June 3, 2009 The world’s first portable Blu-ray disc player, the Panasonic DMP-B15, showcased at this year's CES bash in Las Vegas – which we were there to cover – has finally it made it onto US shelves – with a price tag of USD$799.95.

While portability is the DMP-B15's key selling factor – it has an 8.9-inch WSVGA LCD screen – Panasonic has tried to cram the BD player with a number of key features to help it perform as close to a stand-alone player as possible. The machine has an ethernet port so it can be hooked up to the internet and BD-Live, an HDMI outlet so it can be connected to a home theater system and SD card access for music, images and video stored on a memory card.

Other key features of the B15 include the PHL Reference Chroma Processor, a 2.5 hour rechargeable battery and headrest in-vehicle mounting bracket.

Panasonic has also added Viera Cast, which provides access to select websites, including Amazon Video-on-Demand (available in late June), a streaming video service offering more than 40,000 titles, YouTube, Google Picasa Web Album, Bloomberg and a weather channel. Viera Cast does not require an external set-top box. According to Panasonic, additional websites will be added to the service.

For more information, visit Panasonic.

David Greig

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