The DMP-BD10 supports reproduction of HD video and audio stored on either a single layer of a dual layer BD-ROM disc. The device is also compatible with CD and DVD media.
"We think adoption will be strong, based on broad support. For the first 12 months, we expect 4 million to 5 million units to be sold beginning in May and across all platforms, including standalones, computers and gaming systems," said Reid Sullivan, vice president merchandising, Panasonic's entertainment group.
Sullivan said Panasonic sees no need to develop a player to support both Blu-ray and the rival format known as HD DVD, despite a raging war between the two standards and a move to make a dual player for both formats by LG Electronics Inc. Panasonic had unveiled its plans for a U.S release of the first BD player in the beggining of March at CeBIT, Hannover.
The introduction of the DMP-BD10 is timed to coincide with Panasonic?s release of its new new 103-inch flat screen TV this fall, estimated to cost around $10,000.
Pricing in the United States on the DMP-BD10 has not been finalized, but will be less than $1,500. Panasonic will also release a high-definition receiver.
Panasonic's Blu-ray player will compete against other Blu-ray players from Samsung, Pioneer and Sony as well as players supporting rival HD DVD, championed by Toshiba.
Toshiba last week said it may delay the launch of its HD DVD player from March to mid-April.