Summary: The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 is a mostly solid Blu-ray player, except it serves up obnoxious ads in its onscreen interface.
Pros: The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 offers excellent Blu-ray and DVD image quality. Its selection of streaming services is good and it's a relatively inexpensive player.
Cons: Advertising is built in to several of the menus, including undefeatable video ads in the app marketplace. The menu system can be a little perplexing at first and it's easy to hit the Netflix button on the remote by accident. The YouTube app lags.
Conclusion: The prismatic styling of the BDT230 somewhat sets it apart, looks wise, from the competition but it is still, at heart, just another black box. Connectivity options should be sufficient for most with a single HDMI, digital audio out plus USB and Wi-Fi built-in, and the included remote is both easy to use and comfortable in the hand.
Pros: Effecive, faithful playback, Decent smart features, The price is right
Summary: I'm unfortunately very disappointed in the Panasonic DMP-BDT230. Even if it had perfect playback and incredible streaming content, I'd still be hard pressed to recommend it based on the innovation of advertising that they have built in. Other vendors that include advertising on their products, like the Amazon Kindle, let you buy one without advertising if you wish, and make you very aware you're getting it with ads. Those also aren't video ads with sound on a Kindle.
Conclusion: The DMP-BDT230 hits the major points we look for in a Blu-ray player: good A/V performance, good speed and reliability, and a good assortment of features for its $120 asking price. I encountered a few ergonomic issues that could potentially be addressed through firmware updates: menu navigation could be sluggish, DLNA performance was frustrating, and there's no control app with a virtual keyboard for easier text input.
Panasonic DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230 3D Blu-ray Disc Players
5 July 2013
Excerpt: At CES Panasonic introduced two new 3D Blu-ray Disc Players, the DMP-BDT330, DMP-BDT230. Panasonic is also continuing to manufacture its 3D 2012 models (the DMP-BDT500 and DMP-BBT01). All four of these players include Panasonic’s proprietary IPTV platform, VIERA Connect1 that offers streaming services such as Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube.
Summary: The Panasonic DMP-BDT230 costs a little more than the average Blu-Ray player, but it delivers a lot more. Whilst most Blu-Ray players do pretty much the same job, the BDT230 delivers a little extra. Not only does it include 3D playback, Smart TV and built-in Wi-Fi, but it over-delivers on picture quality and audio quality. You won't find better than this unless you're prepared to increase your budget considerably.
Conclusion: Viewers after the latest and greatest collection of apps should look beyond the DMP-BDT230 and head for a Samsung deck. However, if you're after the very finest picture quality not only from 2D and 3D Blu-ray, but from upscaled DVDs, too, the low-priced DMP-BDT230 is dead centre of the sweet-spot.