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:
(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":
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:
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:
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).