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BD Player Advice?


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#1 of 30 Dave Gorman

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Posted January 30 2008 - 05:49 AM

Given these choices:

$350 Sony BDP-S300
$350 Samsung BD-P1400
$400 Panasonic DMP-BD30K
$400 Sharp BD-HP20U
$500 Sony BDP-S500
$500 Sony PS3 80GB

And here's the catch: my current TV and Receiver are somewhat archaic. TV is a Toshiba 50H81 (component, no HDMI, 1080i) and receiver is a Sony (don't have model number handy, no HDMI, DD/DTS 5.1).

It's really not feasible to be upgrading the TV or receiver any time in the near future. I understand that over component I won't get upconversion of SD-DVD, but would get HD playback at 1080i, correct? However, I know virtually nothing about newer audio playback formats and whether any of these players (or other BD players) will connect to my receiver via optical.

Until just the last few weeks, I hadn't even pondered high-def DVD formats because I didn't think I could get any playback without HDMI, so I really haven't followed any discussions or done a whole lot of research to this point. I don't even know what questions to ask! I would greatly appreciate any feedback or advice.
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#2 of 30 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted January 30 2008 - 06:07 AM

Dave,

Does your receiver have 5.1 analog input that you can use from one of the better BD players? If not and you don't mind the PS3 being what it is, then a PS3/40GB ($400) might be your best bet right now. And if you don't mind getting a new Sony credit card, you can even get $100 back by getting the PS3 from a Sony store (or their SonyStyle online store) w/ the use of a new Sony card. FWIW, that deal is good for *any* Sony purchase over $300, so you can use it for the Sony standalone also, if you want.

If your receiver does have 5.1 analog input, then you might want to consider waiting for the newly announced Panny BD50 to come out considering you're willing to go upto ~$500...

_Man_
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#3 of 30 Dave Gorman

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Posted January 30 2008 - 07:07 AM

OK, receiver is a Sony STR-DE835. According to the Technical Specs page on Amazon, it has:

Analog-audio inputs: 9 (phono, CD, MD/DAT, tape, TV/satellite, DVD/LD, video 1, video 2, 5.1-channel surround)

Digital-audio inputs: 3 Toslink optical (MD/DAT, TV/satellite, DVD/LD), 1 coaxial (DVD/LD)

Does that help? I don't know what kind of audio outputs the BD players have, so I'm not sure what to look for.
...And then there's the guy who saw the sign that said "Wet Floor", so he did.

#4 of 30 Jason Seaver

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Posted January 30 2008 - 07:26 AM

Does it have a cluster of six RCA jacks for each speaker/sub to come in individually? It sounds like it does, but I'm not quite sure.
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#5 of 30 Tom BL

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Posted January 30 2008 - 07:27 AM

We're in just about the same boat, Dave. My TV has component inputs and one DVI input, and my receiver has 5.1 analog inputs. Since I'm limited to 1080i for video, I'm not concerned about a 1080P player. However, since the top HD audio formats (Dolby Digital True HD and DTS-MA) will work over analog, I'm focused on getting a player that will process those formats.

The PS3 does not have analog outputs, so it's off my list. As for the others, it's my understanding that they either do not internally decode both DD True HD and DTS-MA, or they're not Blu-ray 1.1, the spec that enables features like picture-in-picture bonus materials.

Right now, I'm waiting for either the upcoming Panasonic BD50 (mentioned above) or the Samsung BD-UP6500 (dual-format player).

#6 of 30 Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 30 2008 - 10:20 AM

I'd go with what Man says. If you're willing to wait until it comes out, the Panasonic BD50 seems to be what you need.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#7 of 30 CraigF

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Posted February 01 2008 - 01:20 PM

Hope you don't mind me tagging on here... I'm in a similar postion re the archaic display. I have the 7.1 analog receiver inputs.

Tell me: is the BD50 supposed to be able to upscale SD fine? And I gather it will work OK with BD into my display's component inputs for now (I am not sure if it even handles 1080i, it's a 2001 vintage Sony)? Thanks a lot.

#8 of 30 Pete T C

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Posted February 01 2008 - 01:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gorman
Given these choices:

$350 Sony BDP-S300
$350 Samsung BD-P1400
$400 Panasonic DMP-BD30K
$400 Sharp BD-HP20U
$500 Sony BDP-S500
$500 Sony PS3 80GB

And here's the catch: my current TV and Receiver are somewhat archaic. TV is a Toshiba 50H81 (component, no HDMI, 1080i) and receiver is a Sony (don't have model number handy, no HDMI, DD/DTS 5.1).

It's really not feasible to be upgrading the TV or receiver any time in the near future. I understand that over component I won't get upconversion of SD-DVD, but would get HD playback at 1080i, correct? However, I know virtually nothing about newer audio playback formats and whether any of these players (or other BD players) will connect to my receiver via optical.

Until just the last few weeks, I hadn't even pondered high-def DVD formats because I didn't think I could get any playback without HDMI, so I really haven't followed any discussions or done a whole lot of research to this point. I don't even know what questions to ask! I would greatly appreciate any feedback or advice.

Either go for the Sony S500 now or wait to see if the Panasonic BD50 has the LFE bug from the BD30 fixed or not.
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#9 of 30 elijah_true

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Posted February 03 2008 - 06:06 PM

I think the playstation is the best one with the least bugs and the most upside

#10 of 30 bigluigi

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Posted February 07 2008 - 11:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gorman
Given these choices:

$350 Sony BDP-S300
$350 Samsung BD-P1400
$400 Panasonic DMP-BD30K
$400 Sharp BD-HP20U
$500 Sony BDP-S500
$500 Sony PS3 80GB

And here's the catch: my current TV and Receiver are somewhat archaic. TV is a Toshiba 50H81 (component, no HDMI, 1080i) and receiver is a Sony (don't have model number handy, no HDMI, DD/DTS 5.1).

It's really not feasible to be upgrading the TV or receiver any time in the near future. I understand that over component I won't get upconversion of SD-DVD, but would get HD playback at 1080i, correct? However, I know virtually nothing about newer audio playback formats and whether any of these players (or other BD players) will connect to my receiver via optical.

Until just the last few weeks, I hadn't even pondered high-def DVD formats because I didn't think I could get any playback without HDMI, so I really haven't followed any discussions or done a whole lot of research to this point. I don't even know what questions to ask! I would greatly appreciate any feedback or advice.
Hmmmmmmmmm.....sounds like money is a little short right now. If I were you, I would buy the Toshiba HD-A3 at Best Buy for $150. It comes with (7) HD-DVD titles (2 in the box and 5 mail-in) and is a damn good buy. You get 1080i output through component.

#11 of 30 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 07 2008 - 02:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigluigi
Hmmmmmmmmm.....sounds like money is a little short right now. If I were you, I would buy the Toshiba HD-A3 at Best Buy for $150. It comes with (7) HD-DVD titles (2 in the box and 5 mail-in) and is a damn good buy. You get 1080i output through component.

I didn't know that player can play BDs or I would've done that in a heartbeat myself. Posted Image

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#12 of 30 bigluigi

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Posted February 07 2008 - 05:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong
I didn't know that player can play BDs or I would've done that in a heartbeat myself. Posted Image

_Man_
Awwww....Man,
It's still on sale....go treat yourself. It's real easy on the pocketbook.Posted Image

#13 of 30 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 07 2008 - 05:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigluigi
Awwww....Man,
It's still on sale....go treat yourself. It's real easy on the pocketbook.Posted Image

LOL. In truth, I probably would've done it already and gone Purple (just before Warner's announcement), but (un?)fortunately for me, adding an HDD player will also require me to plunk down extra $$$ so I can handle the additional 1080i component video source. And now, it probably doesn't make any sense at all to do it unless Toshiba gave me the player (plus a couple desirable titles) completely for free Posted Image -- and even then I'm not sure how I'd use it. Posted Image I don't even have use for it as an upconverting player as I don't have HDMI and my 1-yo Denon upconverting player is already relegated to audio-only duty (for music on hirez and CD), LOL.

And no, I most definitely would not want to trade my PS3 for a Toshiba HDD player even though I generally like Toshiba products (and my first few DVD players along w/ first "bigscreen" TV were all Toshibas). Posted Image

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#14 of 30 Hartwig Hanser

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Posted February 07 2008 - 08:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gorman
Given these choices:

$350 Sony BDP-S300
$350 Samsung BD-P1400
$400 Panasonic DMP-BD30K
$400 Sharp BD-HP20U
$500 Sony BDP-S500
$500 Sony PS3 80GB

And here's the catch: my current TV and Receiver are somewhat archaic. TV is a Toshiba 50H81 (component, no HDMI, 1080i) and receiver is a Sony (don't have model number handy, no HDMI, DD/DTS 5.1).

It's really not feasible to be upgrading the TV or receiver any time in the near future. I understand that over component I won't get upconversion of SD-DVD, but would get HD playback at 1080i, correct? However, I know virtually nothing about newer audio playback formats and whether any of these players (or other BD players) will connect to my receiver via optical.

Until just the last few weeks, I hadn't even pondered high-def DVD formats because I didn't think I could get any playback without HDMI, so I really haven't followed any discussions or done a whole lot of research to this point. I don't even know what questions to ask! I would greatly appreciate any feedback or advice.

I have the Sharp and like it very much, especially the fact that it is very silent (most HD players have audible fans, especially the PS3) and that I have until now never had problems playing a BD titles (the Samsung seems to be problematic in this respect). The Sharp even upconverts DVD to 1080i. I have it connected via digital input to the receiver and it plays Dolby Digital and DTS just fine. I even get uncompressed PCM, although only in stereo.

Multichannel uncompressed PCM sound is available via the analogue 5.1 output which can be connected to your 5.1. inputs at the receiver. I think the Sharp has also internal Dolby True HD decoding, so the only thing missing would be DTS-HD sound (but then you get normal DTS instead which is not bad).

And lastly I would think it to be unwise to buy a HDDVD player at this late time point in the format war, even at those cheap prices, so I would not recommend following bigluigi´s advice.

#15 of 30 Ric Easton

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Posted February 08 2008 - 01:12 AM

Um... what's the LFE bug from the BD30? Is it fixable and how?

#16 of 30 RickER

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Posted February 08 2008 - 02:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric Easton
Um... what's the LFE bug from the BD30? Is it fixable and how?

It has a thread around here somewhere Ric. But from what i read, probably not fixable. But i dont think they know 100% right now.

I have a Sony 300, and its a fine machine. But if i were in the market now, i would wait just a LITTLE longer for a Profile 1.1 or 2.0 player. I dont think the Sony 500 is, but i dont know if it can be a profile 1.1 after a firmware upgrade. No matter what you get make sure it has the latest firmware update. My Sony 300 has been a beauty after it got its first update.

#17 of 30 bigluigi

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Posted February 08 2008 - 05:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartwig Hanser
I have the Sharp and like it very much, especially the fact that it is very silent (most HD players have audible fans, especially the PS3) and that I have until now never had problems playing a BD titles (the Samsung seems to be problematic in this respect). The Sharp even upconverts DVD to 1080i.
Hey....don't dis-respect the Sammy 1400.Posted ImageActually, my Sammy upconversion capabilities leaves alot to be desired....just horribe compared to my Toshiba HD-A2, but the Sammy's 1080p picture is nothing less than breathtaking!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartwig Hanser
And lastly I would think it to be unwise to buy a HDDVD player at this late time point in the format war, even at those cheap prices, so I would not recommend following bigluigi´s advice.
Look!!! Forget the "war" for a minute and just think practicality. If your on a tight budget, or not, the A3 is a terrific buy especially with 7 HD titles thrown in and costing only $150...surely, you can see that. The Blu-ray players cost over twice as much and NO free titles. Bummer!!!

#18 of 30 TonyTone

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Posted February 08 2008 - 06:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric Easton
Um... what's the LFE bug from the BD30? Is it fixable and how?
LFE output from the BD30 (and also BD10 and Denon 2500) when playing back uncompressed MPCM soundtracks via HDMI run 5db lower than when played back on other BD players. LFE bug does not affect any of the other HD audio codecs (e.g., Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD) bitstreamed from the BD30, nor does it affect PCM output via 5.1 analog out.

Is it fixable? Theoretically it could be...but given Panasonic's current stance regarding this issue...odds are that a fix may not be forthcoming.

#19 of 30 TonyTone

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Posted February 08 2008 - 06:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
...But if i were in the market now, i would wait just a LITTLE longer for a Profile 1.1 or 2.0 player. I dont think the Sony 500 is, but i dont know if it can be a profile 1.1 after a firmware upgrade. No matter what you get make sure it has the latest firmware update. My Sony 300 has been a beauty after it got its first update.
I read somewhere else that supposedly Sony pretty much stated that the only BD player they will support as far as BD Profile updates are concerned is the PS3. This is not to say that they won't offer general firmware updates for their other BD players...but as far as hoping for a Profile f/w update for those players--don't count on it.

#20 of 30 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 08 2008 - 01:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigluigi
Forget the "war" for a minute and just think practicality. If your on a tight budget, or not, the A3 is a terrific buy especially with 7 HD titles thrown in and costing only $150...surely, you can see that. The Blu-ray players cost over twice as much and NO free titles. Bummer!!!

Well, that may or may not make sense depending on the individual. If one strongly believes that BD is the future and HDD is gonna be dead soon (considering the circumstance), then one is gonna end up needing to buy a BD player anyway. Why not just save that $150 toward the inevitable BD purchase, if we're gonna be practical about it?

Of course, if the OP needed yet another (top notch) upconverting player for the guestroom or wherever, then I guess it can certainly make good practical sense to pick up an A3.

If, however, one's goal is really to dive into HDM and want all the titles they're interested in asap, despite whatever may actually be practical, then by all means go pick up an A3 (or whichever other Toshiba) and make full use of all the clearance pricing to grab all the available HDD titles one wants and not worry about where the format will end up...

_Man_
Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)


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