At the far right there some basic controls for play and stop and on the top there is an eject and an on/off button. When you press eject, the entire front panel automatically flips down and the disc tray comes out. In the centre just above the flip down panel is a blue LED that thankfully can be turned off completely. The player has a reasonably well built feel and solid construction, with dimensions measuring 430 x 41 x 181mm and a weight of 1.6kg. However we did find it rather noisy in operation, especially when loading or navigating discs.
The connections are all located at the right rear of the player and are fairly standard these days, consisting of twin HDMI outputs, along with a LAN socket, an optical digital output and a two pin connector for the mains power lead. It's worth noting that along with the composite video, coaxial digital audio and analogue stereo outputs, the dedicated communication connector for a Skype camera has also been dropped.
Panasonic has obviously been listening to feedback and have thankfully ditched the disastrous touch pad remote that shipped with the BDT320, in favour of their standard version. This will be familiar to anyone who has owned a Panasonic Blu-ray player in the last few years and despite being made of black plastic, it does feel very solid and is comfortable to hold, making it easy to operate with one hand. The buttons are sensibly laid out and include all the usual controls plus some dedicated ones such as 3D, Internet (VIERA Connect) and Netflix; although the dedicated Skype button has been dropped in favour of a Miracast button.
In Setup, there are the Player Settings submenus, the first of which contains all the Picture options, including the Picture Mode and the Picture Adjustment controls, although these can only be accessed in the User picture mode. The only other option is HDMI output and here you can select the HDMI Video Format (the resolution which now includes scaling up to 4K), the 24p(4K)/24p Output, the HDMI Colour Mode, the Deep Colour Output, Contents Type Flag and the HDMI (SUB) Output Mode, which controls the second HDMI output.
The next submenu relates to Sound and includes options for setting the Dialogue Enhancer, Dynamic Range Compression and Digital Audio Output. Here you can choose which audio signal to output, select the BD-Video Secondary Audio and the HDMI Audio Output. Next we have the PCM Down Conversion, as well as a Downmix feature and DTS Neo:6. The 3D submenu allows the user to setup 3D BD-Video Playback, 3D AVCHD Output, the 3D Playback Message (best left hidden or it gets annoying) and Graphic Display Level which adjusts the position of the Option menu.
The Language submenu, as the name suggests, allows for the selection of the language used for Soundtrack Preference, Subtitle Preference, Menu Preference and the On-Screen Language. The Network submenu includes an option for Easy Network Settings, which helps you set up the built-in WiFi but there is also a more detailed option called Network Settings. In here you can select between LAN or Wireless connections, set up the IP Address/DNS Settings, Proxy Server Settings, the Network Service Settings (VIERA Connect), Network Dive Connection (DLNA), Remote Device Operation and BD-Live Internet Access.
After Network, there is another submenu called Ratings where you'll find options for setting the DVD and BD ratings, as well as the Network Service Lock. The final submenu is System which includes all the controls for Easy Settings, TV Settings, Unit Settings, Start-up Banner (turn it off), Quick Start, Remote Control, Firmware Update, System Information and Default Settings.
We were surprised to see that a remote app wasn't listed in the BDT330's specifications, nor does one appear to have been released for the 2013 BD players. We tried using the 2012 version but were unable to connect with the BDT330 - this seems a strange omission on the part of Panasonic, especially as they have added Miracast. As far as other connectivity goes, the BDT330 is fully DLNA certified which means it can connect with other 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 BDT330 covers MP3, JPEG, MKV, Xvid, FLAC, WAV, MPO, AAC and WMA. We had no problems playing back any of the above files using a USB drive, SD card or disc media (CD, DVD, BD), as well as AVC HD, MP4, JPEG, MP3, FLAC, AAC and WMA files wirelessly over our network.
3D and 1080p Playback
As with the 3D performance, the digital nature of the content means that any Blu-ray player capable of outputting 1080p24 should essentially be identical to any other when using the HDMI output. That is of course as long as the manufacturers don't mess with the output by adding picture mode options rather than just maintaining the integrity of the output on their players. Thankfully, in the Normal Picture Mode, the BDT330 showed no signs of unwanted manipulation and output the video without any issues. All the Blu-rays we watched showed plenty of fine detail and appeared free from any undue judder or other possible artefacts. We weren't in a position to test the 4K upscaling but its inclusion is little more than a marketing gimmick.
Disc Load Times
- Standby (Quick Start off): 0W
- Standby (Quick Start on): 7W
- Idle: 10W
- Playing a disc: 11W
- Impressive video playback
- Extensive file support
- Good networking capabilities
- Stylish and solid construction
- Well designed and responsive menus
- No remote app
- Noisy in operation
Panasonic DMP-BDT330 3D Blu-ray Player Review
Whilst the DMP-BDT330 appears quite similar to last year's model, it uses a disc drawer rather than a slot, which frankly we prefer. The build quality was reasonable but didn't feel quite as solid as last year and it was definitely noisier during playback. Panasonic has also dropped a surprising number of features and whilst we're glad to see the back of the touch pad remote, the loss of a remote app was unexpected. The rear connections have also undergone a purge with only an optical digital output and Ethernet port, although Panasonic have added a second HDMI output which is good to see. The menu system is identical to last year, making the BDT-330 easy to setup and navigate and the player also includes built-in WiFi. As is usually the case with Blu-ray players, they use the previous year's internet platform - which in the case of Panasonic's VIERA Connect offers a reasonable set of features and file support but pales when compared to some of the competition.
The start-up and load times are reasonable, although not spectacular, and make sure you turn off the start-up banner feature, unless you want to watch forced adverts when you boot your player up. The energy consumption is also good whilst not being overly impressive and overall the BDT-330 was average in both these areas. As we would expect from a Blu-ray player that is basically a digital transport, the audio and video (both 2D and 3D) performance over HDMI was flawless. The video processing was also excellent apart from a minor issue with video text over film content and the BDT-330 will do a great job of getting the best out of any DVDs that you still watch. The Panasonic DMP-BDT330 is a competent Blu-ray player that offers an excellent level of performance at a reasonable price and as such is certainly worth a Recommendation.
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
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