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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize in advance for this lengthy post.


First, since this may be important, here is what I own at the moment, and what may be connected to:


An older Sony Wega HDTV, tube, widescreen, 1080i, with HDMI. I love this tv and haven't yet seen a better picture on any Plasma, LCD or LED tv.

An older Sony Receiver, the DA333ES, 5.1 DTS, which has coaxial and optical digital connections, but no HDMI.

B&W 602 speakers in the front, B&W 302 speakers in the rear, a B&W C1 center channel speaker, and a Velodyne sub.

A Kinivo HDMI 5 port switch to hookup multiple HDMI devices.

An XBOX 360

And a subscription to Netflix streaming (which I currently access via the 360 as well as my laptop).


I am not interested in 3D. If the best player for my needs has 3D, that's just fine, but it's not a deal maker.


Here are the features I am most interested in:
  • The ability to play DVD-ROMs with the following mixed video formats: AVI, WMV, MKV, FLV, VOB, MP4, and 1080P AND 720P MP4, WMV, AVI (dimensions such as 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080). Also the ability to play those formats when stored on removable storage devices or external harddrives.
  • External storage inputs for USB Flash drives, SD cards, even external harddrives. Multiple inputs would be a plus in order to connect at least a couple external sources.
  • Auto off and/or a screensaver when playing content is left on pause. I just bought a very nice Onkyo 6 disc DVD changer (DV-CP706) but it has no screensaver while DVDs are paused, which leaves me greatly concerned about burn-in.
  • Fast load/play time.
  • BDLive
  • Ability to connect to home network via wired or wireless. I'm sure this is pretty standard with Blu-Ray players at this point, but I'm not entirely sure.
  • Excellent DVD upconversion. I have thousands of DVDs and have no immediate plans to upgrade everything in my collection.
  • PAL compatibility might be nice, but not entirely essential. I'm in the US, so the standard is NTSC, but I occasionally buy rare DVDs that have only been released in other countries. My current work-around is copying those discs to my laptop, using IFOEDIT to to re-write the IFO files, creating a sort of "fake" NTSC, and re-burning them, which works quite well. But it would be nice to avoid this step.
  • "SMART" features. I'm not even sure what this is, but seems to offer such things as a web browser and apps. But I'm not sure if these types of features are available on my TV, or if I would need a Smart TV. Not a deal maker or breaker. Web browsing on the TV always sounds nice, but never seems to live up to the hype.
  • Not essential, but SACD playback would be a plus.


I'm not expecting audio miracles. My speakers are nice, but the Sony 333ES is certainly outdated. I know I won't be able to get 7.1 audio...I just want to be sure that Blu-Rays recorded with 7.1 audio or other newer standards will still produce 5.1 sound on my setup.


Streaming from my PC would also be great, but I keep seeing mention of something called DLNA, which I don't believe my laptop has (a Toshiba Satellite A505-S6960 64x, running Windows 7 Ultimate). If I can't stream, no big deal. I'm able to do this via the XBOX 360, and the PS3 Media Server allows it to play every video format on the PC.


So far I've looked at the following players:
LG BP620

This unit seems capable of playing just about all video content, such as mp4s, wmvs, etc. I'm not sure it includes avi--perhaps someone can make heads or tails of this LG video format list:

"Yes" to all of the following formats:


MPEG2

MPEG4 AVC (H.264)

MKV

AVC Rec

AVCHD

M4V

WMV

3GP

FLV

VOB


I see no mention of a screensaver.

Sony BDPS790


Nice specs on this one, but it seems incapable of playing wmv and some other video formats. It also boasts something called 4K, which supposedly delivers HD at 4x the detail. But I'm pretty sure this would require a very specific TV.

Samsung BD-E6500


These are just a few I've looked at. All have seemingly great features, and all seem to lack an element or two.


I'd be most grateful if anyone could make some suggestions for me. I'm looking for something under $300.

Thank you very much!
 

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