Panasonic to release network media players and a cost-effective Blu-Ray player with the network essentials


From the horse’s mouth

Panasonic USA

Product pages (US Direct purchase)

DMP-BD79 Blu-Ray player

DMP-MS10 Network Media Player

My Comments

Panasonic is another of the major consumer-electronics brands to release network media players in to the US consumer-electronics market. They also have released a “Wi-Fi ready” Blu-Ray player that also has access to the essential online content services along with full DLNA capabilities.

Both these devices, which are at the bottom end of the model lineup for model-year 2013, are priced at US$79 which is a price level for someone who wants to enable an existing low-end flat-screen TV that they picked up at Target or Wal-Mart for the home or small-business network.

They miss the ability to work as a Skype videoconferencing terminal, which may limit some people who value this function for long-distance videocalls on the large screen and the don’t have access to the full VieraCast platform for app-driven smart TV services. But they have access to the locally-essential video-on-demand services like YouTube, VuDu, Netflix and CinemaNow for that cheaper or older TV. They also are DLNA-capable where you can select network media using the device’s remote control, or use a desktop or mobile app to “push” network media to these devices. This latter functionality is useful to those of you who run a shopfront and want to use this technology to set up cost-effective digital signage and visual merchandising there.

The DMP-BD79 is the Blu-Ray player which could work well with those existing TVs and home-theatre setups that don’t have a functioning Blu-Ray player; as well as only having Ethernet connectivity. It is marketed as being “Wi-Fi ready” where you have to purchase an extra Wi-Fi network adaptor dongle from Panasonic but I would prefer you to use Ethernet or HomePlug AV powerline to connect this unit to your home network.

On the other hand, the DMP-MS10 is a network media player for applications where an optical disc player isn’t necessary or is fulfilled by existing equipment. It also has the integrated Wi-Fi network functionality if you do have a reliable Wi-Fi network with good reception at the installation’s location.

The reason I have drawn attention to these Panasonic devices is that they represent another name brand offering network media devices at a price that gives you an affordable “foot in the door” for online-hosted and DLNA-hosted network media.

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