The DMP-BDT220 is one of Panasonic new Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Players and, as the name suggests, the emphasis is on providing Smart Viera capabilities such as Viera Connect, built-in WiFi, DLNA compliance and Smartphone remote control. Of course it also includes 3D capability, as well as some useful features such as adaptive chroma processing. This particular BDT220 was provided for review by TPS and as such it has had a few modifications made, which we will discuss in the main section of this review. So let's whip out the IQ test and see just how smart the BDT220. The full in-depth review follows after the summary and scoring.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 sits above the entry level BDT120 and below the BDT320 and the audiophile grade BDT500 in the hierarchy. As such the build quality could be better and the slim chassis is rather lightweight which gives the player a slightly budget feel. As a result of this lack of mass, the player was a little noisy, especially when the disc tray was opening and closing but during actual playback it wasn't too bad. The minimalist front facia is attractive enough but there is a slightly plastic feel to the rest of the chassis and the rear connections are fairly basic. The remote is the same basic design and is well laid out and comfortable to hold. Among the usual control buttons there are now buttons for directly accessing the internet (VIERA Connect), Skype and Netflix. The menu system is based around a central home page and is reasonably intuitive, allowing for simple setup and easy operation.
Setup was relatively straight forward and the inclusion of built-in WiFi means that connecting the BDT220 to the internet and your home network is very easy. The BDT220 also includes WiFi Direct (WiDi) so that you can connect directly to similarly capable devices without going through your router. Unlike last year, the BDT220 includes VIERA Connect which allows access to a host of applications, including new additions like Netflix, as well as the VIERA Connect Market, where you can download additional apps and games. As far as connectivity goes, the BDT220 is fully DLNA certified which means it can connect with other such devices and stream content over your home network and you can also access content via disc, USB or SD card. In terms of file support the BDT220 is a big improvement on last year and can handle all the most common file types.
The BDT220 offered some fairly nifty load times, especially in Quick Start mode and the energy efficiency was excellent with the player only drawing 9W in playback. Actual playback over HDMI was excellent and with 2D high definition content the BDT220 delivered excellent images that remained free of any unwanted processing. The same was true of 3D content and the resulting images were equally as good and free of any noticeable artefacts. When it came to standard definition content the BDT220 was just as assured, delivering nicely scaled images without blurring or ringing. The audio performance over HDMI was also very good but anyone looking for an audiophile product should consider the BDT500 instead. Our review sample had been modified to play Blu-rays and DVDs from multiple regions and it was easy to change between regions by entering a simple code. We tested a number of Blu-rays and DVDs from different regions and the modification worked flawlessly.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is a great all-round Blu-ray player that offers an accurate playback coupled with more features than a Swiss army knife. We would certainly recommend that you add it to your list if you are thinking of buying a Blu-ray player this year or want to put some Smart into your current TV.