This week sees CES 2012 in full swing, and as always there has been an abundance of new Blu-ray players announced, along with some cool new products related to our favourite disc-based media. Here's a rundown of the top announcements.
Panasonic has announced four new 3D Blu-ray players, the DMP-BDT500, BDT320, BDT220 and BBT01, plus two 2D players, the DMP-BD77 and BD87. They all use an updated UniPhier chip and offer VIERA Connect and support for 3D up-conversion. The BBT01 and BDT320 both use an unusual slot-drive, while the BBT01 can be mounted either vertically or horizontally.
All the new players offer DLNA support and all but the BD77 have Wi-Fi built-in, plus they all support NTFS-based hard disc drives.
In addition to a standard 3D Blu-ray player, the VBR370, Vizio has introduced the VBR430, a media streaming box complete with a built-in Blu-ray player. The box streams content from Hulu and Netflix, plus it offers Google TV functionality and integrates with social networking sites. Once again, like a couple of Panasonic players, the Vizio VBR430 looks to use a slot-loading drive. Price and availability have yet to be confirmed.
Sony has given us three new Blu-ray players this CES, with one of particular interest. The BDP-S590 is a stock 3D player with Wi-Fi and access to various third-party streaming services along with Sony's own network, while the BDP-SX910 is a portable Blu-ray player with a 9" screen and four hours of battery life.
The BDP-S790 comes with the interesting feature of being able to convert standard HD content into 4K HD content. Wi-Fi and 3D are also featured, but it's that upscaling-gone-mad spec that makes this one standout. Now you just need a screen capable of showing 4K resolution material.
Here's a neat little device from Samsung. The BD-ES6000 is a box just about the same size as a Blu-ray disc, yet it incorporates a 3D player, Wi-Fi, DLNA support and access to plenty of streaming online content and Samsung's app store. Plus, it can be controlled using an iOS or Android app, or even a wireless keyboard and mouse. The tiny device happily decodes HD audio too, and won't take up much space alongside your TV. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced.
Toshiba brings four new Blu-ray players to CES. The BDX3300 and BDX5300 both feature Wi-Fi, but only the BDX5300 has 3D support, while the BDX2300 and BDX4300 both need a wireless dongle attached to use a Wi-Fi network. The BDX4300 does have 3D disc support though. All players will be released during April and May and feature the usual online streaming abilities, apps and DLNA support.