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It's time to make the jump - Blu-ray player recommendations [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : It's time to make the jump - Blu-ray player recommendations


caiman
05-16-11, 05:12 PM
I've put off this whole Blu-ray thing long enough. Now is the time. I was hoping you guys can give me some player recommendations.

Here's what I'm needing:

-Excellent picture quality. This is far and away the most important factor for me.
-Excellent upconverting for standard DVDs. I want my DVDs to look the best they possibly can.
-Netflix streaming capability. Gotta love Netflix.
-Region-free or the ability to become region-free. (Region-free for standard DVDs is all I'm needing. Area-free for BDs is not necessary)
-Fast boot/load times. I've used BD players that take over a minute just to show signs of life. This would bug the crap out of me.
-I'd like to spend less than $300.

I know the new Oppo players would definitely suit me in terms of picture quality, but I'm a little put off by the price (especially if I'll be paying for a lot of features I'll never touch). I've also heard good things about some of the Panasonic players, and they seem to be more in my price range, but I'm unsure if they can be made region-free, so maybe someone can answer that for me.

Let's hear what you guys have to say.

Spiky
05-16-11, 10:07 PM
What TV and audio equipment?

As for your requirements:

BD has excellent picture, you're covered.
Upconverting comments will be related to my question.
Netflix: most of them have it now.
Region free is difficult to find, this is the real issue. You are looking at a model a year old most likely. Several DVD RF/BD not-RF in your price range.
Any name brand player will be fast these days. Although if you have to go back a generation or 2 for region free...
Damn, I was gonna recommend an Oppo. ;)

davidlynchfan
05-17-11, 04:01 AM
Sony or Panny and of course Oppo if you got the dough otherwise I refuse to touch any other brand.

caiman
05-17-11, 10:56 AM
What TV and audio equipment?


For video, right now I'm using an older Samsung 50" 720p Plasma but I plan to upgrade it in the near future. So assume it will be something with excellent PQ.

As for audio I'm using this receiver (http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-HTR-5540-Audio-Video-Receiver/dp/B0000658AQ) and Polk speakers.

caiman
05-17-11, 01:03 PM
Hey guys I just thought of something else important that I need. Since I have an older receiver with no HDMI, I'll need the player to decode the HD audio formats and to have analog outputs for 5.1 (I want the best audio I can get).

So where does that leave me? It seems the Panasonic 110/210/310 only have 2 channel outputs.

Spiky
05-17-11, 11:09 PM
Yep, that's why I asked about audio. Also, you want to consider whether your TV (current or future) can play both PAL and NTSC DVDs. Players are all over the place as to whether they convert or not, it's crazier than the DVD players. Me, I have a TV that plays both, so I'm covered.

Normally I like Panasonic in the not-so-expensive world, and they actually offer the analog output you want, unlike most, but none of them convert PAL to NTSC if that's an issue. This site claims to have the BD80 (http://www.world-import.com/Panasonic_DMP-BD80_Region_Free_Blu_Ray_DVD_Player_110_volt.htm) hardware modded, but I wonder whether it does the video conversion. They claim it does, so I guess they added that, too? A little higher than your price range, but your only other alternative might be Oppo with all those requirements.

Crap, that's one generation too old for Netflix, I think. You're going to have to figure out which of those requirements are most important. I don't think you can meet all of them, not with the price one, anyway. There's a Sony with the analog out for about $500 at that website I linked, don't know what its upconversion is like, though. I'd trust Panny more. (and Oppo, of course)

You could consider a region free DVDp for under $100, then a Panny BD85 for everything else.

caiman
05-18-11, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the reply. Your comments have sorta confirmed what I've been worried about: I'm probably bot going to satisfy all of these requirements within my price range. And $300 is the absolute ceiling; in reality I'd like to spend less than $200.

So now I'm thinking compromise. The Panny BDT110 is looking pretty tempting at that price. The main selling point for me is the quality upconverting and the fast load times. It lacks the multi-channel analog outs, but I can live with that until I upgrade my receiver.

As for region-free, I might just use my current (non upconverting) DVD player along with the new one. I only have less than ten non-R1 DVDs anyway.

Spiky
05-18-11, 10:32 PM
I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between the 65/75 ($99) and the 110 ($125). Skype seems to be it, plus new marketing copy.

caiman
05-18-11, 10:59 PM
I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between the 65/75 ($99) and the 110 ($125). Skype seems to be it, plus new marketing copy.

I don't think the BD65/75 are 3D.

Man, the BD75 is less than $85 at amazon. Since I don't give a rat's ass about 3D, this might be the way to go!

EDIT: Aw crap, I don't think the 75 has any digital audio outputs :(

Spiky
05-19-11, 04:20 AM
Ooh, that looks true. Well, it has HDMI, but you need something else for now. Unless your TV can output digital back to the receiver, but many cannot except from their own tuner.

Tiger Direct claims to have open boxes of the 85 for $230.