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Panasonic to Ship Portable Blu-ray Player

Notice all those passengers using their own portable standard DVD players on your last flight? Now see how long it takes to spot your first portable Blu-ray player. If Panasonic has its way, it may be only a few short weeks until your first sighting.

Panasonic DMP-B-15

Panasonic said on June 1 it plans to start shipping what is most likely the world’s first portable Blu-ray device by the end of June. The nearly nine-inch screen (model DMP-B15) will not come cheaply, at least to start with. It will carry an MSRP of around $800, but is expected to be somewhat lower by the holiday sales season next fall (especially if it has any competition, which is probable).

The player, which was featured last January at CES, has a SVGA LCD screen and comes with Panasonic’s Viera Cast Internet software built-in. The Viera Cast software will allow various IPTV services (Amazon VOD, YouTube, Bloomberg, etc.) to be used on a TV set via HDMI—and includes the same online access technology as Panasonic’s three current (non-portable) standalone Blu-ray players. (Viera Cast does not require an external set-top box, nor is there a monthly service fee.)

Panasonic said the DMP-B15 will include a rechargeable battery good for up to 2.5 hours, as well as an optional headrest mounting bracket for vehicular use.