Originally Posted by bigjsd
I finally picked up the Panasonic DMP-85 this weekend and was able to do some side by side comparisons to the Samsung BDC5500C I got for my birthday a few weeks ago.
These are just initial impressions since I haven't had enough time to run them both through the gauntlet together yet.
The very first thing I noticed is the appearance and build quality of the Panasonic is much better. I know appearance can be subjective but I personally like the look of the 85 better. The 85 seems so much more solid as well. It is heavier, and in no way seems flimsy and light like the Samsung does.
One of the reasons I initially wanted a Samsung was because I have a Samsung LCD and I liked the way that when I powered on the Samsung Blu-Ray player it also powered up my TV and set it to HDMI 3 and was ready to go. Well what a suprise it was to me that the 85 does the same thing since it also supports Anynet+. I probably could have figured that out with some reading but I figured being two separate manufacturers there would be no way. That's a cool plus.
So far the Blu-Rays I have tried have been Avatar, Book of Eli, Prince of Persia, How To Train Your Dragon,and Marmaduke. I would be lying if I said I could see a noticeable difference between the two in anything playing in Blu Ray format. Although, I did experience some audio dropout on "How To Train Your Dragon" when playing on the Samsung in certain scenes, the pictures were both beautiful. The load times were pretty equal on both players and is no longer a concern with either. It was so much a non-factor that I didn't bother to pull out a timer and get specifics.
When it comes to regular DVD format I only had the chance to view some partial scenes of various DVD's within my collection. I watched scenes from "We Were Soldiers", "Walk the Line", "Finding Nemo", and "Black Hawk Down". This is one area where the 85 seems to have the upper hand. The upscaled picture seemed better on the 85 but I will take more time in the next week to do a more detailed evaluation and give some explanation.
Another of the big reasons I wanted to give the Panny a look was the analog audio out. I am running a Denon receiver along with Klipsch Reference Series and it does not have HDMI pass through. I still love the sound of this receiver so I am not looking to upgrade it quite yet so the analog out is a HUGE plus for me. I realize this is not a factor for everybody since many have HDMI pass through and even more are quite satisfied with the digital/optical out audio. Again I need more time to come to a fair conclusion on whether this should be a factor in my decision between the two players. I often feel it's better to be safe than sorry.
As for the internet side of these players I can only say that I was NEVER able to even get the Samsung to connect to my AT&T DSL much less try any streaming content. The 85 however auto connected with no problem and I will give it a go in the next week or two and see how it fares. This is one area of the player that will get little or no use from me but if a player is going to support a feature I want to make sure it works correctly. I do not have any kind of files on my computer that I have a need to play so I will not be able to comment on this either.
Since I have received so much help and gained so much knowledge from many people on this forum I felt it was only fair to post my experiences with these two players in hopes that maybe it will help someone else. So far I am very pleased with the Panasonic DMP 85 and I am definitely leaning towards keeping it but I also have been playing with electronics long enough to know you have to take the time to make fair comparisons if you want the component that is best for you.