Product of the Day, Day 34: Panasonic DMP-BD70V Blu-ray/VHS Player


Panasonic DMP-BD70V Blu-ray/VHS player

Tell A Friend!

Ever since I mentioned it in my newspaper column, the Panasonic DMP-BD70V Blu-ray/VHS player has been the subject of intense reader interest.  A lot of people have VHS tapes they are not ready to let go of and the DMP-BD70V is the first Blu-ray/VHS combination player to hit the market.  People like the convenience of a single component and the DMP-BD70V even offers 1080p upscaling for VHS tapes, something I never thought I would see.

The DMP-BD70V is a full-featured Profile 2.0 BD-Live player with internal high-def audio decoding (via HDMI.) The SDHC card slot is used for playback of digital photographs, videos, and music from memory cards and with an Internet connection video from YouTube can be streamed as well, a common feature on Panasonic’s most recent Blu-ray players.  Be that as it may, the reason someone will purchase the DMP-BD70V over any other player is the VHS capability.  Is the DMP-BD70V a worthy component, worth its $399 asking ($337 street) price?  Read on and find out!

First, a word on what the DMP-BD70V is NOT.  It is not a VCR.  It can only play recorded VHS tapes and it has no recording capability of its own.  If you want to record, you need a separate VCR, which kind of defeats the purpose of the DMP-BD70V.  More on that later.

When you pick up the DMP-BD70V, the first thing you notice is its heft and solidity.  It feels nothing like the $69 DVD/VHS combos you see sold today, and that is nice to see given the asking price.  The fit and finish is what I would expect from any Panasonic Blu-ray player, which is to say exemplary.


VHS Door

Left side of the unit, not much to see here… just a VHS door, eject and power buttons.


Blu-ray side

The right side holds the Blu-ray component.  Blu-ray loading tray has its own eject button.



Blu-ray controls

 Limited Blu-ray player controls as well as a USB port and the SDHC card slot are located behind a door.



Rear view of DMP-BD70V

Given the size of the DMP-BD70v, the rear panel looks pretty bare… but everything you need is there.


AC power connection, HDMI and Ethernet port

These are the only connections most people will be using.


Connections for pre-HDMI components are provided

Component and composite video, analog audio, and an optical digital audio connection are provided for use with older TVs and audio receivers that do not support HDMI audio.


DMP-BD70V remote

The DMP-BD70V remote resembles others I have used with other Panasonic Blu-ray players.  VHS functions have light blue lettering.

Since the VHS portion is what people are looking for out of the DMP-BD70V, I am not going to comment on the Blu-ray performance, other than to say that like other Panasonic units, it is top class.  Discs load quickly, image quality from Blu-ray and DVD is top-notch, and I did not encounter any glitches playing any Blu-ray discs I viewed with it.   If you need a Blu-ray player, it is one of the best.

Using the DMP-BD70V’s VHS player function reminded me how long it has been since I used a VCR with recorded VHS tapes.  I do have a D-VHS digital VCR I use to record HDTV broadcasts in conjunction with my HDTV tuner, but the operation is totally different as is the way the signal is recorded.  Using the DMP-BD70V reminded me of some of the high-end VCRs I have used, in that the transport is smooth and quiet, it responds instantly to remote commands, and the image just shows some faint lines through it when scanning through recordings at high speed.

Many readers have asked me about the VHS upconverting performance.  It may upconvert VHS to 1080p, but VHS tape is very low resolution (about 240i) and you can’t create detail where none existed to begin with.  There is an improvement as the DMP-BD70V produces an image that looks more solid and cleaner than an analog connection, though the colors and edge sharpness look a mite exaggerated at times.

The big benefit of the upconversion to 1080p over HDMI  is you only need one HDMI connection to play both VHS and Blu-ray Discs, instead of the usual rat’s nest of cables and connections you need when you have two components.  Using the DMP-BD70V with a few of my own remaining VHS tapes quickly demonstrated to me what a boon this player will be to people with VHS libraries they still like to view.  There’s no changing of TV inputs to use your video player, image quality is enhanced,  and you only need a single connection to the TV.  It all has a nice feel to it that I can’t quite describe.  Usually a VHS deck seems out of place connected to an HDTV.  In the context of the DMP-BD70V it somehow seems to be a fit.  If you ever buy and use a DMP-BD70V, you will understand.

So what is my final verdict on the DMP-BD70V?  It’s absolutely great at what it does and provides an easy and seamless way to view your VHS tapes on your HDTV while adding Blu-ray for the ultimate in picture and sound quality.  If you have been thinking about buying one, I say absolutely go for it.  You can buy it online for under $340, and it’s a great deal for the price.

Save money and support this site by ordering from

Panasonic DMP-BD70V 1080p Blu-Ray Disc / VHS Combo Player at

See you tomorrow for The Product of the Day!

Tell A Friend!

Comments are closed.