"All the videos in MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, MPG, WMV, and TS containers played well and at correct aspect ratio."
This is not correct. These TVs do not support anamorphic video files at all (USB or DLNA).
"better off with a cheaper panel and a separate DLNA frontend"
This - imho.
I feel the DLNA features work well enough. DLNA is a flaky spec at best.
However, the TV does not support (USB or DLNA):
1. anamorphic video files
2. H.264/AC3 in a MP4 container (requires transcoding at a DLNA server)
3. album art outside of a MP3 container
4. item 1 is the big issue
5. item 1 is the big issue
and many other draw backs . . .
If you plan on watching a lot of video files at the TV, go with a 3rd party solution.
I see on this forum and elsewhere posts that say FF/REW/PAUSE do not work when playing video files via DLNA. Does this include the forward/back skip as well? Is this regardless of the DLNA server being used including Samsung's own?
I did some tests with a floor model in a store using my USB flashdrive and found that the FF 2x worked, PAUSE worked, but no other FF speeds and no REW at all. The forward and back skip worked fine, 10 seconds per button push, and the skip interval scaled up the longer the button was held. Specifically, I'd like to know if it behaves the same way playing the same files via DLNA as my tests using USB.
I tested a variety of codecs, containers, resolutions, and bitrates from my USB drive and was impressed with the compatibility. All the videos in MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, MPG, WMV, and TS containers played well and at correct aspect ratio. I was excited until I read comments here and elsewhere that functionality is reduced when using DLNA, especially since the manual implies that it should work the same as selecting a USB source.
I took a MythTV 0.21 server into the store for testing, but although the TV saw all the files it reported unknown format for all of them. I understand this is most likely an issue with Samsung's poor/picky DLNA implementation and not the files themselves since they play well via USB, and that some MIME and/or header fixes on the MythTV side will likely solve this. Regardless, it stopped me from being able to actually test DLNA and see for myself if the skip forward/back works.
I wish I could get a sense of how likely it is that Samsung will fix DLNA compatibility, especially since it's not difficult and only requires some MIME and XML changes. This is not a proprietary technology, and it's not acceptable to only support DLNA with Samsung server software any more than it would be to only support S/PDIF or HDMI with Samsung products. The whole reason for displaying the DLNA logo is to advertise that it is compatible with other DLNA products, and this situation seems disingenuous and misleading in a similar way to the way they are promoting these LCD TVs as LED.
As a pre-sale customer who is looking at the $4000 retail price of the 55" Series 8 LED(LCD) with DLNA on the front sticker, I'm frustrated it's not easier to get my questions answered well enough to make a purchase decision. About 80% of my decision is based on DLNA support. If Samsung isn't going to be serious about the functionality they are marketing then I'd be better off with a cheaper panel and a separate DLNA frontend.