Up until now, if you liked Panasonic's take on Internet content, you had to buy one of its online-ready TVs. But now there's another, less expensive option: the company's first standalone streaming media players.
You can choose between two palm-sized models. The DMP-MST60 ($100) gives you the full Viera Connect platform that's available on Panasonic's smart TVs, with access to a lot more content, downloadable apps, and a full Web browser. It also has 3D support (and 2D-to-3D conversion), plus Miracast wireless technology, which gives compatible Android (4.2 or higher) smart phones or tablets an AirPlay-like mirroring ability that lets you move that content to the TV with a swipe of your finger.
For those looking to spend a bit less there's the DMP-MS10 ($80), which has fewer features and the company's "lite" Online Movies Internet service, which provides access to a more limited assortment of streaming services, including CinemaNow, Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu. It also includes Miracast, but not 3D support or Web browsing.
Find the right model for your needs and budget: Check our TV buying guide and Ratings.
In addition to built-in Wi-Fi, both players have wired Ethernet connections, a side-mounted USB slot, and an HDMI output, and both can accept external hard drives. The silver-colored top of the MST60 gives it a slightly more elegant appearance than the MS10, which has a black case with silver trim.
Given its price, we assume the MST10 is targeted at those who might be considering a Roku 3 streaming media player, which we recently reviewed. Each model has some features the other lacks. We're hoping to get a closer look at Panasonic's streaming players in the near future.