At CES, Panasonic announced its latest line of Blu-ray players. The DMP-BD60 and DMP-BD80 offer all the latest features you’d expect from a decent player, including full high definition audio format decoding, upconversion of standard definition DVDs, VIERA Link and 24p processing, as well as VIERA Cast which allows access to Amazon’s video-on-demand service.
There’s also P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD) which gives a superior picture by processing over 15 billion pixels per second, PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, and 96kHz surround re-mastering of audio.
The really interesting (bizarre?) addition is a unit that combines old and new. The DMP-BD70V is a dual player that can handle both Blu-ray discs and VHS tapes. Yes, VHS tapes.
I don’t know when you last played a video cassette, but I suspect most people haven’t touched one in at least five years. Perhaps Panasonic hopes to corner a section of the market that scours charity shops for old videos, has stacks of them at home, and can’t wait for the ability to upscale them to 1080p (really). There’s hope for that Airwolf tape after all.
Somehow Panasonic’s excited claim that it’s the “first to bring to market a dual VHS-Blu ray player” doesn’t inspire me. It could well be the only company to do so.
Availability and pricing still to be confirmed.