Sony BDP-550 vs. Panasonic BD55 vs. Samsung BD-P2500 - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 159 Old 10-11-2008, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pecosbill View Post

I have a AVR 300 Arcam and love it. So want to get a BD player that will have the right quality for sound, I listen to a lot of concert and music.
As both panasonic and sony are available and almost at the same cost, what should I get to get the best sound quality....

Thanks a lot for any feedback... maybe both are almost identical anyway...

Take care
Pecosbill

I'm going with the Panny for my Arcam 280 because they have actually printed the specs for their analog section. Sony has not-which tells me they must be more primitive than the Panny's.

J
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post #92 of 159 Old 10-11-2008, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstitzlein@gmail View Post

I'm going with the Panny for my Arcam 280 because they have actually printed the specs for their analog section. Sony has not-which tells me they must be more primitive than the Panny's.

J

I was thinking the same way, but someone who took them apart says the Sony has better power supplies and a better analog section.

I decided on the Panny though, because I've had better luck with Panasonic equipment, the Pannys have always been tops for video quality, and the Panny actually has a slo-mo feature. The new Sony doesn't.

Also, it's going to be paired with a Panasonic Viera TV, so I'll be eable to take advantage of the remote linkage. I like the looks better too. Don't need the funky extra panel in front of the tray. Just something to get in the way ... and break.

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post #93 of 159 Old 10-14-2008, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fribb34 View Post

I'm a Blu newbie and I've been monitoring this forum for 6 months now.
I finally have my 1st Blu player down to the Panasonic DMP-BD 55 VS Sony BDP-S550.
I just can't make that final leap and choose one.
Can anyone provide an argument one way ro the other?

One biggie for me is that the S550 removed the slo-mo or frame advance from it's remote. I use that a lot and consider it a deal-breaker if it's not available. Does anyone know if the BD-55 or the 2500 have this feature? Also, I have a few movies on DVD-RAM disk and it seems since Panasonic is a big proponent of DVD-RAM, they might have the only player available to read these disks.

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post #94 of 159 Old 10-14-2008, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snazz123 View Post

So, all, please tell me I made a great choice! :-)

My best,
SNazz123

I also ordered the Panny 55.

I will be able to compare the 55's SD-DVD performance to the OPPO 971H, which while note as nice as the OPPO 983, is still an excellent bench mark for SD-DVD performance.

Had my OPPO 971H not developed HDMI noise issues, I might have made another BDP choice to save some $$$. However, the 55K seems like a great choice for pulling double duty with the legacy SD-DVD collection.

I look forward to posting some feedback very soon.

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post #95 of 159 Old 10-14-2008, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lujan View Post

One biggie for me is that the S550 removed the slo-mo or frame advance from it's remote. I use that a lot and consider it a deal-breaker if it's not available. Does anyone know if the BD-55 or the 2500 have this feature? Also, I have a few movies on DVD-RAM disk and it seems since Panasonic is a big proponent of DVD-RAM, they might have the only player available to read these disks.


Page 33 of the Samsung BD-P2500 manual shows the information for both "Slow Motion Play" and "Step Motion Play". I can't find a manual for the Panny BD55 yet, anyone have one?

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post #96 of 159 Old 10-14-2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jclem View Post

I picked the Panny 55 for several reasons They have a history of making great Dvd players(dating back at least to my RP91), it's $100. less, and the Sony has a blue faceplate and all my equipment is black. It's all in a closed cabinet, but still, when I open it up the blue face would jump out at me.

I am also glad to see Panasonic release a new BDP with good DVD performance.

I still have a RP91 because of it's macrovision hack. The RP91 and RP82 were indeed benchmark products for SD-DVD. I still think the RP91 when used with an external processor, is a great player because of it's extensive onboard video processing of 480i/p signal... but I digress.

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post #97 of 159 Old 10-14-2008, 04:59 PM
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I would really like to clear this up as I am seriously looking at these players to take over duty in my main system. At first I assumed that the best plan would be to snag up a BD50 on closeout while the BD55 comes out. Now I see that the BD55 is $399 msrp which is much less than the BD50 can be had street price.

Now this has me wondering: Are these new gen Panasonic players a step down in quality in an effort to cut costs and tap into the mainstream? This is reminding me of when the third gen Toshiba HD DVD players were released and all the comparisons of the XA2 and A35. Even though both are fine players, overall the XA2 is a superior player irregardless that it was a previous generation player. This has me wondering: Is the BD50 the XA2 and the BD55 the A35?

Here is what I know for sure.

BD55 Pros:

7.1 analog vs 5.1 analog
Cheaper

So is there something about the BD50 that warrants the higher cost? Better build quality or higher quality PQ/AQ, higher quality HW? If anyone can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it or if it is too early to tell then let's get some comparisons here once we know more about the BD55.
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post #98 of 159 Old 10-15-2008, 10:18 PM
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cough cough.... bump

well both the Sony and the Panasonic are out on the streets!
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post #99 of 159 Old 10-17-2008, 12:00 PM
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Let's get this item out of the way: the 550 does a great job of decoding internally dta-ma over 5.1/7.1 analog....nuff said..I've had only a little time installing the 550 to take over my now crippled panny 10a and I was up and running muy pronto and I really like this unit. So far, I've only had the chance to view pq on my older Sony 1080i crt and I can already tell it's good jump over the 10a in pq regards. I will do a video calibration tonight in conjunction with my panny 100a projector and by tomorrow night I'll give a full blown review of the unit. As for the Panny 55, I can't wait for some direct comparing. I've got 30 days to decide if I will keep this or go for the panny. I like and have panny products and can be easily swayed! I'll post my full review here and on the official 550 thread. Let's rumble!!!!
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post #100 of 159 Old 10-17-2008, 05:38 PM
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There has been much discussion about whether the S550 can decode dts-MA if BD Audio = Mix. When set to Mix, it appears the S550 uses the core track instead, regardless of whether there is actually a secondary source to mix in.

It looks like the BD55 does not have the same limitation. Chris Boylan, who did the BD55 review for Big Picture Big Sound, posted this in the BD35/BD55 thread in response to a question about whether the player decodes dts-MA when secondary audio is turned on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by boylan13 View Post

Absolutely. The only reason you need secondary audio set OFF to bitstream is that the Panasonic doesn't have Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD *encoders* (it has decoders), but this is not unique to the Panasonic players. No BD players have DTS-HD or TrueHD encoders.

In order to be able to mix the secondary audio feed (which is normally PCM) with the primary Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD bitstream, the player would have to be able to encode the PCM signal to the native format, then mix these two audio tracks together to output a new Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD bitstream. Can't do that without an encoder.

On the other hand, if you let the player decode the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD track to PCM, then it can happily mix in the secondary audio track and output this as part of a newly remixed multi-channel L-PCM track.

Make no mistake, your beautiful Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD lossless tracks *are* being decoded to PCM before they are converted to analog. PCM is how they started life in the studio - they're converted to Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD simply to save bandwidth. It's just a question of whether you want to decode to PCM in the player or in the receiver. If you decode to PCM in the player, then you can still access the Secondary Audio track on BonusView content while enjoying the lossless audio.

So the answer is yes - you can have your lossless cake and eat your secondary audio track too if you use PCM output over HDMI or multi-channel analog output from the player.

-CB

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post #101 of 159 Old 10-18-2008, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

There has been much discussion about whether the S550 can decode dts-MA if BD Audio = Mix. When set to Mix, it appears the S550 uses the core track instead, regardless of whether there is actually a secondary source to mix in.

It looks like the BD55 does not have the same limitation. Chris Boylan, who did the BD55 review for Big Picture Big Sound, posted this in the BD35/BD55 thread in response to a question about whether the player decodes dts-MA when secondary audio is turned on:

Thanks for that BIslander! It just reaffirms that I believe I made the correct decision to get the Panasonic BD-55. I ordered through Crutchfield although I notice that even today their website doesn't say a thing about the BD-35 or the BD-55 yet. I've read that the BD-55 is supposed to hit most retailers between October 20th and October 28th but I've seen nothing to confirm that. I've got a long ethernet cable ready for the BD-Live hookup, an HDMI cable to the HDTV, a six-cable analog (RCA phono plug) Monster cable and all I need now is the Blu-ray player itself.

Thanks again for your sage advice and anyone's person review of the BD-55 when they get it!

Best regards,

SNazz123
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post #102 of 159 Old 10-18-2008, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by lujan View Post

Page 33 of the Samsung BD-P2500 manual shows the information for both "Slow Motion Play" and "Step Motion Play". I can't find a manual for the Panny BD55 yet, anyone have one?

Yes this is true, the Sammy 2500/2550 does have these features.

I realize that Samsungs have somewhat of a bad rap around here but I can say is that the 2550 is outstanding and better than the Sony 350 I returned.
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post #103 of 159 Old 10-22-2008, 10:07 PM
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so um... bump
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post #104 of 159 Old 10-25-2008, 06:05 PM
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Agreed...

Bump...
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post #105 of 159 Old 10-27-2008, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by flyers View Post

Yes this is true, the Sammy 2500/2550 does have these features.

I realize that Samsungs have somewhat of a bad rap around here but I can say is that the 2550 is outstanding and better than the Sony 350 I returned.

With the sale going on at Best Buy for the 2550 and the recent addition of Pandora and Netflix streaming, the Samsung is quite a value purchase now.
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post #106 of 159 Old 10-28-2008, 08:28 AM
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Does the S350 and BD35K do the Netflix & Pandora thing like the P2500/2550?

It seems that these are simple software applications taking advantage of the ethernet connectivity.
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post #107 of 159 Old 10-28-2008, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ipribadi View Post

Does the S350 and BD35K do the Netflix & Pandora thing like the P2500/2550?

It seems that these are simple software applications taking advantage of the ethernet connectivity.

No they don't, but it might take only a firmware update to make them do this. They likely need Netflix's permission to do so.

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post #108 of 159 Old 10-28-2008, 03:54 PM
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From http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com on the Samsung BD2550:

"With the upgrade applied, and a Netflix account, current owners of these Blu-ray players will be able to instantly watch any movie or TV title from a growing library of more than 12,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix (BD-P2500/BD-P2550) and music from Pandora (BD-P2550). The BD-P2550 will also get a BD-Live firmware update today (the BD-P2500 already supports BD-Live). Later in the month (October 30), both players will get a firmware upgrade to support decoding of DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. No word yet on DTS-HD Master Audio which is currently only supported on both players via bitstream output. [update: 10/23 - we just confirmed with Samsung that there will be no firmware upgrade to do DTS-HD Master Audio decoding on-board the player. Support for DTS-HD MA will continue to be via bitstream output only]." However on the Samsung website it says it does decode all audio codecs: http://www.samsung.com
If the 2500 can do it why can't the 2550?
So the only real downside of this player is that it may or may not decode DTS-HD Master Audio! With all the perks of this player.... How many Blu-Ray Disks/Movie Studios use DTS-HD Master Audio over DTS-HD High Resolution Audio or Dolby True HD? I was really set on the Panasonic 55, but now the Samsung is looking pretty sweet! A head to head is in store!
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post #109 of 159 Old 10-29-2008, 07:33 PM
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Can anyone answer my questions above?


The new Oppo Blu-ray player will end up being pitted against these 3 players.
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post #110 of 159 Old 10-29-2008, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate358 View Post

From http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com on the Samsung BD2550:

"With the upgrade applied, and a Netflix account, current owners of these Blu-ray players will be able to instantly watch any movie or TV title from a growing library of more than 12,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix (BD-P2500/BD-P2550) and music from Pandora (BD-P2550). The BD-P2550 will also get a BD-Live firmware update today (the BD-P2500 already supports BD-Live). Later in the month (October 30), both players will get a firmware upgrade to support decoding of DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. No word yet on DTS-HD Master Audio which is currently only supported on both players via bitstream output. [update: 10/23 - we just confirmed with Samsung that there will be no firmware upgrade to do DTS-HD Master Audio decoding on-board the player. Support for DTS-HD MA will continue to be via bitstream output only]." However on the Samsung website it says it does decode all audio codecs: http://www.samsung.com
If the 2500 can do it why can't the 2550?
So the only real downside of this player is that it may or may not decode DTS-HD Master Audio! With all the perks of this player.... How many Blu-Ray Disks/Movie Studios use DTS-HD Master Audio over DTS-HD High Resolution Audio or Dolby True HD? I was really set on the Panasonic 55, but now the Samsung is looking pretty sweet! A head to head is in store!

All of Universal's and FOX/MGM releases use DTS-HD-MA. Out of approx 932 Blu-Ray releases, DTS-HD-MA is on 214 on them. So about 22% of all releases. If you are an audio nut, this may bother you (not having DTS-HD-MA internal decoding). Obviously you could update your receiver at some point as well and bitstream the lossless codecs as the Samsung players support that. As for TrueHD, you would be covered as the Samsung players decode those codecs (TrueHD is found on about 174 titles to date).
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post #111 of 159 Old 10-30-2008, 11:28 AM
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so 388 titles use DTS-HD MA or TrueHD. That is 41% out of the total 932 Blu-Ray titles out. So what do the other 59% of blu-rays use for lossless audio?
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post #112 of 159 Old 10-30-2008, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate358 View Post

so 388 titles use DTS-HD MA or TrueHD. That is 41% out of the total 932 Blu-Ray titles out. So what do the other 59% of blu-rays use for lossless audio?

Not every one is necessarily lossless - the Stargate Extended Cut BD has DTS-HD HR ES as its high-end audio track. However, a fair number are actually just supplying a straight-up LPCM multichannel (5.1/7.1) audio track - I know that's the case with 300 (a Warner title, I believe), as well as Layer Cake (Sony Pictures Classics). Maybe someone else knows what the title count is for that choice...

Edit: Also, some titles aren't opting for any advanced codecs - like Planet Earth (BBC), which only supplies Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on the discs.
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post #113 of 159 Old 11-02-2008, 04:07 PM
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Although I am a techno geek, I'm not versed on the specs. of Blu Ray equipment. I will say that I know that "what I see is what I get."

I bought and played the 2550. I have an Onkyo TX-SR605 receiver with the SKS-HT750 7.1ch Home Theater Speaker Package.

Results:

Positives: The 2550 played Blu Ray discs flawlessly! Great picture, Great sound. My Receiver identified the optimum audio and even changed the input of my Samsung Flatscreen. Something the average guy wants to see.

Negatives: The 2550 has a weak front display. You could barely see it from 8 ft. away and beyond. Also, My Onkyo receiver's remote does not recognize the player. I called both Onkyo & Samsung. Both point the finger at each other. Personally I think the unit is so new that my situation wasn't thought about before production. This is common.

On the other side, I bought the 1st generation Onkyo DV- BD-606 Player thinking that it would solve my remote compatability concern. I was even told this by the Onkyo Tech. help people beforehand. Well, I ordered and received the unit. Not only was it not compatable with the Onkyo remote (one year old) but it took an awefully long time to change inputs and bring on the first menu.

Too add a final note, I transferred 51 DVD's worth of home movies from VHS tapes recorded 10 years ago and earlier. I transferred these tapes using a Dell 8300 series puter with plenty of hard drive space & memory. A consumer VHS/DVD combo player discriminated on smoothly playing some of the trannsferred DVDs. Some Discs would just pause and sync/ pause and sync. The Samsung 2550 played all DVDs flawlessly. The Onkyo was no better than that 4 year old comsumer combo unit.

Which unit do you think I will keep? The Samsung is obviously more flexible in what it plays. Picture quality . . . outstanding. Onkyo compatibility and Tech support . . . dissappointing!

Sincerely,

Don Seddio
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post #114 of 159 Old 11-02-2008, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate358 View Post

However on the Samsung website it says it does decode all audio codecs: http://www.samsung.com
If the 2500 can do it why can't the 2550?
So the only real downside of this player is that it may or may not decode DTS-HD Master Audio! With all the perks of this player.... How many Blu-Ray Disks/Movie Studios use DTS-HD Master Audio over DTS-HD High Resolution Audio or Dolby True HD?

I see a trend of more DTS-HD MA vs TrueHD releases if a disc contains lossless track. Of course, there are also numerous new WB discs contains just DD 5.1 at 640k.

As for Samsung website post, more than likely is a typo. 2500, 2550 and 1500 (and the discountinued 5000) share the same DSP (BroadCom 7440) which is not likely ever see DTS-MA decoding.

If DTS-HD MA is important to you, get a new receiver than waiting on support from BD players.
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post #115 of 159 Old 11-02-2008, 07:10 PM
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I sent this to Chris Boylan in the hopes that he may have already tried these and could give a review, but he was not able to answer this for me. And as this post is nearly the exact question I need answered, I will post it here.

As I have the new Pioneer SC-05 AVR, I have all the HDMI inputs I need, as well as it can decode all audio, so I have no need for analog outputs at all.

*******************

By now, many of you most likely have read some of my exploits in the hunt for the "BLUE" October (PUN based on Tom the Clancy film/book LOL), I mean my search for the prefect BD/SD DVD player. And so you'd know how I have gone through just about every player worth note, except the new Sony S550 and the Panasonic BD35.

I have gone through:
PS3
BD30
S300
S500
S350
UDP5000
BH200 (which I really liked just about the most, but has bad audio HDMI handshaking issues with some brands of AVR's, and it is unknown if it will ever have BD Live - but this was a very high quality unit, seeing as it cost $1000 when they first came out - it was also nice because it was a combo player that could also do HD DVD, and the QDEO was a very good DVD upscaller, I felt even better than the HQV Reon on the 2500/2550)

Currently, I now have the Samsung 2500, and so far enjoying it (and the new NetFlix) quite a lot.

So far, and very much especially now that the Samsung 2500 got that NetFlix FW update (still up in the air if I really would need the 2550 for the Pandora - and wonder if the 2500 being new, might not have some better hardware improvements in it over the now older 2550???), I have really started liking the 2500. Though I still feel that the LG BH200's QDEO was a bit better than the HQV Reon, that HQV really does a great job on standard DVD's. And from the tests I have run on the NetFlix online videos, it might also be doing some magic on those as well? I can at least state for a fact that watching an episode of American Gothic on NFO looked very close to the PQ when I rented the actual DVD some time back (but not played on the 2500, it was on another player, or maybe even my PS3).

Anyway, just to be 100% satisfied in the back of my mind, I was wondering when a head to head review would ever be done between the 2500 (and the 2550 if there ARE some differences internally???), the Sony S550, and the Panasonic BD35. They all have some mumbo jumbo "spin" in their advertising that really gets me dazzled as to which would have THE best BD and DVD PQ.

What I mean:

First off, is that of course the Samsung 25X0 has the HQV Reon chip in it, which is supposedly considered THE best upscaller made to date - THOUGH, if you have read the Onkyo 875/905 posts, you will read there is a very major problem with how Onkyo (improperly) implemented the Reon chip in their high end AVR's, and many are having both scaling and color space issues. And seeing as how Samsung has not been known to have good customer support or quality, who is to say (except a pro test AV reviewer) that the HQV was properly implemented in the 25X0?

Next, is the techno jargon used by both Sony and Panasonic to praise their own upscalling solutions:

Sony S550 says about its "Precision Cinema":

Quote:


Precision Cinema HD Upscale
Precision Cinema HD upscale uses high bandwidth digital-to-analog conversion and processing to detect image changes at the pixel level, rather than at the level of whole scan lines. Additionally, separate algorithms are used to process the moving and still parts of an image, resulting in sharp backgrounds with moving objects that are free from motion artifacts.

And Panasonic for their BD35/55 answers that with:

Quote:


Images So Real, You Feel Like You're in the Picture
Combining a PHL Reference Chroma Processor with advanced P4HD (Pixel Precision Progressive Processing) imaging technology, UniPhier® the Precise Digital Video processor reproduces crisp, natural colors that are extremely faithful to the original movie. It does this by up-sampling the color information in decoded video signals, while the super high-speed P4HD up-converts content recorded in 480i/p, 720p or 1080i format to 1080p by correctly generating each pixel according to information drawn from up to 60 surrounding pixels. The image motion of each pixel is then categorized into one of 16 levels, from stationary to super fast. Image quality is further enhanced by Diagonal Processing, which creates smooth, sharp diagonal lines, and 3:2 Pull-Down, which optimizes the processing accordingly for film or video making the images look natural and lifelike. In addition, the DMP-BD30's HDMI output is Deep Color compatible, with 4,096 steps of gradation for even smoother, finer-quality images that meet Hollywood's stringent demands, so you can experience movies just the way they were meant to be experienced.

And in Chris Boylan's review he said of the BD55:

Quote:


DMP-BD55K Key Features:
* PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus

* High Precision 4:4:4 color processing: Experience the Original Movie Quality

* P4HD: Advanced Picture Processing for 1080p (including 1080p/24 output for Blu-ray and standard DVD)

So as many of you can see, and perhaps understand where I am comming from, we need a clue as to which one would be the best for both BD and DVD?

Add to the mix the new NetFlix Online bringing a NEW extra value to the Samsung through a FW update, anyone wonder if maybe both Sony and Panasonic might not be scrambling around now to get that onto theirs as well? If so, that would level the playing field a bit, and it would then come down to best PQ and FEATURES (like how I state how much I miss the full info screen the PS3 had to offer).

Thanks much!
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post #116 of 159 Old 11-03-2008, 11:18 AM
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I would also love to see a review of the DMP-BD55 versus PD-P2500/2550 with regards to DVD upscaling. Though I'm leaning towards the BD55 for the internal decoding and output over analog (P2500/2550 do not decode DTS-HD MA from what I've read), I do have a rather large DVD collection that I do not plan on replacing.

At the moment I have an HD-A35 and I've been pretty happy with the upconversion of my DVD's. It's really important to me that I replace the player with a BD player that has equal or better upconversion ability. Has anyone seen DVD upconversion on both sets of these players? Is the REON chip in the Samsung's really better than what the BD55 offers?
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post #117 of 159 Old 11-03-2008, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cushlash1978 View Post

Is the REON chip in the Samsung's really better than what the BD55 offers?

To my eyes, yes!

And the fact that the Samsung has Netflix puts it over the Panasonic in my opinion even though Panasonic seems to have a better reputation in terms of reliability.
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post #118 of 159 Old 11-03-2008, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mediahound View Post

To my eyes, yes!

And the fact that the Samsung has Netflix puts it over the Panasonic in my opinion even though Panasonic seems to have a better reputation in terms of reliability.

I agree, the 2550 is looking & working great for me at the moment. I have not compared it to the Panny, but I have a PS3. The Sammy does a better job with my SD-DVD's. The PS3 did a great job, but the Sammy does it better.

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post #119 of 159 Old 11-04-2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediahound View Post

To my eyes, yes!

And the fact that the Samsung has Netflix puts it over the Panasonic in my opinion even though Panasonic seems to have a better reputation in terms of reliability.

That's great to know, and what I figured was the case. With that said, I think I'm going to go with the 2500 over the BD55 for this very reason. I'd like to have the internal decoding of DTS HD MA on the BD55, but the upscaling is really more important to me.
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post #120 of 159 Old 11-04-2008, 08:50 PM
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Forgive me if this has been asked here or elsewhere before, if so please kindly point me to it: Are their any conclusions to be drawn from the various chipsets that occupy these newer Blu-ray Disc players? By that I mean, how does the NEC MC-10068F1 stack up against the Panasonic UniPhier?

I will eventually be upgrading from a Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1, so will either of these chipsets deliver image quality inferior from what I presently come to expect from the Sigma SMP8634A?
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