Panasonic DMP-BDT320 review

A touch-remote and Viera Connect augment this great Blu-ray player

Panasonic DMP-BDT320 review
Best in Class
Viera Connect makes its first appearance here on a Panasonic Blu-ray player, making this a truly smart deck

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Panasonic DMP-BDT320 review

An impressive all-round performance aside, we're struggling to find a good reason to buy the Panasonic DMP-BDT320, which is only a very slight step-up from the DMP-BDT220.

Slimmer by a whopping 11mm, the only addition of any real note is that touchpad remote control. It lacks full 7.1 analogue output, which is reserved for the DMP-BDT500, as is a second HDMI output.

We liked

The Panasonic DMP-BDT320's user interface is verging on brilliance - we love its sheer simplicity and customisation options. The digital file support is good, too, with MKV and the usuals all handled well.

We don't underestimate the usefulness of built-in Wi-Fi, while Viera Connect is fast matching up to rival smart TV hubs from Sony and Samsung, despite being here in lite form. Most of all, we like its 2D Blu-ray pictures, which is what it was clearly invented to excel with.

We disliked

Despite being in the age of the touchscreen, the decision to include - and charge extra for - a trackpad-style remote control seems both hugely logical and completely pointless. We got used to the thing after a while and enjoyed skipping around the delicious user interface, but the fact that it doesn't work during Blu-ray playback means that the whole concept fails where it's best suited.

It's one of only two complaints we have, the other being DLNA streaming that doesn't support many file formats at all.

Final verdict

Stuffed with goodies on a Wi-Fi-powered Viera Connect, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 handles a plethora of digital files and indulges - albeit in a somewhat muddy manner - in DLNA home networking.

A super-slim Blu-ray player that needs only Wi-Fi to perform a host of tricks, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 boasts excellent 2D and 3D Blu-ray coupled with reference-level DVD upscaling. This makes for a deck that has few flaws.

Whether or not the inclusion of a trackpad-style remote control makes this slightly slimmer deck a worthy upgrade from its little brother, the DMP-BDT220, is doubtful.

But as a standalone Blu-ray proposition, the Panasonic DMP-BDT320 is a top-notch all-rounder that oozes class.

Also consider

Blu-ray players around the £200 mark are actually pretty scarce, though anyone not interested in the touchpad remote could go down a model to the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and not miss out on the good stuff.

Similarly styled is Sony's BDP-S590, a 3D-ready deck featuring Wi-Fi, DLNA streaming and smart TV features, though the brand's Sony BDP-S790 will break new ground by upscaling Blu-ray to 4k resolutions. Samsung's BD-E6100, a 3D Blu-ray player with built-in WiFi, Smart Hub and 5GB of cloud storage, should also be worth a look.

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),