Official Anthem BLX 200 Owner's thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 94 Old 03-25-2010, 03:27 PM
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Picked up the Anthem BLX200 recently, and am very impressed with it so far. It is VERY fast to load, and if you don't need exceptional DAC's because you send everything over HDMI anyway to a worthy processor with great DAC's, then this may be the player for you. It is certainly priced VERY reasonably, and again, speed and stability mean more to me, when using the BluRay player as a simple transport.

After several inquiries, it looks like there have not yet been any firmware updates to the BLX200 yet, but there will be in the future. They will be implemented using the USB port on the front of the unit, not thru Internet connectivity it seems. Anthem has yet to roll out their BLX200-specific website, but it is "due in March"...we'll be eager to see more details there.

So far so good, great high quality picture. More to come for sure.

-Brian
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post #32 of 94 Old 03-25-2010, 04:05 PM
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One thing I've expressed to Anthem that I'd like to see is a "source direct" option where the player would simply play whatever the native resolution of the disc is...instead, you have to choose HDMI Auto or an explicit resolution. HDMI auto means that the player will use whatever the connected device can handle at top end, which of course in the case of the D2v is 1080p/24, as with other processors. But the point is that there are plenty of concert BluRay's that are encoded at 1080i/60, and I want the player to output that native rate automatically to the D2v and then have the D2v use its Gennum scaler to deinterlace that itself, not have the player do it. I can achieve this, but you have to change the output setting then when you're playing those discs to 1080i in the BLX200 menus. No source direct option like the old Pioneer I came from.

Maybe they'll add this as a feature in future firmware. Just thought I'd note it.

-Brian
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post #33 of 94 Old 03-25-2010, 05:04 PM
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Brian: Thanks for your observations. I'm going to go ahead and merge the two threads.

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post #34 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 04:10 AM
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Brian,
Since you have had more time to use the BLX 200, can you provide further feedback on how it is playing BDs from different studios? How is the audio/video quality and how is the build quality of this player?
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post #35 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon Malik View Post

Brian,
Since you have had more time to use the BLX 200, can you provide further feedback on how it is playing BDs from different studios? How is the audio/video quality and how is the build quality of this player?

Build quality is outstanding, solid construction. It is small in depth, which gives me more room behind the device for cables, etc. so I actually like that! The video quality here is outstanding, and I have not noticed any differences between different studios. I also have not had a problem playing any discs to date. The most important difference to me is the speed of this transport, it is lightning fast, night and day difference from the Pioneers out there. Again, for me, that is important. Other people might not care so much about it. This is a great transport if you're using HDMI output and sending it to a preamp/processor for D/A conversion of the audio, etc. This is not the player for you if you want analog outs from your disc player. It is of course a great match to the Anthem preamps/processors (D2, AVM50, D2V, AVM50V) but would also make a great transport to any HDMI input capable preamp. It is cheap money for the speed and simplicity that had alluded me with Pioneer's machines. And you get Profile 2.0, with USB port for updates, another for downloadable Bluray content with included usb flash drive.

Very happy I didn't go spending 2 grand on some inflated BluRay player that is trying to be all things to all people. This box is a transport, period. It knows what it should be doing, and does it VERY well for VERY cheap money.

Hope that helps,
Brian
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post #36 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 09:15 AM
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I have had the player for 2 months now, connected to a Anthem D2v. The only 2 things I miss, is the direct source option and illuminated remote control! The latter is important when you have dimmed all lights watching a movie...

The source direct was a disappointment, since the D2v is outstanding. The problem is that I seldom is bothered to change the output everytime, but the picture is of course ok from the BLX 200.

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post #37 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan View Post

I own it, just got it hooked up. It's very simple, fast as hell, onscreen GUI is well done, but I need more time with it to judge the quality of audio/video. I am coming from having a Pioneer 94HD, which was decent, but dog slow, and couldn't handle DTS HD MA.

To Saturn, to correct you, this player does indeed decode all available audio formats, or if you prefer, will send them bitstream to be unpacked and decoded in for instance the D2V or other capable processor. As noted by others though, this must be HDMI, no analog connects here. Why the heck would I want my transport converting to analog? I want my transport to grab 1's and 0's and be a good, fast transport. I have other components for that.

-Brian

That's fine for those who have a HDMI processor. I do not (Anthem AVM20), so my options are to connect using digital coax (no lossless codecs available) or to have the player convert audio to multichannel analog.

Frankly, at $799 I think the Anthem is too expensive given the lack of key features (at least for me) such as quality multichannel analog outputs and source direct mode for video. There are other quality BD players that offer this and more at much lower prices, and if all that's required is a fast transport, then the Anthem seems even more overpriced.

Just my opinion.

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post #38 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 10:07 AM
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I am still looking for a quality transport and with today tecnology shouldn't cost a leg and an arm. The BR players in general should perform the same if properly implemented. Same in regard to audio when bitstreamed. So, I would pay this kind of money for a player that makes functionality one of the priorities, low noise, smooth operations, good looking are ok, easy to operate, good remote control, etc...
This one looks good BUT it doesn't have sorce direct and thus is it not a real transport as far as I am concerned. I hope that the folks at anthem are reading this.
Then, if it had netflix streaming capability it would be even more appealing to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan View Post

Build quality is outstanding, solid construction. It is small in depth, which gives me more room behind the device for cables, etc. so I actually like that! The video quality here is outstanding, and I have not noticed any differences between different studios. I also have not had a problem playing any discs to date. The most important difference to me is the speed of this transport, it is lightning fast, night and day difference from the Pioneers out there. Again, for me, that is important. Other people might not care so much about it. This is a great transport if you're using HDMI output and sending it to a preamp/processor for D/A conversion of the audio, etc. This is not the player for you if you want analog outs from your disc player. It is of course a great match to the Anthem preamps/processors (D2, AVM50, D2V, AVM50V) but would also make a great transport to any HDMI input capable preamp. It is cheap money for the speed and simplicity that had alluded me with Pioneer's machines. And you get Profile 2.0, with USB port for updates, another for downloadable Bluray content with included usb flash drive.

Very happy I didn't go spending 2 grand on some inflated BluRay player that is trying to be all things to all people. This box is a transport, period. It knows what it should be doing, and does it VERY well for VERY cheap money.

Hope that helps,
Brian

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post #39 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan View Post

Build quality is outstanding, solid construction. It is small in depth, which gives me more room behind the device for cables, etc. so I actually like that! The video quality here is outstanding, and I have not noticed any differences between different studios. I also have not had a problem playing any discs to date. The most important difference to me is the speed of this transport, it is lightning fast, night and day difference from the Pioneers out there. Again, for me, that is important. Other people might not care so much about it. This is a great transport if you're using HDMI output and sending it to a preamp/processor for D/A conversion of the audio, etc. This is not the player for you if you want analog outs from your disc player. It is of course a great match to the Anthem preamps/processors (D2, AVM50, D2V, AVM50V) but would also make a great transport to any HDMI input capable preamp. It is cheap money for the speed and simplicity that had alluded me with Pioneer's machines. And you get Profile 2.0, with USB port for updates, another for downloadable Bluray content with included usb flash drive.

Very happy I didn't go spending 2 grand on some inflated BluRay player that is trying to be all things to all people. This box is a transport, period. It knows what it should be doing, and does it VERY well for VERY cheap money.

Hope that helps,
Brian

Thanks for your response Brian.

Does this player heat up? I ask this because I am in a country where the weather is generally hot and I have noticed that Blu-Ray players run warmer than DVD players and this can cause problems sometimes.

Secondly, does this player have the capability to shift the subtitles on to the main movie area like the Oppo for CIH systems?
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post #40 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 12:34 PM
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Guys, I completely agree on the disappointment at lack of Source Direct. This should be something fixable in software, and I will contact Anthem to see if they could include this in an update. This is the one area that drives me nuts on this player.

Outside of that, I will only tell you that the player can be had for 599 from most dealers, not 799. So let's give it its due...for cheap money, this is a great transport...anyone without HDMI input on the receiver side should move on, this is NOT the player for you...how many times do I have to say that? Geesh guys, go get some analog playing wonder-player, nothing to see here, keep moving :-) There's the Marantz, the Pioneer's, the Denon, whatever. Some of us like our D-to-A done elsewhere and are perfectly happy with a single cable HDMI connection from our BluRay player.

If I'm not being clear, please let me know.
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post #41 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon Malik View Post

Thanks for your response Brian.

Does this player heat up? I ask this because I am in a country where the weather is generally hot and I have noticed that Blu-Ray players run warmer than DVD players and this can cause problems sometimes.

Secondly, does this player have the capability to shift the subtitles on to the main movie area like the Oppo for CIH systems?

It barely heats up at all, even after hours of playing in a sun-drenched room. I like that, because the rack space I have for this unit is fairly limited on ventilation. As for moving subtitles around, no, it cannot do that, at least today.

-Brian
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post #42 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

That's fine for those who have a HDMI processor. I do not (Anthem AVM20), so my options are to connect using digital coax (no lossless codecs available) or to have the player convert audio to multichannel analog.

Frankly, at $799 I think the Anthem is too expensive given the lack of key features (at least for me) such as quality multichannel analog outputs and source direct mode for video. There are other quality BD players that offer this and more at much lower prices, and if all that's required is a fast transport, then the Anthem seems even more overpriced.

Just my opinion.

Again, this player is NOT for you....move on. Don't try to take a hammer and make it a screwdriver. This is not the tool for you. Can I say it any clearer? You need to check out the Pioneer's, the Sony's, the Denon's, or the Marantz's...this player is not 799 btw, subtract about 200 from that. Again, even if it were 5 bucks, this is not the player for you. You need high quality analog outputs, look elsewhere. Thank you.
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post #43 of 94 Old 04-08-2010, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan View Post

Again, this player is NOT for you....move on. Don't try to take a hammer and make it a screwdriver. This is not the tool for you. Can I say it any clearer? You need to check out the Pioneer's, the Sony's, the Denon's, or the Marantz's...this player is not 799 btw, subtract about 200 from that. Again, even if it were 5 bucks, this is not the player for you. You need high quality analog outputs, look elsewhere. Thank you.

My, aren't we a bit testy today!

As an owner of an Anthem processor I didn't think it would be so unreasonable to expect Anthem to release a BD player that would play well with my AVM20.

Sorry to disturb you......I'm out of here........

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post #44 of 94 Old 04-11-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan View Post

It barely heats up at all, even after hours of playing in a sun-drenched room. I like that, because the rack space I have for this unit is fairly limited on ventilation. As for moving subtitles around, no, it cannot do that, at least today.

-Brian

The player running cool is a good thing. The space I have will give the player a lot of breathing space but the temperatures can get hot and humid and sometimes the air-conditioning is not on so that was a concern for me. At this point it is important than the subtitle feature which I am sure the Anthem team will update in a future update.

I will try to get an audition and see what can be done. Thanks again for your helpful feedback Brian. I appreciate it.
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post #45 of 94 Old 04-17-2010, 08:16 PM
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Hello all.
I have recently purchased Anthem's BLX 200 blu ray player. It had been running beautifully until I tried to watch "The Hurt Locker". The video was fine, but there was a problem with the audio. The intro for the studio logo had audio, and so did the main menu. None of the previews or the film itself had any audio though. I thought it might have been that particular disc, so I went back to Blockbuster and exchanged it for another. No difference. All other blu ray discs and DVDs have worked fine with the BLX so far.

Any ideas? I was thinking it my be a compatibility issue with the audio codecs or something, but that wouldn't really explain why there was audio for the intro and menu.
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post #46 of 94 Old 04-17-2010, 09:46 PM
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The Hurt Locker is DTS-HD Master Audio. It sounds like your AVR only decodes Dolby Digital. Secondary Audio is DD 2.0. That would explain menus and intro.
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post #47 of 94 Old 04-17-2010, 11:35 PM
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That's a bummer. Still doesn't make sense to me though. I'm running an AVM 40 which I thought handled all DTS formats. I'll check with Anthem and get back to you.
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post #48 of 94 Old 04-18-2010, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheForgotten View Post

That's a bummer. Still doesn't make sense to me though. I'm running an AVM 40 which I thought handled all DTS formats. I'll check with Anthem and get back to you.

It looks like the AVM 40 does not support HD audio codecs:

"Underneath the AVM40 are both front and rear views of the new Anthem D2v audio/video preamp/processor. The Anthem D2v incorporates several advanced features, many of which are not included on the AVM40, such as:

1. A total of Eight HDMI inputs.

2. Two HDMI outputs.

3. Meets HDMI 1.3c specifications.

4. Up to 36 bit color processing.

5. VXP Video processing, deinterlacing, and scaling.

6. Decoding of all HD audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

7. Inclusion of both Balanced (XLR) and standard analog and digital audio output connections. "



Article
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post #49 of 94 Old 04-18-2010, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Wow, I guess there really isn't much interest in this player!

Given Anthem's reputation for excellent products and service, I'm quite surprised.

Why? Most need only 1080P24 and lossless - all digital and via HDMI. You do not need to spend a lot or go with a smaller brand to get a great picture and sound. $300 is all the average person needs to get near the top in performance.

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

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post #50 of 94 Old 04-22-2010, 05:45 PM
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You're shooting blanks here. You can't be better than accurate when it comes to digital video. Digital video is 1s and 0s PERIOD. And the player can read and convert the data accurately or not.

These kinds of arguments made by aspiring engineers who are the second coming of Stephen Hawking drive me batty. If all that was required for perfect video playback was an "accurate" rendering of the digital bitstream, then just go to Radio Shack and get the cheapest blu-ray player they have. Because the power supply doesn't matter, video scaling doesn't matter, shielding the components inside from noise and RF doesn't matter. Just reproduce the 1's and 0's in the right order and you have perfection! Well, no.

So please aspiring Einstein's with a degree in 'forum reading' but no firsthand knowledge of the subjective and objective differences between high performance components, refrain from this tired ole "it's just 1's and 0's" bit (no pun intended). Put a cheap Samsung blu-ray player against an Oppo BDP-83 or Pioneer Elite BDP-09 and tell me there aren't PAINFULLY OBVIOUS differences. I understand that the engineers out there will rest comfortably with their science and bypass any real world testing, but the rest of you doubters, just compare and be enlightened.
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post #51 of 94 Old 05-11-2010, 05:33 AM
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I have had my BLX 200 for a few weeks now and I am very satisfied with the picture, the sound and the speed of operation. However, I have discovered a problem which is a bit annoying. When I play DVD´s the following problems occurs:

Problem no. 1

I push the PAUSE button and that works fine. When I push the button once more to start the DVD, a "blopp" or a "scratch" comes out of the right speakers. It is not very loud, but it should not be like that.

Problem no. 2

I use the Fast forward button and that works fine. When I push the START button to play in normal speed, a loud "scratch" comes out of all the speakers. This is a much louder sound than specified under Problem no. 1.

Have any of you owners experienced the same problem? My dealer lent me another BLX 200 and I experienced just the same problems with that one so I guess this could concern all BLX 200 players. Or am I wrong?
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post #52 of 94 Old 05-11-2010, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Issen View Post

I have had my BLX 200 for a few weeks now and I am very satisfied with the picture, the sound and the speed of operation. However, I have discovered a problem which is a bit annoying. When I play DVD´s the following problems occurs:

Problem no. 1

I push the PAUSE button and that works fine. When I push the button once more to start the DVD, a "blopp" or a "scratch" comes out of the right speakers. It is not very loud, but it should not be like that.

Problem no. 2

I use the Fast forward button and that works fine. When I push the START button to play in normal speed, a loud "scratch" comes out of all the speakers. This is a much louder sound than specified under Problem no. 1.

Have any of you owners experienced the same problem? My dealer lent me another BLX 200 and I experienced just the same problems with that one so I guess this could concern all BLX 200 players. Or am I wrong?

Hmmm, I've never experienced this myself, but I don't play DVD's on the unit ever, only BluRay's. I too continue to be very satisfied with this unit, very fast and very consistently excellent picture quality. I have let Anthem know that we'd like to see a real "native" video output rate where the output is exactly whatever the input software resolution is natively. That would be similar to the Pioneer option that has existed since their first BluRay players.

As for your issue, I would recommend you report it to Anthem via their Tech Support group (call or email them, they are very responsive). I have confirmed that there will be new firmware periodically for this unit, installable thru USB input on the front of the unit, so if they know about the problem they can address it. Anthem has a strong history of doing so.

Sorry to hear you're dealing with that issue. Let us know what Anthem says about it.

-Brian
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post #53 of 94 Old 05-11-2010, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for a quick reply. I´m impressed.

It´s not a big problem, really. I usually play DVD´s, but pausing and fast forwarding are not every day issues. I had played a lot of DVD´s before I discovered the problem. My dealer offered me money back or another BluRay player, but at that time I had "fallen in love" with the BLX 200 so there was no way back.

Thanks for your suggestion concerning contacting Anthem. I´ll try that.

Have a nice day.
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post #54 of 94 Old 05-15-2010, 04:45 PM
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Hello
Just curious what processor or receiver you are using with the BLX 200. I'm using an Anthem AVM 50v and having the same issues when switching chapters or making other changes. I tried a different BluRay player and don't seem to have the problem. Anthem Tech support has spent lots of time communicating and when I did a firmware update on the AVM 50v and activated Dolby Volume the noises subsided a bit but are still present. Really annoying. I bought both the processor and BluRay player about 6 weeks ago and had done lots of homework on the AVM 50 but bought the BluRay player purely on the Anthem reputation. I wish I'd followed my initial instinct and gone for the Oppo bdp 83. The BLX 200 plays and sounds great but nasty noises when making changes to chapters or tracks or whatever is a real piss off with an expensive player.
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post #55 of 94 Old 05-16-2010, 12:11 PM
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My receiver is an Onkyo TX-SR707. I have also tried another BruRay player and I had no problem with that one. That was a Marantz BD-7004.

Of course, no BluRay player should have trouble with simple operations like pausing and fast forwarding, etc. I have therefore been in contact with technical support at Anthem. They are, as you will know, aware of the problem and are waiting for a firmware update. We can only cross our fingers and hope this will solve the problem.

Of course this problem should not excist, but on the other hand, I must say I am very happy with the sound and picture, and, maybe most of all the quick operation when loading discs, openening the disc drawer etc. All the other players I have tried are really slow compared to the BLX 200. This is not an excuse for the trouble we have with the player, but for me it is a very good reason for keeping it. Pausing and starting, fast forwarding and back to normal are not often done in my home theatre. Loading and unloading discs I do very often. But that is my world. Other owners have other preferences.
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post #56 of 94 Old 05-16-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
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My receiver is an Onkyo TX-SR707. I have also tried another BruRay player and I had no problem with that one. That was a Marantz BD-7004.

Of course, no BluRay player should have trouble with simple operations like pausing and fast forwarding, etc. I have therefore been in contact with technical support at Anthem. They are, as you will know, aware of the problem and are waiting for a firmware update. We can only cross our fingers and hope this will solve the problem.

Of course this problem should not excist, but on the other hand, I must say I am very happy with the sound and picture, and, maybe most of all the quick operation when loading discs, openening the disc drawer etc. All the other players I have tried are really slow compared to the BLX 200. This is not an excuse for the trouble we have with the player, but for me it is a very good reason for keeping it. Pausing and starting, fast forwarding and back to normal are not often done in my home theatre. Loading and unloading discs I do very often. But that is my world. Other owners have other preferences.

Very well said. I think we need a firmware update soon to address these little nagging issues...I am confident that will happen. Until then, I continue to enjoy the speed and great quality of this transport.
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post #57 of 94 Old 09-15-2010, 12:10 PM
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Has Anthem mentioned a firmware to add VIDEO SOURCE DIRECT or do they have to replace BLX-200 with a new model???
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post #58 of 94 Old 09-15-2010, 08:51 PM
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I spoke with them earlier in the week and they said there are no immediate plans for a firmware update. Nice. It's beginning to have trouble with some new discs and there have been reliability problems already with the hardware. Not like the Anthem I'm used to dealing with.
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post #59 of 94 Old 09-16-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amblinfan View Post

I spoke with them earlier in the week and they said there are no immediate plans for a firmware update. Nice. It's beginning to have trouble with some new discs and there have been reliability problems already with the hardware. Not like the Anthem I'm used to dealing with.

Interesting. What new discs is it having trouble with? If we can pinpoint specific titles, Anthem is more likely to do something about it. But I agree, we desperately need a Source Video Direct-like feature on this player...ie, play exactly what the native video rate of the disc is....

-Brian
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post #60 of 94 Old 09-29-2010, 08:37 AM
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We have now had 3 different players break in a matter of months. They just stop playing blu ray's all of a sudden. Just spits them out and the same thing has happened 3 times. Nice.
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