I think I finally made it through the what, 49 pages of this thread (over the last three days). I went from being very excited about finding the 5000 at Best Buy on 12/24 (Spokane), to pretty bummed out after reading all the nasty remarks. I had been looking forward to this for quite some time and was really surprised when it caught my eye. There had been the 5000 $799 sign in an empty space for over a month and now there was a box there. I was told it was the only one and I got it. I have never been able to get anything that was in short supply/demand, so I was quite excited. I was doing a Google search that night, which led me to this thread. I was so tired of the constant newsgroup flame wars and trolling, that I wanted to look for some valid info.. I quickly realized that though I was always into electronics, I did not have the tech. knowledge many have here (I knew I didn't have it to start with) as I have no experience in the field, other than I love movies, music and gadgets. There is a lot of very useful info to be culled from this site. There is also a lot of re-hashing of the same info., with varying opinions/speculation, which has obviously caused much confusion. I was really surprised how many people were/are more interested in the sound, than the picture quality issues. There were some calls to Tech Support, but unless I missed it, no one ever asked about the video noise issue, or the 4:3 problem that many, including myself find to be a problem. Sound decoding (I am pretty sure) can be fixed VIA firmware, as shown with other bands and models. The 1400 being one of them. But, can the video be fixed without replacement of processors and/or decoders?
This forum is definitely more polite than the newsgroups, as no body is calling someone who doesn't agree names, but it still can be off-putting with all of the negative comments (i.e. the constant ending of every post saying the 5000 is a piece of junk). I know I am a newbie and this is my third post (in three days), I am here to learn something and yes the 5000 may end up to be a piece of junk, but the initial reviews have pointed to this as the way to go if you don't want to wait for the war to end, or buy separates. Every player has issues and there may be too many in the end for this one, who knows. Many are praising the Panasonic DMP-BD30, but it has issues as well, especially at the price point. Yes it passes signals, but it does not decode them and there are video issues. Check out the review on BlueRayFreak.com, not just the short overview, but click on the source and read it all. It basically comes down to do you want to spend some more for BluRay 1.1 (as this is the only player that currently meats the specs), when no 1.1 discs are available - for now. I just want the player to foremost give me the video and, yes the sound first. There is a lot of extras on the the discs and I can live without the additional downloaded content of the 1.1, if necessary.
In closing, am I going to keep the player?...I am not sure. It does both and from what I have seen, pretty well. Is everything there...NO. We all know the updates will come for sound. That has been promised in print and I am sure it will occur. The video issues, I have no idea and that may be the deal breaker for me. It is definitely a work in progress and it is kind of interesting to test it out. I just wish I was being paid to do so, rather than paying to do so. But, I don't necessarily think it is a big P.O.S., as many seem to.
Hope I didn't step on any toes and thanks to all the productive and knowledgeable posts that are in the thread.