Samsung's mysterious Blu-ray fixes

A firmware update is now available for Samsung's flawed Blu-ray player

The folks over at Home Theater Blog report that Samsung has finally released a firmware update to its $1,000 Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000, which Samsung acknowledged had a problem with overzealous noise reduction that softened the picture. As CNET and others have reported, this wasn't the only issue with the player, and the BD-P1000 has taken its share of hits in the early going. That's the price you pay for being first to market with a new technology. (Toshiba, too, has had to update the firmware on its first-generation HD-DVD player, but it managed to put something together a little quicker.)

Now that the update is available for download--you have to burn it to a DVD and insert the disc into the player--you're probably wondering what exactly it fixes, right? Well, Home Theater Blog says that's still unclear. No mention of the fixes is mentioned in the documentation that accompanies the patch; just instructions for installing the new firmware.

On our end, we've downloaded the patch and burned it to disc, but we haven't had time to evaluate the update. The thing is, to see whether the patch actually does anything, we have to sit down and watch a bunch of material before upgrading, sear those images in our brains, then update and watch a whole bunch more material. All that said, if we had to bet, this patch won't drastically affect picture quality. The fact is, it's the quality of the Blu-ray movies themselves that make the biggest difference, as evidenced by our recent viewing of the 50GB dual-layer Click disc.

(Photo: Samsung)