Originally Posted by boobtube
to complete my ht system, i need to purchase a blu-ray.
my system consists of:
panasonic plasma g-15, pioneer elite sc-05, as well as 5 b&w speakers...six, if you count the sub.
my budget is about 500 bucks. i listen to music about 60 % and the rest movies.
for whatever reasons, i've narrowed my search down to either Panasonic or Pioneer bdp-fd23...or the step below.
please give me your thoughts. it seems i should stick with panasonic because that's who makes my tv....or....should i stick with pioneer since they make my a/v receiver?
I would try to avoid blind brand loyalties and buy based on the specific features, performance, and build-quality you're looking for within your budget range. One thing to remember for ALL audio formats over HDMI to your AVR, the player is just a digital transport sending bit-for-bit digital signal (decoded or bitstream, lossy or lossless, PCM or DSD). Does your music listening include much, or any, SACD and/or DVD-A? If so, you'll probably want to either strongly consider the Oppo, or supplement a video-oriented BD player with a seperate SACD/DVD-A player. The two-player approach could give you similar results at a much lower price point...
A combination of Samsung P2550 ($225ish refurbished) or JVC BP1 ($199, HHGregg) along with something like an Onkyo SP504 for DVD-A and SACD ($120 refurbished, AC4L) would give you a solid digital transport for BD audio & video along with top-notch Reon HQV scaling/deinterlacing for DVD and a capable digital transport for DVD-A and SACD... all for $320 - $350. The only single-player solution in a similar price-range is the Oppo BDP-83 at $499... it might do a marginally better job with DVD scaling, especially noise reduction, but on a smaller display like yours I really doubt you'll see the difference. It'll also have a more solid build on which you can place your own value assessment.
If your audio needs don't include SACD and DVD-A, any BD player will perform just as well as a digital transport. Features, video performance, speed, and build quality should be your only concerns. I would still pick the P2550 as the absolute best PQ value for DVD scaling along with a solid feature set, and the BP1 as nearly as good, probably indistinguishable on smaller screens, while being cheap and extremely fast. I don't think the Pioneer 320 and FD23 offers anything more for the money and, while they do a great job for a proprietary DVD scaler/deinterlacer, I'd still give the edge to the P2550's Reon HQV implementation. I'm honestly not sure I'd personally consider the Panasonic at all... it's solid, but doesn't seem to offer anything distinct either in features, speed, performance, or value. If you happen to be brand-match OCD then I guess I'd go for one of the Pioneers because they're pretty