Those of us who wanted a top spec wireless Blu-ray player without spending £500 plus were pretty much limited to the Sony BDP-S760 – a fully featured and great performing player for around the £300 mark. The new Panasonic DMP-BD85 though appears to have firmly set it sights on the Sony and comes with a very comparable feature set, and for less money.
Both players come with built in wireless which makes accessing BD-LIVE content and the latest firmware updates much easier, and prevents you having to have your Blu-ray player near your broadband router or network point, and also avoids having to trail cables. The Panasonic will be able to play some media from your network, but this is nowhere near the abilities of a dedicated media streamer like the WD-TV Live box so don’t expect miracles.
Both the Panasonic DMP-BD85 and Sony BDP-S760 Blu-ray players also come with a good variety of connections options such as HDMI, component, optical and analogue speaker outputs and gain a good deal of flexibility as a result.
Finally, being top of the range players, both come with upgraded internal electronics to offer improved sound quality over the other models in the range, with the Sony borrowing heavily from their £1000 flagship blu-ray player.
So which one to buy? Well both players offer all the features you could really need in a high end Blu-ray player and if the price diffference was the same, it would be a straight decision between having the enhanced wireless capabilities of the Panasonic DMPBD85, or the high end audio components in the Sony BDPS760. However, with the Sony being about £50 more at the moment, we’d have to opt for the Panasonic.