Samsung BD-6500 vs. Sony BDP-S570: A first-hand account - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-13-2010, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently picked up both the Samsung BD-6500 and the Sony BDP-BX57 (Sam's Club version of the BDP-S570) with the intent of trying them both and returning the one I didn't want to keep. I figured I would share my experience here for the benefit of others.

Samsung BD-6500

What I liked:

* Picture quality! Fantastic detail and color in material rendered from Blu-Ray, DVD, and streaming formats. I did notice that it could struggle noticeably when rendering images from a lower quality source (SD streaming, badly transferred DVDs, etc.), but the Sony did as well, and the Samsung certainly looked superior when given good source material.

* Downloadable content - I like the idea of the Samsung "app store" where additional content can be downloaded. For example, the machine didn't come with Blockbuster loaded, but I was able to download and use the Blockbuster app immediately.

* Vudu - Samsung has Vudu, and Vudu has hands-down the best HD streaming I've seen (1080p when streaming their "HDX" format).

* Netflix - Samsung has the more enhanced Netflix interface that allows more on-screen browsing and searching. Nothing I couldn't live without, but it is a very nice-to-have.

* Navigation options - Samsung has forward/reverse in seven different speeds - good for quickly scanning through a whole movie or rewinding just a few seconds to catch a missed line of dialog.

* Box look-and-feel - yes, the box seems to be all plastic. Nice plastic, but all plastic. That doesn't really matter that much to me. What I like are the sleek "touch pad" buttons on the front and the (to my mind) pleasing display. Very clean lines throughout.

* Remote - large, with large, easy-to-read buttons. Works for me...

* 7.1 analog outs - not useful to me, but I'm sure others require this for their setups.

What I didn't like:

* Slow! The Samsung thing is a crawler compared with the Sony. Everything feels like it takes forever, from boot up to navigating to simple tasks like entering text from the remote or skipping chapters/FF/RW. Slow to connect to Wifi, slow to load a disc, and slow to respond to the remote. Slow!

* Wireless connections are a nightmare. Has trouble connecting, and even occasionally has trouble staying connected. When I first got the player, I used it with a Wireless G router. I had to enter my wifi password every time I turned the player off and on, and the data stream seemed to be slow. So I bought a newer Wireless N router, which solved the data stream problem, but now connecting is even harder than before, and the connection gets dropped more often (once every three or four sessions). Sometimes it works when I type in the password, sometimes it works when I use WPS, and sometimes it just never works at all. Ugh!

* Streaming problems - may be related to the poor wireless connections, but I've experienced some audio problems when streaming HD. Usually these manifest as a low volume, low range soundtrack accompanying the picture. Have not experienced similar audio streaming problems with the Sony.

Sony BDP-BX57/S570

What I liked:

* Fast! This machine screams when it comes to speed. I never experienced any lag, whether I was navigating menus or trying to freeze-frame on a favorite scene. Very responsive, quick to load discs and quick to connect to the wireless network. Great ease of use!

* Streaming - the Sony quickly connects to the wireless network every time I turn it on and I have never experienced any streaming problems. Many fewer headaches than the Samsung.

* Apps - lots of good apps, including Amazon VOD and Hulu+. No Vudu, however, and only a basic interface for Netflix.

* 3D - not something I plan on using any time soon, but nice to have for someday.

What I didn't like:

* Picture quality - the picture was noticeably softer and less detailed than the Samsung, and the colors less rich. The Sony did as well or better than the Samsung when it came to poorly transfered DVDs and SD streaming content, but couldn't keep up when it came to HD streaming and reference level Blu-Rays and DVDs.

* FF/RW navigation - only three speeds for forward and reverse. Three. Really? Is it that hard to provide a few more speed options for those of us who like to move around a lot? This is so frustrating that it's almost a deal-killer for me...

* Box look and feel - the good news is that the box is made of both metal and plastic. The bad news is, it looks kinda cheap (to my eyes). I may have been seduced by Samsung's flashy flat-front with touch sensitive areas instead of buttons and large display, but Sony has opted for a really utilitarian look, with tiny little buttons along a beveled edge and a lackluster display. Certainly not a deal-killer, but it seems like they could have put a little more into presentation there...

* Remote - like the box, kinda small, utilitarian, and hard to read, but again, not a deal-killer.

Final thoughts

I still haven't decided which I'm going to keep, and I need to decide soon, as my return window is closing, lol!

I should note that I've experienced a few random glitches with both players when playing back DVDs - nothing consistently reproducible, but they both seem to have their challenges occasionally.

If I were only interested in watching Blu-Rays and DVDs, I would probably keep the Samsung, despite its speed issues. However, since I'm also looking for a capable streaming box, I need something that provides a more stable wireless connection without any additional investment. When it works, it does a great job, but it's certainly not consistent.

The Sony is a rock-solid piece of equipment that inspires confidence. Everything seems to work and work consistently and smoothly. That alone makes me want to keep it, but then I remember that it falls noticeably behind the Samsung when it comes to picture quality, even on streamed material.

So those are my thoughts, for what they're worth. Hope others find them useful. I'll update when I make my decision, when I discover something new, or if I am able to fix any of the aforementioned problems.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-13-2010, 04:35 PM
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Nice post, I just went through this over the "Black Friday" weekend. I bought both players from a chain store, knowing I could take one back that I did not like.

I agree with your post on both and found the same issues.

The streaming issue was really making me made on the samsung. In the end I know I will not stream much at all really, but if I wanted to I want it to work well.

I was mainly after better picture quality (As close to the OPPO I could get) and the samsung was hands down the winning here by a long way in my theater. The picture is sooooo crisp and color is excellent. A friend has the Oppo 83 and it was right on par for Blu-Ray looks exactly the same. (did not test reg DVD's.)

One thing I found better on the Samsung also was the sound output. It seemed clearing then the current Sony I have or the 570 by a nice difference. Just seemed better out of the Onkyo. (808 Model)

I have to admit the speed of the sony was addicting though LOL. It loads sooooo fast it shocked me.

So in the end I took them both back and bought the Samsung 6900 for only $48 dollars more then the 6500.

The speed of the 6900 seems dead on with the Sony, I could not tell a difference and I got the picture quality I was looking for.

To me it seemed the best trade off for the extra cost, plus for some reason it sounds better too.

EDIT:
On the streaming issue, I had built a LAN line to the home theater for my old blu-ray player as it was not wireless. So the wireless part was not an issue....not a real fix for the samsung honestly. The LAN line sure seems better for picture then the wireless was when I had it going.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-13-2010, 08:41 PM
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I'm holding out for CES since I want a Sony box (for XMB navigation) with searchable Netflix, WiFi-N, and hopefully a sub-$180 price tag. That or another PS3 revision with WiFi-N and rear usb.

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post #4 of 13 Old 12-14-2010, 09:15 AM
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I came upon a video on youtube for a Sony blu ray player. It's S770, not S570, but I am floored by the Netflix app shown, and I wondered if all the Sonys had the same app that's shown in the s770 video (starts at 3min in). Please tell me it doesn't only show the Instant Queue, does it show other categories like Recently watched, plus other genres? I love the way that it lists the movie title, time elapsed, and the fast fowarding bar.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpcw7WmdugM

I've had an Insignia blu ray for nearly a year, and have enjoyed using it for NF, but it's starting to feel rather kludgey and I've been wanting to step up to something more zipper after using an Xbox for a couple of months (I sold it). I've been leaning towards a Roku, but I do like the convenience of dealing with a single unit for moving from, say, watching a video on USB, to streaming from Netflix.

Dazed and confused over high tech.

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-14-2010, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westly-C View Post

I came upon a video on youtube for a Sony blu ray player. It's S770, not S570, but I am floored by the Netflix app shown, and I wondered if all the Sonys had the same app that's shown in the s770 video (starts at 3min in). Please tell me it doesn't only show the Instant Queue, does it show other categories like Recently watched, plus other genres?

The Netflix interface in the video is identical to the interface on the S570 and only shows the Instant Queue. The Samsung 6500 has the more advanced interface with different menu options.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-14-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djironic View Post

The Netflix interface in the video is identical to the interface on the S570 and only shows the Instant Queue. The Samsung 6500 has the more advanced interface with different menu options.

For Netflix or in general?

Dan M
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-14-2010, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djironic View Post

The Netflix interface in the video is identical to the interface on the S570 and only shows the Instant Queue. The Samsung 6500 has the more advanced interface with different menu options.

Thank you. Well, it figures. The mythical 'do most of what you what' box eludes us yet again. At least, at a price I'm willing to go for. I wish I could get a look at the Samsung's NF app, and general User Interface. None so far on youtube. It really does sound like it may be what I'm looking for.

It seems the PS3 remains the winner in this catagory, but since I'm mostly interested in streaming Netflix, and from the pc, the PS3 would be overkill.

Dazed and confused over high tech.

Sigh...Concrap. The Internet Overlord Cometh
They're not com-tastic!
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djm3801 View Post
For Netflix or in general?
For Netflix. The Sony only displays what's in your Instant Queue. The Samsung allows you to browse and search (though much more limited than on the Web site).
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm continuing to play with the two players, and there's just no denying - Sony wins hands-down for ease of use; Samsung for image quality (BD, DVD, and Streaming).

It sucks to have to choose between the two. :-(
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djironic View Post
For Netflix. The Sony only displays what's in your Instant Queue. The Samsung allows you to browse and search (though much more limited than on the Web site).

Could you explain how the Netflix search is more limited than on the web site? Thanks.

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post #11 of 13 Old 12-17-2010, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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The Netflix Web site offers many more options for browsing and/or searching, as well as displaying more titles on each page.

The Samsung interface is much simpler, shows fewer genres (I wish they offered an HD genre for browsing, for example), and shows fewer titles per screen. All of the titles are accessible, of course, just not a quick to find as through a Web browser.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update: I've changed my position on the remotes, lol.

After using both, I find Sony's remote to be both more simple and more intuitive. Fewer buttons and well placed. Once I figured out the various FF/RW functions, it's much easier to use to navigate through a disc than the Samsung's remote, which is, again, hamstrung by the machine's slow operational responsiveness.

At this point, the only advantages I see to the Samsung is it's picture quality (which is, granted, a pretty big deal), it's more advanced Netflix interface, and the Vudu and Blockbuster apps (though it lacks the Amazon VOD and Hulu+ on the Sony, so it's pretty much a wash).

Slightly lesser picture quality aside, the Sony is just being so much easier to get along with.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-16-2011, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for pointing me to this thread D!!! Very nice comparison between these two players. Looks like prices are falling pretty quick on these. I snagged a 570 for $150.00 at Target cuz Wally was out of stock.
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