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OFFICIAL "HELP ME CHOOSE A PLAYER" THREAD: Can't decide? Start HERE. - Page 467

post #13981 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktenstar View Post

Hi
I am looking for a blu ray player with the best playback PQ and performance for DVD's and blu rays.
Does not need 3D, WIFI, Online Streaming, media streaming etc.
I have been looking at the Panasonic DMP-210, but it has stuff I do not need. Is there a cheaper lower-end model with the same disc performance, without the extras I don't need.
Maybe a DMP-75, DMP-77 or Sony model?
Which has the best PQ?
Thanks

BluRay PQ is pretty much the same with all players. Upscaling DVD PQ does vary, with the best upscaling generally with the more expensive players (that will also come with more features such as 3D and streaming). You don't have to use these extra features. I would recommend the Panny 110 (wired), Panny 210 (WiFi), or Sony 390. Note that the Pannys are last year's models, so you should be able to get them pretty cheaply (the advantage of the 2012 models such as the 220 is streaming, which you don't care about, hence the recommendation for last year's Panny models).
post #13982 of 16475
I am planning on connecting a pair of bookshelf speakers at a later date.

Don't I need two HDMI ports on the blu ray player to connect these?

Thanks
post #13983 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktenstar View Post

I am planning on connecting a pair of bookshelf speakers at a later date.
Don't I need two HDMI ports on the blu ray player to connect these?
Thanks

Or a sound bar maybe.
post #13984 of 16475
Im planning to get the LG BP-220 or Samsung BD-E5300 and have a couple of questions before I take the plunge:
  • Which of these players handles 1080/24p better from MKV files via USB/HDD?
  • Unfortunately these models don't support DTS-HD, however, my Denon AVR-1312 receiver does support DTS-HD. Will I be able to get 'lossless' DTS-HD to work via MKV & USB/HDD or will the players reduce the sound to only lossy DTS?
  • How does the codec support compare between these two players?


Appreciate your help guys.
post #13985 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktenstar View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktenstar View Post

I am planning on connecting a pair of bookshelf speakers at a later date.
Don't I need two HDMI ports on the blu ray player to connect these?
Thanks

Or a sound bar maybe.

The answer depends on if you plan to use an existing sound system or if you're starting from scratch. HDMI transmits the best quality digital audio signal, but you need a sound system which can decode it. Some soundbars can, some can't. To use bookshelf (or floorstanding) speakers, you'll need a receiver (or pre/pro+amp) both to decode the HDMI and to output analog signals to the speakers (or soundbar).

Dual HDMI connections are only necessary when you must provide one HDMI connection to the TV and a separate connection to the sound system. This is particularly important if you have a 3D TV and a 3D player, but the receiver is older and can handle only 2D video. If you use compatible equipment throughout (e.g. 3D TV, 3D receiver, and 3D player), you only need one HDMI output on the player, which goes to the receiver. The receiver provides its own HDMI output which connects to the TV.
post #13986 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

I have tried them all. I gave up after the C series. Lasted less than a week. The longest Samsung to ever last more than a month in my system was the 3600, which I gave away with a TV I sold a friend. 210 was a little glitchy with some users having black flashes streaming NF. X20 is spectacular with full 1080p and 5.1. General consensus around here is Sony for streaming. I have the S790 and the Panasonic 320.
S~

I tried Sony, Toshiba (still don't know why), Panasonic, LG, and none had the PQ the Sammys put out when streaming. I'm not a big fan of wireless anything, so I never tried the Sammys or any of the others in that manner. I did have some problems with the c5500s, but I kept getting updates and they finally became very dependable. We've had this same argument on DBSTalk and I've always recommended the Sammys and none of the people that bought them have complained. Admittedly, it has been more than two years since I tried other models and it's possible some of the other brands have surpassed the Sammys, but I just bought the two e6500s when they came out and they've been rock solid. I've even tried the c5500s and the e6500s side by side and I can't see any difference in streaming PQ between the two. Five Sammys I have and no problems. At the time I bought the Panny BD65s, I thought they were the best, but they just didn't have the streaming PQ as the Sammys. All I can relate are my experiences with all the BD players I have had.

Rich
post #13987 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by redtilldead View Post

Im planning to get the LG BP-220 or Samsung BD-E5300 and have a couple of questions before I take the plunge:
  • Which of these players handles 1080/24p better from MKV files via USB/HDD?
  • Unfortunately these models don't support DTS-HD, however, my Denon AVR-1312 receiver does support DTS-HD. Will I be able to get 'lossless' DTS-HD to work via MKV & USB/HDD or will the players reduce the sound to only lossy DTS?
  • How does the codec support compare between these two players?
Appreciate your help guys.

On 1080/24p no idea.

The AVR will take care of the decoding so long as you can bitstream to it from either player, so set the digital output to bitstream, use HDMI for a connection and you should have no problem with lossless audio.

Check the manuals, but for the LG:

From disc and USB :
Video formats: “.avi”, “.mpg”,“.mpeg”, “.mkv”,“.mp4”, “.asf”,“.wmv”, “.m4v”(DRM free),“.vob”, “.3gp”
Video Codecs: XVID, MPEG1 SS, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG2 PS, MPEG2 TS, VC-1 SM (WMV3)
Audio formats: Dolby Digital, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3

Through DLNA :

Video formats: “.avi”, “.mpg”, “.mpeg”, “.mkv”, “.mp4”, “.asf”, “.wmv”, “.m4v” (DRM free)
Video Codecs: XVID, MPEG1 SS, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG2 PS, MPEG2 TS, VC-1 SM (WMV3)
Audio formast: Dolby Digital, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3

For the Samsung:

post #13988 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu View Post

On 1080/24p no idea.
The AVR will take care of the decoding so long as you can bitstream to it from either player, so set the digital output to bitstream, use HDMI for a connection and you should have no problem with lossless audio.
Check the manuals, but for the LG:
From disc and USB :
Video formats: “.avi”, “.mpg”,“.mpeg”, “.mkv”,“.mp4”, “.asf”,“.wmv”, “.m4v”(DRM free),“.vob”, “.3gp”
Video Codecs: XVID, MPEG1 SS, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG2 PS, MPEG2 TS, VC-1 SM (WMV3)
Audio formats: Dolby Digital, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3
Through DLNA :
Video formats: “.avi”, “.mpg”, “.mpeg”, “.mkv”, “.mp4”, “.asf”, “.wmv”, “.m4v” (DRM free)
Video Codecs: XVID, MPEG1 SS, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG2 PS, MPEG2 TS, VC-1 SM (WMV3)
Audio formast: Dolby Digital, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3
For the Samsung:

Thanks for the response!

Can you please provide some more insight on what you mean by 'bitstream'? I'm guessing that this may be a common feature and that both players will support it so I do indeed get lossless audio regardless of which player I choose?

Thanks.
post #13989 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktenstar View Post

Don't I need two HDMI ports on the blu ray player?

No, you don't. You only need dual HDMI outs if you have a 3D TV/3D BluRay player but not a 3D receiver. Since you don't have a 3D TV (based on your comment that you have no need for a 3D player), you don't need dual HDMI outs.
post #13990 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by redtilldead View Post

Im planning to get the LG BP-220 or Samsung BD-E5300 and have a couple of questions before I take the plunge:
  • Which of these players handles 1080/24p better from MKV files via USB/HDD?
  • Unfortunately these models don't support DTS-HD, however, my Denon AVR-1312 receiver does support DTS-HD. Will I be able to get 'lossless' DTS-HD to work via MKV & USB/HDD or will the players reduce the sound to only lossy DTS?
  • How does the codec support compare between these two players?

Appreciate your help guys.

I wouldn't expect that either of these players will play DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD from anything other than a Blu-ray disc, but that is also true of most any Blu-ray player (though some of the Dune players can do this). Players seem to be designed not to do so when not using a disc (probably due to industry piracy concerns), my LG and Sony players simply refuse playback of files with HD audio as unsupported or corrupt whether bitstreaming or decoding via the player.

Having owned predecessors to the LG you inquired about (BD-670 and BD-570), I would suggest avoiding LG players. Last year's model had an unusually high number of reports of failed drive mechanisms and a lot of problems with buggy software updates that still have not been adequately resolved. They also have a poor warranty which only covers labor for 90 days in the US. LG's DLNA implementation is buggy and unreliable.

They do have good file format compatibility overall, but my 670 will not play 1080p files in most file formats (I think MKV is an exception).

Most US model LG players will play PAL DVDs if the discs are region free, which most other budget players will not do, that is one positive.

I recently swapped both players out for Sony BDP-S590 players and haven't looked back.

As for 24 Hz playback, the prior year LG players do not have a native setting, you choose between 24 Hz or 60 Hz. I have a 60 Hz TV myself, but I heard that 60 Hz Netflix titles were being converted to 24 Hz under the 24 Hz setting and I think the same may have been true of USB and network playback. There is also not a native resolution settings, if you output 1080p, everything lower gets up converted by the player.

All this applies to the older LG players, the new models don't sound to have changed much, but I haven't used them myself. The new players actually lost some of the streaming services on this year's model (No Amazon being one of the big changes) and do not seem to be very popular.
post #13991 of 16475
I bought two Panny 220's BEFORE researching reviews and I'm really bummed.I've never seen a product where 99% of reviewers all say the same thing about a product until this.I bought them mainly for wireless streaming of Netflix,since a UT50 wifi dongle is about $60 and the players were $100 I figured a same brand player for $40 was a no-brainer.After reading the reviews,everyone says they lose connection after 45 minutes,the players freeze,they're told to reset/unplug and they never regain connection.

Is there a player that doesn't have Netflix wireless connection issues for around $100-$150?
post #13992 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampidemic View Post

I wouldn't expect that either of these players will play DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD from anything other than a Blu-ray disc, but that is also true of most any Blu-ray player (though some of the Dune players can do this). Players seem to be designed not to do so when not using a disc (probably due to industry piracy concerns), my LG and Sony players simply refuse playback of files with HD audio as unsupported or corrupt whether bitstreaming or decoding via the player.

Thanks for the input!

Is it that if I play a file with HD audio, I wont get any playback at all? The Denon receiver supports HD audio so will that help?
post #13993 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by dedmunne View Post

I bought two Panny 220's BEFORE researching reviews and I'm really bummed.I've never seen a product where 99% of reviewers all say the same thing about a product until this.I bought them mainly for wireless streaming of Netflix,since a UT50 wifi dongle is about $60 and the players were $100 I figured a same brand player for $40 was a no-brainer.After reading the reviews,everyone says they lose connection after 45 minutes,the players freeze,they're told to reset/unplug and they never regain connection.

Is there a player that doesn't have Netflix wireless connection issues for around $100-$150?

People seem to like the Netflix access provided by Sony.

All players will have some problems with wifi, just because wifi is inherently less reliable than a wired connection. Built-in wifi interfaces also have problems because the signal is slightly attenuated by going through the player's case.
post #13994 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by redtilldead View Post

Thanks for the response!
Can you please provide some more insight on what you mean by 'bitstream'? I'm guessing that this may be a common feature and that both players will support it so I do indeed get lossless audio regardless of which player I choose?
Thanks.

That's right. It's a feature in most if not all bluray players where the audio content that's being put out by the player is sent to the receiver without processing. The receiver takes it as a stream of bits and processes it according to its capabilities. In the case of your receiver, since it can interpret and process both DTS-HD-MA and TrueHD, the lossless stream is processed and you get lossless sound.

The inability of the player to decode DTS-HD-MA or TrueHD doesn't matter, since they are not doing the translation. The receiver is. I use this method even though my player is capable of decoding the lossless formats since I want the receiver to do the real audio work.

The only reason you'd want the decoding done at the player (IMO) is if you have a legacy receiver that can't handle the lossless formats.
post #13995 of 16475
LPCM is also emitted by a player if the user has configured the player to provide menu sounds and secondary audio. The on-disc audio streams have to be decoded by the player before those effects can be added. Secondary audio is used on some discs for the commentary and for supplementary video tracks which overlay the primary video. The LPCM provided by modern players is of the same quality as the bitstreamed lossless tracks. The only difference is that the decoder lights don't turn on on the receiver or pre/pro.
post #13996 of 16475
Very true, but in this case, the OP is considering blurays that can't decode the lossless audio, so the translation at the player is not available for what he wants.
post #13997 of 16475
Thanks for your response.I'm now looking at wifi adapter options and just use the player discs.
post #13998 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu View Post

That's right. It's a feature in most if not all bluray players where the audio content that's being put out by the player is sent to the receiver without processing. The receiver takes it as a stream of bits and processes it according to its capabilities. In the case of your receiver, since it can interpret and process both DTS-HD-MA and TrueHD, the lossless stream is processed and you get lossless sound.
The inability of the player to decode DTS-HD-MA or TrueHD doesn't matter, since they are not doing the translation. The receiver is. I use this method even though my player is capable of decoding the lossless formats since I want the receiver to do the real audio work.
The only reason you'd want the decoding done at the player (IMO) is if you have a legacy receiver that can't handle the lossless formats.

Thanks for the info! Understood.

Regarding playing MKV files with HD audio off a USB, will the file play and pass the HD audio to the receiver ? or will only DTS will play since its MKV from a USB? or perhaps the file will refuse to play altogether?

Also, how can I confirm if the LG BP-220 or Samsung BD-E5300 have the ability to pass the audio to the receiver without interfering with it?

Appreciate your help.
post #13999 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by dedmunne View Post

I bought two Panny 220's BEFORE researching reviews and I'm really bummed.I've never seen a product where 99% of reviewers all say the same thing about a product until this.I bought them mainly for wireless streaming of Netflix,since a UT50 wifi dongle is about $60 and the players were $100 I figured a same brand player for $40 was a no-brainer.After reading the reviews,everyone says they lose connection after 45 minutes,the players freeze,they're told to reset/unplug and they never regain connection.
Is there a player that doesn't have Netflix wireless connection issues for around $100-$150?

I've had two Pannys, and have never had any Netflix streaming issues (Not sure what model # off memory, think it's only the 210). I do have a wired connection though through using Monster Power Line Adapters though.

My only dislike of the Panny is the lack of video file formats it plays via streaming / USB. I used to have an Oppo player that played every file format you threw at it, but when I got a 3D TV, I sold it since I got my Panny bluray for "free".

After reading some of these posts about the LG / Samsung models, it looks like they play over USB far more video formats than the Panny players. Anyone have any recomendations on blu ray players I should look at w/ the following criteria.

1. Streaming capabilites (netflix / dlna)
2. 3D capabilites.
3. USB Connection for hooking up external hard drive that plays more file formats than the panny!!!!!
4. Obviously great video quality.
5.. Obviously great audio quality.

Price range - don't really have one....maybe $350 range...if going to be more than that, might as well go with another Oppo....right?
post #14000 of 16475
Right. Especially with the new (available Sept. 28? in the US), 103's abilities.
post #14001 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by redtilldead View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampidemic View Post

I wouldn't expect that either of these players will play DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD from anything other than a Blu-ray disc, but that is also true of most any Blu-ray player (though some of the Dune players can do this). Players seem to be designed not to do so when not using a disc (probably due to industry piracy concerns), my LG and Sony players simply refuse playback of files with HD audio as unsupported or corrupt whether bitstreaming or decoding via the player.

Thanks for the input!

Is it that if I play a file with HD audio, I wont get any playback at all? The Denon receiver supports HD audio so will that help?

Yes. Blu-ray discs will be fine, but many players will refuse to playback files with HD audio over network or USB and display an error of some sort. It does not help that your receiver supports the audio codec if the player will not play the file.
post #14002 of 16475
Please help me choose a Blu-ray player in the $100-130 range. I've narrowed my choices down to either the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 or the Sony BDP-S590.

My top criteria, besides blu-ray disc playback (which is why I'm not in the market for a Roku) are:

1) Good built-in wi-fi. Yes, I know wired connection is more reliable, but my router is in the same room (against the opposite wall from TV), so I don't expect this to be a concern.

2) Quality of the Netflix app. I primarily want reliability of service, but also for Netflix in particular I want a good, fast user interface that's user-friendly. I currently use the Xbox 360, and their Netflix app is atrocious because it's primarily built for Kinect navigation (which I have no interest in), along with other quirks that bother me.

3) Reliable DLNA performance to stream large movie files from PC. I currently use TVersity as a media server, which transcodes everything fine for my tastes but, again, I currently use the Xbox 360, and it's ability to fast-forward and rewind is downright broken, and it will routinely either crash or stops the movie to buffer it for 1+ minute at a time, even for low-quality sub-HD resolution video files. I know it's not the wireless connection's fault, because much higher-quality Netflix content streams over this same LAN without any such issues.

Basically, I want to replace my Xbox 360 by getting blu-ray disc playback and improving on the 360's lackluster user experience and network performance.

So, here's what I found through research:

Panasonic 220 seems to be the better player overall according to sites like CNET, but it's menu navigation seems too awkward and slow, especially in the Netflix app. Lots of people complain that the user experience overall (navigation, finding the Netflix app, etc) is lousy. It also seems to have a LOT of people complaining about Netflix streaming in particular. I know they just released a firmware update to fix this, but I have no idea if it 100% addressed the hundreds of complaints I've read.

Sony S590 seems to be a better player specifically for online streaming services, and it's menus appear to be more responsive, etc, but I've seen more than one complaint that its DLNA capabilities are either downright broken or "leave a lot to be desired", which I'm not sure I fully understand what these people refer to.

So, both the players I'm looking at seem to basically cancel each other out based on what I've read and the features I'm looking for, and yet appear to be the best players on the market in this price range. Therefore, I have come here. Can anybody help out with my choice based on person experience, etc?
post #14003 of 16475
I've had both. You pretty much nailed it. But while Sony's DLNA has a few issues with some files now and then, it's immensely better than panasonic, which has virtually no DLNA capability to speak of besides MPEG and MKV.

If you get the Sony, I recommend you try HomeStream (Serviio) instead of TVersity. Sony can play a lot of things without any transcoding, so the quality will be a lot better.

Wifi isn't stellar on either player, but is a tad better on sony, I think because of the plastic enclosure vs. metal on the panny. I've never had problems with either one, but I do see more wifi issues posted about panasonic, not necessarily range but about getting the initial connection to work at all. Many complain sony's plastic case makes the unit look and feel cheap, but I actually like it because it's lighter.

If DLNA is a big priority, you may want to look at LG or Samsung. I think they may handle some file types the sony can't. But as you know, the right DLNA server can transcode anything.
post #14004 of 16475
Not knocking the Panasonic gear, thouhg if you are already familiar with the ps3 gui interface then I would say sony would be a better option play with...

unless your in the same room chances are wifi is going to be a null point and when it comes FW updates sometimes it just pays to have a lan connection...

I'm also of the opinion that when have to much stuff that uses wifi in close proximity each other then it pays to start migration to hardware that wlan bridge and a min of 8 ports, and run gear on lan instead of wlan..
post #14005 of 16475
Hi, everyone

I'm looking for a player similar to ilyag-x's needs above, but with slight variations: reliable wifi, good quality Netflix app, and good quality Hulu+ app. I'm not really concerned about DLNA, and I'm assuming that any good streaming player will have BD picture quality that is sufficient. Don't need 3D capabilities.

This if for my mother to use to watch a BD here and there and to do some streaming, primarily over Hulu. As such, the streaming functionality and friendly user interface is paramount.

At first I was looking at the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 and the LG BP620/BP320, but then I read a rash of reviews that said the streaming was a headache for both of those. Now I'm looking at the Sony BDP-S390

Can anyone speak to the Netflix/Hulu experience with the Sony? I didn't spy any horror stories in a quick review of the owner's thread. Also is the BDP-BX39 functionally the same as the BDP-S390? The former is actually a little cheaper on Amazon & comes with an HDMI cable.

Thanks a bunch, all.
post #14006 of 16475
I have a 390 and used to have a panasonic. I can tell you that the Hulu+ app on panasonic is horrible. I've never used the one on sony, and don't currently have a subscription, so I won't be trying it. No disc players support the free version of Hulu as far as I know.

The BX39 is identical to the 390 except for the extra cable in the box.
post #14007 of 16475
Thanks for the reply, mdavej. Have you had any issues with the 390 on any other fronts? Do you use the Netflix app at all, by chance?
post #14008 of 16475
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontyl View Post

Thanks for the reply, mdavej. Have you had any issues with the 390 on any other fronts? Do you use the Netflix app at all, by chance?
I have 3 of them, and all are working great. But I do notice some vibration on one when certain discs spin up. I use Netflix a lot (a couple of hours per day) without issue. PQ is good, buffer stays full, and you can get stream details like on the PS3 (quality, bitrate, etc.). Interface is very nice. It has a lot of other apps which are so-so, but functional. I am unhappy that the latest update ruined the NPR app. It used to be organized by category, but now it's just one gigantic list 500 or so items which is very hard to navigate. The Crackle app and Youtube also work fine, although, like on most players, Youtube is not HD.

One minor annoyance with sony players in general is it takes more clicks to launch apps from a cold boot. They insist on popping up all these status dialogs, which is unnecessary. It's like getting in your car and pressing the gas but instead of moving, you get a message that the car is ready to drive. Just go already.

All that being said, they are far better than my old panasonics in terms of DLNA and sheer number of streaming apps. If you only play discs and watch netflix, panasonic is a fine choice. But if you want a player that does it all, sony is the better choice at the moment.
post #14009 of 16475
Awesome, thanks for the extra info, mdavej. I'll probably order one of the Sony 390s from Amazon today.
post #14010 of 16475
I could also use some advice on taking the plunge into the BluRay world. However, it seems that my priorities are a bit different from most. I'm not terribly interested in streaming, because I use a Roku, although if the player comes with Amazon VOD, I could repurpose the Roku.

Here's what I'm looking for:
- reliability and build quality
- low cost
- 3D for future-proofing would be nice.

Here's my current setup:
- Samsung 720p LCD TV (will eventually be replaced, probably with another Samsung, but not for a while)
- Onkyo HT-RC360 (so high-quality upconverting on the BluRay player isn't necessarily a priority)

Ideally, I'm looking at the sub-$100 range, but I want to get the most value out of what I spend. Any suggestions? Any other information I should provide?
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