2012 Panasonic Blu-ray Players Get Firmware and Smartphone App Updates

June 25, 2012
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Panasonic BD Firmware Update

You name the langague, there' a firmware update for it

Panasonic’s 2012 3D Blu-ray players have now received their second firmware update, version 1.39, since being released in North America. The update covers the DMP-BDT220, 320 and 500. Panasonic has also released an iPhone and iPad app to control the players as well. More on that later. First, I’ll focus on the firmware updates.

The first firmware update, version 1.31, was issued several weeks ago and while it fixed some problems, it created others. On the plus side, it did fix some wireless connectivity problems the unit had. Before the update, I sometimes had problems connecting to my wireless network. On the other hand, it locked a number of customers out of Netflix. The only way to fix it was to do a factory reset on the Blu-ray player (detailed on page 31 of hard-copy manual).  So, I had to redo all of the nuanced set up I shared in my original review (don’t forget to turn-off BD-secondary audio to get Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio).

Luckily, the latest firmware version, 1.39 does not appear to create the same problem with Netflix. According to the official change log, version 1.39, addresses playback issues with some Blu-ray discs. Just as in version 1.31, there are fixes to VIERA Connect where all of the streaming video and other apps live. From what I can tell the Netflix player was a little snappier after the 1.31 update. Also, it appears the audio syncing problems with Netflix have been solved. In addition to several games being added to the VIERA Connect app store, there’s also an on-line shopping section where you can purchase Panasonic electronics and appliances. Who would’ve imagined that you could use this Blu-ray player to buy a Panasonic Rice Cooker?! Maybe, there’s still hope that Apple will build their own food appliance. Alas, no sign of the Ultra-Violet enabled Flixster app.

Another problem I’ve noticed with the player is a skipping or dropped frame that occasionally occurs when playing Blu-ray discs. The problem only seems to manifest itself if the unit is connected to the network via wireless and has BD-Live enabled. I’ll have to use the new firmware for a while to see if this has been fixed or not.

Turning to the new smart phone and tablet remote app, Panasonic has duplicated all of the functionality of their physical remote control and then some. The iPhone and iPad app appear to be identical in functionality. However, the amount of functionality is overwhelming. The app contains multiple ways to perform the same function. There’s no less than eleven different screens to control the player. You can use buttons, motion, a scroll wheel and rotating the device to control playback. While some of the functions are new, such as the ability to create macros, most of them rehash existing functionality. A simpler approach would have been more effective.

Before the 1.39 firmware update, the handiest app function was a button that let you skip all of the previews on a Blu-ray disc. I haven’t found a way to do this on the standard remote.  Under the “Cursor” menu, the button that appears to be a document lets you jump directly to a Blu-ray’s home screen. Unfortunately, this feature was removed with the latest firmware update. Now the button opens up the options menu. Feel free to share any other experiences you’ve had with the 2012 Blu-ray players.

Viera Connect Intro Screen

New Viera Connect Intro Screen for 2012 Panasonic Blu-ray Players

Panasonic Smart Phone App for Blu-Ray Players

Lot of choices in the Panasonic Blu-Ray smart phone app

The Cursor Controls in the Panasonic smart phone app

The Cursor Controls in the Panasonic smart phone app

Tags: Blu-ray, Netflix, Panasonic

12 Responses to 2012 Panasonic Blu-ray Players Get Firmware and Smartphone App Updates

  1. Joe H on July 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    This the first time I have viewed this site. It provides a wealth of knowledge and I thank you for it.
    Now,is it possible that the new firmware has done something to VUDU 3D? Before the firmware update, I was able to stream 3D movies from VUDU but after this update, I am unable to find any 3D movies available for streaming through VUDU. Also, I have been unable to get any 3D Blu Rays from Blockbuster to work – they all show “disc not compatible”. No issue with 3D Blu Rays I have purchased or rented from another rental source.

    • Gabe Gagliano on July 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Joe,

      I’m glad that Tech of the Hub is helpful!

      I don’t use the 3D features of the player since I don’t have a 3D capable TV. So, I don’t have any specific advice on this. The only thing I can suggest is to go through your settings and see if the firmware update changed anything. You could also go back to factory defaults which is always a good starting place too.

  2. Tim Cyr on July 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Gabe,

    With the new 1.39 firmware version I now have issues with Netflix not able to connect on my DMP-BDT220. Are you aware of similar problems with others and if so what is the fix?

    Thanks,

    Tim

    • Steve in NC on July 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Was REALLY upset with the 1.31 firmware update. It basically crashed Netflix.. completely unusable. Tech support from both Netflix and Panasonic was useless. I was actually “Happy” when I was the 1.39 available.. but .. no luck. Netflix is non-functioning. And of course it’s been more than 30 days since I bought it from Best Buy. Any suggestions to get my Netflix working again? I have a DMP-BDT220. Also the general wi-fi connection is still a little unstable.. not all the time, but occassionally drops.

    • Gabe Gagliano on July 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Yes, I experienced a similar problem with the firmware before this one. The only way I could fix it was by doing a factory reset on the BDT-220. Here’s how I did it (from the manual):
      - While the unit is off, press and hold [OK], [B] and [Y] on the remote control at the same time for more than 5 seconds.
      -”00 RET” is displayed on the unit’s display.
      - Repeatedly press “|>” (the play button) (right) on the remote control or the power button on the unit until “08 FIN” is displayed on the unit’s display
      - Press and Hold [OK] on the remote control or [Open/Close] on the unit for at least 3 seconds

      After that I was able to log in to Netflix again. However, you will have to set up the unit again.

      • Tim Cyr on July 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Thanks Gabe, it worked!

      • JImmy on August 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm

        Thanks Gabe you helped me out too

  3. nifedipin on July 26, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Hi u all

    I have serious problems when playing 3D SBS files with subtitles in the same folder!
    As you may know there are 2 3d subtitles creation free softwares.
    One produces IDX/sub files the other ass files.
    Here’s the problem:THIS PLAYER has no IDX/SUB capabilityes and ass subtitles does not work correctly!!!
    I complained to them 2 mnths ago…still no reply!
    The other problem is that when streaming[I use Mezzmo]the player can “see” all the video files but plays only mp4 files….
    Any ideas???

  4. Monty Stinson on July 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I am unable to complete the update. I have gotten as far as 96% but it freezes ans will not go any further. I have tried to get the update a dozen times with no success. Any ideas?

  5. nifedipin on July 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Go to http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/bd/download/bdt220/bdt220_na.html

    read intructions to make your update disc!
    [I presume you failed to update via internet.....].
    Cheers,
    N

  6. Eric on October 27, 2012 at 1:04 am

    When playing Youtube videos, the “fast forward” looking button forwards to the next video or does not respond. Have you been able to fast forward videos on Youtube?

  7. Lester Davis on November 21, 2012 at 4:15 am

    i HAVE HAD MY DMP-BDT220 FOR ABOUT one month. The Fast Five movie froze at the 45 min mark like 10 times in a row. I have Firmware 1.49…..anybody have this problem?

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