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Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Old 07-25-09, 12:42 PM
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Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

My DVD player FINALLY died (about 5 years old), so Blu-Ray was a very logical purchase to upgrade my "Non DVD Upgrade" dvd player.

Here are the pros/cons about my Blu-Ray Player (Samsung 1500)

PROS:
-Picture quality of Blu-Ray Disks (Colors and clarity are a real step up from DVD. Love the animated movies, WOW they really pop off the screen. Watching TDK on Blu-Ray, then putting it in on DVD showed me how "Fuzzy" can look and how clear Blu-Ray can look.)

-Upconverting of DVD (Really surprise how much better they looked. The best video quality DVD - Superbit Zorro/Fifth Element - were amazing!! The action movement in the movies is also much smother.)

-Menu system (Different/Cooler inter-active design. Love how you move through the Menu System while you are watching the movie.)

-Sound (With DVDs, sometimes I cannot understand what people are saying because of the bit rate. Now with Blu-Ray, I do not have that problem any more, the actors words are perfectly crisp and clear. The sound is much clearer when using surround sound and when it is feed only through the TV speakers.)

-HDMI (One cable for sound and video. I know that this is not only for Blu-Ray, but it is really cool now that I have it.)

-Subtitles (My wife does not appreciate vibrant surround sound as much as I do, so at night the sound needs go through my TV at a lower volume. Many times I have to display the Subtitles because the volume it TOO low. The letters are soooo clear on the screen now and very easy to read.

Subtitles are cool because you now see what people are saying in the crowds/background)


CONS:
-Times to boot up to watch preview/menu screens (My Samsung is slower than my old DVD player, but it is faster than the accounts I have read of other Blu-Ray players on the internet. Once booted, moving between menus shows no real delays, except internet content - THAT IS REALLY SLOW)

-Cost of Blu-Ray Disks (Own 7 Disk now. I that I have only bought one disk on the day it came out, the rest were bought on deep sales discount or used from Blockbuster. The cost of players is not so bad now, but the price of Disks really needs to come down for Blu-Ray to continue to grow and for people to upgrade their old DVDs to BR)

-Online Content (VERY BORING and VERY SLOW!!! This is a real useless feature. Really did not need to spend more money on a player that has this feature. Takes WAY TOO LONG to load the menu, and even WAY LONGER to download any pre-views or content. Studios need to improve this or get rid of it. Most new BR players come with this feature, but if you are buying a player and it does not have it, you will not be missing anything.)

-Power Consumption (Put out more heat and cost more to run than my DVD player)

-Larger Form (About 20% larger than DVD Player.)

-Remote Control (Some new features are on it, but I am missing a few features that I had on my DVD control. Only of the features I miss the most is "Hitting the Play button and the movie would skip back 10 seconds".)

Any other PROS/CONS you guys have found on your Blu-Ray player?
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Old 07-25-09, 05:51 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

It varies from player to player, but as for the Sammy's owners have found the customer support and firmware updates lacking. Of course most of the newer players now support BD-Live and can bitstream TrueHD and DTS-HD MA but alot of the older players could not. Firmware updates are especially lacking for some of the cheaper or less well known/popular brands (e.g. Insignia, Memorex, Vizio, Magnavox, Sylvania, Funai, etc.)

The PS3 and Oppo are the fastest player out there to date and are, in my eyes, equivalent to the load times of dvd players. There are also some awesome deals on blu-ray discs right now (e.g. Amazon ~$10, including new releases such as Ghostbusters BD -> $13.99 - $5 coupon = $8.99).

Last edited by rdodolak; 07-25-09 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:35 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

I have had a Panasonic BD30 for a few months and have had no problems and am extremely happy.

I would say most of the negatives on the OP are minor for me, with the biggest impact being the prices of BD discs. I have a handful, but most of those I have bought on sale between $10-15.

Loading time is longer than DVD, but usually not a pain. There have been a couple titles that loaded very slow-- like Burn Notice S2. Sometimes the menus are a little sluggish manuevering around, but I like being able to watch a special feature and then it goes right back to where I left off in the movie.
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Old 07-26-09, 12:40 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

What does you topic title mean?
Is this a review of your blu-ray player after using it for 4 months?

Also what does "very logical purchase to upgrade my "Non DVD Upgrade" dvd player." mean.
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Old 07-26-09, 01:24 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
What does you topic title mean?
Is this a review of your blu-ray player after using it for 4 months?
It appears so.

Also what does "very logical purchase to upgrade my "Non DVD Upgrade" dvd player." mean.
I think he meant "non HD Upconvert" DVD player, since his old player was 5 years old, just before HD Upconversion started being mainstream.
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Old 07-26-09, 03:39 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
What does you topic title mean?
Is this a review of your blu-ray player after using it for 4 months?

Also what does "very logical purchase to upgrade my "Non DVD Upgrade" dvd player." mean.
1. Answer to first Question:

-I guess it ended up as a review or both my player and BR in general

2. Answer to 2nd Question:

-Since my old "Non Upconverting" DVD player died (Finally), instead of buying a cheaper Sony Up-converting DVD player, I did the only logical thing, buy a BR Player.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:49 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Here's a CON for me (actually more of a pet peeve):

The STOP button acts more like the OFF button. At least on the PS3, maybe it's different on regular blu-ray players. When I hit STOP, it exits the blu-ray and goes to the PS3 menu. Then you have to load the blu-ray from the beginning and find your place in the movie.

If this was my first movie player, it probably wouldn't be a problem. But for 25 years of VCRs and DVD players, I've been pushing STOP. My brain knows to not use the STOP button on the PS3. But my movie watching instincts override rational thought.

Why can't they make the STOP button act like the freakin' STOP button is supposed to act? Stupid PS3!
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Old 07-26-09, 07:22 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Why can't they make the STOP button act like the freakin' STOP button is supposed to act? Stupid PS3!
You can press the green button and it sets a bookmark which you can access later. Sadly, a number of the discs I own don't have this feature either. Some will resume play when you hit stop, but my Pirates of the Caribbean film (or at least At World's End, because this is the only one I tried to stop) don't allow for the feature, AND it resets when you hit stop. Combined with the fucking 12 scenes of ads and warnings I have to skip through to just get to the menu, it was a royal pain. Still, the PQ alone for those same movies made me glad I upgraded.
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Old 07-26-09, 07:27 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

I wouldn't say Blu-rays cost any more than DVDs... maybe on day one release but I've been able to get everything I want for $17 or less by waiting just a month or two after release. Just takes some patience.

As far as form factor... depends on the player... some of the newer LG or Samsung players aren't any bigger than their DVD counterparts. That $98 player at Wal-Mart is a BEAST however. I've got a PS3, which is bigger than a breadbox, but it serves multiple purposes by dabbling in gaming every once in a while.

Calling Online Content a con as opposed to DVD isn't fair... as DVD is totally incapable of doing it. I really don't even bother with it to tell ya the truth... it's usually boring anyways.

The preview screens ARE annoying... but this is something that we also contended with on DVD. My girlfriend actually enjoys watching the previews... I have no idea why. Load times on the PS3 for menus are less than 10 seconds in 99% of cases.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:52 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

I agree with the majority of issues brought up, but look at the bright side, in time most if not all of these issues will be fixed.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:33 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by RobLutter View Post
I wouldn't say Blu-rays cost any more than DVDs... maybe on day one release but I've been able to get everything I want for $17 or less by waiting just a month or two after release. Just takes some patience.
If you're gonna wait a month or two after release, standard DVDs are around $10-$12.

And also look at the used prices. There's more standard DVDs out there, so the prices often drop to ridiculous levels.

Blu-rays are definitely more expensive than standard DVDs.
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Old 07-26-09, 11:20 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Well I don't know where he's buying his BD's but after i've owned roughly 180 of them, my average price is still below $12..and that's just by title, not some disc nonsense.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:00 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

To me the biggest con of Blu-ray is the lack of start-up where you left off. The overly long load times and previews would be tolerable if you only did it once. Last night I accidentally hit the power button and had to do it all over again.

I've avoided the high price of discs by only buying very few. I used to buy or DVD-r everything. Now I rent and only keepers I'll wait for a decent deal and then buy.

As someone who doesn't really care about extras, the online content is a waste. I've never heard any glowing reviews of it, even from people who really need to get a life like Hunt. Do I really need to swap personal commentaries with others while watching Mamma Mia? I don't think so. I don't give a crap how you made the movie and how much fun it was working with so-and-so. Before I spent an hour watching some garbage about a movie I already saw I'll pop in another movie or TV show for some real entertainment. WHEW. What was the question again?
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Old 07-27-09, 06:33 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Here's a CON for me (actually more of a pet peeve):

The STOP button acts more like the OFF button. At least on the PS3, maybe it's different on regular blu-ray players. When I hit STOP, it exits the blu-ray and goes to the PS3 menu. Then you have to load the blu-ray from the beginning and find your place in the movie.

If this was my first movie player, it probably wouldn't be a problem. But for 25 years of VCRs and DVD players, I've been pushing STOP. My brain knows to not use the STOP button on the PS3. But my movie watching instincts override rational thought.

Why can't they make the STOP button act like the freakin' STOP button is supposed to act? Stupid PS3!
? This isn't the fault of the PS3, it does act like a DVD stop button in that it returns you to the PS3 menu. If the Blu ray is capable of resuming, it does so if you press play again. It does not turn the PS3 off.

Or are you lamenting the lack of resume on certain Blu ray discs because of their fancy menus?
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Old 07-28-09, 10:06 AM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by Iron_Giant View Post
-Online Content (VERY BORING and VERY SLOW!!! This is a real useless feature. Really did not need to spend more money on a player that has this feature. Takes WAY TOO LONG to load the menu, and even WAY LONGER to download any pre-views or content. Studios need to improve this or get rid of it. Most new BR players come with this feature, but if you are buying a player and it does not have it, you will not be missing anything.)
You are SORELY mistaken about not needing internet access IMHO. As content gets upgraded on the media, it is nicer to have the player realize it needs and upgrade and go out to the internet and DO IT than to figure it out for yourself. My PS3 forced a needed upgrade when I got Sleeping Beauty. Without it, the disk wouldn't even play (I know this because my home internet was down when I first tried to watch it).

I agree that the content is mostly crap, but you saying you're not "missing anything" without being connected to the internet is just wrong.
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Old 07-28-09, 10:20 AM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by rfduncan View Post
Without it, the disk wouldn't even play (I know this because my home internet was down when I first tried to watch it).
On the other hand, Coraline wouldn't play for me on Sunday until I turned off my PS3's online connectivity. It got hung up on the "loading..." screen during several attempts, but as soon as I made my PS3 no-longer-online-aware, the menu came up almost instantly.
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Old 07-28-09, 11:13 AM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by rfduncan View Post
Originally Posted by Iron_Giant View Post
-Online Content (VERY BORING and VERY SLOW!!! ...Studios need to improve this or get rid of it. )
You are SORELY mistaken about not needing internet access IMHO. As content gets upgraded on the media, it is nicer to have the player realize it needs [an] upgrade and go out to the internet and DO IT than to figure it out for yourself.
You two are really talking about two different features: Online Firmware upgrades and BD Live.

Online Firmware Upgrades are convenient, but not 100% necessary, since firmware upgrades can be obtained by other means. Also, getting online firmware upgrades does not necessitate having BD Live. Some Profile 1.1 BD players can upgrade their firmware online, but can't play BD Live content.

As for getting rid of BD Live, I don't see the need to do that. If you view BD Live content as a waste of time, simply don't watch it. I have a BD Live capable player, but it's still unconnected to my network, largely because I haven't seen the need to connect it yet.

As for connection speeds, those will improve over time.

I do think studios haven't figured out the full potential of BD Live yet. Besides the simple feature of additional subtitles and language tracks, there's potential to release material that simply wouldn't ever be put on the original disc.

For example, the upcoming Spinal Tap BD won't have the Criterion extras because MGM didn't license them. With BD Live, one could potentially offer a service where Criterion licenses these extras to the end consumer directly.
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Old 07-28-09, 11:33 AM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Here's a CON for me (actually more of a pet peeve):

The STOP button acts more like the OFF button. At least on the PS3, maybe it's different on regular blu-ray players. When I hit STOP, it exits the blu-ray and goes to the PS3 menu. Then you have to load the blu-ray from the beginning and find your place in the movie.

If this was my first movie player, it probably wouldn't be a problem. But for 25 years of VCRs and DVD players, I've been pushing STOP. My brain knows to not use the STOP button on the PS3. But my movie watching instincts override rational thought.

Why can't they make the STOP button act like the freakin' STOP button is supposed to act? Stupid PS3!
Cuz that's what the pause button is for. lol


Back to the OP, Blu-ray disc prices are dropping fast. I bet within 1-2 years, we will see a Walmart 5 dollar blu-ray dump bin.

Pros
One of my favorite features is accessing the main menu while the movie is still playing.


Cons

Discs that include interactive games which are lame and boring. Why go to the trouble of playing 21 card game on the 21 dvd when you can a much better version for free online?
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Old 07-28-09, 12:25 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Originally Posted by RobLutter View Post
I wouldn't say Blu-rays cost any more than DVDs... maybe on day one release but I've been able to get everything I want for $17 or less by waiting just a month or two after release. Just takes some patience.
I guess you haven't been to Big Lots lately. No, you are not going to get new releases for $3, but in general I find waiting 6 months to a year brings the price of a standard DVD to $3-5. I can't remember when i spent more than $7.50 for a standard DVD.

What does that same time period bring a BD disc to?
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Old 07-28-09, 01:01 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

This kind of comparison is completely dependent on your particular players. My Denon DVDp is still in use and is about 300% larger than the tiny BDp (Panny BD55) sitting on top of it. Probably 500% heavier. Even though it is not an upconverter, it gives a better pic on DVDs than the BD player does. Because de-interlacing is still more important for DVD than upconverting.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:12 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Apples-to-oranges comparisons aggravate me to no end.

It is not a fair comparison to compare the price of the BD you found an online deal on to the regular price of the same film's DVD release in a brick and mortar. It is an asinine comparison.

It seems like the latest trend is that BD MSRPs are drifting upwards rather than downwards. Now before panties get tied in knots, MSRP affects how much a sale price will be. This is the baseline price that discounted prices are based on.

I doubt we'll see a dump bin that soon.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:24 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

I totally agree. was just responding to the thought in the thread.

BD is new technology. Not fair to compare prices of a new technology with something that is over 10 years old.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:56 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

Boot up times and online content are both so slow that I typically watch the online stuff by myself, since I doubt my girlfriend would sit there that long while BDLive circles around the drain forever.

For the record, I have a Sony BDP-S350, latest firmware with a 2 GB USB thumb drive.
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Old 07-29-09, 11:31 PM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

More PROs/Cons:

Pro
-Internet net to upgrade Firmware, do not have to burn to DVD/USB and transfer to player. Makes life a little smoother.

-Have entire movie and Extras all on one disk, DO NOT have to swap disk to see extras

-BR Disks are in a shorter case, which makes it easier to store

-BR Disks are suppose to be more scratch friendly

-Overall the Extras are as good or better then DVDs

CONS
-Depending on what player you have, "Big White, fast motion sceens" can cause the video to get out of sync and freak out for a few seconds. This happens when I use the "3 color/HD Cables", but video is smooth as silk and never has a problem of getting out of SYNC when I use the HDMI cables.


As we all know, BRs PROS are way HIGHER than any CONS we can come up with.

But, after watching movies in beautiful clarity in both sound and video, it still comes down to the movie having GREAT writing, directing, acting and lighting/photography. I would rather watch a great movie on normal cable than an ok movie on BR.

Last edited by Iron_Giant; 07-30-09 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:11 AM
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Re: Blu-Ray review (After 4 months)

PROS:
-Picture and sound. Enough said.

-Like somebody else said, HDMI.

-Agree about upconversion! Some movies look fantastic


CONS:
-Still waiting for Pioneer to enable DTS HD (surprised there isn't a lawsuit by now)

-Firmware updates. I always cringe when I insert a new release in the player. Very, very frustrating.

-Netflix, Youtube, Pandora. I really hate this trend in electronics. Instead of trying to be a end all type of player why don't you just concentrate on giving consumers the best Blu Ray and DVD playback possible? Take that away and maybe we can get a more reasonable priced player.

-Where's Jurassic Park, Star Wars (any), Bad Boys II, Blade, and Suspiria?
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