The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 delivers class-leading load times and video playback along with an abundance of features and apps, but its reputation is hurt by user reports of frequent Wi-Fi drop-outs and a broken Netflix app.
Near-flawless image quality. Experts say the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 handles 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs with equal aplomb, as do virtually all modern Blu-ray players. The player's DVD upconversion bests most of the competition, though it does allow the occasional bit of random noise to pop up now and then.
Go Speed Racer, Go! Experts unanimously praise the DMP-BDT220's general performance and responsiveness. It boots, loads Blu-ray discs and navigates menus almost as smoothly as the class-leading Oppo BDP-95 (*Est. $1,000), which costs nearly five times as much.
Intriguing interface with a not-so-intriguing remote. The Panasonic DMP-BDT220's interface is novel; you navigate menu screens by pushing directional buttons on the controller rather than highlighting and selecting options. The remote control itself is a mixed bag, however; CNET says it's good enough, with poor positioning for just a few buttons, whereas PCMag.com's reviewer calls the device "small, clunky, and unlit." Few users complain about the remote, however, and everyone likes the addition of dedicated Netflix, Skype, 3D and Internet buttons.
An amazing list of features, but some big ones are broken. The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 seems to have it all: DLNA streaming, a large number of Internet apps, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, 2D-to-3D capabilities, a decent number of ports, wide file format support and more. The only thing that seems to be missing is any onboard storage, though that's somewhat mitigated by a rare SD card slot.
Two major features are disappointments for dozens of Amazon.com users, however. There are several reports of poor Wi-Fi performance, with weak or frequently dropped connections being cited over and over again. Also, a vast majority of users report that the Netflix app is simply broken; it either won't work whatsoever or dies after just a few minutes of watching. Oddly, no professional reviewers mention either problem.
A great value (if you don't want Netflix or Wi-Fi). The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 shows just how far Blu-ray players have come in the last few years, providing excellent playback capabilities and a packed feature set that used to only be found in Blu-ray players costing $200 or more. The broken Wi-Fi and Netflix features, however, are serious downsides, as is the poor customer support users encounter when they call to discuss those issues. Keep an eye on user reviews, though, as the issues could eventually be fixed or improved via firmware updates.
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is a top-notch Blu-ray player, with excellent performance and an intuitive, if odd, interface buoyed by a large number of apps and features. Uncertain Wi-Fi and Netflix support could be a deal breaker for many would-be buyers, however, especially since other top-rated Blu-ray players like the LG BP620 (*Est. $120) and the Sony BDP-S590 (*Est. $120) cost roughly the same price, deliver performance that's just as good and have features that work better.
CNET reviews the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 with its usual exacting detail, subjecting the Blu-ray player to extensive analysis and hands-on performance evaluations. Several comparisons to other models are made. In the end, Moskovciak says, "The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is the best Blu-ray value of 2012."
Review: Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Review, Matthew Moskovciak, April 13, 2012
PCMag.com's testing is just as rigorous as CNET's, though its Blu-ray reviews aren't quite as long or detailed. Lightning-fast loading times and superb audio/visual playback lead reviewer Will Greenwald to give the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 a similarly excellent rating and call it " an excellent budget Blu-ray player."
Review: Panasonic DMP-BDT220, Will Greenwald, July 10, 2012
3. What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 earns a flawless 5-star rating from What Hi-Fi?'s editors, thanks to its fast load times and near-flawless performance. On the downside, the remote is called a bit "clunky."
Review: Panasonic DMP-BDT220, Editors of What Hi-Fi?, Not dated
Danny Phillips covers a lot of Blu-ray players and other home theater equipment for TrustedReviews.com, and he awards the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 a 4.5 (out of 5) rating and a Recommended award. He's impressed by the player's design, feature set and all-around top-notch performance.
Review: Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Review, Danny Phillips, March 16, 2012
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 has more than 240 user reviews at Amazon.com, but about 100 of them rate the player at 3 stars or less due to commonplace Wi-Fi and Netflix performance issues. The issues were so severe that a large number of users ended up swapping out the Panasonic for a Blu-ray player from another manufacturer. Several also report units that malfunctioned in other ways.
Review: Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2012
More than 100 users leave feedback about the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 at BestBuy.com. While the feedback is generally a bit more positive than what's found at Amazon.com, reports of malfunctioning units and wonky Wi-Fi or Netflix issues nevertheless rear their ugly heads often enough to be concerning. Still, 75 percent of owners say that they would recommend the Blu-ray Disc player.
Review: Panasonic - 3D Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of September 2012
The Panasonic DMP-BDT220 is included among the Blu-ray Players tested here. Though hands-on testing is done, and players are rated and ranked, discussion is limited.
Review: Blu-ray Players, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated