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Thread: Panasonic vs. Samsung Blu-ray Player

  1. #1
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    Question Panasonic vs. Samsung Blu-ray Player

    Yes I am a first timer on the forums and am I perplexed.I have a brand new ONKYO TX-SR606 RECEIVER,and I need to get a blue ray player that suits my needs.First off I have an extensive collection of DVD's and I want a player that can upconvert as smoothly as possible,Secondly I would like to take atvantage of my receivers DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO capabilities.My boss...er...wife has put me on a budget,she picked me up a 62" TOSHIBA 1080P HDTV, and I need a midrange Blue ray player 1)SAMSUNG BD-1600 or BD2550,or a BD3600.(Which have the REON HQV PROCESSOR for upconverting standard DVD's.2)My favorites: PANASONIC DMP-BD55K,60K,or the 80K,and I have not a clue to which unit is better at what.I want to take advantage of the DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO TECHNOLOGY,But I also need a player that can upconvert my current library and is easy(WI-FI),(USB)or ethernet to update any downloadable content,updates,firmware,ect.I am a true noob when it comes to Blue Ray technology and I need the help of the gurus with ETA's on the newer models and who you trust to purchase from....and most of all,WHAT YOU RECOMEND! THX!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus DukusErectus View Post
    Yes I am a first timer on the forums and am I perplexed.I have a brand new ONKYO TX-SR606 RECEIVER,and I need to get a blue ray player that suits my needs.First off I have an extensive collection of DVD's and I want a player that can upconvert as smoothly as possible,Secondly I would like to take atvantage of my receivers DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO capabilities.My boss...er...wife has put me on a budget,she picked me up a 62" TOSHIBA 1080P HDTV, and I need a midrange Blue ray player 1)SAMSUNG BD-1600 or BD2550,or a BD3600.(Which have the REON HQV PROCESSOR for upconverting standard DVD's.2)My favorites: PANASONIC DMP-BD55K,60K,or the 80K,and I have not a clue to which unit is better at what.I want to take advantage of the DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO TECHNOLOGY,But I also need a player that can upconvert my current library and is easy(WI-FI),(USB)or ethernet to update any downloadable content,updates,firmware,ect.I am a true noob when it comes to Blue Ray technology and I need the help of the gurus with ETA's on the newer models and who you trust to purchase from....and most of all,WHAT YOU RECOMEND! THX!
    5/20/09 - Update. We've now reviewed the Panasonic BD80, Samsung BD-P3600 and LG BD370. See the below links for detailed reviews of the performance, features and functionality of all three players:


    Welcome to the forum! There are a number of good players out there right now (or coming). Which you buy really depends on what features are most important to you. First of all, since you have a receiver that decodes DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD you can actually choose from almost any 3rd generation Blu-ray player (and some first and second generation players) - as long as they bitstream the output for TrueHD and DTS-HD then you are fine. All of the players you mention above do that.

    The Samsung BD-P2500 (and 2550) are excellent upconverters and they offer online streaming (Netflix in the 2500, Netflix and Pandora in the 2550). These two do have the Reon HQV processor, but the newer models (BD-P1600, 3600, 4600) do NOT. The upconversion on the BD-P1600 is not all that impressive from what I've seen so far - the 3600 and 4600 are still unkowns at this point in terms of what the quality of upconversion will be.

    As for the Panasonics, the BD35/BD55 were excellent players but are pretty hard to find now. We have the DMP-BD80 in for review right now and it is a lot like the BD55 in terms of upconversion quality and Blu-ray playback (both excellent), with the addition of the VIERA Cast functions (YouTube, Picasa, and soon Amazon movies on demand). The nice thing about VIERA Cast is that it is extensible. Panasonic will be able to add new content partners over time without you having to upgrade the player. But Samsung has shown this to be possible as well, adding Netflix on demand to the BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 after their initial ship date.

    Since you have a receiver that decodes DTS-HD Master Audio, you actually do not need the 7.1-channel analog outputs on the BD80 and you could go with the cheaper BD60 (or the combo VHS/Blu-ray BD70V). But the BD60 lacks support for playback of DivX-encoded AVI movies -- something that is probably only important to you if want to view downloaded videos which are DivX-encoded or Xvid-encoded.

    Really a big differentiating factor right now between the Samsung and Panasonic players is the type of online content they can access - the Netflix online streaming is a *great* feature if you're a Netflix customer because it allows unlimited "free" viewing of the content (no per rental fee), though the selection is a bit limited. As far as I know, Amazon's movie viewing service is a "pay per play" thing - you will have to pay for each movie viewed or downloaded. We haven't been able to test this feature as it is not yet available on VIERA Cast, but for existing Netflix customers, the Netflix online streaming on the LG and Samsung players is a pretty compelling value-added feature.

    All of the players you mention support network access for BD-Live and firmware updates. The BD-P3600 and BD-P4600 are supposed to come in the box with a wireless dongle but the rest all support network access via a standard ethernet jack.

    You are *supposed* to be able to pre-order or order them all from here but a couple of these links are not active yet:

    2009 Blu-ray Disc players on Amazon.com

    You may be better off waiting until on or around April 13th when they're all supposed to be available and see if any of these units go on sale (I expect they will).

    Regards,

    -Chris
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Chris,your info and opinions are quite helpful,I have seen many positive reviews concerning the Panasonic DMP-BD55K/35K and I am leaning towards the Panasonic DMP-BD80K.The only place I could locate the 35's or 55's was on E-BAY,and I think I want my new player out of the box from a local retailer.One more thing Chris.....would you purchase an extended warranty on a BlueRay player??....well ...one more......are you prompted onscreen that there is firmware to download,and then run an ethernet cable from my pc and download the material?Or does the ethernet cable have to be connected 24/7?I am so spoiled with WI-FI.Thank you Chris,I love your site and I will most likely pop in daily for my Home Theater fix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus DukusErectus View Post
    Chris,your info and opinions are quite helpful,I have seen many positive reviews concerning the Panasonic DMP-BD55K/35K and I am leaning towards the Panasonic DMP-BD80K.The only place I could locate the 35's or 55's was on E-BAY,and I think I want my new player out of the box from a local retailer.One more thing Chris.....would you purchase an extended warranty on a BlueRay player??....well ...one more......are you prompted onscreen that there is firmware to download,and then run an ethernet cable from my pc and download the material?Or does the ethernet cable have to be connected 24/7?I am so spoiled with WI-FI.Thank you Chris,I love your site and I will most likely pop in daily for my Home Theater fix.
    Yeah, as much as I liked the 35/55, I wouldn't buy one now with the 60 and 80 right around the bend offering comparable performance plus the VIERA Cast features. As for an extended warranty, this is always a personal choice. The players still aren't exactly cheap ($299/$399 list) but I think failure rates will be fairly low. A warranty is the kind of thing that is a waste of money if you never need it but pays for itself if you use it just once, so it's more for peace of mind than anything else.

    And as for firmware updates, how would the player know that it needs a firmware update without an internet connection? To be notified of firmware updates, you do need to set auto-update to ON in the player set-up menu and the player does have to be connected to the internet.

    If you don't want to run a network cable, then you could look into getting a wireless gaming adapter or a wireless bridge. I've seen talk of people using the Linksys WRT54G wireless router, flashed with a specific firmware that converts it into a wireless bridge. I'm sure you can find info on this if you Google it. With a wireless bridge, you'd plug your Blu-ray player (and any other components) into the bridge, then it would communicate back to your main wireless router for connection to the internet.

    Anyway... our BD80 review should be going live later this week and hopefully they'll be discounted below the $399 list once they're out and in stock in the usual places.

    Later,

    -Chris
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

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    Talking

    And as for firmware updates, how would the player know that it needs a firmware update without an internet connection? " Point taken!!" thx Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus DukusErectus View Post
    And as for firmware updates, how would the player know that it needs a firmware update without an internet connection? " Point taken!!" thx Chris
    BTW, Amazon now has the BD60 in stock (free shipping, no tax to most states):

    Panasonic DMP-BD60 on Amazon.com

    -CB
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

  7. #7
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    Default Wirless to BDP60 Panasonic

    I am looking for information on how to connect a wireless dongle to the Panasonic BDP 60. Does the Linksys WGA11B Wireless-B Game Adapter plugged into the Panasonic BDP 60 work as a wireless connection? I see that it work well with the PS2 and the xbox. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by puro40 View Post
    I am looking for information on how to connect a wireless dongle to the Panasonic BDP 60. Does the Linksys WGA11B Wireless-B Game Adapter plugged into the Panasonic BDP 60 work as a wireless connection? I see that it work well with the PS2 and the xbox. Any ideas?
    A wireless ethernet bridge or a wireless gaming adapter will work, but wireless "B" (802.11B) might not be fast enough if you want to use it for streaming YouTube and Amazon on demand videos (particularly not for HD). If you already have a wireless B network then you may as well get a "b" gaming adapter, but you'd be better off with 802.11G or 802.11N in order to get the throughput you'll need.

    If it's just for firmware updates and the occasional BD-Live content, then "B" should be OK.

    Here are a few that should work. The D-Link adapter is 802.11a or 802.11g - it's the least expensive but it should work fine:


    Good luck!

    -Chris
    Chris Boylan
    Editor in Chief
    Big Picture Big Sound

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