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Selecting Blu-Ray Player - What is important? (1 Viewer)

LilRed2

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May 7, 2007
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John
I see a players at a wide variety of prices. What are the differences between the lower-priced devices and the more expensive ones?

Product descriptions don't seem to convey (to me, at least) what is important and what I'd be getting for my money if I spend more on a more costly player.

Any advice for a newbie on how to evaluate features and quality? I have a very good TV and pretty good A/V receiver and speakers.

Thanks!
 

Stephen Tu

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Apr 26, 1999
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The main differentiations are in two areas: Profile support & audio options. Also some of the most expensive ones have fancier video processing which mainly gives improvement for standard DVDs.

Profiles: There are "1.0", "1.1", and "2.0" players. 2.0 players aren't out quite yet, but the PS3 will be upgraded to 2.0 capability.
1.1 gives you picture-in-picture commentary functionality overlayed on top of the movie, if the disc has that feature. Older players either have to play the commentary separately or just won't play such features at all depending on the disc's design.
2.0 has an network connection for internet based special features.

Audio options:
Mainly this depends on your current receiver, whether you wish to upgrade your receiver, and your interest in the newer audio codecs (DD+, TrueHD, DTS-HD/MA) that are higher bitrate and/or lossless compression. Players differ in the following:
- presence of analog multi-ch output (for older receivers that are missing HDMI input and/or multi-ch PCM over HDMI support)
- decoding of the newer formats
- ability to output the raw bitstream of the newer formats to the newer HDMI 1.3 receivers that can decode the new formats

I think most feel that the best player out now is the PS3, it's Profile 2 capable & decodes all formats. Only drawbacks are lack of IR, requiring an USB/IR dongle or IR->Bluetooth add-on gadget for compatibility with universal remotes, and slightly more noise. Otherwise wait for the Panasonic BD-50 or Sony S550.
 

Ray_R

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Feb 22, 2004
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R. Ray Rogers II
I too shall be waiting for the Panasonic BD-50. Or some other Profile 2.0 player. Strange thing is, my XBOX 360 HDDVD add-on player gets the web-enabled content just fine. Speaking of which, how large would the HDD for the Profile 2.0 players be? Considering said online content would most likely be kept on said HDD delegated by each title.
I find it easiest if there's online content which seems interesting to download, keep it on a personally judged basis. Well, obviously there'll be updates for the disc in question if there're more accurate subtitles or subtitles trivia tracks. Speaking of which, are there any trivia tracks on HDDVD or Blu-ray? I know the TRANSFORMERS HDDVD does. Ever since the 2-Disc STAR TREK film releases had them I'm very intent and eager about them. I could also look on DVDCompare.net too.:crazy:
Personally I'm not interested in purchasing a PS3 since my best friend has one. Rather buy a stand-alone player. Obviously which has Profile 2.0 AND is at a great price point. Then I'll be officially "Purple" instead of marginally as such. I could just VERY methodically and gradually build up my BD collection over time but my focus right now is on HDDVD which is the format I own in my own home. More due to convienence compared to anything else.
So, if you have the moneys and can afford it, I suggest you research the ever living hell for the prospective player you want to buy and what appeals most to you. Happy hunting!:cool:
 

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