Viewing Review: Great Value, but with a few quirks - AVS Forum
Great Value, but with a few quirks Edit
by spec1alk Combined Rating: 4.0
Features

Built-in Wi-Fi
Dolby True HD
DTS Master Audio Essential
DLNA Capability (via LAN)
FLAC Compatibility
External HDD Playback
Multi-User Mode
Fast Booting & Loading
Energy Star Qualified
3D...
Pros Cons
  • Built-in wifi + ethernet, common streaming options are all there, fast both at start-up and when loading a blu-ray
  • Opening streaming applications are slow, no skip forward/backward 15-30 seconds
Features
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Dolby True HD
  • DTS Master Audio Essential
  • DLNA Capability (via LAN)
  • FLAC Compatibility
  • External HDD Playback
  • Multi-User Mode
  • Fast Booting & Loading
  • Energy Star Qualified
  • 3D HD
  • 2D-3D Conversion
  • Adapative Chroma Processing
  • 24p Output for VOD
  • Smartphone Function Capability
  • VIERA Connect
  • VIERA Link
  • Skype Communication*
  • SD Memory Card Slot

Like many of the players in this price range, it does not provide component audio outputs. This shouldn't be a problem for most users, but is very important for some. It depends on your receiver and if it has HDMI inputs.

The player does provide streaming offerings, but I found them to be very slow. It seems to take a long time to load the streaming interfaces (10+ seconds) and then 3-8 seconds to start playing. I am comparing this to speeds I see on other devices (computer, tablet, smartphone). It also seems that there is some lag when clicking a button, and it being executed. Overall I think the streaming capabilities are a nice value-add, but I wouldn't buy this player if streaming will be your main source of content.

While my player is connected to wired Ethernet, the WiFi capability is probably pretty important for more people. I did test some streaming over WiFi and it performed about the same as a wired connection.

I found the multi-user mode and VIERA features to be pretty much pointless.

Setup

Connecting the player to my system was very simple and easy. I was replacing a previous player. Fortunately they both used the same power cable, so I didn't have to go untangle that mess. I was able to unplug power, HDMI, and Ethernet from the old player, and they plugged right into the new player in about the same locations.

The player was connected via HDMI to an AVR with HDMI inputs. Since I was using HDMI, I didn't need to make any adjustments to aspect ratio. I do believe I needed to make one setting change to get the player to bit-stream HD audio codecs to the AVR, but it was pretty easy to find.

User Interface

The UI/Menu system is vastly different from what I am used to. It uses a type of compass navigation approach. The home screen provides you with up-down-left-right options. Each option may take you to another "compass" menu or to another screen. Once you get the hang of it and learn the menu options, it isn't too bad. I did find the menu has a slight lag. Not terrible, but just enough to be irritating. Personally, I liked the menu system from Sony better.

I have only used the standard remote a couple of times, so I can't really comment. However this device is in the Logitech Harmony database and adding it was quick & easy.

I did find one missing function that I would have loved to have. I often use the jump forward/back button my DVR and had this with my previous Blu-ray player. It is a very nice feature when you are watching a movie and miss a line of dialogue because you were laughing or just want to see something again. You can hit the jump-back button and it will jump play backwards 10-15 seconds. If this function is available in this player, I haven't found it yet and would love to have it.

I also found that starting the process of forwarding or rewinding playback was quite slow and the first step in forward or rewind runs just slightly faster than normal play.

Performance

The player does start-up quickly and loading Blu-ray discs is noticeably faster from earlier generation players. I do want to try "The Incredible Hulk" in this player though. My old player used to take an extremely long time loading that particular disc. I want to see if it is noticeably faster in the DMP-BDT220.

From my experience, since I am bit-streaming the audio and video over HDMI, the picture quality looks the same as my last Blu-ray player and I suspect that pretty much all Blu-ray players in this price range exhibit similar picture quality when playing Blu-ray content over HDMI.

I hadn't really started to invest in purchasing content until Blu-ray came out so I have very little content in DVD. I can say that the few discs I have played look great, not Blu-ray great, but much better than with a standard DVD player.

I was watching "Dust to Glory" which is a documentary on the Baja 1000. It contains quite a bit of dust and fast motion. I noticed less macro-blocks or pixelation when playing on the DMP-BDT220.
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