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Bly Ray ready for Prime Time?


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Dennis-hp

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Posted December 16 2008 - 03:59 AM

I have not bought a BLu Ray player as I think the movies are over priced and was waiting for the prices to drop to regular DVD levels. However, I have read many threads on multiple forums where people complain about Blu Ray performance.

It's not to say that when the movies play back, they look excellent with great detail and clarity. It's more an issue of the movies actually playing back without glitches.

I realize that in some cases it's a player that's at fault or a finger print on the Disc....but with a format that won the HD war, I'd expect very few issues regarding playback of movies to occur.

I've read stories of players freezing up during playback or dropouts of video and audio during playback. Also have read where unless the Blu Ray disc is spotless it will not play properly in some players. There have been threads where firmware updates disabled a players ability to play older Blu Ray disc features or even older SD DVD's.

I would love to own a HD player, but cannot justify the expense of a new player and the movies, that may or may not always play when I want to watch them. Nothing is more frustrating than have a movie freeze halfway through or lock up a player. This happens occasionally when I rent SD DVD movies that people have used as frisbees.

Just curious what others may think.
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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted December 16 2008 - 04:43 AM

I own a 60gb PS3, and have had little to no problems with playback of Blu-ray movies rented from Netflix. Only one disc (out of the last 40) had a problem, and Netflix exchanged it immediately.

As long as you keep the firmware updated, you should have no problems playing Blu-ray discs. Panasonic and Sony, based on posts here on the forum, would indicate that these two player manufacturers typically have a firmware solution in place before or within a week after a potentially problematic disc hits the streets.

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Hank_P

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Posted December 16 2008 - 04:46 AM

I have had my PS3 player since Jan this year. I have enjoyed every movie it played, no issues with playing disc, no issues with sound, no load issue, nothing.

I have read those stories also, and feel good I have the PS3. To enjoy HD Disc for a whole year... priceless.

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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted December 16 2008 - 05:08 AM

I have to admit, thanks to BF and the Magnavox going on sale for 128.00 I would have been settling for HD-DVD and making efforts to buy what was left. I've jumped into BR and glad I did, hopefully I will be able to build the library I would like to have but I have to admit it is expensive.
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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 16 2008 - 05:40 AM

Since getting into the format early this fall, I have not experienced any real playback problems with my Sony BDP-S350 so far. I do find a few things about the format annoying, though -- such as the STOP button not always allowing you to resume play where you left off -- but overall it has been a rather smooth transition from SD-DVD for me. I am more selective regarding buying titles due to the cost, but I actually consider that a good thing. I tended to impulse buy too much with SD-DVD.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Dennis-hp

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Posted December 16 2008 - 05:56 AM

It seems to be the consensus that the Playstation is the best Blu Ray player available. I read though a few pages of the very large thread on this forum covering that very topic.

I know I will probably wind up getting into the game eventually, but wonder how it is that a game console is the best piece of equipment to play video movies. It's incomprehensible to me that Sony wouldn't have developed reasonably priced Blu Ray players and had them available for the masses when they introduced the format. I cannot get my head wrapped around the fact that the Blu Ray format was so widely accepted with these issues still nagging it.

I'm not a "tinkerer" when it comes to wanting to watch a movie. I want the disc to load, and play with absolutely NO issues at all. I want all the features and menus on the disc to work without a glitch. Anything less is not acceptable for me. The current SD DVD format certainly meets that criteria for me. To go to a site like Amazon looking for a Blu Ray player and read some of the reviews, it begs to question whether the format was really developed properly before it's release.

I suppose I'll wind up with a PS3 to the tune of $450 to function as my High Definition DVD player....as I don't thnk we will see a competing format be introduced.

Until then I'll continue to use my Tosh XDE to watch my 300+ SD DVD's upconverted.
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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted December 16 2008 - 06:07 AM

I recently bought my first Blu player in the form of a Panasonic DMP-BD55 and BD is definitely ready for prime-time. Not the slightest glitch, pristine picture quality, simple firmware updates. I'd almost decided on a PS3 when this came out and it fits my needs better. Quite a bargain also given the various Amazon deals that have been popping up.
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#8 of 12 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted December 16 2008 - 06:49 AM

Since getting my Panasonic BD30 last winter, I have not rented or purchased anything but Blu. I have had zero issues. The BD30 was replaced by the BD35 over the summer and I still get updated firmware on the 30 (just last week). I HIGHLY recommend Panasonic.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   RayRho

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Posted December 22 2008 - 05:53 AM

Do the load times drive anyone else nuts? I realize a LOT more data is being processed, but it's rather unsatisfying to sit through a black screen for better part of a minute only to see the copyright warning splash screen. Couldn't they put the warning screen up immediately while the rest of the program is loading in the background?

I'm also not crazy about program navigation on my Sony BDP-S350. You have to jump to another menu to do chapter searches (my Sony DVDs do this by default when you press a number button). The "display" screen does NOT show current track/total track info, although a progress bar does pop up to show how far along in the program you are. Cue and review on my BD player are not nearly as smooth as on DVD.

Scott mentions the inconsistent behavior of the "stop" button. I'm more than annoyed. This renders the "stop" button USELESS if you don't know if it's going to resume or start the program from the beginning. Hopefully the BD authors will eventually get their act together on this.

I've had one defective BD so far. No visible surface glitches, but freezes and jumps forward on playback consistently at the same place. I've seen some some glitches on video playback on other BDs which were not reproducable.

Yes, you are rewarded with pristine video and audio quality, but with some sacrifices in playback control. With nearly a decade's worth of improvements in processing power and manufacturing techniques, I was expecting a smoother transition to this format. I feel that I shouldn't have to make such "adjustments".

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Stephen Tu

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Posted December 22 2008 - 11:50 AM

Quote:
Scott mentions the inconsistent behavior of the "stop" button. I'm more than annoyed. This renders the "stop" button USELESS if you don't know if it's going to resume or start the program from the beginning. Hopefully the BD authors will eventually get their act together on this.

Seems most of the more recent BD-J discs let the green button set a bookmark. I'm trying to make a habit of hitting it before stopping, hopefully that covers most discs.

I also miss the smooth scanning, slo-mo/frame advance that the x50 Sonys are missing; some years from now I imagine I'll want to replace the player but for $180 I can't complain too much this year.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Heinz W

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Posted December 22 2008 - 02:48 PM

I think it's ready. Players and software are finally starting to come down. I was in Wal-Mart today and the BD shelves looked like they had been ransacked! Fortunately Target still had a good selection, but low quantities. I got the last Godfather box and second to last copy of Patton. Good prices too, Master and Commander was 19.99 for example, as was Patton.

I bought my first BD player last week, a Panny BD35. I picked up the two Batman films, Wall-E, and of course 2001. I love it, have had no disc/player problems whatsoever, and load time is relatively fast.

2001: A Space Odyssey was the movie I had to play first and it was just flat out beautiful! 30 seconds into the intro I was sold. Meaning to watch a few key scenes I ended up watching the entire film. The EE that plagued certain scenes in the 2001 DVD are gone. The clarity, detail, and color of BD makes DVD pale in comparison. After seeing Ratatouille a few times on DVD and then watching the BD tonight was like truly seeing it for the first time. Stunning!

I am VERY glad I went Blu, kind of wish I had sooner.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Bob_Chase

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Posted December 22 2008 - 10:41 PM

I'm 3 weeks in and glad to have made the jump (Panasonic BD55). Yes the load times can be sluggish and some of the controls are wonky but once the movie starts it's all good. Also setting up the player can take a little bit of TLC depending on your equipment. IMO it seems to be a bit more involved than setting up a SD DVD player (not that I can really remember that, it was almost 10 years ago). That being said the A/V quality has been stunning on most of the discs I've rented and certainly trumps any minor (very minor) player issues.

From what I've read here and at AVS you really can't go wrong with the PS3 or either one of the new standalone players from Panasonic (BD35, BD55) or Sony (S350, S550).

Good luck and hope your experience is as positive as most of the other folks here.