I've received the Panasonic BD-55 Blu-ray player, which I plan to use as part of an article on multichannel music front ends that I'm doing for The Absolute Sound. But, since that article focuses on preamps and controllers, I though some of you might be interested in the player itself.
Here is the box, upon arrival (actually, it had an outer carton supplied by the shipper):
The contents of the box are pretty straightforward -- the player, remote (with batteries), ac cord, composite video and 2 channel audio cable, instruction manuals (English and French -- apparently Panasonic hasn't figured out that the Hispanic population in the US is huge), and some individual pieces on firmware updates, product registration, the official change of the corporate name (from Matsushita Industrial to Panasonic). Finally, a critical piece for some of us -- the warning sheet that you'll need to hook the player up to a display to set the audio out to match your setup.
The front of the player has only two exposed controls, power on/off and disc drawer open/close. Behind a door on the front right are basic stop, play and pause, plus a memory card slot.
On the back are the LAN, HDMI, video and 2 channel analog audio connections.
Next to that are the 5.1 channel analog and optical audio outputs. The reason you have to select your audio configuration if you are using the analog outputs is that all the jacks are used for 7.1, whereas for 5.1 or 2 channel, the jacks are dedicated.
Finally, here is the BD-55 install for my first test, which is simply to compare the 2 channel red book CD output to my EMM Labs Meitner CDSA. You can get a sense for the small size of the BD55 when you see it on top of the Meitner (which is a pretty average-sized hi-fi component). What you may not notice here is that the BD55 is about 4" less deep than the Meitner or the ARC preamp you can see in the background.