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Good Blu Ray Players?

Bouncing_SoulBouncing_Soul Registered User
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Let me just start by saying please don't recommend a PS3 (I plan on buying one soon but the actual player is for my parents).
My girlfriend's parents have a Sony (I'm not sure which model), and while the picture is nice, the thing is god-awful slow to boot up and then to load a movie. Is this the current trend or are players getting faster?

In my research so far the Sony BDP-S350 has gotten good reviews, as well as the Panasonic DMP-BD30K. Anyone have any experience with these?

Lastly, under $300 is my only real requirement (I'm sure that limits a lot of my choices but I'm ok with that).

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Posts

  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You may want to take this to the technology subforum of G&T. There are probably more people with experiences on other blu-ray players there. One thing though...I'm assuming you don't want the ps3 b/c it's over the price and it's more intimidating to the unfamiliar user. Thing is, blu-ray discs are still evolving. My parents have a Samsung player, it's about a year old I think. When Ironman and Transformers came out it wasn't able to play them without a firmware update. For the PS3, it automatically connects wirelessly and handles that stuff...they had to drag their blu-ray over to an internet connection somewhere (no wireless on the player) and figure out its update interface.

    tl;dr, make sure you buy a player that won't be hard for them to update if they buy a movie that doesn't play right away.

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  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Why no PS3? If it's the price and there's no getting around it then that's one thing.


    But it is actually the best player there is right now.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm pretty some some reputable tech review places use the PS3 to judge TVs and movies on.
    That means its good.

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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The PS3 is one of the few BR Live-compatible players, is easy to update if necessary (even if it takes a while), and if you get them a bluetooth remote and set it to auto-start discs there's no reason they have to get confused about it. It also means you can nick their controller and have an extra for when you get yours. :)

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Hey, is there a PS3 SKU that runs $300 or less currently? I don't know of one. The OP seems to have suggested $300 as a price limit. That disqualifies the PS3.

    Additionally, there's a very real possibility that his parents just wouldn't want something with the PS3's styling in their entertainment center, and certainly wouldn't want to pay more for it. If you don't plan on playing games on it (like, for really reals), the PS3 is kind of absurd as a standalone player.

    Basically I'm just amused that after specifically saying "I don't want X, and X is outside my price range" four posts in a row were basically "you should get X!" What the fuck?



    As for actual advice, I'll second the suggestion of taking this to the Tech subforum.

    Spoiler:
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I was of the understanding that the PS3 was at the cheaper end of the scale. No?

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Willeth wrote: »
    I was of the understanding that the PS3 was at the cheaper end of the scale. No?

    No.


    EDIT: It might theoretically be at the "cheaper end," since the price goes up pretty high, but a PS3 will run you $400 and I just counted at least ten players in the $200-$300 range. And again, the OP specifically said $300 was the limit.

    Spoiler:
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    But then we pointed out why it might be a good idea to find a higher limit.

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  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm pretty sure that the loading is going to happen with every player.

    Is this a gift? Cause it is, I would suggest waiting for a bit. I mean, I'm a big movie fan, and I still can't bring myself to purchase a Blu-Ray player(or PS3 for that matter). Yeah, it beat out HD-DVD, but with the way the economy has been going, it's yet to be determined if people are willing to shell out more for what isn't a big difference unless you have a good tv.

    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    But then we pointed out why it might be a good idea to find a higher limit.

    And at that point I'd still suggest that his parents, who have zero desire to ever place a game into it, might just not want the PS3 sitting in their entertainment center. I know it's silly, but some people really do care about how things look as well as perform, and you can't tell me there doesn't exist a $400-$500 player that has picture quality equal to the PS3.


    Also, what noir_blood said. You're still in early adopter land, which means that you have the choice of either an expensive player that will be cheap in one year, or a cheap player that people will laugh at you for having bought in one year. Just like DVD players were back when I bought my first.

    But hey, that player still gets used up at my parents' cabin, so fuck it.

    Spoiler:
  • Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I'm still livin' the Microsoft Dream... HTPC connected to my TV for streaming videos... Just wish MCE would play my BluRays/HDDVDs... Instead of having to use PowerDVD all the time.... And I miss HDDVDs, I could use the same MCE remote without issues, BluRay introduces four new buttons that don't work for me... :( Need to look into a Harmony now....

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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I want to clarify, my post was kind of vague, I understand the OP said NO PS3, and I wound up talking about the PS3. The point wasn't to say "your OP was flawed and you actually do want a PS3." I just wanted to point out something that held up my not-tech-savvy-just-want-it-to-work parents with their standalone...the hassle of having to plug in and update a type of product not normally requiring that kind of interaction. I used the PS3 as my example at hand to illustrate that. If a blu-ray standalone has wireless internet, that'd be a plus to alleviating this.

    While I trashed ideas in an earlier thread about waiting for Black Friday PS3 price drops, in this thread I will say standalone players will almost certainly see a Black Friday deal. That is because they want you to buy the player early, and then have incentive to pick up all their movies over December. This purchase may be best done then.

    Side note to noir_blood: Every movie loads in my parents standalone. Iron Man is the only movie thats had to load in my PS3. Another standalone I saw seemed to be 50-50. It does vary.

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    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »

    Also, what noir_blood said. You're still in early adopter land, which means that you have the choice of either an expensive player that will be cheap in one year, or a cheap player that people will laugh at you for having bought in one year.

    Unless you get a PS3 :P


    Really though, I mean, when someone says "I don't want to build a computer" the first question is always "Why not" and unless the answer is "I don't have 4 hours to spare" or "I can't read instructions" or "Plugging things in is hard!" then people tend to have weird ideas about how building is some incredibly difficult thing.

    He didn't specify why the PS3 is off the market other than "They won't play games", other than it being outside the price range. And saying "No PS3 because no games" is underselling that the PS3 is and will remain the best Blu-ray player, barring a development in pure hardware for BR players.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited November 2008
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Not to mention the odd form factor compared to a normal standalone player.

    EDIT: In fact, Khavall, it's entirely possible that his parent's friends will laugh at them for having bought a PS3 in a year.

    Spoiler:
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Also you're assured that it will play all currently released BD players, which you don't necessarily get if you get a cheap player. Also with a cheap player you'll have to check newer BDs to make sure they'll work.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Not to mention the odd form factor compared to a normal standalone player.

    EDIT: In fact, Khavall, it's entirely possible that his parent's friends will laugh at them for having bought a PS3 in a year.

    If we assume a full-out hardware redesign, which has about a .01% chance of happening while still being called "Blu-ray", then why buy a BR player at all?

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Also you're assured that it will play all currently released BD players, which you don't necessarily get if you get a cheap player. Also with a cheap player you'll have to check newer BDs to make sure they'll work.

    That's not true at all.

    No one is manufacturing profile 1.0 players any more because they can't, and haven't been able to for months. These are going to be rather uncommon at retail. They will however still always play blu-ray movies, though special features are going to be limited.

    1.1 players are still around, and support most of the special features you're going to want.

    2.0 players by definition MUST have an Internet connection, so any 2.0 player is going to be every bit as future proof and updatable as a PS3 anyhow.

    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Not to mention the odd form factor compared to a normal standalone player.

    EDIT: In fact, Khavall, it's entirely possible that his parent's friends will laugh at them for having bought a PS3 in a year.

    If we assume a full-out hardware redesign, which has about a .01% chance of happening while still being called "Blu-ray", then why buy a BR player at all?

    .......huh?

    EDIT: The post you were replying to, mine, was saying that the PS3 looks like a damn videogame console, and not a video player...and that not only would this be considered a significant drawback to a couple that has no desire to own a videogame console, but that it's entirely likely that they'd look silly when having friends over for having it instead of a standalone player with a more "traditional" form factor.

    Spoiler:
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Also you're assured that it will play all currently released BD players, which you don't necessarily get if you get a cheap player. Also with a cheap player you'll have to check newer BDs to make sure they'll work.

    I'll assume you meant "all currently released BD movies." Yes a standalone player will play all of these. It might take a firmware update, but the whole point of a standard is to make sure players and media will always work. The firmware is a new thing to this gen, but the requirement stands. If the OP can find a blu-ray with wireless internet than there's no reason for his parents to own the PS3.

    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    Pheezer wrote: »
    The PS3 isn't some kind of holy grail here. If you're only using it for movies, the one and only advantage it has over any other BD player is that it has wifi so it can update itself automatically. That's not really worth spending an extra $100-$200 for most people.

    Also you're assured that it will play all currently released BD players, which you don't necessarily get if you get a cheap player. Also with a cheap player you'll have to check newer BDs to make sure they'll work.

    I'll assume you meant "all currently released BD movies." Yes a standalone player will play all of these. It might take a firmware update, but the whole point of a standard is to make sure players and media will always work. The firmware is a new thing to this gen, but the requirement stands. If the OP can find a blu-ray with wireless internet than there's no reason for his parents to own the PS3.

    The OP can buy a wireless adapter to hook up to a standalone player's ethernet port for a lot less than the $100-$150 extra that a PS3 runs. And this adapter will be a lot easier to place unobtrusively in their home theater setup.

    It's like people just don't get that the PS3 really does have additional hardware that the OP's parent's don't need, which adds at least some cost (they may not be paying the full cost of the hardware, but they're still paying for more than a simple standalone player) as well as size/noise/heat/etc. Not to mention the aesthetic issue...it's like some people just can't understand that not everybody is going to be excited about having a PS3 sitting in their entertainment center. For a lot of people, they'd want the PS3 to be cheaper in order to be excited about buying one just because of that.

    The built-in wireless is a definitely selling point, but there are other (and better) options for that.

    Spoiler:
  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    http://www.woot.com/ has a Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-Ray DVD player up for $139.99, it looks to be about $30-$40 cheaper than anywhere else online.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    No reviews on it either, though, but it does depend on what the people want.

    BD-Live (the big advantage to the 2.0 profile) is sort of gimmicky, if you ask me. Woo, special online features. Can you get to playing my movie now? I don't even watch commentaries.

    Still, my parents just bought a new telly and a PS3 for blu-ray. There's a handful more options now, but it's still got an excellent upscaler, supports all the fancy audio options, and more. Most AV forums will say that it's a good deal compared to other, equivalent players.

    But if they just care about playing movies and don't care about features or potentially having a better picture for an extra hundred bucks, then just buy one. At that point it's like shopping for a DVD player -- the cheap ones still play the movies.

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  • Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User
    edited November 2008
    The PS3 has a nice secondary advantage some parents aren't always aware of...

    My parents for example decided the most cost effective solution to getting BluRay was to get a PS3, the other reason they got it was so that when their grandkids visit (Not mine), they could bring some games from home and play some on it there...

    Though honestly I'm only slightly miffed that my parents waited until after we all moved out to start getting cool shit... Though I'm sure that's because we were all sucking the money our of em'.... :(

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2008
    Forbe! wrote: »
    http://www.woot.com/ has a Memorex MVBD2510 Blu-Ray DVD player up for $139.99, it looks to be about $30-$40 cheaper than anywhere else online.

    Yeah, don't buy Memorex. It's complete garbage.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Costco has a few players in the $170-$250 range these days.

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    Spoiler:
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2008
    The Panasonic DMP-BD35 is probably your best bet if you want a good player under $300. Panasonic makes quality stuff, and it has excellent picture quality roughly on par with the PS3. The cost is between $250-300 depending on where you shop. It looks nice and is BD2.0 compliant, which is a plus. The start-up time is relatively fast for a BD player - about 30 seconds to load a disc. Way slower than a PS3, but you're going to be hard-pressed to do much better. And discs with BD-Java menus (Pirates is a notable one) is going to make you wait on order of 1-2 minutes to load (PS3 loads them pretty much instantly), but again, that's par for the course for non-PS3 players.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • Bouncing_SoulBouncing_Soul Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Ah, finally a light at the end of the PS3 tunnel...

    Thanks ElJeffe, I just checked that one out on Amazon and it seems to have gotten good reviews. I was looking at the DB55K which is over $300, but the only difference seems to be a 7.1 audio output and DivX support.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2008
    Yeah, from what I understand, people who aren't audio/videophiles won't get any extra bang out of the BD55.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
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