Both 5000's replaced with 3600 and am currently running it through a battery of tests befor I divest of my small catalog of HD DVD titles and list my beloved 5K's for sale.
Since I am technically still a 5K owner (both of which are stitting on the floor awaiting a thorough cleaning and reboxing), I thought that I would post a few observations that I have made between the two models.
- The 5K is so very pretty by comparison to the fugly design of the BD-P3600. It is this single fact, that causes me the most consternation. The 5K's build is, what I can look back upon now, as "quality/heft" when compared to the much smaller & lighter 3600. The 5K runs nearly 13" deep. The 3600, just under 10". While I see be imediate benefit of having greater space for the cables behind it, the over-all build of the unit smacks of "cost cutting".
- I find that I do not miss the REON HQV upconversion chipset. To my 'enthusiast's eye', connected to my aged Mits WS-65907 by way of my Onkyo TX-NR905 (which has REON's HQV in 'through mode'), I see no difference in viewing my SD DVD titles (this was tested with an SD copy of Spiderman 2 - plenty of motion in the train scene). Colors are vibrant in "Nomral" mode (there is also "Dynamic" & "Movie" modes that I have not yet evaluated).
- So far, I have had only one issue with a BR title locking up. "Bolt" locked up at the same spot, the petshop scene toward the begining of the film. I could get beyond this by pressing the skip forward button, at which point it would continue to lock up. I disabled "Screen Message", and still experienced the lock-up. I was able to eliminate the lock-up, only after setting the audio from "Bitstream Reencode" to "Bitstream Audiophile"... of course I also re-enabled the "PCM Downsampling" and "Dynamic Compression", so I need to step back through and narrow down the culprit.
- The primary reason for upgrading, was so that I would have a player, compatible with the native AVC HD format output from my new HD camcorder, and while I was upgrading, thought I would find a player that would add Blu-ray Live (profile 2.0), & NetFlix features.
- I have yet to use the BR Live feature, but must say that having the ability to stream any of the 12,000 NetFlix titles (some which are in HD) a handy option. I have even gone so far as to drop their $2.00 per month Blu-ray option. In addition to NetFlix, the player supports streaming music via the free "Pandora" service, which I like quite more than I thought I would. The 3600 also listed "PC Streaming", which I have only just gotten configured. The feature's "Auto Search" configuraton needs some work, and can probably be fine-tuned via firmware. I was able to manually connect up to share on my PC, and tested it out by playing a few jpg files as a slide-show. It also supports streaming of mp3 audio, and DIVX/AVI files (neither of which I have tried at this time).
The player's aspect ratio options include;
- 4:3 Letter Box
- 4:3 Pan-Scan
- 16:9 Wide
and one feature that really surprised me. The addition of the "16:9 Normal
" aspect ratio, which states;
Certain movies (4:3 source) will be displayed in 4:3 Pillarbox (black bars on sides of picture) if 16:9 Normal is selected
While the 5K's constant stretching of 4:3 material didn't bother me as much as some, I find this to be a most welcome setting.
To sum it up, Samsung appears to have corrected and/or addressed many of the shortcomings of the BD-UP5000. Now I've got to say goodbye to a pair of old friends that have served me well, with none of the issues or errors that have been experienced by so many.
So while I will be selling off my 5K's, I am and will remain a satisfied owner of Samsung products. I'll lurk around the few 5K threads, but from now on will most likely be an active member of the BD-P3600 owner's thread.
Cheers, and Happy Easter to those who recognize the holiday!