I just got the chance to get back to posting. Sorry for the delay. Please do remember though it takes time to post observations. I am plugging and unplugging 6 or 7 different players as well as playing many different titles in each unit!
I want to be thorough and not rush. I have now had 48 hours of hard work. I apologize if this is considered lacking as far as anyone's standards for reviews go.
Alright, so in part 2 of the S5000ES review I am going to bring up the SD dvd playback as well as other features of the player. I will throw in a few answers to some of the questions that have been asked to.
SD dvds... I will say I was very impressed with the SD dvd performance. It is only second to (and just barely) the 3800's HQV chip. I will say they are very close and that most would not be able to pick which is which. Sony delivered there. The 3800 and S5000ES are head and shoulders above the rest in SD dvd performance. I tested about 8 titles. And yes the S5000ES can do 480i or be put into an AUTO mode. Overall I was not expecting the SD dvd performance to rival the 3800's. It was a nice surprise. As for the other units and where they land. They are similar but the Pioneer 51FD beats out the BD35, PS3, sony 350, as well as the others on my list.
MultiChannel Audio... I did decide to do it old school style and listen to the analogs. They sound excellent and on par with the 3800's excellent performance. I do not have the 550 to compare so I apologize for not being able to help there. Speaker settings are like you would expect. Sizes, levels and distances. I did not see a crossover option but I wouldn't use it anyway since that is what my receiver is for. Whether you Bitstream or go Analog you will not be disappointed in the sound. Top notch.
I was asked about Day After Tomorrow. Sorry that is a Christmas gift so I am not allowed to open up my Bond sets yet.
Hulk played fine the entire movie. No issues. Actually I have now tested loading 200 titles and all worked!
On another note I hooked up a WET Linksys (ethernet wireless adaptor) and it worked easily. Really cool and looking forward to easy software updates like the PS3.
Mark, as for noise I have not heard the fan turn on. It very well could have at times but right now it is silent. The S5000ES is not loud and noise will not be a factor for anyone.
I am also including a few pics of what the Display button looks like when pushed on the remote. And also what the Options button does to. I was asked about it showing how much time is remaining. Yes, it does that.
I will be posting more and more this afternoon...