Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Blu-ray 3D Player Page 2

Another nice feature on the video processing side is the ability to scale any of the streaming sources. The Panasonic’s video processing chip is one of the best out there, and it did a great job with feeds from Amazon and Netflix. You can even change the frame rate to 24p if you want. This helped out some material, and I rarely saw any dropped frames or tearing in the image.

The DMP-BDT220 passed all of our Video Test Bench tests with flying colors on the HDMI connection. Out of curiosity, I even tried some of my more advanced deinterlacing tests that I typically reserve for scalers, and the DMP-BDT220 passed nearly every one of them with ease. It wasn’t quite as quick to lock onto some of the more difficult video cadences I threw at it, but I doubt you’ll find any material that the player won’t play back exceptionally well.

Picture Perfect
My experience with this year’s model was largely the same as last year’s. The onscreen display is very clean and easy to navigate, and I was impressed by how many options the player let me control while I watched a movie. Even the network streaming features seemed to be a bit more responsive than last year’s model. The DMP-BDT220 is a pretty zippy player, though it’s not the fastest I’ve used. There’s a quick-start feature that works pretty well, but load times on some titles were slower than my PS3 and Oppo BDP-95. This was a problem mainly with some of the newer Fox titles that seem to give most players issues.

The included remote is the same as any other Panasonic remote I’ve used. It has a decent layout, but it can be hard to navigate in the dark. The keys are different in size and shape, but with no backlighting, I had some trouble at times in my bat cave of a room. I also thought some of the keys were a little too close together.

Panasonic has always delivered a solid Blu-ray playback experience that I would be happy to recommend to even the most discerning videophile. The DMP-BDT220 lacks some of the more advanced features of my reference Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player, but for standard Blu-ray playback, it’s every bit as good. I spent a couple of weeks using the DMP-BDT220 in my reference home theater connected to my JVC DLA-RS35 1080p projector and a BenQ W7000 1080p 3D projector (Home Theater, August 2012). No matter what I threw at it, the player delivered.

3D playback was a delight. I never had any issues with playback, and the DMP-BDT220 provided a few custom touches for 3D material. Most of them didn’t seem to enhance the experience, but you can fine-tune the image to your liking, including depth. As I mentioned earlier, the player can convert 2D material to 3D, but most of what I saw still looked a little flat compared with true 3D material, with only a minor amount of depth added to the image.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Vudu were better than I expected for what they are. Vudu was definitely the standout. The HDX 1080p video service delivered images that weren’t quite as good as what I get from Blu-ray but not that far behind. With a smaller screen, I wouldn’t be surprised if you got into splitting-hairs differences. Not surprisingly, Netflix wasn’t as good, with obvious compression artifacts and mixed detail/resolution performance, but it was better than the performance I get when I stream it from my Oppo player. I didn’t take a look at Hulu as I don’t have an account, but I did check out Amazon’s service. This gave me immediate access to a lot of content in both standard and high definition. Movies and TV programming looked about the same as the quality I saw from Netflix or slightly better. In the end, it was obvious that the playback quality was really at the mercy of the streaming content’s compression quality. But with some minor tweaks in the player’s picture settings, I could get a solid picture from almost anything.

What’s not to love here? The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 player delivers 2D and 3D Blu-ray images that rival even the heavyweights. Sure, it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles found on my reference Oppo BDP-95, but it does what it’s designed to do flawlessly and at a price point that almost feels like they’re giving it away. If all you want is a great Blu-ray player for Blu-ray and DVD playback along with a host of streaming services, you just can’t go wrong here. Like last year’s model, this one goes straight to the top of my budget player recommendations and delivers the Blu-ray experience in spades.

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COMMENTS's picture

I have the last ES bluray player Sony made which is built like a tank and has a very good analog section, although I mainly use HDMI as my audio source. The video quality of the Sony ES blew me away when I got it, but I lamented the lack of SACD playback. I have been wanting an Oppo player because they play SACDs and can stream a native DSD stream which my receiver can decode, but could not justify the price just for SACD playback alone. I tried to justify the purchase of an Oppo by rationalizing that I would get start of the art bluray playback with SACD. Then I read your article about the Panasonic. You compare the Panasonic video quality to be on par with the Oppo. Putting aside the Panasonic does not play SACD and the audio capabilities of the Panasonic, is the video quality really the equal of the Oppo BDP95? Also nagging me is what improvements have been made to bluray playback since I bought my Sony BDP-S5000ES, which is the main motivation behind this email given the Panasonic's price.

StreamerFan's picture

This player is the only Blu-Ray player that streams Dolby Digital Plus from Netflix. That is a pretty important feature.
Since surround is one of the reasons for why we are all here, I guess I don't understand why not only isn't this mentioned, but highlighted to help increase awareness and drive competitiveness towards good 24p / DD+ surround in streaming.
One of the single biggest upgrades you can do for you streaming is add surround to it.

So few people are aware you can do it.

DD+ over Video ON Demand, (VOD) should be an important check list item on players.

This player with P4HD, DD+ and 24p over VOD is what we all want out of streaming isn't it?

David Vaughn's picture
The Oppo BDP-103 also can stream Netflix with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.
lotusguy's picture

"Sure, it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles found on my reference Oppo BDP-95...."

Can you list some of those bells and whistles?

HTNUT1975's picture

Is this bluray player any snappier when it comes to cruising the viera cast menus? I've owned several panasonic br players and have noticed that they always seem to be a bit clunky/slow/non-responsive in this department.

Stosh's picture

The Oppo players feature the following, which most cheaper players do not:

* faster disk loading than most other players

* SACD and DVD-Audio playback

* PAL playback (on any screen)

* Higher quality DAC and video processors than other players.

* Analog 5.1 (7.1 on newer models) outputs for highest quality audio playback.

The fact is that BD performance is pretty much the same on all players. But the Oppo products provide reference-quality audio. For people who care about audio performance, the Oppo products are the obvious choices.

I would also add that the Oppo players have better menu and navigation systems than cheaper players do.

There really is no comparison between the Oppo players and the cheaper ones from other vendors. The Oppo players are clearly superior.

That said,I am looking for a cheaper BD player for my bedroom (my Oppo is in my main home theater system), and this Panasonic player just might be what I am looking for, especially since it is available online for $100.

The only thing I don't like is that it has no build-in storage for BD-Live. I guess for $100 that is understandable. But it may hold me back from buying it

akhritimea's picture

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kent harrison's picture

This Panasonic 220 is good players for 100.00 dollars this week on black friday week the sale probably last thru christmas,its much better player then samsung and sony590 players,i never bought a lg player,the sony player have more streaming then any player out there,now the good part Oppo and Denon players are built like tanks,these are the players for high and midgrade audio and video geeks like me.

bjrichardson's picture

What about durability - my attic is like a DVD player graveyard. I am not particularly hard on them either - they just seem to fail on a regular basis. Seems like every year or two they fail on me. I have tried many brands - Sony, Panasonic, LG. But they all fail within 2 years. Durability would be a major improvement that they could do with players.

kent harrison's picture

Sony players have longer warrantys,i think three or five years.

nay gar's picture


I just bought this Bluray but I have a Phillips dvd hometheater and I dont really know if they will work out together, is there any accesory that I can use to get the sound working with the blu??



Kevin Newlove's picture

I've been searching around for a blu-ray player lately and came across this one. It's only $89.00 on Amazon now. That seems like an awesome deal for all of the features. I saw some other blu ray reviews at another site, but this in depth review really sold me. I only have one reservation about it though. It's obvious that this one is already going out of style from the significant price drop on amazon. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to pick this one up while it's cheap? I don't know what a newer player would be able to offer me. Something to do with 4K maybe? I'll take a pass on that. -Kevin