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HT-BD1250 critique

by RareIguana / November 28, 2009 4:35 PM PST

I?ve had the HT-BD1250 for a couple of months now and I?d like to share a few thoughts and moans.

Some background ? I have an LG 47? full HD LED TV and a Sky HD box. Originally, I had a Panasonic DVD home theatre with 5.1 surround sound system connected to the Sky box via an optical connection. I used a chipped XBOX running XBMC to play movies and music located on a remote server, connected via a 100 Mbps wired Ethernet connection and a component connection to my TV. As the Panasonic system was failing, I looked to replace it with a BD home theatre system ? thus the Samsung box ? the specs seemed to fit my requirements exactly:

? Ethernet connectivity to my remote server
? Optical connection to the Sky box
? HDMI connection to my TV

I am beginning to regret my choice of the Samsung unit, here are some of the niggles:

1. Advertised as having a Youtube, etc. connection, but in reality relies on a very flaky firmware update. I dare not allow the update given the huge number of problems experienced by others.

2. Will only play avi, etc. files. The XBMC system would play DVD images and there is no reason why the Samsung should not ? it must be capable of using them.

3. Cannot play music at the same time as watching a picture slideshow.

4. Not remembering the login details to my remote server ? this is so annoying. I know that Samsung say this it is a security feature but it would not be difficult to allow the box to remember.

5. The network connection to the remote server drops for no reason (not my infrastructure ? the XBOX *never* did this). After this happens, it will not find the network from an automatic scan; the unit has to be turned off to get this to work.

6. Drops the optical connection for a few seconds with subsequent loss of sound.

7. When the encoding on the optical connection changes there are wild changes in the volume level. This is most pronounced when the incoming signal goes to DD 5.1, the output is so loud that it is almost painful.

8. Lack of displayed information about what mode the sound is being processed/output in.

9. When changing from digital in to BD/DVD, the TV display loses signal a few times before settling down.

10. Poor documentation. Nowhere does it tell you how to do network discovery. I found it by accident. I just happened to press the left key when on the setup screen; this then showed the prompt to do a network scan. This is particularly galling ? how can a manufacturer miss out an essential operating step in their documentation.

I *have* tried all the settings to try to overcome these issues ? it is just not possible to sort them out. Or, is there something I am missing.

However, since committing all this to paper (?), I am starting to think that the unit is "not fit for purpose" - a specific phrase used in English consumer law. If it is not fit for purpose, I am within my rights to demand a full refund.

Any comments or similar experiences would be very interesing.



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Comments on HT-BD1250 critique
by gregneff / November 30, 2009 5:25 AM PST
In reply to: HT-BD1250 critique

6. I use both of the optical inputs, and do not experience dropouts. I would suggest that you make sure that the optical cable connectors are fully inserted, and that you don?t have any sharp bends in the optical cable.

7. Several other people on CNET, including myself, have reported this same issue. I have managed to push Samsung Canada to report this to Samsung engineering, but so far there is no response. No-one at Samsung has publicly admitted that the problem exists.

11. (additional issue) The IR codes for input selection are inconsistent. There are direct codes to select tuner and BluRay, but Aux toggles between the optical and analog audio inputs. Logitech has to specially tweak the Harmony remote programming to properly handle the HT-BD1250. Samsung should provide direct IR codes for the optical and analog audio inputs.

I am also considering tossing the HT-BD1250. However, I have not yet figured out what I would buy to replace it. For me the most serious issue is the drastic volume difference problem (7). One of the primary functions of the unit is to properly manage home theater audio, so in my books this is a serious functional deficiency.

I have a Samsung UN46B8000 TV and a Scientific Atlanta (Cisco) cable box. On the whole I am very happy with the TV, except that I don?t use the internet widgets because they are far too slow.

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I'm not impressed either, but I'm keeping mine (for now)...
by r0k / November 30, 2009 6:50 AM PST

I picked up an HT-BD1250 in April. The remote worked intermittently and Samsung sent me a new one in July. It worked better at first and then not at all. I swapped my 1250 for a new one at the store and it worked fine until I accepted an over-the-internet firmware update. My unit was bricked and stuck on "Load". I contacted Samsung and they provided a free shipping label and promised me my unit back in 4 weeks or less. 4 weeks? I was pissed. I fired off an angry email to Samsung and copied some of their executives. I got a call on the day they received my unit. They "expedited" my repair and I had a working unit back in my hands a week and 1 day after sending my bricked unit back.

In hindsight, I should not have purchased this unit. Here are the pros and cons as I see them...

1 - One remote to rule them all. One remote handles FM, DVD/Blu-ray, USB, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and Blockbuster. I like having an integrated home theater that needs only one remote. I have a Logitech Harmony in the bottom of a drawer somewhere but I'd really much rather have a single unit that "does it all" than worry about logging on to Logitech's web site every time I want to tweak something.

Before the Samsung, I had a JVC system that communicated between units using a digital link. One remote ran the sound system and all its components but I needed a separate remote for any dvd player. The HT-BD 1250 was a step up from this situation.

2 - Compact size. Separate receivers are big. They are larger than they need to be. I like the small size of the HT-BD 1250

3 - Netflix, Pandora and Youtube - I use these all the time and they work well over a Comcast cable modem.

4 - Ipod cradle. This is handy when my kids want to listen to their stuff.

5 - USB. This is handy when I want to listen to my stuff or do a lower risk firmware update.

1 - Cheap speakers. I replaced my speakers with a Klipsch Quintet III set and kept the Samsung subwoofer.

2 - Firmware lottery. Updating the firmware can lead to a bricked unit with no way to recover except shipping back to Samsung.

3 - Customer Service. Samsung customer service seems lost in a fog about how to treat customers.

4 - All in one unit. I know this was a Pro above, but if one thing breaks, I must replace the entire unit to get anything to work. This is the main reason I regret buying the HT BD 1250. In the future, I will replace the 1250 with a standalone networked BlueRay player and a separate receiver. I should mention that even when my unit was bricked, FM still worked. In fact, FM and optical in were the only things that still worked. A $500 "surround" FM radio? I don't think so!

5 - Difficult to use. It is difficult to browse to my network server and actually view photos or play movies or mp3 files. Not enough file formats are supported for movies. I can't watch ANY of the movies I took with my digicam on my bluRay player even though it can browse to them over the network.

6 - BluRay. I know this might be controversial here but I think this technology is a liability. BluRay movies cost 1/3 more than their DVD counterparts and don't look all that much better on my 1080p Samsung TV. What a waste. If there were a DVD player with the same network features and 1080p "upsampling", I'd be all over it. I think BluRay will eventually fizzle much like DVD Audio bit the dust. Studios are offering "combo packs" with DVD and BlueRay in one sleeve so customers can play them in their portable DVD players. Hey. I really want my movies streaming. I don't want a DVD box lying around cluttering my house and I certainly don't want 2 DVD boxes! I only own one BluRay movie. I know there are offers to "trade up" to BluRay but why should I give up the ability to play my movies on portable players just to get slightly and hardly noticeable improved resolution on my 1080p screen?

7 - No low level audio outputs. I wouldn't mind picking up a higher power receiver and keeping the 1250 but Samsung has not provided optical or analog audio outputs except those that go to the speakers.

8 - touch buttons on the front top panel. What a dumb move. I can't get anywhere near the 1250 without hitting them by accident. Hopefully Samsung never makes this mistake again.

9 - Unable to fully operate without a remote. This was a true blunder. I should be able to get to netflix or whatever using front panel buttons if I want to.

10 - proprietary speaker connections. Those cute little colored plugs are not the best way to connect speaker wires. I should be able to use my own wire if I want to and not just those tiny 22 gauge wires that come with the 1250. Samsung is not the only brand doing this, but better receives like Onkyo and Yamaha have real terminals on the back that accept 16 gauge or larger speaker wire if I want to use it.

11 - power cord. When every other cord is socketed, why isn't the power cord removable?

12 - display. Why not put up a display on the hdmi output when I'm listening to FM? Trying to read that tiny display from 20 feet across the room when tuning FM is silly.

13 - underpowered. The 1250 amplifier output is really not competitive with stand alone models available from Sony, Onkyo and Yamaha. Those units all work with 8 ohm loads while the 1250 likes 3 ohm loads. That's a dead giveaway. 3 ohm speaker outputs generally deliver a lot less power and are more typical of computer speakers than home theater systems. Simply switching to the Klipsch speakers made a huge improvement but as shipped, the 1250 system is underpowered for a medium to large sized room.

14 - No HD Radio. There are $50 radios that have this feature. I'm surprised the 1250 did not have it. Sadly, Samsung is not alone in this ommission. Only the top of the line Onkyo and Yamaha receivers have HD Radio. Come on. The Ibiquity chipset isn't all that expensive or the cheap radios would not offer HD Radio either. Shame on home theater units for leaving this out.

15 - Not well thought out HDMI interfacing. It can be understood if brand A is clunky with brand B, but when I'm using 2 Samsung devices, I shouldn't see any usability issues between two of their devices. If I pause a dvd, switch the tv source to Cable and try to adjust the volume, the ANYNET+ system directs the volume change to the 1250 and not my TV. I must power off the 1250 to get any samsung remote in the room, and even my cable box remote to actually operate my TV. Tsk tsk tsk. Somebody at Samsung hasn't really thought this through very well. I guess I could disable ANYNET+, but I do like having the TV come on sourced to the 1250 if I open the drawer to insert a movie.

Are these enough to make me take my unit back? No. I still like having a single remote. For some reason the entire home theater industry assumes we all want multiple remotes lying around and nobody seems to have put much thought into making their particular remote work with anything but their own family of products. The only company I can think of that makes it all (receiver, tv and player) is Sony. And I don't think Sony offers a networked player yet. And even if they did, it would easily cost triple what I paid for the 1250.

While I'm not sending it back today, I don't think I will still have the 1250 a year from now. If another firmware bricks my unit, it's going back. Any more problem such as intermittent remote, it's going back. Barring any problems, I will live with the quirks for now, but I wish I knew about them before I bought it. I would have opted for a Samsung or LG networked bluray player and a separate receiver and I would have learned to live with the extra remote.

I have the Samsung HT-BD-1250T, a Samsung LN-T 4071 TV and a Comcast (Motorola) DVR cable box. The cable box is connected to the 1250's optical input 1.

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And another thing
by RareIguana / December 1, 2009 5:35 PM PST

One other thing that I have noticed. When playing a DVD, it will occasionally drop the picture output (No signal....). The sound still carries on and the picture will return after a few seconds.

Not a good feature for a DVD player!

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by RareIguana / December 5, 2009 3:23 PM PST
In reply to: HT-BD1250 critique

I have sent a letter to Samsung UK support asking for a full refund. My real problem now is: what do I get to replace the device.

Anyone out there got any suggestions?



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by yaggi5 / December 9, 2009 10:19 AM PST
In reply to: Update

ok im not a technical guy whatsoever.. i need help... i hooked up my ht-bd1250, i used a rocketfish to make the rear speakers wireless and one optical cord to my direct tv. when i watch tv with the surround sound on only the two front speakers produce sound and the mouth looks funny BC THE CENTER PIECE DOES NOTHING. when i watch a dvd everything is fine all the speakers work and it sounds aesome, is there a way to have complete surround sound while watching direct tv????? please someone help me. also i was wondering when i listen to an ipod on it should it come out of all speakers or just the front?if its supose to be all please again help me lol

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by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / December 10, 2009 1:26 PM PST
In reply to: PLEASE HELP


Try checking both wire connections - make sure that they're attached to the speaker and in the back of the unit.

It also may be a settings issue, so check to see if it's in the 5.1 mode or not.

As far as getting surround sound on the unit with DirecTV, the program has to be filmed and broadcast in 5.1. You can attach an optical cable directly from the DirecTV box to the optical in on the HT system. There also may be an audio setting to select in the DirecTV box, but your cable/sat company would be able to tell you how to set that up.


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Re: HT-BD1250 critique
by brawk / December 14, 2009 10:25 AM PST
In reply to: HT-BD1250 critique

Got mine a few days ago. First impression: For its primary
intended functions for me (Blu-Ray w/5.1 sound, 'Net connectivity
for Pandora & BD-Live, and iPod docking) it was worth the price.

The speakers are a bit wimpy, but not enough to bother me
(except it does seem that iPod tunes are a bit muddy--lacking
in the higher frequencies, though I admit it could be because
I had previously been listening via a $120 docking station that
could be a bit "lite" on bass ;-)).

There appears to be some crosstalk affecting the rear wireless
speakers, but not enough for me to have bothered to try to track
down the source.

Forgot that I needed a USB flash drive for BD-Live and was
initially perplexed by the error message: that the network
connection wasn't working. Should have been: No USB drive
found. (Maybe this has been fixed w/later firmware?)

My thoughts on some of your points:

1. I, too, will wait until some official statement from Samsung
that the firmware update problems have been debugged before
updating from factory firmware (1.00_090406_XAA).
I like Pandora & BD-Live (though I was disappointed that the
only BD-Live perk for "Star Trek" was Nasa RSS feeds--I can
get those on the peecee).

4. Haven't yet tried PC streaming. Agree that it should keep
login/pwd across on/off cycles.

5. Network conn. to server drops randomly. Bummer. What firmware
rev are you using? How do you get it to do a network scan?

6. Just ordered a (cheapo) Toslink cable so I can listen to HD cable
on the HT. Now I'm thinking I should have paid more for a better
cable. Will post with an update once I try the connection.

7. Vol swings w/optical encoding changes. Yikes. I'll make sure I
have a finger on Vol- when I switch to D.IN.

8. No display of sound processing in use. Agreed. Plus some kind of
rudimentary equilizer would be nice (but maybe that's too much to
ask for in a $500 HTIB).

10. Poor docs. Agree strongly. It's adequate to get some of the
features up & running, but woefully lacking in background info
and detail. Thanks for the tip re initiating a network scan.

I'm still happy w/my purchase...ask me again after I (eventually)
try a firmware update. Wink


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Updated to 2.07 from 1.00 no problem
by brawk / March 8, 2010 6:32 AM PST
In reply to: Re: HT-BD1250 critique

With the f/w rev 1.00, tried watching "Ponyo" in Blu-Ray.
Didn't work. Updated to rev 2.07 using the USB method.
Everything seems to be working OK, incl. "Ponyo."



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