Here's my 2 cents on these 2 sub $500 excellent BD players.
I have been checking out the forums on which of these 2 players are better than the other. I, too have been confused on which one to buy with the most Bang-for-the-buck features. So I bought both Sammy S2550 and Panny BD 55k to both try them out.
Definitely goes to Sammy with HQV Reon doing all the upconversion, although Panny was not bad either with their own proprietery technology. I used DVE HD Essential Blu-Ray to do Video tests.Audio:
With the same setup, Panny take this one!!! I have been using 'Band of Brothers' , BLURAY (Carentan episode ) and U-571 (Depth Charge scenes) as my sound test bench with DTS-HD MA bitstreaming to my arOnkyo THX 7.1 receiver. Samsung, was not too bad, very nice sounds separation, but you could definitely hear clearer/crispier sounds, better and deeper bass/better explosions on the Panny.Quality:
I just started buying Samsung electronics (LCD), but always either had Panny or Sony equipment in the past (none have malfunctioned yet). Based on my experience, I would still consider the Panny to be of better quality. Panny and Sony are kinda like Honda and Toyota...worry free for at least 10 yrs...hehe...everything else is so-so
Other Features to consider:
Both has 7.1 analog outs (good for old 7.1 receivers w/o HDMI inputs)
Netflix/Pandora: Goes to Sammy, instant gratification of movies/music via ethernet....Very Nice feature...although...pq quality is still far from Blu-ray or even DVD quality for that matter. I would consider the pq slightly blurry, almost VHS like and most movies are not even in 2:35:1 or even 16:9 aspect ratio, more llike 4:3 hehe. Pandora is excellent!!! Kinda lika having a jukebox for audio...again not the highest quality audio though....but very convenient...and decent enough for a house party!Now for the million dollar question.......Which one should I return...?!?!?!?
I'm more inclined to returning the Sammy. The reason is because I'm so impressed with the Panny's Audio. I swear once you hear it, you'll never hear anything else! Although the Sammy has HQV Reon, I probably would not really need it coz My Mitsubishi PJ HC6500 also has the same video processor built in. Now for Netflix/Pandora ....there's always the ROKU player, only $99 and with WiFi to boot!!! Excellent!