Pros Picture and sound quality are amazing! Remote is easy to use. Set up menu is easy to follow. Analog outputs for 7.1 surround sound.
Cons Slower load times than the competition. Not as much fine control over the 7.1 audio settings as I would like (ie speaker cross over settings, etc.)
Summary I have owned this blu-ray player for just over a month. I use my BD player with a Samsung LN-52A630 LCD TV and a Harman Kardon AVR 445 stereo receiver. I opted for the higher end BD 80 (over the BD 60) because it has the 7.1 analog outputs for surround sound since my receiver is not able to decode the newest HD sound modes.
The picture quality is incredible. My home movie experience is even better than going to a movie theater. The picture quality is far superior to that of my Dish Network HD programming (I am even talking about the likes of ESPN broadcasts which are entirely filmed and broadcast in HD). The player does an amazing job producing a picture on the screen. I have watched several blu-ray titles, and they all look impressive. Several reviews of blu-ray players used the movie "Master and Commander", and I watched that movie on my home theater system as well. The picture was very life like. The detail was stunning, and; with the surround sound up and running, I felt like I was in the heat of battle.
I opted to pay a slightly higher price for a blu-ray player that could decode those audio formats for my stereo. My receiver is only a few years old, but it is unable to decode the Dolby HD or DTS HD surround sound formats. The BD 80 has a simple menu to configure stereo speaker settings. My only complaint is that I wish I was afforded a little more control of my speaker adjustments, but it still sounds pretty darn good after getting things configured. Even though I cannot control fine speaker settings (like cross over control), the BD 80 still does a pretty darn good job at making movies sound good.
I highly recommend this player to take movies to the next level.
Pros Crisp beautiful image. Fabulous sound.
Cons Can't play correct screen aspect on AVIs as it stretches the image (yes, I've tried all the aspects offered on both the TV and bluray). Can't play DVD-RW which means I still need to connect 2 players to my TV. Also, CDs only come out on 2 speakers.
Summary Beautiful Bluray player though DOES NOT come close to solving my original problem of only wanting to have one machine connected to the TV and receiver.I forgot to mention that when I first got the player, I had "freezing image" issues (nice, huh?). I then installed the latest firmware. I haven't had a freezing issue since (crossing fingers).
Bottom line is that the ideal bluray player still hasn't been produced. I want one that plays AVIs correctly, will allow you to play DVD-RWs (so I don;t have to waste new discs every time I want to watch this week's Smallville), and will play CDs on all speakers instead of just two.
Also, when you play TV shows (DVD season types) on this bluray player, you are stuck with gray lines on the sides instead of black. What the heck is up with that? It's so distracting. I didn't have any of these issues with my $50 upgrade DVD player. Not happy about this.
Do Panasonic Engineers even watch TV?? Do they have absolutely no idea what people want?
Updated on Aug 31, 2009
It's a nice player. However, I hate feeling like I already have to be on the lookout for a replacement for a one month old player. It's a turn off.
Panasonic customer service were no help at all.
Pros Very sharp Blu-ray picture, great sound. The analog outputs allow you to connect to an older receiver that doesn't have HDMI connections, quiet operation (no disc-spinning noise or fan noise).
Cons No Netflix streaming, no wireless. Some Blu-ray discs take a little while to start up, but I don't have another Blu-ray player to compare the time to.
Summary First, I have a 50" Panasonic 720p TV and use a Sony HDMI cable to connect this BD-80K to the TV. I didn't know how much of a difference Blu-ray would be with a 720p, but it makes a big difference. I was leery about buying a Blu-ray player because the movies always looked "fake" or "weird" at Best Buy. But this Blu-ray player makes movies appear just as clear as HD cable channels without the weird movement issues that movies have at Best Buy. Those guys just don't have the settings correct. As far as upconversion of regular DVD's, I don't see any difference at all between a DVD played on this Blu-ray player vs. playing the same DVD on my old standard Philips DVD player that's connected using an S-cable. But the difference between DVD and Blu-ray is like standard definition TV channels vs. HD channels. I bought the BD-80K because of the 7.1 analog outputs to get the "lossless" sound, and the ability to connect it to my 10-year old Harman/Kardon receiver that doesn't have HDMI inputs. I used the "6-channel direct" inputs, which is 5.1 not 7.1. I also connected a digital coax cable to the receiver just to compare the difference in sound. Using "Terminator Salvation" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" both on Blu-ray, the sound difference is VERY hard to tell and I have great speakers that I paid a lot of money for. The difference in volume is very easy to hear. Using the analog outputs, the volume is much louder at the same receiver volume setting, but when I played the same scenes using the coax cable and turned up the receiver so the actual listening volume was the same, it was very hard to tell the difference in sound between the coax and the analog outputs. I think the digital coax setting on the receiver sends more of the movie to the center channel than using the analog outputs, but the BD-80K settings and receiver can be changed to get more of the 'theater' type effect of using more of the left and right speakers. I bought the Panasonic instead of the Samsung P3600 (which has Netflix capability) because of the bad reviews on cnet of the Samsung reliability. I've had good luck with previous Panasonic products, and so far, so good with this BD-80K. Apparently Blu-ray discs can't resume play where you left off if you stop the movie, so that's a bit annoying. It does take a bit of time to load a Blu-ray disc and start playing the movie, but that's just time you can spend going to the fridge or shutting off the lights or whatever - not a big deal.
Pros Picture quality is fantastic, easy to set up, analog audio outputs, ethernet connection
Cons long load times, Top Menu button never seems to work (see below)
Summary Overall, I really like this player. The long load times are annoying, however this could be attributed to the fact that the player is connected to the internet and could be checking for updates or BD Live content.
Once a disk is loaded the Top Menu button seems to be useless. It fails to navigate to the menu when you're trying to skip all of the B.S. trailers and commercials at the start of most discs. I find this infuriating!
On the plus side, the picture is amazing. "Avatar" looks great on my 46-inch Sony Bravia and Pixar movies are beautiful to watch.
The analog audio outputs are the reason I purchased this player, since I have an older home theater system. Set up was a breeze.
I know some people think the ehternet connection is useless, but since I have a wireless bridge set up in my entertainment center for my 360 it works perfectly for me.
I'd definitely recommend the Panasonic DMP-BD80
Pros great picture and awesome sound, even without all the 7.0 sound
Cons not many features, remeber most people do not have internet connections in their living rooms
Summary for me iam into sound and picture, this is why i got this unit after trying the sony, which was loaded with every extra feature you could imagaine. maybe in the future their will be a firmware update with extra featrues such as wifi and internet stremaing