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World's First Portable Blu-ray Player

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 10 comments

Panasonic at CES introduced the world’s first portable Blu-ray Disc player. Sure, Blu-ray on-the-go isn’t completely new thanks to high-end laptops, but this one’s purpose-built for watching movies.

Designated the DMP-B15, the player differentiates itself from the slew of portable DVD players in its form factor. Instead of opening like a “clamshell” laptop, the DMP-B15 unfolds and stands up like a picture frame, with support behind the display. Think of a tablet PC with a stand. Along that line, it appears that the display can also be rotated like many tablets and be used in the traditional “clamshell” manner.

“Blu-ray technology came together with HDTVs to bring exciting High Definition viewing into the living room.  With the introduction of this unique portable Blu-ray Disc player, the consumer can take this HD entertainment experience when they travel,” said Richard Simone, Director, Entertainment Group, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

Now here’s the thing: those who are into Blu-ray typically enjoy the movies on as large and high-resolution HDTV possible. This portable player has a 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen that isn’t even running at 720p resolutions, wasting away much of the “high-definition.” Still, it should look better than DVD.

Panasonic estimates that the included battery should last for about three hours, making it fit to play at least one full-length feature. We find the battery life disappointing, as it's not even enough to watch two movies on a cross country flight.

The DMP-B15 will also have utility when not traveling, as it has HDMI out for use as a standalone Blu-ray Disc player. The built-in SD card reader can also be used for viewing pictures and HD video files. Once connected to the Internet, the player can also access Panasonic’s Viera Cast service for Amazon Video-on-Demand, YouTube, Google Picasa Web Album, Bloomberg and a weather channel.

Panasonic didn’t reveal pricing, but we’ll know all when it ships this May.

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  • 2 Hide
    Paul702 , January 13, 2009 8:53 PM
    Trying to think of one reason i would want this but cant come up with any.
  • 4 Hide
    revolink24 , January 13, 2009 9:49 PM
    Why do you need Blu-Ray on a screen that big? (or small)
  • 1 Hide
    alvine , January 13, 2009 9:56 PM
    yeah blu-ray is for 1080p resolution........its more of a marketing thing they just want ignorant ppl to buy it since its "first" in its class product haha
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    braindonor75 , January 13, 2009 10:19 PM
    I have started buying blu-ray discs instead of Dvds. So while portable hi def would be nice, this would at least allow me to use them on the go.
  • 0 Hide
    Trialsking , January 14, 2009 1:27 AM
    What a joke. HD means 720p + rez. This is like a Black and White "Color" TV! Look mom, I just paid $600+ to watch Full HD movies in less that HD , hurray!
  • 0 Hide
    JonnyDough , January 14, 2009 1:42 AM
    Yeah brain, most people with large collections might consider this, and at least you can use it as a standalone. That said, I wonder how much it will cost. Might be a good choice for a BD player.
  • 1 Hide
    JonnyDough , January 14, 2009 5:33 AM
    LOL@Trialsking rating me down. I was talking to braindonor75 you noob. That's why I said "brain", brainiac.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 14, 2009 5:28 PM
    @Trialsking

    you don't quite get it. true, it doesn't have a 720p+ screen, but why would you even want that on a tiny portable anyway? The point is this: you can put a bluray dvd in there. I *only* have certain movies in blu-ray, so if i had this player, i could watch those on the road or whatever. Also, realize that it is a fully fledged blu-ray player with an hdmi out. Think of it as a regular player, only it has a built-in display. You can plug it into your 50 tv as a regular player, and also take it camping with you.
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , January 15, 2009 4:44 AM
    Yeh just got my sis a reconditioned Acer 8920G laptop for 550GBP... Now that is a real 1080p "Blu-Ray" player (once Windows XP x64 is installed of course).

    This "thing" looks like a digital photoframe and less than 720p - hmm nice. Why do THG bother I wonder...

    Bob
  • 0 Hide
    bigbeej , February 17, 2009 2:51 PM
    You guys are forgetting that one of the best things about making the BD player portable is the ability to watch your Blue Ray Movies away from the house. I know many people who would like to blue ray movies but end up buying standard DVDs because their kids can't watch them on the road, or they want to be able to take their movies with them when they travel. Even the ability to watch them at 720p resolution is better than not being able to watch them at all.