Both Sony and Samsung have issued massive price cuts to their entry-line Blu-ray players prior to Christmas, making Blu-ray the perfect last-minute gift for anyone who enjoys movies. Both the Sony BDP-S300 and Samsung BD-P1400 can be found online and in major retailer outlets for under $300. Both players qualify for the "5 Free Blu-ray Discs" mail-in offer.
Given Samsung's slowness on releasing firmware upgrades, I don't know if a lot of people buying their player is necessarily good for the format.
The Sony one I can see (and thankfully it seems to be selling faster than the Samsung). The Sony players and PS3 tend to get the updates in a much more timely manner, which is good.
But Samsung is pretty much the worst of all of the companies making players. If people buy that player and get frustrated with movie incompatibility and no quick fix, it won't help them to want to stick with the Blu-Ray format.
The format as a whole would be much better off if pretty much any other manufacturer's player other than Samsung was in that price range.
Well with 1.1 and soon 2.0, and prices equal for an entry 1080p player, I wonder what hd-dvd fanboys will argue about now? They will have to find something else to do with their time. I am surprised, however, that if Sony planned on doing this in the first place, why they didn't do it at the end of November, when holiday shopping started. Doesn't make sense to me!
As far as firmware updates for Samsung players, yes they are slow, but aside from us home theater buffs, I wonder how many people update their players from the "general" consumer catagory. I would assume most just take it home and play blu-rays, so I think there's a large block of average consumers who aren't concerned about it. Because it won't update to 1.1, I don't think that's a big deal for many of them either.
I was at Best Buy the other day and a woman was literally screaming in the returns line about the hd-dvd player purchase she made, and at the same time purchased Ratatouille and Pirates At Worlds End. She was so pissed off they wouldn't play, and was returning her hd-dvd player. While I felt sorry for her situation, I had to laugh at the actual matter at hand. I wonder how many transactions and returns like this there really are. I would assume alot.
I am glad to see the price drop. I can not wait for HD-DVD to pass on like other lesser formats. I am still deciding on which player to put in the living room. I have a PS3 in my bedroom. Sorry the kids came second this time. I do not know if I want this deal, a PS3 80GB or the new Panasonic player. I like the firmware upgrades and think the PS3 may be the best deal now and in the future. Any thoughts?
I got the panasonic one because of the audio formats out and also i can use my monster avl300 with
it. I have my ps3 in my den. BTW, it took like 30 secs for the panny to load the day after tomorrow,
so its pretty quick with loading.
"As far as firmware updates for Samsung players, yes they are slow, but aside from us home theater buffs, I wonder how many people update their players from the "general" consumer catagory. I would assume most just take it home and play blu-rays, so I think there's a large block of average consumers who aren't concerned about it. Because it won't update to 1.1, I don't think that's a big deal for many of them either."
But if they pop in a disc and it won't play, and it requires a firmware update, and no such update is available, that will annoy a great many people.
And please note, I'm not attacking the entire Blu-Ray format here, just Samsung. They seem to be bad at getting this done in a reasonable manner.
In the United Kingdom, we don't really have much of a choice when it comes to affordable hardware. The Sharp BD-HP20H, Sony BDP-S300 and Samsung BD-P1400 are around 300GBP ($600) - the cheapest players available! The Sony BDP-S500 is around 500GBP, whilst the Panasonic DMP-BD10A and Pioneer BDP-LX70A are considerably more, unless you are lucky to find one in a sale! The other option is the Sony Playstation at 300GBP for the 40GB version!
With this in mind, we had no option but to go for the Samsung BD-P1400. Maybe the UK/Europe specification is slightly different, but it has played all our (modest) collection of 17 BDs absolutely faultlessly! There has been only one firmware update so far (v1.1) in October. This whole process via DVD-R was completed within 15 minutes, no problems whatsoever!
We have titles from Fox, MGM/Columbia, Touchstone, Disney, Pixar, Mercury and Warner Brothers, two of which are US discs - The Samsung plays them all (and all their extras), again with no problems!
To be fair, to other posters on here, Samsung UK don't even advertise the BD-P1400 on their web site, only the BD-P1000. However, firmware is available through support!
Although we can't speak on behalf on other users (particularly those in the USA), from personal experience, we would heartily recommend the Samsung BD-P1400 for it's excellent picture and sound quality! If the Panasonic DMP-BD30 had been available in the UK as a Region B player, then that would have been our first choice, but the Samsung was the next best (available) player!