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Cheap Blu-ray player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Osato, Dec 12, 2018.

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  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I have two Panasonic Blu-ray players that have never given a moment's trouble and are still working perfectly after many, many years. The Sony 6500 that I had died on me late last year after maybe four years of service, but it hadn't gotten the use that either of the Panasonics had.
     
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  2. Message #22 of 33 Mar 26, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    BobO'Link

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    I have 2 LG players - A 4K/3D/BR I snagged from WM for a song (~$40 IIRC) and a region free DVD only player (unfortunately I've been unable to find a code for the BR player that works to unlock the region). I have to power cycle the BR player every couple of weeks depending on frequency of use (which at my house is lots and lots - I don't watch "live" TV at all). I also can't have both players plugged in at the same time as they'll both respond to the remote and sometimes get "confused." I only plug in the DVD player if I want to watch some R2 product and have them on a separate power strip to make it easier to deal with. I generally like the players but miss some features I've had on others.
     
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  3. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    One note about Sony players.

    If you purchase any ‘region free’ discs from overseas, they may have issues.

    The main feature should play fine, but it might not play some SD extras or menus (doesn’t like PAL)

    Other brands are reportedly more forgiving
     
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  4. CraigF

    CraigF Producer

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    ^ That is true of many brands of BDPs, depending on how old they are. Newer models are generally forgiving of 50Hz content (and Oppo always has been). Sony is more forgiving now too. Hell, their BDPs play DVD-As now!

    Going region-free with the Sony eliminates this "50Hz problem". The Sony Sx700 models should never never be compared to the Sx500 models. Can't say the newer ones are more reliable, Sony generally uses weak lasers/LEDs IME. And Panasonic seems to like weak motors. Pick the poison. :)
     
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  5. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    My Sony Blu Ray player from 220 electronics has been great!
     
  6. Message #26 of 33 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Second Unit

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    Thanks again for all the feedback.

    Related to this: Obviously many on here have a lot of technical knowledge re: Blu players, so - in connection with this thread & the issues I've had with my Blu players (as mentioned on a related thread), I had a technical question about these players:

    Is it possible for a Blu player to "break" and not be able to play Blu's anymore whatsoever - or struggle while playing them.....but still play regular DVD's perfectly? The reason I ask is that an older Blu player that I had (Samsung) lasted for a little more than 3 years, and then started really struggling when playing all Blu's (not just certain ones). However, it played all DVD's like a charm. Currently, I'm having an issue with another Samsung player that doesn't play certain Blu's (as mentioned in a related thread), but - again - this plays regular DVD's without a hitch.

    My understanding is that - even though Blu players are backwards-compatible & are supposed to play both DVD's & Blu's - when you put a Blu into the player, it "reads" the Blu in a different way than it "reads" a regular DVD.

    I'm just trying to understand why I can play DVD's perfectly on all my Blu players, but sometimes when playing Blu's the player struggles - or doesn't work at all.

    I also completely understand the firmware updates (which I haven't had much luck with), but am wondering if the "laser" part of the Blu player can degrade over time. Note the firmware problems that some players have are a "software" issue, while the laser degrading (if that's what's happening) is a "hardware" problem. To make an analogy, I've had a lot of computer issues over the years - and there is a definite difference between a computer not working because of a hardware issue vs. a software issue.

    Any info. on this would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!
     
  7. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    Others may correct me, but what you describe is reasonable.
    I believe that multiple lasers are used by a Blu-Ray player. DVDs use one, and Blu-Rays use another

    So, it’s possible that the ‘blu’ laser is faulty, but the ‘DVD’ laser still works
     
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  8. Message #28 of 33 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Good to know - Thanks. If Sony players are known for using weak lasers, not sure I want to invest in one of these. I believe I've had this same issue with at least one older Samsung player, and possibly my current one.

    Panasonic doesn't sound much better. Plus, I can't can't find any Panasonic players for sale at a reasonable cost (i.e., to me roughly $150 or under) - I'm not sure if Panasonic players are being produced to any great extent these days, anyway.

    However:

    Four years for a Blu player is longer than any of mine have lasted. My first Samsung lasted only a little over three years before crapping out.
     
  9. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I have given up looking for a cheap we were a right at the moment. I’ve decided to save my money for a UHD Blu-ray player instead. Then I can move one of my current Blu-ray players instead as an alternative to buying a cheap one
     
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  10. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    That is correct. DVD uses a Red laser and BR uses a Blue laser. My last BR player stopped playing DVDs but played BRs flawlessly.
     
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  11. The Drifter

    The Drifter Second Unit

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    Interesting, and good to know. That's the opposite of what I would have expected; I.e., I would think that the Blu laser is more prone to damage/degrading than the DVD laser - since that's what's happened to me.
     
  12. Message #32 of 33 Mar 27, 2019
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    CraigF

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    ^ You're correct, usually it's the Blu laser that dies first. So a hint of impending player doom is when it has trouble with BDs but is great with DVDs. Note that many players have the red/blue lasers in a single opto device. I have not found a correlation between separate laser devices or combo ones and reliability...but there's likely good data out there. Sony seems to go back and forth on which they use, often changing during production.

    I would not say Sony or Panasonic BDPs are "bad" or unreliable per se, considering the current market. I was just saying that there's a reason why people will spend a lot more for something more "substantial". Many people here have significant investments in their discs, and more importantly, they want to be able to play them "forever". The cost of a substantial disc player pales in comparison to those considerations.

    And people noticed how "flimsy" most BDPs were getting years ago, so they dug in then (Oppo or similar). I understand wanting to buy a cheap BDP, but the thing is they're getting cheaper and cheaper built, and they're also disappearing. It's probably better to put your $$ into a UHDP at this point, but OTOH you may want to split duties between a couple of players, perhaps it preserves their lifespan (that's what I do, but I have no "proof" it's a good idea, it just seems likely).
     
  13. Message #33 of 33 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Again, good advice - Thanks to you & everyone else for taking the time to post here.

    As I mentioned in my related thread, my Samsung (or should I call it Samsuck - LOL) is crapping out re: playing Blu's after only a little over a year. I don't know if it's a hardware or software issue at this point, but it may be a hardware problem. However, it still plays DVD's perfectly. So, even if I get a new BD player I may still keep this as a back-up for DVD's.

    It's interesting that the makers of the Blu players have always made a big deal about these being backwards compatible. I agree 100% that it's great to have a player that plays both formats, i.e. DVD & Blu - thereby only needing one player; and, Blu players are the first home video players that are completely compatible with the previous format. However, though this sounds great in practice, you can eventually have issues with the player - resulting in one format being more playable than another (as has been discussed).
     
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