The Panasonic DMP-B15 aims to address a problem no one had yet ascribed to Blu-ray: lack of portability.
The DMP-B15 is the first portable Blu-ray player, and is also designed to be used easily around the house, with a built-in stand.
The profile 2.0 compatible DMP-B15 has an 8.9-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1,024x600 pixels. Yes, it's a Blu-ray player that can't display the format's main advantage: 1080p images.
That said, it has an HDMI output, a bitstream output for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio, and an SD card slot. This means you could easily move it from one room to another, so you can watch Blu-ray movies around the house without buying several standalone players. The DMP-B15 also offers access to Viera Cast Internet content, including Amazon Video On Demand for US users. Also available will be an optional headrest-mounting bracket for car use.
While the DMP-B15 includes many attractive features, its 3-hour rechargeable battery life is limiting, especially if the real battery life is closer to 2.5 hours. That means users will be racing against the clock to finish watching some longer Blu-ray movies -- and don't even think about pausing.
That said, the DMP-B15 is the first of its kind and looks to be a solution for those with growing Blu-ray libraries who want to take their movies on the go. We have to say, this is a solution in search of a problem rather than the other way around. If there is a problem, it's with Blu-ray discs not playing at lower res on standard portable DVD players.
UK and US pricing and availability have yet to be announced.