By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Panasonic has released their first Blu-ray player since the format war with HD DVD came to an end – the DMP-BD30.

The new player (RRP $899) will output in 1080p/24p and adds Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and Final Standard Profile for the first time. Final Standard profile gives access to Blu-ray 1.1 features such as picture-in-picture, Audio Mixing (which allows switching between sound in the main and sub windows) and other bonus content.

The DMP-BD30 also includes a range of new image processing technology, with Panasonic’s new PHL Reference Chroma Processor, which up-samples colour information to help reproduce colours closer to the original movie, ‘Deep Colour-ready’ status, which means the player can show 12-bit 4,096 step graduation and up to 68.7 billion colours, and P4 HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing for HD), which processes more than 15 billion pixels per second. 

New HDMI 1.3 ports mean the player can also output Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio in bitstream form. Panasonic claims that if used with a compatible AV receiver, the resulting audio is studio-master-quality sound.

Users can connect other input sources with the integrated SD Memory Card slot, and comes with VIERA Link, which links operation of compatible home theatre components with a single button press.

The DMP-BD30 will be available from mid March.