing from the cheaper DMP-BDT260. The Home screen is particularly good, using the same crisp, colourful graphics and intuitive layout as Panasonics previous players. Naturally all the key audio formats are supported, including Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio decoding and bitstream output.
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