Samsung is adding the ability to stream Netflix videos and Pandora's online music service to its latest Blu-ray players. Starting today, a free firmware update will add both services to the
Both Samsung players have been available at retail for several weeks. In addition to Netflix and (for the 2550) Pandora support, a subsequent firmware update due on October 30 will add DTS-HD audio support (onboard decoding for DTS-HD High Resolution, bit-stream output for Master Audio) for both players, andsupport for 2550 (it's already available on the 2500). Those features are in addition to the players' already impressive feature set, which includes HQV video processing (which, in previous players, provides improved quality when playing standard DVDs); 7.1-channel analog audio outputs (good for interfacing with older AV receivers); and 1GB of onboard flash memory (no need for adding an SD card or USB flash drive to deliver compatibility with online BD-Live features).
The Netflix viewing experience should be nearly identical to that offered by the Roku player; it offers unlimited viewing of the(12,000-plus) library of on-demand movies and TV shows to any Netflix subscriber on the $9-per-month plan or above. The ad-supported personalized Internet radio service is free.
Both players carry a list price of $400, so anybody with even a passing interest in music should opt for the BD-P2550 (available at Best Buy). CNET will have complete hands-on reviews of the players as soon as the full firmware updates become available.
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