I purchased the 1500 today to replace a BD30. The BD30 was a great player when I had firmware 1.1 installed. It played everything I threw at it (even known trouble discs) with no errors. Then I had trouble with Resident Evil 3, and upgraded the firmware to address that issue. It mostly fixed it, but then I had the dreaded TrueHD audio dropout problem.
So I was hoping the 1500 would cure all my audio dropout woes. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case, since I just had three non-repeatable dropouts with National Treasure 2.
However, I was beginning to think my receiver was at fault. However, the nature of the dropouts is much less severe with the 1500 than it was with the BD30. First, on the BD30 I had 11 dropouts with NT2, and only 3 with the 1500. Also, the dropouts on the 1500 were much shorter in duration, thus much harder to hear to a casual listener, but clearly they were there. Since the quantity and duration were both altered by swapping players, I'm going to say that the receiver is probably not at fault (if it was a bad receiver, dropout duration should stay the same from player to player).
No problems with video though, and I think the 1500 looks much the same as the BD30. The BD30 does have more video settings though, and I had tweaked it to get a little bit sharper picture, so the 1500 was a little softer than my BD30 setup. However, with standard BD30 settings vs. standard 1500 settings, I would say both are identical in video quality.
Audio levels between the two players does seem different. For example, my listening level for NT2 from the BD30 was at a setting of -25dB on the 663. To get roughly the same volume level out of the 1500, I used -32dB. At -25dB with the 1500, it was uncomfortably loud. I actually prefer the 1500 because I watch Dish at -35dB normally, and at -32 to -30 dB on Dish for a 5.1 movie, so I essentially don't have to adjust the volume when switching between Dish and the 1500. I did have to with the BD30.
I'm still not sold on the 1500, since my first disc out had three dropouts. While an improvement, it isn't a fix. I am willing to give it a couple weeks to sell me though. I reported my problems to Samsung, so maybe it is something that can be fixed by an update.
On my BD30, my worst movie for dropouts with 1.6 or higher is Resident Evil 3 @25 dropouts. #2 is Enchanted with around 20. #3 was NT2 with 11. The rest of my dropout discs on the BD30 were just 2-4 dropouts. I plan on trying RE3 again to see if there are still drops. Anyone out there have Enchanted (mine was a rental) to try? It was a known problem causer for many players, and not just the BD30.
I will continue to report any problems/potential problems as I get some more movies under the players belt.
And I almost forgot heat... The 1500 is warmer than the BD30, but I'm not sure how significant. My 1500 is in an entertainment center, behind a closed glass door, and the components area is vented by two low CFM (quiet) fans. The 1500 sits on top of an XA2 (powered off) and has an additional 1.5" of space above it before the next shelf, has 3" on each side, and has a good 6-8" behind it. After watching NT2 (2 hours 5 minutes), the 1500 was warm to the touch, but not hot. I would guess around 90 degrees. The disc was warm too, I would guess it was between 90-100 degrees. I work alot with temperature measurement using numerous types of thermocouples and pyrometers, and I would be confident saying nothing felt more than 100F, which isn't that hot for an electronics device.