Panasonic DMP-BDT360 Blu-ray Disc Player Review

Panasonic DMP-BDT360 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories
Panasonic DMP-BDT360 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View Photo with Included Accessories. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Panasonic DMP-BDT360 3D Network Blu-ray Disc Player is compact, stylish, performs well and is very reasonably priced. The DMP-BDT360 provides 2D and 3D playback of Blu-ray Discs, DVD, and CD, as well 1080p and 4K upscaling when used with a 4K UltraHD TV. The DMP-BDT360 is also able to stream audio/video content from the internet, as well as content stored on your home network. Keep on reading for all the details.

Panasonic DMP-BDT360 Product Features

1. The DMP-BDT360 features 1080p/60, 1080p/24 or 4K (via upscaling) resolution output, and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via HDMI 1.4 audio/video output. Built-in 2D-to-3D conversion also provided.

2. The DMP-BDT360 can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/+R/-RW/+RW/+R DL/CD/CD-R/CD-RW, MKV, AVCHD, and MP4.

3. The BDT360 also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and both DVD and Blu-ray upscaling to 4K (compatible TV or video projector required).

4. High definition video output: One HDMI. DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter (3D not accessible using DVI).

5. Standard definition video output: None (no Component, S-video, or Composite video outputs).

6. Besides audio output, via HDMI output one additional audio output option includes Digital Optical.

7. Built-in Ethernet, WiFi.

8. One USB port and SD Card Slot for access to digital photo, video, music content via memory card or flash drive.

9. Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality (addition of 1 GB or more of USB flash drive based memory required).

10. A Wireless Infrared Remote Control and full-color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for easy setup and function access.

Additional Capabilities

Internet Apps - Employs a menu that provides direct access to online audio and video content sources, including Netflix, VUDU, Amazon Instant Video, ​and ​Pandora.

More content services can be added via the included Internet Apps Market.

DLNA - Provides the ability to access digital media files from compatible network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

Miracast allows direct wireless streaming from compatible portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Video Performance

Whether playing Blu-ray Discs or DVDs, I found that the Sony DMP-BDT360 did very well in terms of detail, color, contrast, and black levels. Also, video performance with streaming content looked good with services such as Netflix delivering a DVD quality image. However, it is important to note that consumers may see different quality results in this area as factors such as video compression used by content providers, as well as internet speed, which are independent of the video processing capabilities of the player, does affect the quality of what you finally see on your TV screen. For more on this: Internet Speed Requirements for Video Streaming.

Digging into video performance further, the DMP-BDT360 passed all of the important video processing and upscaling tests using a standardized test disc.

The upscaling test results revealed that the DMP-BDT360 does very well on jaggie elimination, detail, motion adaptive processing, and moire pattern detection and elimination, frame cadence detection.

Video noise reduction was good on poor source material, but some background video noise and mosquito noise is visible. For a photo illustrated look at some of video performance test results for the DMP-BDT360, check out my supplementary Test Results Profile.

3D Performance

To evaluate the 3D performance of the DMP-BDT360, I enlisted an Optoma GT1080 Short Throw DLP Projector that was provided to me for another review, which gave me the added opportunity to check out the 3D functions of the DMP-BDT360 Blu-ray Disc player.

3D Blu-ray discs take a little longer to load than standard Blu-ray Discs, but the loading time was still adequate.

Once loaded the DMP-BDT360 had no difficulty playing 3D discs. There was no playback hesitation, frame skipping, or other issues.

The DMP-BDT360 supplies the correct native 3D signal to a compatible connected video display device. With native 3D sources, the player is essentially a pass-through conduit, so it should not (and the DMP-BDT360 did not), alternative 3D signals coming from Blu-ray Discs.

The DMP-BDT360 also features real-time 2D-to-3D conversion. This feature can add a sense of depth and perspective if used appropriately and sparingly on some 2D sources. However, the 3D depth cues are not always right and the image ends up not being properly layered. On the other hand, 2D-to-3D conversion can look somewhat acceptable when used with 2D Blu-ray and DVD content that it does when viewing broadcast and cable/satellite TV content.

In my opinion, on-the-fly 2D to 3D conversion isn't such a great experience and gives viewers the wrong idea on how good 3D can be - so go with the native 3D content, if possible.

Audio Performance

On the audio side, the DMP-BDT360 offers complete onboard audio decoding, as well as undecoded bitstream output for compatible home theater receivers. In addition, the DMP-BDT360 comes equipped with two HDMI outputs (both of which can be pass both audio and video, or you can assign one for video only and the other for audio only) and on digital optical output.

Both of the HDMI connections allow the DMP-BDT360 to supply Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio access via HDMI, and multi-channel PCM, but the digital optical connection is limited to standard Dolby Digital, DTS, and two-channel PCM formats, which conforms to current industry standards.

So, if you want the benefit of Blu-ray audio, the HDMI connection option is preferred, but the digital optical output is provided for those cases where a non-HDMI-equipped home theater receiver is used.

The DMP-BDT360 demonstrated versatility as both an excellent 2D/3D Blu-ray Disc, DVD player, and CD player, with no audio artifacts that can be attributed to the player. On the other hand, the DMP-BDT360 does not offer any analog audio output option, which limits its audio connection flexibility with stereo or home theater receivers that do not have HDMI or Digital Audio input options.

Internet Streaming

Just as with most Blu-ray disc players available these days, the DMP-BDT360 provides access to internet streaming content.

Using the onscreen internet apps menu, users can access streaming content from sites such as, Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, YouTube, and more... by scrolling through two or more pages of listings, which what you are currently viewing displayed in the center of the page.

Also, you can add and customize your content service listings (apps) via the Internet Apps Market. Most services can be added to your list free of charge, but the actual content provided by some services may require a paid subscription or pay-per-view.

Of course, you also need a high-speed internet connection to access good quality movie streaming, and there is a lot of variation in the video quality of the streamed content, ranging from low-res compressed video looks soft and may contain lots of artifacts, to high-def video feeds that look more like DVD quality or slightly better.

Even the 1080p content streamed from the internet will not look quite as detailed as 1080p content played directly from a Blu-ray Disc.

In addition to content services, the DMP-BDT360 also provides access to social media services, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The DMP-BDT360 also provides access to a full web browser, but the downside is that the player does not recognize a standard windows USB keyboard. This makes web browsing cumbersome as you have to use the onscreen virtual keyboard that only allows one character to be entered in at a time via the DMP-BDT360's remote control. It would be great if Panasonic gave their Blu-ray Disc players the ability to work with an external USB keyboard.

Media Player Functions

Another convenience incorporated into the DMP-BDT360 is the ability to play audio, video, and image files stored on USB flash drives or external hard drives (up to 2TB), SD cards, or content stored on a DLNA compatible home network. I found using either a flash drive or SD card was very easy, the on-screen control menu loaded fast and scrolling through menus and access content was fast and easy.

However, keep in mind that not all digital media file types are playback compatible - a complete list is provided in the user guide.

Miracast

Another added convenience is the inclusion of Miracast. This feature allows users with compatible smartphones and tablets to display the operational menus of those devices, as well as directly stream audio and video content through the DMP-BDT360 for viewing and listening to it on your video display device (TV or video projector) and home theater AV system.

My HTC One M8 Harman Kardon Edition Smartphone was able to easily identify the DMP-BDT360 Blu-ray Disc player as a compatible Miracast device and I had no difficulty displaying my phone's operating menus or streaming compatible audio, video, and still image content stored on the phone or accessed from the internet through the phone.

What I liked about the DMP-BDT360:

1. Excellent 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback.

2. Very good 1080p upscaling (4K upscaling not evaluated).

3. A good selection of Internet streaming content.

4. Miracast adds additional content access.

5. Easy-to-Use Onscreen Menu system.

6. Fast loading of both 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs.

What I didn't like about the DMP-BDT360:

1. 2D-to-3D conversion feature not that effective.

2. No analog video or audio outputs.

3. External memory required for BD-Live access.

4. Remote Control not backlit.

5. You cannot use an external USB Keyboard for web browser navigation.

6. The provided printed user manual doesn't always provide enough explanation detail.

More Info

Although the DMP-BDT360 isn't perfect, it is definitely an example of how much entertainment-bang-for-the-buck a Blu-ray Disc player can provide these days. The DMP-BDT360 spins your favorites discs, whether they be Blu-ray, DVD, or CD, as well as play media files via USB or SD card, and can also access content from either your local network, smartphone/tablet, or the internet. Also, if you a 3D or 4K TV you can take advantage of those features as well (it is still worth getting even if you don't have 3D or 4K).

For additional perspective on the Panasonic DMP-BDT360, also check out my Product Photos and Video Performance Test Results.

NOTE: As of 2016, the Panasonic DMP-BDT360 is ending its production cycle - For more current purchase suggestions, refer to my periodically updated list of Blu-ray Disc Players.