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Which BD player for my system?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 Jeff Adkins

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Posted December 20 2006 - 02:34 PM

I'm currently using a 65" 1080i Mitsubishi CRT, and just bought a Panasonic SA-XR57S receiver. I will likely replace the CRT in the next year or two. But in the meantime, I'm leaning towards the Playstation 3 20GB version as it seems to be a better player than the Sammy which is $100 more. The Sony is more than I want to spend at the moment.

My question has to do with the audio. I've read about certain players not being able to decode certain audio codecs. While my TV doesn't have HDMI, the receiver does. Is it possible to use the HDMI for the audio only and use the component outs for the video at the same time, or are both outputs not live? The PS3 will still pass the DTS-MA signal through HDMI, correct? It just won't decode it?

How does BD hold up on a 1080i display? Almost every review I've read seems to be from people with 1080p displays.

#2 of 15 Neil Joseph

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Posted December 20 2006 - 04:54 PM

In my current setup (Yamaha receiver RXV-2600 with hdmi) (Sony 11HT projector with component and no hdmi) (Panasonic dmp-bd10 BR player), I am using the hdmi connection to handle all of the audio including lossless audio once the firmware update becomes available on the Panasonic blu-ray player, and component to handle the video. I can pick and choose exactly what I want. If I ever were to get an hdmi capable display then I could choose that to handle my video too.

I am displaying 1080i via component and the results are very very good, better than anything else that my display has ever seen.
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#3 of 15 Dave_P.

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Posted December 21 2006 - 03:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Adkins

How does BD hold up on a 1080i display? Almost every review I've read seems to be from people with 1080p displays.

No 1080p here, both my Panasonic and Samsung players look stunning on my 61" DLP at 1080i and 720p.

#4 of 15 Jeff Adkins

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Posted December 21 2006 - 07:27 AM

Great! Thanks for all the info. I was going to hold out until summer but I just can't wait that long. I will wait until CES just to make sure there aren't any earth-shattering player announcements, but I'm probably going to go with the PS3. I'm not a big gamer but that Formula One racing game looks like one of the most amazing racing games ever.

#5 of 15 Ron-P

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Posted December 22 2006 - 02:29 AM

Like you Jeff I'm ready to add Blu-ray. I'm leaning towards the Sammy, it's got the analog outs for the PCM track and it's $500 less then any other stand alone deck. Just not sure how it stacks up against the others and if it's really worth that extra coin for a Sony or Panny.

I figure buy cheap now and I'll upgrade in a year or so when the second gens are out.
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#6 of 15 Dave_P.

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Posted December 22 2006 - 03:43 AM

There is also the Philips BD player that Amazon has for $699, which is supposedly pretty much the same as the Samsung but has some better internal components.

As far as Samsung vs. Panasonic, there was a pretty good comparison written up at DVDtalk:

Quote:

So I wanted to pick up another Blu-ray player. My first choice was the Playstation 3 for portability ease, but of course none of my preorders panned out and I don't wait in lines or bother with Ebay. Now that the Sony is out I tried to find an early one to see, but no one had them on display yet. In the end I just picked up the Panny BD10 locally from .

I currently have hooked both the Panny and Sammy A/V up to my Denon 4806 receiver and out to my Samsung 6167 1080i DLP set via Monster HDMI all around. They both have the most recent firmware installed.

After playing around with both of them here are my thoughts:

Picture Quality: Did some comparison tests with X3, Black Hawk Down & RV. The Panny gets the edge here, with a slightly sharper and cleaner picture. I noticed this especially in X3 on the vertical lines on Wolverine's shirt when he's talking to Rogue about leaving. DNR settings were off on both players and the Panny's picture controls were all left at default positions. I use a Denon 2910 for my regular DVD upconversions and viewing, so I don't use my BD players for that, but if someone wants me to I'll try and compare them.
Winner: Panny

Audio Quality: Couldn't tell any difference on the current PCM, DD or DTS tracks. Of course the Panasonic is the only player out that has 7.1 analog outs. Also, as indicated by Panasonic, it will decode future advanced audio codecs.
Winner: Panny

Build/Appearance: Panny wins in the looks department for sure, with it's black mirror face and one power button hidden in the bottom left corner. Then again, I hate doors so that's a minus for me. The blue light can be dimmed or turned off completely, unlike the Samsung. The info panel can be dimmed, but not turned off completely (same with my other Panasonic DVD stuff, annoying) so that's the only thing that lights up when I'm watching a movie. Build quality appears to be about the same with similar weights and dimensions, gold-plated connections, etc. I do like the Samsung's piano finish and on-screen menu looks though.
Winner: Panny

Boot-up & access times: Using a stopwatch timed from having the disc in the open tray and pushing play until the disc begins playing on the screen:
Samsung: 19 seconds
Panasonic: 28 seconds
The Sammy seems to respond a little faster when pressing the FF/REW buttons as well.
Winner: Sammy

Noise: Fans on both players were inaudible. The Samsung is dead silent during disc play at all times. Surprisingly, you can hear the Panny's drive slightly as the head moves during disc scanning at initial boot-up. Much less so if the front panel is closed, but it's still there. Once playing, it's silent, though.
Winner: Sammy

Remote Control: I use a universal remote with my system, but if I didn't I would have given the win to Panny just because of the jog wheel on it. Then again it has a flip-up door which I hate so, those points are lost.

Winner: Tie

Features: This is where the Sammy really gets it's ass kicked. The Panny has full picture and DNR controls as well as presets, if you want to play around with those (I don't use them). There are full level and delay controls over Speaker Settings, unlike the Sammy where it has to be controlled from the receiver. It also allows for seperate Digital Out settings for DD, DD+ and DTS. My favorite feature over the Sammy is that the Panny detects multi-channel PCM tracks and will output it automatically, unlike the Sammy where you have to go into the setup menu to change the audio settings to "PCM" to hear the PCM uncompressed tracks. Also On screen displays are much more informative and interactive. The Panasonic Time Slip feature is great for jumping around the disc quickly and HDMI EZSync for equipment that has that feature. Multiple remote control codes were also a lifesaver for me since I also have a Panny 5-disc changer and DVD recorder in my system as well.

On the Samsung side, it has the built-in card reader (whihc I actually used once in a while), a more informative front panel display (can be dimmed but not turned off) and bookmark feature.

Winner: Panny


Overall, whether you want to spend the extra money for the Panny may boil down to your system setup, more than PQ quality. I think Samsung did a hell of a job with those FW updates, particularly in regards to PQ and boot times.



#7 of 15 Ron-P

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Posted December 22 2006 - 04:19 AM

Nice write up, thanks for posting Dave.

The Panny has the edge for the most part, but that edge seems to be a small one and not one I'd drop and extra $500 on, not at this point. I want a basic player to get the job done for the next year or so. Then, I'll upgrade to a second or third gen player.
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#8 of 15 TWISTED BULLET

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Posted December 28 2006 - 10:36 AM

I don't that you can go far wrong with the ps3, if you can get one. The reason I say ps3 is because it's already a great blu ray player, and because it's Sony's baby, you know it will recieve updates when it's good and ready. It's also very easy to update via the ethernet cable.

#9 of 15 Jeff Adkins

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Posted December 31 2006 - 09:57 AM

Can the firmware also be updated via CD-R or does it have to be ethernet?

#10 of 15 Palpitatn

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Posted January 09 2007 - 07:19 AM

My understanding is that the PS3 cannot do the lossless high def Dolby or DTS. Partially since there are no analog 7.1 outputs and the HDMI is not 1.3. If the audio is important to you (ie. Dolby Digital and DTS are not good enough anymore, and you want to take advantage of high def audio) then you may need/want to wait until the players that have that capability come out.

#11 of 15 Craig_Ehr

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Posted January 09 2007 - 07:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palpitatn
My understanding is that the PS3 cannot do the lossless high def Dolby or DTS. Partially since there are no analog 7.1 outputs and the HDMI is not 1.3.

This is NOT true. The PS3 does indeed have HDMI 1.3 (the first Blu-ray player to include it, mind you). However, the PS3 does not have analog outs. Once receivers that support the new lossless DTS/DD codecs are out you will be able to output bitstream to them via HDMI. It is true however that the PS3 does not currently decode the full lossless codec streams internally - only the core streams.

#12 of 15 Hank_P

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Posted January 09 2007 - 11:47 PM

Not to be too picky, but the sound from the blu ray movies played on my PS3 sound pretty impressive (such as Phantom of the Opera). I have had no video or sound issues at all. Really enjoying the PS3 as a player and the stunning beauty of Blu Ray. I do not have HDMI..... who needs it Posted Image





..okay, I do, or at least want it.. but I'm one to enjoy what I have.

#13 of 15 Levesque

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Posted January 10 2007 - 03:56 AM

After trying the PS3, the Panasonic and now the new Pioneer BDP-HD1, I can say that the Pioneer has the best picture quality of those 3.

I'm using 1080p24 out. And the Pioneer is also outputting 480i for standards resolution DVDs (to use with an outboard de-interlacer or scaler).

I know it cost alot more then the PS3, but if you want the absolute best PQ with Blu-ray, then the Pioneer is at the top.

Also. It's now confirmed (directly from CES) that the Pioneer will get fimrware updates (disk or internet) to enable all the new HD audio codecs (Dolby TrueHD certifiacation pending at Dolby Labs).

#14 of 15 Palpitatn

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Posted January 10 2007 - 01:02 PM

Is there anywhere that says the PS3 HDMI is truly 1.3? I tried looking it up on the PS3 website. It doesn't say there. Can anyone look in their PS3 manual and let me know? This will definitely be a factor in my decision of which BD player to get.

#15 of 15 Hank_P

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Posted January 11 2007 - 12:12 AM

That is super interesting. It did say 1.3 before on the PS3 site, but they have removed all reference to the version of HDMI it is using. It was a factor for me when I purchased it and it was on all the literature then.

Searching on "PS3 HDMI 1.3" did get me serveral hits

http://www.gamepro.c...rticle_id=68588

http://gear.ign.com/...5/715311p1.html





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