Theories on the pervasive BD playback failures?? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

My understanding is based on a player's profile it may or may not support certain features. This could explain why older players have less issues... they simply aren't running the fancy code. Processing power isn't an issue unless you are concerned about how long it takes the code to run. Luckily computers don't quit in the middle of a job. Although it does get rather ugly if it hasn't been told what to do with the code (via firmware).

Fair point..

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post #32 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by torcher View Post

I lay blame on the software producers.All anybody wants is superior picture,sound quality,and reliability.How does a processor intensive memory hog like java really advance the state of the art? Dump it...


I absolutely agree. Javascript adds nothing worthwhile at all. I think the only people who get a kick out of the slightly fancier menus are the programmers themselves who wrote the code, and maybe a couple of studio executives. All that it adds to the discs themseselves is much longer load times, and in the case of the Bond movies, failures. On my Pioneer Elite BDP-95FD, if you fuss with it long enough, you can usually get them to play once, after two or three unsuccessful attemps, rebooting and reloading each time, but this is just unacceptable! I already have the latest firmware, v. 3.30!

Now I am debating whether I should keep the discs and hope for a firmware update soon, or return them. I got a good deal on the price at BB, offered only at the release time. If I return them now and then get them later, I probably will have to pay a lot more. Also, I don't understand why they need Javascript at all on the Bond discs. The DVD version had the same identical menus as the Blu-ray, and did so without any Javascript!

Warner Bros. has produced lots of Blu-ray discs without any Javascript, and they load quickly, and have all they menus they need. I propose a new spec for the Blu-ray format: NO JAVASCRIPT ALLOWED!
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post #33 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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I venture to guess these are and will be a big reason there will be a lot more "Open Box" players around soon and also why the average homeowners who try Blu and find these issues on many movies, will avoid Blu and tell friends to avoid it.

It seems that playback issues are one of the biggest hurdles Blu needs to get over...the number one being overpriced players and discs of course.
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post #34 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lizardo View Post

I venture to guess these are and will be a big reason there will be a lot more "Open Box" players around soon and also why the average homeowners who try Blu and find these issues on many movies, will avoid Blu and tell friends to avoid it.

It seems that playback issues are one of the biggest hurdles Blu needs to get over...the number one being overpriced players and discs of course.


Actually, this is the only problem I have ever encountered. I have bought and played many, many other titles (I have lost count as to how many), and all of them play reliably and flawlessly on my Pioneer, until these Bond titles came out.

I remain sold on the Blu-ray format; I only wish they wouldn't muck it up with all of this totally unnecessary Javascript nonsense!

We tend to forget that the DVD format once also had similar growing pains. I remember my first DVD player, a 2nd gen Panasonic, had serious problems playing some, but not all dual layer discs.
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post #35 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 11:08 AM
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I can't wait until the first Javascript virus makes it onto a disc with the ability to rewrite some buggy player's firmware. Won't that be fun...
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post #36 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lizardo View Post

I venture to guess these are and will be a big reason there will be a lot more "Open Box" players around soon and also why the average homeowners who try Blu and find these issues on many movies, will avoid Blu and tell friends to avoid it.

It seems that playback issues are one of the biggest hurdles Blu needs to get over...the number one being overpriced players and discs of course.

Yes, as I said before it happened after FFSS came out. I can hardly wait untill this happens again in December.
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post #37 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 07:34 PM
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I am not an expert at Blu-ray players, but all the reading I have done on all the manufacturers I wonder how long before these issues are corrected. ***knock on wood*** I have thrown so many Blu-ray discs at the BD30 and have never had a problem (including all 6 Bond releases). Now I wonder with the Profile 2.0 players if that is the issue. I was going to upgrade to the BD35, but will hold off for a bit longer. I bitstream both DTS-HD and TrueHD to my receiver, I wonder if some of the issues could be FW related but also as someone said the processing power being done internally by the player.
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post #38 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrisonS View Post

I remain sold on the Blu-ray format; I only wish they wouldn't muck it up with all of this totally unnecessary Javascript nonsense!

I think long term this is what may actually take Blu-ray mainstream and it certainly has the ability to offer a lot of return for the studios. Unfortunately the growing pains really hurt.

As an example TiVo now has all kinds of offers and promotions available right from their menu (although they are still in the early stages). A few clicks and the new Audi catalog arrives in a couple of days (after watching a spot or two)... Norton 360 wants to help my PC and Bounty can't wait to send me coupons.

Down the road you watch Batman IV and at the end of the movie it allows you to purchase discounted tickets for Batman V for use at your local IMAX. There are way cool things that can be done and a lot of them can be the reason to use Blu-ray (for mainstreamers).

Right now both hardware and software are far too primitive to be of any value but they have to walk before they can run... however it would be real nice if they let you select what profile your player was... I'd pick 1.0 (for now) and I bet just about everything would play
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post #39 of 210 Old 10-25-2008, 10:53 PM
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Fascinating topic. I guess I'll hold off a bluray purchase until everyone involved gets their **** together! I don't wanna have to do firmware updates...what's up with that!
What I find wierd is Sony seems to have some issues with their stand alone players but from what I'm reading here, their PS3s are damn near perfect!
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post #40 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by discopaul View Post

Fascinating topic. I guess I'll hold off a bluray purchase until everyone involved gets their **** together! I don't wanna have to do firmware updates...what's up with that!
What I find wierd is Sony seems to have some issues with their stand alone players but from what I'm reading here, their PS3s are damn near perfect!

First you are missing out on the highest quality audio and video that is available to the consumer so I feel sorry that you are gonna sit on the sidelines. Second firmware updates from ethernet connections are painless. And yes ALL players from all brands have had problems, including the one or two blips on the PS3. And from reading on here not all PS3s are created equal.
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post #41 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 03:19 AM
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At this point in the evolution of BD players, it is unacceptable for these issues to occur--the BD format and hardware should be stable by now.

One could say the same thing about computers and Windows.

A Blu-Ray player is a computer that has more running than the average PC of a few years ago.

Unfortunately, many software bugs aren't found until someone uses the operating system in a new and previously untested way, and then boom.

This did happen with DVDs as well, but it was much more rare.

Worse yet, when it did happen with DVDs, the player usually needed to be sent back to the manufacturer to have a new ROM chip installed.
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post #42 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

The Bond menus are very graphic intensive... I have seen few Blu Rays with such sophisticated menus. A lot of Java. THe Bond discs, though they all play fine in my Denon and Panny take 3 minutes to get to the film in the Denon and 5 minutes to get to the first seen of the movie. This is about 2X the typical amount of time. Yes, it could be authoring but it could also be processing intensive, too, causing many players to hang up on them.. THe Panny showed a few 'Reading' Icons as it played the discs - usually it just shows one 'reading' icon. There was a lot of info to process these discs as it took almost twice as long to load these compared to all my other discs.

The raw CPU power of the PS3 has an advantage in decoding the graphics file for BD-J applications.

But the main reason the PS3 is stable is its the standard reference platform everybody test for to make sure their application works flawlessly on.

Unfortunately it seems the Blu-ray standards allow manufacturers to use different Java virtual machines and its tough to test them all, certainly while they are in development.

With bunches of new hardware coming out that were being developed when the disc authoring was being done issues come up, especially if its a really new bit of silicon in the players.

Its just sloppier than HD DVD was with its consistent platform, but eventually things will work themselves out and major manufacturers and ones using standard SoC solutions should be abale to create firmware upgrades to solve all problems that crop up.

Some first or early generation 1.0 machines may not have the horsepower chops to do some advanced things and DTS-HD-MA decoding (not bit streaming is tougher) but thats another story.

PS3 still is safest bet as it has brute force horsepower to solve any issues and its always the first thing thats tested as a reference platform. Plus it has its design as a gaming console which by its nature has a level of design and performance consistency in its DNA.

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post #43 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R
It's simply a moving target. By the time the player guys (new firmware) have caught up with the software guys the software guys have implemented a whole new set of features. The PS3 has the least number of issues because the software guys wait on the PS3 guys (to catch up) since it's roughly 98% of the market. The rest of the hardware guys are left out in the cold!

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Originally Posted by Ruined View Post

This post wins

It has zero do to with power, memory, or build, and everything to do with player penetration percentage. PS3 by far is the best selling Blu-ray player, and because of that no one dares to author a disc that won't play in the PS3. Therefore PS3 is the first player to get QC'd and it is the one most thoroughly QC'd.

Right on target.

Everyone checks their software to make sure it runs on the PS3. On the rare chance something gets out in the field the PS3 can't handle, and if its a mainstream title, Sony can create a firmware fix because the PS3 has the robust supercomputer type CPU memory and Internet connection capability to solve it.

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post #44 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

Down the road you watch Batman IV and at the end of the movie it allows you to purchase discounted tickets for Batman V for use at your local IMAX. There are way cool things that can be done and a lot of them can be the reason to use Blu-ray (for mainstreamers).

Freakin' SPAM on my DVD player? Not in this lifetime. That's why I'll never use any home theater with an Internet connection. There's no benefit for me and it exposes me to the same crap that invades my computer every single day. No thanks.
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post #45 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 04:31 AM
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That's why I'll never use any home theater with an Internet connection.

+1.

I don't want to be marketed to through my HT, or blind phone calls, or whatever.

Once the ethernet connection becomes the standard, I will buy whatever is considered to be the last high-end 1.1 device with no network connection before these disappear. This will be my last BDP. I would have purchased the 3800, but its lack of a source-direct mode is a deal breaker.
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post #46 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 05:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 42Plasmaman View Post

People with older PS3 FW have reported issues with Bond playback but updating to current FW resolved the issue.

So, we all know the PS3 has enough horsepower & memory so these play back issues seems to come down to SW implementations of features on the discs that aren't compatible with certain player FW.
Then the player maufacturer is either blind sided or burdened with creating a FW update to resolve the issue.

I agree that at this point, there needs to be a standard disc format for feature/DRM that doesn't cause these issues.

If these issues continue during/after Xmas, it's not going to look good for blu-ray especially if consumers just start returning discs because they are not aware of FW updates or care not ro perform them that may or may not resolve the issue.

It's sad though that new players like the Samsung 1500 are having these issues.

I'm still mistified on what www.blufocus.com is doing to test these discs and pass the info on to the player manufacturers.

I don't watch a lot of movies, but my less than 1-year-old 40 GB PS3 w/fw 2.50 has played every Blu-ray disc that I have rented from Netflix, about 20 so far.

Conversely, the one and only Blu-ray disc, "28 Weeks Later," that I tried to play with a Samsung BD-UP5000, failed to load so I returned the player to Best Buy and got my money back.

I don't know what Samsung's problem is, but the solution seems pretty simple to me; buy a PS3 or a BDP-S550 and enjoy watching any movie on Blu-ray disc that you like.
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post #47 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrisonS View Post

I propose a new spec for the Blu-ray format: NO JAVASCRIPT ALLOWED!

.. a bit OT: It's not "javascript", it's just "java". the former is a little run time script that is like a macro, whereas the latter is the real big memory/cpu hog.

I completely agree with you abt the abusive use of java. Modern programming languages like Java have made a whole generation of lazy programmers, who need 500M of memory to write just a picture menu. The modern software design shifts the burden of intelligent design from software to hardware.

In my opinion, the reason all these standalone players fail while PS3 works, is simply because PS3 is a computer, whereas the standalone players are still trying to use all-in-one chip design. The all-in-one chip makes a whole generation of simple cheap dvd players. It worked fine for dvd because there is very limited features. Now with bluray's full java language built in, the possible features are infinite. Tomorrow some one can think of an even fancier menu stuff, as long as it's within java's capability. It's impossible to implement a full fledged java run time at silicon level. That's why I guess so far all current all-in-one chips in these standalone machines are just implementing a subset of the java runtime. So whenever there is something new, they will have to redo the firmware. And if it's too complex, the chip simply give up.

The solution of this will have to be: manufacturers must give up their dvd player mindset, and have to do it the CPU way. Until some one managed to do a full java runtime in silicon.
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post #48 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 05:50 AM
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I don't know about the other owners of the new Panasonic players, but I have watched two of the new Blu-ray Bond movies and have no problem with my BD-55. Maybe Panasonic got it right.
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post #49 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeSp View Post

OR the average consumer will NOT buy into Blu-ray since the image quality of SD DVDs is good enough, their players often cost ~$100, the media is often on sale at Wally World for $4-5 AND THEIR PLAYERS AND MEDIA WORK!! I had thought that the Blu-ray format had reached maturity and it was safe to purchase a stand-alone player that was reasonably high end, but if this fiasco continues, the average consumer will continue to shy away and for good reason and BD becomes a niche product. I had hoped to replace my trusty George Foreman that plays ALL BD products because it just does not look "right" in my AV cabinet with all of the other AV gear and move it next to a HD TV that is not connected to the rest of the AV toys and use it mostly for games (rather my kid would use it mostly for games).

At this point in the evolution of BD players, it is unacceptable for these issues to occur--the BD format and hardware should be stable by now.

The BD Group (or whatever it is called) needs to have a standard (Profile 1.1, 2.0 or ???) to which the movie industry must adhere and the disks be tested before being released to the public. My fear in Blu-ray winning the lop-sided format war was that it would become a niche product due to lack of acceptance by the general public and I hope that does not happen.

I wonder how the newest top end Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic BD players are working with the Bond BD disks???

MikeSp

Is it unacceptable that some of these players can't play disks correctly? Yeah. If my player, my disks, are having the issues, then it is unacceptable.

Does that seem to stop the sale of them? As best I can tell, no. Go into BB, CC, Costco, any of those places, and you'll see the SD DVD players all sitting in the back of the bus. BD players, all of them, get the featured spots on the shelves. Then, you see a display, where there's an LCD, plasma, HD big screen playing POTC, and you say "WOW....that looks good" (even though they aren't set up correctly). You plot. You plan. And, eventually you take that plunge. Was thinking the other day, doing just a little shopping, you can get a plasma or LCD, and the real bargains, the RP HD TVs, a BD player, one of those HTIB, or Bose things....for ~$3K, you're into HD HT.

Get everything set up in your own home. And get as good, mostly better, PQ/AQ than what you saw/heard in the store. Now, you avoid the DVD aisles. Every SD DVD pales in comparison. I can't even watch a SD TV program anymore. I pull out one of my 500+ SD DVDs every now and then. My Oppo SD DVD player, as fine as it is, still can't compare.

BD is early in the upward sales curve stage. Pricing, while not at the SD DVD level, is low. It will continue to evolve and grow.

Memory, processing power, testing....for whatever reason, PS3s seem to do everything right. I've tried some standalone players....hoping, thinking, that they can do the job. I've yet to find one, though.

I had heard some time ago that Sony loses money on every PS3 they sell. Don't know if that's still true, given their volume of sales has gone up. Looking at history, if Sony hadn't made the PS3 as robust as it is, at a relatively low cost, they could very well have lost the BD vs HD-DVD wars.

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post #50 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 07:43 AM
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While we're discussing playback "issues", I'd like to add that I've noticed even std. DVD problems on the Pioneer BDP-05 player. Looks like frame dropouts or possibly not doing 3:2 pulldown correctly all the time. Obviously this has nothing to do with java software implementation, menu structures & lack of software standardization on BD's.

What these problems seem to indicate is that the problems goes beyond BD-Java code. If a player is stumbling on DVD's, the choice of chipsets, video processors and how decoding software is written also all play an important role.

Pioneer didn't have to use a brand new, untested video proc chip from a relative unknown company for video chips, which they did for the 51/05 players. They had the option of using tried & true off-the-shelf solutions already in the marketplace and could have used software already written & de-bugged instead of writing their own new code.

For whatever engineering reasons, Panasonic has been able to do what the others are struggling with. I agree with Jeff "thebland" that the 1st gen BD10 was far more stable & reliable a player than this new Pioneer is & possibly will ever be even with FW updates.

Pioneer may still have to optimize its new video chip's code if std DVD playback isn't flawless which it isn't.

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post #51 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 07:49 AM
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The format war is over. NO HD-DVD discussions in the BR forums. We are not traveling down that road again.

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post #52 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post

Freakin' SPAM on my DVD player?

It's only SPAM if it's implemented incorrectly. Such as with TiVo I can click on Music, Photos, Products, & More or Showcases & TV Guide to see all kinds of stuff. Such as free downloads of the new fall shows before they are aired. I have to go looking for it as such I wouldn't consider it SPAM.

On players I can see a menu option for movie trailers just like on the Apple TV. If you don't go there fine... if you do you get the chance to view virtually any trailer you desire (as long as it's by the same studio).
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post #53 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 08:07 AM
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All electronic devices use microprocessors, which are programmed, and therefore updatable. The update process can be as crude as pulling a chip out of a socket and putting an updated chip in, or as simple as clicking on "yes" when prompted to update firmware.

I've had two different DVD players (a Toshiba and a Pioneer) that needed firmware updates because of incompatibilities with newer discs. I even had a portable CD player that needed one. My TV (a Sharp) has had three firmware updates in less than a year. I've done firmware updates on my GPS, my heart rate monitor, and two different cars (an 02 Mazda and an 06 Scion).

People who say they won't buy things that need firmware updates are living in a dream world. The only thing that's new about BD players is that the process is easy and routine, and not being hidden from the consumer by having to go through "authorized dealers" to get them.

Most of the time people don't realize that their gadgets need updating until they fail. Then they take them in for repair and get them back and they work... because the firmware was updated. This might be disguised as "replaced IC 132456B" on the repair tag, but it's still a firmware update.

I'm not excusing lazy disc authoring, inadequate testing, or the practice of using paying customers as beta testers. I'm just saying that any piece of programming can be improved and updated, so be glad that BD players don't need a visit to the shop for their updates.

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post #54 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 09:08 AM
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So here we are 3 years later, and it is still not time to pull the trigger on a blu-ray player?

I was about to order the sammy 1500 because its so cheap, but it seems like I would be disappointed?

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post #55 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

I was about to order the sammy 1500 because its so cheap, but it seems like I would be disappointed?

My guess is with any of the players you wouldn't be 98% of the time. I have watched well over 100 titles and have a hard time remembering two that wouldn't play for one reason or another.
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post #56 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

So here we are 3 years later, and it is still not time to pull the trigger on a blu-ray player?

I was about to order the sammy 1500 because its so cheap, but it seems like I would be disappointed?

For reasons that mystify me, I've tried a couple of different Samsung players. Can't remember the model numbers, but one was within the last couple of months....so a fairly recent model.

I've had troubles....major troubles, with both. I've heard of Samsung issues from more than one person, too. For whatever the reason, they seem to have more issues....more serious issues, than just about any other brand out there.

Of course, this isn't scientific in my assessment. Just personal experiences and observations.

But, the focus of this thread is why the PS3 works, and others don't.

Music so high you can't get over it....music so low you can't get under it!
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post #57 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

So here we are 3 years later, and it is still not time to pull the trigger on a blu-ray player?

I was about to order the sammy 1500 because its so cheap, but it seems like I would be disappointed?

If it's not time now it will never be time. We bought a Panny BD30 (which you can get real cheap right now BTW) and it has played every disc (standard or Blu-Ray) that we've placed in the tray, first try every time. Don't know about the Samsung, probably a good player, but ours is a pretty cheap player and it works great!
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post #58 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

It's only SPAM if it's implemented incorrectly. Such as with TiVo I can click on Music, Photos, Products, & More or Showcases & TV Guide to see all kinds of stuff. Such as free downloads of the new fall shows before they are aired. I have to go looking for it as such I wouldn't consider it SPAM.

On players I can see a menu option for movie trailers just like on the Apple TV. If you don't go there fine... if you do you get the chance to view virtually any trailer you desire (as long as it's by the same studio).

Nice dream. It's fine to imagine that everyone you buy a disc from will use those capabilities in only the ways you approve of but there ain't a thing in the world gonna stop them from SPAMming us. I have two words to illustrate the point...

Forced
Trailers

Enough said? A forced trailer is a low-tech form of SPAM. Given them more technology will result in more SPAM.
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post #59 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 11:51 AM
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First and foremost, I would like to thank "thebland" on starting this thread. This discussion is long over due.

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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post

One could say the same thing about computers and Windows.

A Blu-Ray player is a computer that has more running than the average PC of a few years ago.

Unfortunately, many software bugs aren't found until someone uses the operating system in a new and previously untested way, and then boom.

This did happen with DVDs as well, but it was much more rare.

Worse yet, when it did happen with DVDs, the player usually needed to be sent back to the manufacturer to have a new ROM chip installed.

IMO, the blue ray player,as it stands today, is simply a dedicated graphics computer with still no standards between the hardware ("Consumer Electronics ") and software ("The Blue ray movie") manufactures.

As new software requirements are implement in the blue ray world, the more the hardware has to perform. Therefore, when a failure occurs, the hardware manufacture has to write firmware to allow the hardware to perform the task instructed by the software, if it can be done.

Is this an acceptable practice for the consumer to bear? NO. The real majority of consumers just wants to put the disc in the unit and watch the movie. There will be times a firmware will have to be installed, but not like what is happening now.

I call upon the blue ray association to sit down and rethink their goals and have better communication between the hardware and software designers. If the software side just performs the testing on the PS3, then that is wrong because not everybody has a PS3 hooked up to a home theater.

Otherwise, the IP solution will over take blue ray media. It is just a matter of time until they establish better audio (dts-hd and dolby TrueHD). Receivers are getting cheaper with the advance audio codices.
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post #60 of 210 Old 10-26-2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrSQ View Post

So here we are 3 years later, and it is still not time to pull the trigger on a blu-ray player?

I was about to order the sammy 1500 because its so cheap, but it seems like I would be disappointed?


I have to both agree and disagree with you.

I myself have still did not pulled the trigger, and now with Bond films being a big issue. I have to hold off just a little longer. I was looking forward to the new Pioneer Elite 05 unit.

However, the real issue is the requirements of end-user, us the consumer. Their are units out their that have over 95% of success.

In my case, I want a unit that is an excellent transport and video were I can decode the audio in my receiver. The type of profile player I am looking for is another question which now has hold me from pulling the trigger.

If you want to pull the trigger now, check the Sony vs Pan sonic compassion threads. Allot of good information is out their.
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