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Old 01-02-2009, 08:01 AM   #1
maverick106
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Blu Ray Experience...Sucks?

So i got a nice shiny blu ray player for Christmas. (Specifically, a Samsung BPD-1500). Fired up some Dark Knight and Planet Earth, and the people rejoiced. Beautiful picture.

However, some things have really gotten under my skin about this technology "upgrade" not feeling like much of one. Let's have a list:

1. My DVD players, every single one, can be turned off in the middle of a movie and will resume where they left off when you turn them back on and hit play. Its a nice feature we have all gotten used to (Hell, VHS tapes do the same thing, though I don't think its a "feature" in that case). The Blu Ray player, on the other hand, cannot. I'm told its java based disc content and blah blah blah, i don't really care. I also know there are bookmarks...still don't care. Why the hell would a handy feature be removed in the next generation of a technology?

2. I decided to upgrade the firmware this weekend, to be up to date. Hooked up a network cable, started the upgrade. It finished downloading, and sits there at the "installing" screen for about 2 hours. I figure this is too long, call tech support. They say "well, uh, it probably finished but forgot to turn off the machine. Go ahead and turn it off, it probably won't brick it." So I do so, and power it back up. It comes on, I go to system info and ask the tech support guy if the system version numbers indicated represent the new firmware or the factory default. His response? "I don't know. We have no way to tell". So, they have no idea what firmware ships with their product, and no idea how to identify new firmware on their product...this is one of the stupidest design decisions I can imagine. Again, I'll point out that the last gen (DVD) players just had to be plugged in and worked perfectly, no fuss at all, ever.

3. I've also read that Samsung has implemented netflix streaming on their pricier players, but haven't made any plans to implement it on the 1500 yet, even though it can received firmware updates and likely uses the same firmware base as the more expensive models. The network capabilities were a big factor in me selecting this machine...I'm starting to wonder why.

4. Last but not least, load times are irritating.

Is anyone else completely underwhelmed by the experience of upgrading to this "superior" technology? I miss the days when they had to make a far better product, with updated user experience, to get people to adopt. Its not like I got a blu ray player the day they came out...what were they like then? Did they make you spin the disc yourself?
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by maverick106 View Post
Is anyone else completely underwhelmed by the experience of upgrading to this "superior" technology?
Nope. Like it just fine.

/edit - but then again I bought a PS3. Easy to figure out firmware versions. Don't care about remembering where I was in a film. Don't think we get Netflix in the UK, and, how can you complain about not getting Netflix when you bought a player you knew doesn't do it? Load times? Not a problem.

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Old 01-02-2009, 08:08 AM   #3
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The fancier models came with their own gerbils which was awesome until they got tired and you had to watch the movies at half the speed.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:14 AM   #4
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I have no experience with players outside the PS3, which hasn't disappointed me yet.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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I have no experience with players outside the PS3, which hasn't disappointed me yet.
If they had had a black friday PS3 sale for half price, that's what would be in my living room right now, I can tell you that.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:20 AM   #6
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I know it'll sound stupid, but one of my big reasons for liking Blu-Ray is that most (but not quite all) discs I pop in go straight to the movie. No commercials, and not always the stupid warnings, just straight to the menu. Then again, I'm the sort of person that loves having AnyDVD on my computers because it allows you to ignore ads and jump straight to the movie or menu.

I don't have a very good setup, so I doubt you could even tell the difference between a Blu-Ray and a DVD on my TV. So I get them mostly because I have a PS3 and the interface tends to be better. And on my PS3 I'm pretty sure I've turned off a Blu-Ray and come back later and resumed where it left off (need to test to make sure).

It's possible that your complaint is really about your player and the company making it rather than the technology in general.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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I researched some players before I commited and found that the PS3 was the best bang for the buck. Have had no problems at all, aside from the DL screens on some of the BD-live movies but that can be cancelled.

Strange how your player doesn't remember where to playback from when you restart. The ps3 is great for (i think creating a save file) re-playback. We watched and episode of Pushing Daises (non-bluray disc) and ejected it when credits came up, played LBP, played R6Vegas2, watched half of Ghostbusters dvd (non-bluray) then put Pushing Daises disc back in and it started where we ejected it.

- take the samsung player back and get the almight ps3. lol.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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It's possible that your complaint is really about your player and the company making it rather than the technology in general.
You are absolutely correct, that is the meat of my complaint. I was surprised, because this unit received high reviews everywhere I've looked. I'm just curious where people's expectations were.

As a side note, the turn off restart thing is a known blu ray flaw. It is tied to the disc, and discs with java-based content cannot do it for one reason or another. Nearly all DVDs had the capability built into them, and most blu ray players will still do it with a DVD, just not with java-based blu ray discs.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:43 AM   #9
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the ps3 had to have the pause/stop restart playback patched in late last year/early this year. It was my biggest gripe about the whole thing. the reaspn i replaced the Ps3 with a sony bdp-350 was that the ps3 will not bitstream to allow my receiver to take advantage of the tech built into it for the Dolby hd and such....
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:48 AM   #10
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the ps3 had to have the pause/stop restart playback patched in late last year/early this year. It was my biggest gripe about the whole thing. the reaspn i replaced the Ps3 with a sony bdp-350 was that the ps3 will not bitstream to allow my receiver to take advantage of the tech built into it for the Dolby hd and such....
I do have vague recollection of a firmware update to the PS3 a few months ago allowing the pause/restart thing. Many people yelled "finally!" and "DVD's have been doing this for ages, why'd it take so long?"
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:49 AM   #11
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I haven't been disappointed in the features of Blu-ray, but the image and sound quality hasn't overwhelmed me as much as the price tag (both players and movies) suggests.

There are alot of great players out there, both from Samsung and other companies. The model you got doesn't sound like one of them unfortunately
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:08 AM   #12
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I gotta say, from the OP, if you are buying for movies, get a Roku player. Total set top HD netflix is coming soon. Or get a "net-top" and use it as a media center- Dell makes a pretty good one. You will get much better value out of the device. DVD scaling on a PC is top notch, Netflix works great, not to mention streaming from network TV and services like Hulu. As well as video podcasts(Diggnation looks great on my TV). You get a lot of great FREE content for the price.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:13 AM   #13
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I gotta say, from the OP, if you are buying for movies, get a Roku player.
Netflix streaming is great if you are more about technology and less about actually watching movies. I'm sure the library is going to improve, but right now their Watch Instantly selection isn't much better than those shitty convenience stores that also happen to rent movies on the side.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:25 AM   #14
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Netflix streaming is great if you are more about technology and less about actually watching movies. I'm sure the library is going to improve, but right now their Watch Instantly selection isn't much better than those shitty convenience stores that also happen to rent movies on the side.
This is very true. The movie (and television show) selection is ideal for someone like myself, since I don't care much about having the latest/greatest releases available to stream instantly, but I DO enjoy the family fare that is quite plentiful for instant viewing, as well as older television shows for myself. Ironically and amusingly, the people who are usually interested in technology are the ones who WANT the latest/greatest films. I'm a rare bird, I suppose, in that I like having access to streaming media on my set, but I don't care for the latest films as much as I care for having easy access to kid-friendly content.

Netflix has been good to me as a result.

On topic, it sounds, as others have said, like the player (make, model) itself, rather than the technology overall, is the problem.

Last edited by Johan; 01-02-2009 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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Netflix streaming is great if you are more about technology and less about actually watching movies. I'm sure the library is going to improve, but right now their Watch Instantly selection isn't much better than those shitty convenience stores that also happen to rent movies on the side.
I have netflix streaming up and running on my 360, and I gotta say I love it. The library isn't great yet, but I've been catching up on a lot of TV shows (News Radio, Dr Who, Numbers, CSI, The Office, etc) and some movies I missed...I really can't complain. I can't wait till the library expands and this becomes the standard...its how TV and movies should work. Instant access, stop and pick up where you left off anytime, on as many movies as you want.

KG: ya, roku box is nice, I may pick up a few for other TVs in the house if/when netflix expands their library significantly.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:43 AM   #16
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the reaspn i replaced the Ps3 with a sony bdp-350 was that the ps3 will not bitstream to allow my receiver to take advantage of the tech built into it for the Dolby hd and such....
I'm afraid you wasted your money. The PS3 does it for you and the only difference is that the indicator light on your reveiver doesn't light up. As of April the PS3 has been capable of decoding DTS-HD Master Audio for full 7.1 channel 96k/24 bit sound.

/edit - I'm looking into this in more detail. I could be wrong. Again.

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Old 01-02-2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DangerousDaze View Post
I'm afraid you wasted your money. The PS3 does it for you and the only difference is that the indicator light on your reveiver doesn't light up. As of April the PS3 has been capable of decoding DTS-HD Master Audio for full 7.1 channel 96k/24 bit sound.

/edit - I'm looking into this in more detail. I could be wrong. Again.
The PS3 decodes DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD internally, so bitstreaming those formats is not possible. You have to use linear PCM, which is why I just bought a new receiver (a Denon AVR-2809).
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:10 AM   #18
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The PS3 decodes DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD internally, so bitstreaming those formats is not possible. You have to use linear PCM, which is why I just bought a new receiver (a Denon AVR-2809).
Yeah, that sounds about right. Here's a great thread on the AVS forum about it. I was right but only insofar as you have a receiver capable of understanding LPCM signals. You still get the correct sound but you won't see the right indication of Dolby/DTS etc. on your receiver.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:32 AM   #19
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Is anyone else completely underwhelmed by the experience of upgrading to this "superior" technology?
Nope....I'm still blown away every time I watch a movie.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:35 AM   #20
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I'm afraid you wasted your money. The PS3 does it for you and the only difference is that the indicator light on your reveiver doesn't light up. As of April the PS3 has been capable of decoding DTS-HD Master Audio for full 7.1 channel 96k/24 bit sound.

/edit - I'm looking into this in more detail. I could be wrong. Again.
You're absolutely right.
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