Which dual-format player is the best? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone seen or done a comparison of all the current dual format players out there? I currently own an A3 and a A30, but no Blu-ray yet. I would like to get rid of the A3 and buy a dual format player, but I am new to these types of players. Basically want something that supports BD Live/Profile 2.0, HDMI 1.3, has ethernet, and would be nice if it was hackable too.
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 06:16 AM
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Neither supports BD-Live or internal DTS-HD HR/MA decoding. Both have HDMI 1.3 and Ethernet. The only dual player that lacks support for online HD DVD extras is the BH100. (However, some of them have Ethernet ports!) There are like 10 threads on this forum about this.

Advantages of the BH200
Region free SD DVD hacks
Roughly region interchangeable (but not region free in the purest sense) Blu-Ray hacks
USB port for firmware updates, memory expansion and playing multimedia files (mp3 and wma)
Longer factory warranty (1 yr vs 90 days)
There was a time when many felt LG's support was better, now the ball may actually be in Samsung's court


Advantages of the BD-UP5000
Reon video processing (but the QDEO on the BH200 is no slouch)
7.1 multichannel analog outs

Both players have issues with various (usually newer) Blu-Ray and (usually obscure, non mainstream) HD DVD discs.

Unlike your A3 and A30, the two players listed above have no deinterlacing issues while scaling SD DVD's or playing HD content at 1080p60.
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post #3 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 11:48 AM
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I owned both and find the BH-200 better in overall customer support. When it get right down to it....it comes down to which company will stand behind their product when issues come up.

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post #4 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 12:41 PM
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I have both the LG BH200 and the Sammy 5K.

Both are great players. Both have their issues -- but considering how many disc they both play flawlessly, I don't consider it a major problem.

If I had to say which player was better, I have to go with the Samsung. The build quality seems a little sturdier than the LG. The picture quality I find with the Samsung is a lot better on both Blu-ray and HD DVD vs. the LG. The image has more "pop" and seems smoother overall. It's also nice to have the analog audio outs and the REON processing with the Sammy.

Personally, it doesn't really matter to me if BD-Live is ever able to work with the LG (although if promised, it should be added for those who want or need it). I just wish that both players were able to be "future friendly" with support of AVCHD or BD-R capability. At least the LG April firmware supports it -- but since it's been dropped, little good it will do further down the road.

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post #5 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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Very fair thread so far. I would say only those who have owned and used both extensively can honestly answer the question and, it goes without saying but, YMMV. I own both but the BH200 is in backup status at the moment and I've only used it for all of 1 hour so far.
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 04:49 PM
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I also agree with the PQ of the Sammy 5000. However, I have a problem with a company that rush a product to the market with as much problems as the 5000 has. One thing I can say is if your player is under warranty for parts most of the labor is under 86 bucks.

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post #7 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, excellent feedback so far, thanks guys! I am leaning more towards the LG because of warranty and more hacks available, and I don't care about Reon processing. Curious... why would I need 7.1 analog out on the Sammy if I am using HDMI?

The one thing keeping me at bay right now are all of the issues with playing newer discs. Maybe I would be better off selling my A3 and A30 and getting a Xbox360 for HD-DVD and a PS3 for Blu-Ray? At least then I would also be getting game systems, LOL.

But seriously, all I really want is a reliable player that won't break and will play all discs without issues, at a price of around $150-ish. Hacks a are nice plus, but not required. I have an Onkyo SR806, so I am not too concerned about sound processing (or should I be?).
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulox View Post

But seriously, all I really want is a reliable player that won't break and will play all discs without issues, at a price of around $150-ish.

Sounds like you want an OPPO DVD player. No Blu-ray player will ever meet that requirement. As has been shown with numerous new blu-ray movie releases. Kind of like saying you want a PC that you will never have to apply hardware or software updates....or a car in which you never have to change the oil.

These new computers masquerading as a stand-alone player will require regular maintenance. Just something we will have to get used to.

I like my BH200 and have had zero of the issues seen here. Haven't played with the Samsung, but would not hesitate to buy if I was in the market.

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

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post #9 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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The Funai and associated clones have amazingly not required firmware updates yet.
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-24-2008, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivartk View Post

No Blu-ray player will ever meet that requirement. As has been shown with numerous new blu-ray movie releases. Kind of like saying you want a PC that you will never have to apply hardware or software updates....or a car in which you never have to change the oil.

I have to disagree with you. Do you know of any S-DVD player out there today that has issues playing certain discs? This is the eventual goal of BR, even if it take 2-5 years to get there...

I don't know what an OPPO player is, but I just picked up a LG Blu-Ray burner for my desktop PC, which I will probably just convert into a HTPC. The model I got actually plays HD-DVD also, so this may meet all of my needs (for now).
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-25-2008, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulox View Post

I have to disagree with you. Do you know of any S-DVD player out there today that has issues playing certain discs? This is the eventual goal of BR, even if it take 2-5 years to get there...

I suppose eventually the computer power needed for BD operation will be completely System-On-a-Chip, but it might be a long while (BDs add so much more to what can happen than a regular SD-DVD). And the Java aspect of BD authoring makes the permutations and combinations of weirdness almost endless. If the JVMs were more consistent the issue might not be so big, but Java and the JVMs have been a dog's breakfast of "universality" and "write once, run anywhere".

Quote:


I don't know what an OPPO player is, but I just picked up a LG Blu-Ray burner for my desktop PC, which I will probably just convert into a HTPC. The model I got actually plays HD-DVD also, so this may meet all of my needs (for now).

You need to check out Oppo DVD players, and their upcoming BD player. They offer outstanding performance for the price, and usually offer "universal" players (SACD, DVD-A for audio, PAL+NTSC, etc).

IMHO, YMMV,

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post #12 of 24 Old 11-25-2008, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulox View Post

I have to disagree with you. Do you know of any S-DVD player out there today that has issues playing certain discs? This is the eventual goal of BR, even if it take 2-5 years to get there...

I don't know what an OPPO player is, but I just picked up a LG Blu-Ray burner for my desktop PC, which I will probably just convert into a HTPC. The model I got actually plays HD-DVD also, so this may meet all of my needs (for now).

You also have to rremember that your comparing a player\\format that has only been out for ~3 years compared to DVD which as ~12 years. If Blu-ray is still around in about 10 years then we will probably see the same reliability with those players that we see with todays DVD players. As the Blu-ray penetration grows you will also see drops in prices (where you will see the 150 ish price tag) until then though Blu-ray players are still going to go for "premium" prices.

Until the movie companies start putting out consistant material as far as discs go, the hardware side is always goign to be playing catch up no matter which player you choose.

OPPO has long been the standard for DVD players that are "affordable" ....

to the OP if you are only going to be using HDMI then the choice is yours as it negates the benifits of the 7.1 analog outputs. Both players have their pluses and minues, its a matter of choosing which player is :best" for you which is different for everyone.

I personally have been one of the lucky ones as my BD5K has been practically flawless . There are others out ther elike me, but there are also those who have had nothing but problems. The majority of the people you will find in the forums though are those who have issues, so take any negativity with a grain of salt.

BOTH players are worthy of a purchase, in the end it may come down to price. I would takea look through the problem disc threads on both players and probably the two main stickys on both players for further insight. Good luck in your future purchase....
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 07:08 AM
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Regarding the warranty. I believe that only applies to North America. The UK for instance it's standard to get 12 months (or more) for all electrical items.
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting... just came across a Sony BDP-S350 for $149 shipped. At this price, how does the this unit compare with the OPPO players? Which model(s) OPPO should I consider?
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 12:02 PM
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I own both players and for now prefer the Samsung for PQ. The one advantage the LG has is that it runs MUCH cooler than the Sammy. You could fry an egg on the BD UP 5000, and I feel like I'm going to burn my fingers when I remove a disc. I hope this doesn't have an effect on the player's longevity. I hat the thought of replacing the thing.

To be fair, my comparison is not quite Kosher, as the TV I have the Sammy hooked up to is superior to the TV the LG is connected to. When I upgrade the other TV I'll do a true A/B comparison, but that will likely have to wait until next summer.

By the way, both players humiliate a PS3 for picture quality on SD DVD's. I only use the PS3 on blu ray discs that either player has trouble with ( of course I'm also a gamer, so the PS3 has other uses as well). The most recent was the Hulk, which on the Samsung demonstrated a lot of tearing, which was absent on the PS3.
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 04:08 PM
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I own both players, and to be honest with you, it's almost impossible to say which is truly better.

Regarding the QDEO vs. Reon argument, I've found that some SD DVD's look better with the LG, and some look better with the Sam 5k. Frankly though, I've come to the conclusion that neither one is really that much better for upscaling over the PS3 or any Toshiba player. (At least, not what I have seen so far)

Both are excellent with HD material, but of course the LG gives you greater tweaking options.

You'd be happy with either one.
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post #17 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJohn View Post

I own both players and for now prefer the Samsung for PQ. The one advantage the LG has is that it runs MUCH cooler than the Sammy. You could fry an egg on the BD UP 5000, and I feel like I'm going to burn my fingers when I remove a disc.

Mine doesn't get warm at all and sits in the middle, with a Toshiba XA1 underneath and the LG BH200 above.

Perhaps yours has a defective fan?

I agree the Samsung has better picture. Quite a bit better. And the sound seems to be better in the deep bass. I use analog outputs on all players. I'm not into 5.1, just stereo sound.

The LG is just a toy compared to the Samsung.
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post #18 of 24 Old 11-27-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Nownow, let's not say things to incite. The sound is no different in the bitstreaming department and is likely identical when decoding also. The analog outs on the 5000 can't be objectively compared with the BH200.
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-29-2008, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulox View Post

Interesting... just came across a Sony BDP-S350 for $149 shipped. At this price, how does the this unit compare with the OPPO players? Which model(s) OPPO should I consider?

The BDP-S350 doesn't internally decode DTS-HD MA. It doesn't upscale as well as the two dual format players. It won't transcode Dolby Digital Plus or Dolby TrueHD to DTS for legacy receivers. However, it is profile 2.0 unlike the two dual format players. Moreover, it supports AVCHD no matter what firmware.

The OPPO 983 is the best upscaler, and it plays SACD's and DVD-A's. However, it doesn't play Blu-Ray's or HD DVD's. The OPPO Blu-Ray player is not yet available.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-01-2008, 03:20 PM
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I only have the BH200 so I have a question to add.

What makes one Blu-ray player look better than another ? and how significant is the PQ difference between the BH200 and other players on the market?


I can see up converting, but shouldn't all players play a BD the same?

Thanks,
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post #21 of 24 Old 12-01-2008, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfsane View Post

I only have the BH200 so I have a question to add.

What makes one Blu-ray player look better than another ? and how significant is the PQ difference between the BH200 and other players on the market?


I can see up converting, but shouldn't all players play a BD the same?

Thanks,

I think the transfers on most feature film BD's or HD-DVD's are 1080p24. Ths means that the player needs to do some transformation work (interlacing/deinterlacing) to achieve 1080p60 output. Output to 1080i or 720p would require similar work. So unless you are taking 1080p24 from the player straight into the display, there is at least some video scaling going on behind the scenes. The quality of this work would of course depend on the hardware/software in your player, and possibly in your display as well (if you are feeding it something other than its native resolution/refresh).

Also, I think all players have at least some video settings for colors, brightness, sharpness, etc... so the image is run through that prior to making it to your screen.
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post #22 of 24 Old 12-02-2008, 11:47 PM
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Well, I just got both players recently and was been pretty happy with both. HOWEVER, I am MUCH happier now with the LG. I make a lot of homemade HD-DVD's from HD content that I've captured from various sources. The LG (with the April Firmware) plays these like a champ. The Samsung plays about the first 3 minutes and then all of a sudden gets audio/video sync problems. It makes is unbearable to watch.

The LG is definitely the winner in my book. Plus I love how easy it is to switch the firmware on the LG.
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-03-2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

The Funai and associated clones have amazingly not required firmware updates yet.

Yeah Panasonic, Un I mean Funai, got it right.....

Just enjoy HD in whatever form you can (Sat, Cable, D-VHS, OTA, HD DVD, or BD).
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post #24 of 24 Old 12-03-2008, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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My dilemma is do I really want to get rid of my Toshiba HD-A30 just for the sake of consolidating to a single device (the LG-BH200), or would I be better off buying a Profile 2.0 BD player that doesn't have problems playing certain discs.

Correct me if I am wrong here, but because I have a new Onkyo SR806 receiver and I am doing everything 7.1 over HDMI, I don't need to concern myself with anything audio related regarding player processing when looking at BD player features, correct? If that is a safe assumption, here are my requirements for a BD player (in order of priority):

1. Reliability (plays 99% of all BD discs, esp newer ones without issues)
2. The best rated S-DVD upscaler in a BD player (combo or otherwise)
3. Guaranteed to play BD-R burned discs without issues
4. Play HD content at 1080p60 without issues, jaggies, etc.
5. BD profile 2.0 or at least upgradeable to that
6. Hackable and flexible through firmware updates

The first 3 are most important and the last 3 are actually tied for 4th. A few comments... allargon mentioned above that my A30 has known deinterlacing issues? Not sure I know what that is about, as I have not seen anything (maybe I am not doing something correct to notice it?). If this is really true, then I definitely need to either get the BH200 and/or get the Oppo upscaler and a nice BD only player (3 devices, ugh!). My pie in the sky would be to have it all on 1 device of course, but I think I could be quite happy with just 2...
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