Originally Posted by info_dan
So you're saying a CD in the BDP 51 sounds better than a CD in the PS3, with both outputting digital data? Sweet (but a bit strange). Have you tried comparing with PQLS off in the 51? And is there a volume control in the PS3, or some EQ (bass/treble) that could affect the sound?
For your BDP-51, don't expect too much in terms of reduced time delays with the latest firmware. My 05FD was also at 1.08 when I got it, and the newer firmwares don't improve that much, at least not that I have noticed. From power-on to "no disc" always took around 25 seconds on the stopwatch (other reports 19 seconds, but I don't think they have HDMI connected). What you can expect with newer firmware is:
- Better upconversion, as you know;
- Faster response on chapter skips (your "bit of a letdown" in your initial review). I'm at 1.21, and 1.25a should be even better in that regard.
PS3 is a whale of a machine and does many things well (not best in any one category, except operationally). Can't explain it, but the BDP 51 sounds better. Makes no sense, but there you have it. Is it PQLS? Could be. Still, I really don't know why. I haven't tried listening with PQLS disengaged.
Video quality shouldn't be different either. But, I think the PS3 is doing some sort of "enhancements" that aren't user definable. BDP51 seems to display a richer, truer color.
The big trade off is operationally, where the PS3 is far superior to the BDP51. Startup, load times, menu GUI, etc. Also, I have my PS3 linked to my WiFi network. FW updates are just a menu click away.
As noted, using a MAC, I couldn't get the FW for the BDP51 to work once I burned it to a disk. I have to request it from Pioneer (and am still waiting for a week to receive). While it's no big deal to me to have DTS-MA decoding (like the PS3 has), that seems to be another FW update that's coming. So, the long wait will be hot on the heels of the current update I'm waiting for.
Don't get me wrong, for less than $300, I don't know that there's a better BD player out there over the BDP51, if you've got a pre-pro/AVR that's capable of decoding DTS-MA. But, if I were setting up a new HT system from scratch, I'd still probably go with a PS3 for $100 more.