Panasonic DMP-BD65 Blu-ray player review

Pitch perfect pictures make this a Blu-ray player to savour

Panasonic DMP-BD65 Blu-ray player
The DMP-BD65 is the stripped down version of the DMP-BD85

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Panasonic dbp-bd65 remote

In a competitive market, the DMP-BD65 just manages to hold its own. With hi-def pictures and sound presenting no problem for this Panasonic, it would be hard to argue that it's over-priced, yet a few foibles with its digital media capabilities and its lack of DLNA networking knock the shine off this otherwise accomplished player.

We also liked the DMP-BD65's design – it's such a tiny player it could easily slot into an existing set-up – though gone are the days when Blu-ray players constituted a premium slice of tech; the DMP-BD65 is no better built than a mass-market DVD player.

Digital media and Viera Cast prove mere distractions, but its core duties are competently performed.

We liked:

Pictures, sound and speed. Incredibly fast to load, the DMP-BD65 gets the best out of Blu-rays without any fuss.

Pictures contain crystal clear detail within images that are clean and realistically coloured, with plenty of contrast and a stability that carries it through fast-motion scenes without too many incidences of blur.

Meanwhile, audio is delicately rendered and creates a wide and involving soundstage – it's as impressive as on some Blu-ray players twice the price.

We disliked:

The Blu-ray format might be holding up relatively well, but we're convinced that the ability to stream movies – even in standard definition – would see sales of players like the DMP-BD65 rocket.

Less important than Viera Cast's development into something genuinely useful is this deck's lack of reliable DivX playback from a USB stick, though we'd put the omission of DLNA networking as more of a concern.

And the lack of built-in storage for BD Live downloads is annoying.

Final verdict:

If you want the last word in all-round Blu-ray features, head for Panasonic's flagship DMP-BD85 deck.

If, on the other hand, you don't require analogue outputs and can happily cope with using either a Wi-Fi dongle or an Ethernet cable for BD Live and Viera Cast, the super-slim and fast DMP-BD65 makes for an excellent value buy; its picture quality is just as good as the higher-end alternative.

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Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),