Panasonic DMP-BDT270 review

Effective 4K upscaling and 3D to boot on this otherwise back-to-basics Blu-ray deck

Panasonic DMP-BDT270 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The BDT270 knows what it is: a stopgap to a "proper" Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and it's priced accordingly.

While some of the other major AV brands (notably Samsung with its pricey BD-J7500 are attempting to dress-up 4K upscaling as a luxury future-proof feature when it's nothing of the sort, Panasonic's BDT270 marries the tech to an ageing, though acceptable smart TV app interface and chucks in WiFi and a Netflix button.

For most homes, that's job done, though the product's tiny size and its 3D features tick another couple of boxes for good measure.

Panasonic DMP-BDT270

We liked

Picture quality from all sources – including Blu-ray upscaled to 4K quality – is immaculate, with defined edges, plenty of contrast and well saturated colour. The user interface on the BDT270 is rather basic, but easy to use, with the dated smart TV app pages at least containing the key apps most people want – Netflix, Amazon Instant and (in the UK) BBC iPlayer.

In our test the BDT270 supported AVI, MP4, MPEG-2 and AVC HD video, MP3, M4A, WMA, WAV and FLAC music files, and JPEG photos. The latter can be displayed in 3D, which is a nice effect, while the slideshow feature is also handy.

There's also a chance to jazz up the rather dull front screen by creating a wallpaper from any photo.

We disliked

The BDT270 isn't slow, but it's hardly super-charged; in swapping from VieraCast back to the Home screen, the BDT270 thinks about it for a few seconds too long. Aside from the lack of support for MKV, the BDT270 does make you work for digital media.

Not only do you have to choose Music, Photo or Video on the front pages of the Home screen, but even after you do you then have to go hunting through the attached USB stick/HDD for specific files. Could it not detect all video files on a source, or all music files? It could, but it doesn't.

This manual process was fine a few years ago; it's not now.

Nor does the BDT270 support any kind of digital 4K material, which is rather odd considering its claims to be a 4K deck. In our tests both TS and MP4 files fitted with 3840 x 2160 pixel material failed to load. The latter even froze the BDT270 completely.

Final verdict

Panasonic's flagship Blu-ray player initially feels like anything but. Despite having 4K upscaling, 3D and both Netflix and Amazon apps included, little has changed to its user interface. Though it's smaller than any Blu-ray player we've yet seen, the BDT270 looks and feels much like Panasonic Blu-ray players from three or four years ago.

Dated? Yes. Good value? Absolutely.

With Ultra HD Blu-ray just months away, this nicely priced deck fills a gap without breaking the bank, with picture quality equal to any Blu-ray player I've seen. The BDT270 issues pin-sharp upscaled Blu-ray discs without making a fuss, with clean, colourful images from all sources that are good enough for any 4K TV.

Add some basic networking, (slightly clunky) digital file playback and Miracast for Android phones and the BDT270 makes itself useful while we await the native 4K era to commence. With Blu-ray discs never looking soft even on a giant 4K screen – and with first-generation Ulra HD Blu-ray machines bound to be pricey – the BDT270 could be a wise investment.

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),