March 30, 2012 by Grant Clauser
Who says your electronics don’t understand you? A Panasonic Blu-ray player knows what you want and gets all warmed up the closer you are too it. As you reach out to touch its glossy plastic exterior, the player emits an alluring come-hither blue glow while the drive whirs with anticipation.
All that is achieved via Panasonic’s new Smart Eco Sensor, built into the DMP-BDT320 Blu-ray player. When the device senses motion within 16 feet it automatically switches from 0.1 watt Eco mode into quick start mode. You don’t need to hunt in the cushions for the remote to turn it on or wait for the machine to boot up while you stand in front of it waving a disc in your hand.
In addition to the Smart Eco Sensor, the BDT320 is loaded up with other new features. First, it’s a 3D player and includes the IPTV platform Panasonic calls VIERA Connect. The player sports a new single chip architecture called UniPhier which handles audio and video processing, including chroma processing. Other features include 24p output for VOD, an expanded VIERA Connect functionality, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec),192Hz/32bit Audio DAC, Smartphone remote apps, a new touchpad remote control, 2D-to-3D up-conversion (even on streamed content), Wi-Fi and DLNA.
VIERA Connect (which at one time was called VIERA Cast) is a 100-percent cloud-based platform, which means the interface loads fresh each time from the cloud rather than being resident on the player itself. One of the benefits Panasonic says is that the platform can be updated easily without requiring firmware downloads (other updates on the player may still require downloads).
The BDT320 is available now for $199.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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