As others are starting to file in to the new BD30 gang, I have joined also with a 10% off CC coupon and some remaining rewards certs. My observations from playing 3 BD discs last night are as follows:
The images seem a touch sharper and the colors, especially reds and blues seem a little more vibrant than playback on the PS3. Load times are quicker than the PS3. I love the weight and small footprint. Fits great inside an already full component rack.
Audio is what we all bought this for, I assume. The bitstream to my Elite 92 is what we are paying for and it does not disappoint. The Dave Matthews BD playback as compared to the PS3 decding into PCM was much nicer. The center channel seemed more pronounced on the Panny than the PS3, where it seemed more laid back. I have one confusing observation though. On playback of X-Men3, that has DTS-HDMA 6.1, the receiver lights up correctly and even displays the 6th channel!! But, much to my surprise, an old friend poked out. Before the main movie begins, the good ole 'dial norm' shows up on the receiver for a quick second. Now I am aware that TrueHD is said to apply dial norm, this is still under discussion on different threads, but no where have I seen dial norm being applied to a DTS-HDMA track. I almost feel cheated. Is this normal for this disc, or for all DTS-HDMA discs? I only have the one to check it against now. I am curious to others observations, as I was under the impression that DTS-HDMA is the studio master and no dial norm or other processing is ever applied.
Overall, the $435 price, quick load times, better PQ than the PS3 and the all important bitstream of ALL the audio codecs is more than worth the investment to anyone that has a capable receiver.