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Best Blu-ray player for speed and picture quality?

by minimalist / August 22, 2009 5:43 AM PDT

What are the best of the newest generation of blu-ray players in terms of load speed and picture quality (both HD and upscaling) with ethernet connectivity (budget 250-400). Bitstreaming DTS MS and True HD over HDMI is requirement.

I'm thinking about upgrading my 2.5 year old Sony BDP s300 which is painfully slow to load, is a real pain in the butt to deal with firmware updates, and which won;t output lossless codecs over its old HDMI 1.1 connection. Other than firmware updates I don't care about the other features of profile 2.0. Netflix or Pandora streaming would be a plus but not at the expense of picture quality and load speed.

I know Panasonic, Samsung LG, Sony and Oppo all make fast-ish players now but I'm having a hard time differentiating them.

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What I use.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 22, 2009 5:46 AM PDT

I lucked into a PS3 not long ago and it's load time according to some is among the fastest machines out there. With the new slim PS3 could that be the best?
Bob

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I agree, and them some
by Dan Filice / August 22, 2009 6:01 AM PDT
In reply to: What I use.

I agree with Bob about the PS3, as I own one too. But, I also have a Panny BR player and I love that too as it loads just as fast as the PS3. I own a non-BR OPPO player and those are great in that they play a zillion of formats like DiVx that some others don't. I don't own an OPPO BR player, but based on the one I own, that would be a good choice too.

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I hear the PS3 Slim bitstreams DTS HD and True HD
by minimalist / August 22, 2009 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: What I use.

but the original PS3 does not which is definitely a plus. I would really like stackability though and the fan noises always worry me about game machines.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for the reviews that compare PQ (both BD and DVD upscaling) of the PS3 Slim to the LG's, Panny's and Samsungs. That's pretty important to me. As I have no need for another game console I'd hate to give up any measure of quality for a gaming element I'm never going to use.

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.
by jostenmeat / August 22, 2009 7:42 AM PDT

the issue here is that while you might get a faster load time, it STILL will be slower than what you want. Something to consider. welcome to the world of bluray.

The Oppo should be significantly quicker, but it doesn't fall into your budget. OTOH, you get to enjoy SACD/DVDA capability. Something to exercise your new speaker system with.

ps3 & oppo will be the fastest. pana's will be second to those, I am led to believe, historically, though still faster than 300/350.

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well i might just save up and get the right one.
by minimalist / August 22, 2009 8:31 AM PDT
In reply to: .

I'm not in a tremendous hurry. The Sony works fine. Its just not a very peasant experience (some of those load times are 2-3 minutes). I definitely want to take a step up and not just a step sideways with my next player.

I'm actually shocked at how good even regular old 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sounds off some of old DVD's (if attention was paid to the audio mix of course). I can tell that the True HD and DTSHD Blu-rays have intense dynamic range but its all getting down-mixed into regular DTS and DD for the time being. One of the most impressive mixes I have heard thus far is the Blade Runner Blu-ray which is incredible considering it was from the early 80's.

The Oppo does look good and I have heard its blazingly fast. For some reason I seem to remember some CNET reviews saying LG's had the fastest players (even faster then the PS3) but that was a player generation ago.

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Bang for the buck
by WildClay / August 23, 2009 12:54 AM PDT

The panni BD series reviews plus from my personal experience offer great PQ and pretty respectable load times, not as quick as a PS3. Panni has, at least in my experience been great on firmware, easy to get/apply, and they seem to usually be in front of the pack on getting new firmware.

I can't speak to the Samsung, the LG I would pass, my neighbor has been through 2 of them, on his third now, same model, both failed under warranty, not sre if others have experienced high failure rates also.

As for Sony, I used to be a big Sony fan but something has happened lately, they still want the price for being in a class of their own but that class seems to be more middle of the road now. I still like Sony receivers.

You can find a lot of reviews, the panni usually makes a very good showing even against models 2-3 times the price, so for overall bang for the buck in the two key things you are looking for, I would take a hard look at the panni bd60.

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Best Blu ray player...
by valvesnvinyl / August 27, 2009 8:45 AM PDT

We've been lucky enough here to take the new Oppo BD player for an extended spin and wow--super fast and the best BD picture quality I've ever seen in a reasonably priced player. A bit more at $499 to be sure, but if you can stretch it, I definitely recommend it over the lower cost LGs, Panny's and the like for its combination of PQ, SQ, quick load times, near univeral disc compatibility and user-friendliness.

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Oppo blu ray player
by Sammy T. / August 31, 2009 5:27 AM PDT
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thanks.
by minimalist / August 31, 2009 11:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Oppo blu ray player

Whether I would win this or not, I'm going to just save my money and buy the right player when the time comes (hopefully end of the year) which seems like it might be the Oppo at this point. I'd rather spend an extra hundred or so and get one that will last me a long time and plays lots of formats with the best possible video quality than compromise again and be aching for a new player in 2 years.

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