Panasonic was one of the first brands to build Blu-ray players, and it shows; this mid-range deck is one of the best around, and great value despite its above average price.
The Blu-ray player market has been awash with £99 products since the last festive season, but Panasonic has been trying up the ante for some time now – see its (still unique) Blu-ray recorders from 2009, a range that's about to be followed up by its DMR-BW780 and DMR-BW880 models.
Panasonic is all over Blu-ray. As well as some portable models, it's also about to unleash a 3D Blu-ray player, the £399 DMP-BDT300, though for now 2D fans are well catered for; its DMP-BD65 is sandwiched between the £169 DMP-BD45 and £299 DMP-BD85.
The former is a no frills deck and the latter a high-end player with built-in Wi-Fi and DLNA networking, but all include the hugely impressive PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus circuitry.
And that picture-boosting circuitry proves to be the DMP-BD65's biggest asset, despite it being loaded with extra features.
Viera Cast is the most obvious add-on; a bespoke platform for broadband TV and information services, though it's marred by a lack of content – YouTube just isn't enough any more.
Elsewhere is a USB slot (with dubious DivX HD compatibility – see below) and, of course, access to BD Live, though there's still no built-in storage for BD Live downloads. And, oddly, there's no DLNA networking on the DMP-BD65 despite it being able to plug in to a broadband home network.