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Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 5, 2006.
What improvements does this player needs to have as far as playability issues?
Are you referring to the PS3 or the stand-alone Sony unit (or both)? I'd like to hear people's impressions as well.
Only the stand-alone!
I now have lived with the Sony BDP-S1 for a week and I am pleased with the player. I found that I prefer the set up menu of the Samsung and the audio sprcs of the Sony, as described in the manuel, are quite confusing. In the process of getting a movie to start the Samsung is smoother as the Sony gives an occasional flash and pop. I find the rolling color balls on the Samsung (after firmware upgrade) preferable to the word status the Sony puts on the screen. In my opinion, the best looking and more polished design is the Samsung but the movie experience is the most important.
In this quick comparison, I have stayed away from sound as there seems to be some more work needed by the soft and hardware companies to get to something standard and HDMI 1.3 is yet another issue that will further require hardware changes that extend beyond just a player.
For player comparisons, I used the HD and BD discs of Phantom of the Opera. On PQ, it is difficult for me to pin point differences between the Samsung. Sony and Toshiba. The HD image may be a tad brighter than either BD player, at least, with standard set up. Check out the red rose in roof top scene. All provided excellent shadow detail and many scenes in Phantom look 3D like.
The Samsung and Sony players both play movies without glitches but I still experience occasional freezes followed by lip sync on the Toshiba (even with latest firmware).
My system uses Marantz VP12S2 projector and Firehawk screen.
Yesterday a new Sony Blu-Ray player arrived. Through much cable pulling and
unplugging, re-plugging and huffing and puffing the unit was installed in my
system. I ran the set up [read the manual first by the way ] and thought
I was ready to go.
The first BD I played was Disney's Dinosaur. It looked awful. In a near panic [what have I just spent 1k for] kind of frenzy I changed every setting on my TV that I could find. Dinosaur looked a little better but not much. Then I tried Tears of the Sun. Somewhat better but not HD better.
Instead of totally panicking I decided that it was late and went to bed or at least to read that aforementioned manual.
In that read me first manual I discovered that this player had a video display adjustment button to choose between various video formats. So with my new found knowledge I reentered
the HT realm.
The Sony was set on 480i. After switching to 1080i [pre HDMI TV] I tried Tears of the Sun again. Now it looks like HD. I have only watched about 8 minutes of the film but it is startlingly fine. Even on my old Mit. the image is very good. Blacks are very black and each drop of sweat coming off
of Bruce's face is seen clearly as well as each hair of his stubble, face not head.
The setup after reading the manual, was easy. The unit loads faster than I thought it would. And it is a nice looking unit with its glass front panel and silver box.
I also own the xbox360 HD-DVD which is quite good but so far its images are not as sharp. But it is early in the comparison. The xbox's HD-DVD's menu system is better at first usage.
Oh and uncompressed 5.1 sound through the analog outs is quite a bit [pun?] more dynamic and encompassing that the plain digital dolby.
There is just my first quick observations of the Sony Blu-Ray.
The remote has no back light my HT is dark. Either the batteries i have in are almost drained or it turns on very slowly via the remote. Plus you are required to depress the buttons very firmly to get a responce.
Further reports as I continue to use my new Sony.
So far I am happy with my purchase of Sony's BDP-S1 .
Saw it today. That is one big m-f'n unit. I swear it's as big as my receiver.
And by the way, why is it $999? I'm not turning this into an HD-DVD/BD thing, but what true benefit do you get from that vs. a $499 HD-DVD? I'm not talking differences on why you should just buy a PS3, yadda, yadda. I'm talking performance -- what is the benefit? (Performance, I'm not talking studios either.)
Doug, you have a small receiver.
Sony's top player has typically been upwards of $1000. I paid about that for the Sony DVP-S7700, and more than that for the DVP-9000ES. As it stands, I was happy to get the Best Buy Reward Zone 12 percent discount on the BDP-S1, although sales tax ate most of that up. But if you compare that to the cost of overnight shipping, I did okay.
The early units have build quality not seen in the later models. This thing is solid. And you can not ignore the fact that Blu-ray currently brings studios to the table that are not currently in the HD DVD realm. That was my primary reason for adding BD capabilities to my HD rig.
Crawdaddy, I have not played with it enough to tell what playability improvements are needed, but I concur that setup was fairly easy, and the response is MUCH faster than the Toshiba HD-A1.
The player came with The Fifth Element and it really is as bad a transfer as people have said. Dirt, scratches, MPEG2 nasties--it is enough to be distracting. I am looking forward to comparing some of the Paramount and Warner titles to see how they measure up between HD DVD and BD. I'll spin some of World Trade Center tonight.
My only complaint so far is regarding the provided cables. All they included is a cheap yellow/red/white A/V cable. Granted, you could use that for component video in a pinch, but even the Toshiba HD-A1 (at half the price) included a good HDMI cable. The Oppo 970, just an upscaling DVD player, included A/V and an excellent HDMI cable--and it only cost $150. I expected more for $879.
More to come...
"My only complaint so far is regarding the provided cables. All they included is a cheap yellow/red/white A/V cable. "
That's Sony for you...
isn't that 5th E BD a complete and disgusting embarassment?
What were they thinking...
Anyway, some BD discs that look great on my system are 8 Below (AVC compressed), Ice Age 2 (MPEG2 compressed but still great) and Corpes Bride (VC1 compressed). Give some of those a try too.
Keep in mind, Doug, that Toshiba's first 1080p player will also be around $999 and only the new lower-end model will be $499. The $1,000 mark seems to be what you pay (at this time) for direct 1080p from the unit itself, be it HD-DVD or Blu-ray. Certainly not all conversion processes are equal, so it may be worth it to pass that original 1080p signal for those that can use it fully, rather than having the player interlace it, and then having a display (or an expensive processor) deinterlace it after that.
It'll be interesting to see if that 2nd gen entry Toshiba has as hardy a build as their first-gen player. It is a big step-up in price for 1080p, particularly if your display can't take advantage of 1080p as in my case. Then again, future-proofing is an idea--except when you know prices will be 25%-50% of what they are now in the future! I can't say that the $500 Toshibas aren't a good value for those who don't plan to go 1080p. They are. Looking no further than the technical realm.
Still the Sony is $300 cheaper than the Panasonic (original MSRP anyway, you can get it for $1,000 as well), but there are a few must-have features on the Panny for certain setups. But not everyone will require those extras (anyone who's all HDMI). The Samsung price fell in a few months, so that amount of time seems to knock off around $200-$250. I'm hoping within 6 months a player I want (likely a Panasonic) will fall within an acceptable price range. I don't want to go more than $500, but if a 2nd gen Panasonic that earned as much praise (and had all the same features) as their first unit has came along for $600 I might spring for it.
I would not go quite that far in my description of T5E. It is disappointing. I think RAH pointed out that dirt removal is essential in high-resolution formats. This is definitely the case here. Once I calibrate the set with a new spectrophotometer, I am hoping the MPEG artifacts will not be as noticable. But they probably will be.
I'll have some 20 discs to sample as of tomorrow. I added Ice Age 2 to the Amazon list, thanks for the recommendation. Personally, I am waiting for Princess Bride and Chicago. Next week will see the arrival of the Tony Bennett special which aired on NBC in HD a couple of weeks back. It will be interesting to compare the disc to the recording, which I still have on the Mac mini HTPC.
As for the Sony player, remote response is a little sluggish. Startup / spinup seemed a little long, not as long as the Toshiba, but not as fast as the Xbox.
I'm just glad to finally be format-neutral.
To be fair, my only impression was formed played on the Sammy player before the upgrade to fix the DNR bug. Boy... T5E was *ugly* at times... a digitally-noise, MPEGgy mess. It may look better on a better BD player though, espeically if dirt and print wear appear to be the worst of the problems.
Yeah... can't wait for Chicago. Yum...
Steve -- It's not the size, it's the sound it puts out.... which is probably average to mediocre with today's receivers... um, nevermind.
I didn't realize that the new Toshiba A2 didn't do 1080P, if there is a Toshiba w/1080P for $1,000 too, then that makes more sense.
I've been demo'ing the new BD, it's really slllllllllloooooooooow. Maybe I'm not doing something right, but I can't seem to pull up a Scene Selection screen for Superman Returns. I want to play a brighter movie; I don't think I'm getting the full effect with how dark Superman is at times. HDMI hookup to 1080P SXRD.
I just purchased the BDP-S1 and while my husband was messing with it he set the lock on it and I can't remove the movie. Is there anyway other than sending it to Sony to unlock it? I have an unlock code.
Try unplugging the power cord, and rebooting it...
That didn't work but thank you!
Ultimate AV Mag has posted a very positive review of the new Sony BDP-S1:
They have a really nice custom display set up at my Best Buy. Looked really good.
Yes, same thing at mine. Just stopped by tonight to pick up another disc and noticed the new custom Sony Blu-ray display with a rack of well picked-over discs. The Samsung was also on display nearby.
I read in the book yesterday, if you hold the stop button and hit the power button, it should reset the unit.... Take a look in the back of your manual to confirm this... Im going off memory and I am at work...