At first I thought to myself $1300 for a Panasonic Blu-ray player no frackin way! But with the Sony not playing CD's, DVD-A's, SACD's. No decoding of Dolby True HD or DTS-HD. Only using 5.1 analog outputs which I find to be really stupid. While I would want HDMI 1.3 to be used I can live without it as long as can decode lossless internally and ouput 7.1 to a good reciever or pre/pro.
The Panasonic DMP-BD10 does the following:
Upconverting SD-DVD to 1080p
Will read writable CD-R's, DVD-R's and Blu-ray R's
7.1 analog outputs
Upgradeable to Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio
The Panasonic player has features that the Sony and Pioneer do not. It is cheaper than the Pioneer so with what it brings to the table at this point in time IMHO $1300 is reasonable. Granted I wouldn't be suprised if this player is selling for around $750 at the end of 07. With so many blu-ray titles including DTS-HD and so little Dolby True HD titles being offered on HD-DVD, Blu-ray will fast become my format of choice and will be the main HD format in my HT. As long as Blu-ray keeps offering DTS-HD and HD-DVD only offers Dolby Digital Plus I will choose the Bluray title every time as long as the transfer is really good!
I wished the Panasonic had a nicer look to the front panel but if I can get use to the Toshiba HD-A1 then I am sure I can get use to the look of the Panasonic.
What speaks volumes to me, is the fact we're not really hearing anything bad about the Panasonic player. My ears tend to perk up when the biggest gripe about something is the remote. I wonder when Panasonic plans to bow a 2nd gen. player. If they keep up the good work, that would have the full decoding capabilities and have HDMI 1.3.
I don't have a problem with the looks of the Panasonic, but I do think it's kind of cumbersome to have to open the front panel to get to the drive. That's just something to break off as far as I'm concerned.
I am going to go to my local Ultimate Electronics today to check out the Panasonic in person. I tried at my local BB yesterday but they not only don't have the Panasonic but they don't know when it will come in ether. It just funny because there compition has it and they do not.
I will most likely end up buying the Panasonic because Sony and Pioneer have not given me a reason to buy there machine instead! Not to mention there players have been pushed back again. The only thing I will not be happy about is having to buy another blu-ray player in the next 2 years because of HDMI 1.3. My current upgrade schedule is turning out to be the most exspensive upgrade ever, all just to have 1080p hd playback, 1080p projector and the upcoming lossless decoding reciever.