It's time to make the jump - Blu-ray player recommendations

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by House8311, May 16, 2011.

  1. House8311

    House8311 Auditioning

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    I've put off this whole Blu-ray thing long enough. Now is the time. I was hoping you guys can give me some player recommendations.


    Here's what I'm needing:


    -Excellent picture quality. This is far and away the most important factor for me.

    -Excellent upconverting for standard DVDs. I want my DVDs to look the best they possibly can.

    -Netflix streaming capability. Gotta love Netflix.

    -Region-free or the ability to become region-free. (Region-free for standard DVDs is all I'm needing. Area-free for BDs is not necessary)

    -Fast boot/load times. I've used BD players that take over a minute just to show signs of life. This would bug the crap out of me.

    -I'd like to spend less than $300.


    I know the new Oppo players would definitely suit me in terms of picture quality, but I'm a little put off by the price (especially if I'll be paying for a lot of features I'll never touch). I've also heard good things about some of the Panasonic players, and they seem to be more in my price range, but I'm unsure if they can be made region-free, so maybe someone can answer that for me.


    Let's here what you guys have to say.
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I highly recommend the Panasonic players, but I don't know about the region free thing.


    I've got 2 of the BD65's and it's a great player with Netflix, etc.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    If you can afford it the Oppo BD-93, if price is a concern then the Panasonic 210 is a great choice.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Also, the PlayStation 3 meets most of your criteria.


    For $299, you get:


    * Blu-ray disc playback (with some of the fastest loading times)

    * DVD upscaling

    * Netflix streaming in HD and 5.1 DD+ audio on select titles

    * VuDu pay-per-view streaming

    * Hulu+ (for an additional fee)

    * Built-in WiFi

    * Gaming console

    * Media player (music, photos, videos)


    Region-free may be an issue, though. Also, for some reason, the PS3 cannot upconvert SD material on a Blu-ray disc.


    Some stores, because of the PlayStation Network security breach and outage, have been offering some pretty sweet bundle deals on the PS3 lately. Fry's Electronics is throwing in 2 additional games with the $399 PS3 Movie bundle.


    I highly recommend purchasing the Sony PS3 Blu-ray remote, and not a third-party remote.
     
  5. House8311

    House8311 Auditioning

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    Hey guys I just thought of something else important that I need. Since I have an older receiver with no HDMI, I'll need analog outputs for 5.1. It seems the PS3 and the Pannasonic 110/210/310 only have 2 channel outputs.
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Don't those players have an optical or coaxial digital output?
     
  7. House8311

    House8311 Auditioning

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    Probably, but it's my understanding that optical/coax are unable to transmit HD audio. Without HDMI, multi-channel analogue is required. Is this correct?
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    You're correct. Without hdmi you'll need a player with multi-ch analog outputs for HD audio. Make sure it decodes the HD formats too. Maybe time for a new receiver ?


    OPPO currently has a limited supply of BDP-80 refurbs for sale on their website. While it doesn't have the Anchor Bay video processor of the 83 or the Marvel processor of the 93 it's priced at $245 + sh and comes with a factory warranty. But there are probably better, cheaper alternatives from Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, LG if you don't have any interest in DVD-A/SACD.
     
  9. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Isn't that a significant drawback? Many blu-ray's contain SD material. What does the non-upconverted SD look like? Am I correct is presuming the PS3 can upconvert a DVD?
     
  10. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Ironically, the PS3 does a very good job at upconverting DVDs. Viewing SD material on Blu-ray on a PS3 is dependent on how the material was encoded and compressed, and how it looked to begin with.

     

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