Panasonic’s DMP-BD60K sits near the top of its class of Blu-ray players. Its terrific design, plethora of features, and stellar image quality enable it to fend off challenges from newer top-notch contenders.
In our tests, the DMP-BD60K deftly handled every type of content we threw at it well, from bright colors in Pixar animations to subtle shades of gray in black-and-white cinematography. The opening racing scene from Cars possessed superb dimensionality that was lacking when viewed on our reference player, the Sony PlayStation 3. Reds looked very red, and tire treads stood out. Similar details emerged in all of our tests: in the Vatican architecture in a Mission: Impossible III scene; and in napkins, clothes, and hair in a dinner scene from The Searchers (chapter 4). The black-and-white opening scene of Good Night and Good Luck displayed detailed shades of gray, though one judge felt that the blacks could be better.
The DMP-BD60K did an excellent job of upscaling regular DVDs. Colors remained well-balanced, and we could see more detail than we expected, though in a The Phantom of the Opera scene, the faces of people far from the camera tended to show some pixelation.
Panasonic made the DMP-BD60K compact, sleek, and attractive, so it will fit wherever you want to put it. The player’s Power and Eject buttons are large and sensibly positioned.
The programmable remote control has large buttons, and the ones you’re most likely to use are situated where your thumb can easily find them. The remote isn’t backlit, but the playback buttons (Play, Stop, Pause, Skip, and so on) are blue and thus stand out visually.
The DMP-BD60K features Panasonic’s VieraCast Web portal for accessing certain Web content sites, including Amazon On Demand, Picasa, and YouTube.
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On all counts, the Panasonic DMP-BD60K is a well-made Blu-ray player, and it ranks among the best such devices you can buy today.
[Lincoln Spector is a contributing editor for PC World.]