$150-$200 What to buy?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Aubie, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Aubie

    Aubie Auditioning

    Jan 3, 2010
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    I will be purchasing a blue ray player soon, but I know very little about them. I have browsed some of the forums, but the terms used are still like a foriegn language to me. So, with that said, I want one of the players that delivers the best image quality with blue rays and dvds in a 150-200 price range. I am not looking for some of the extras that are found like YouTube, Netflix, and things of this nature, but if the best player for image has these then that would be an added bonus. I have seen good reviews for Panasonic 60 and can get it here for $177, but I don't want to be narrow minded in my search. What opinions can you more experienced users give me?
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Aug 18, 2001
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    The BK
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    I recently picked up the Panny BD60 after owning the PS3 for ~2 years. In its price range, the BD60 is probably very hard to beat for what you want, especially if you're not concerned about certain things like load times for BD-Live titles (or will simply not have it hooked up for internet access).

    Upscaling PQ for DVDs (to 1080p) seem a slight bit better than the PS3 though I haven't done any serious comparisons -- it's just my impression based on a handful DVDs I've tried. It's definitely better than both my old Denon SD2910 DVD player, which has rather old upscaling tech (still found in some players and low-to-mid-level receivers), and my 1-yo Samsung DLP RPTV's upscaler. YMMV as usual though when it comes to upscaling.

    Most of the reports about very slow load times seem to involve BD-Live access. I have mine setup w/ that disabled, and the load times seem reasonable enough.

    You can probably still find the BD60 for under $130 somewhere like Amazon, et al. I actually only paid $100+tax for mine at a local PC Richards & Sons (ie. regional chain store in the Northeast/NY-tristate area). I think Costco also has it for ~$130 although their version is numbered as BD605, which includes an HDMI cable.

    One other thing though about DVD playback. The BD60 seems to not remember where you leave off if you stop in the middle of playback -- at least not w/ the firmware version that came w/ mine. I had assumed it could do that like all "modern" DVD players (as well as my PS3), but it didn't do it for the couple DVDs I've tried so far.

  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Feb 11, 2004
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    Oconomowoc, WI.
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    I love my Pan. BD60 and highly recommend it. And the SD upconversion is GREAT. All the pro reviews state this also. If you buy it, make sure to load the newest 2.2 firmware. I do it over the internet with the ethernet port on back.
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

    May 16, 2002
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    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Jason Charlton
    Do you already have an A/V Receiver? If so, which make/model do you have?

    To get the "best" that Blu-Ray has to offer, you need to be able to handle the new lossless audio formats (DolbyHD and DTS MA). The main difference between the Panasonic BD60 and the more expensive BD80 is the presence of analog audio outputs.

    If your receiver does not support audio over HDMI (often referred to as "HDMI Pass-Through"), then the only way you can get the lossless audio (aside from upgrading your receiver) is to use analog audio connections - but you have to make sure both the player and receiver have them.

    If you don't currently have a receiver, then you can get the cheaper player, but make sure that when you go get a receiver, that it is an HDMI 1.3 "Repeater" that can internally decode the Blu-Ray audio formats.

    I can also vouch for the Panasonic players - I have a Panny BD55 (I'm using the analog audio connections) and I love it. Load times don't seem overly long and I haven't had a single issue with it.

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