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Old 08-07-2008   #1
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Default recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

I am in process of reviewing hi end BD players for my home theater/two channel audio system; so both high quality video; and audio with the new HD codecs are important to me. I am running this thru a Meridian G-68; which at time will not handle the hdmi; or new codecs; but will change for a new processor when the dust settles on that issue.
I'd appreciate any feedback or observations about build quality; reliablity and video and audio quality on the following producst:
1.Pioneer BDP. 95FD
2. Marantz BD 8002 1.1
3. Denon 3800 BDCI 1.1
4.Sony 3DP 5200es

Other products that I should consider? These all retail between $1 and $2k. I guess these play back better in the 24 frame mode; or should it be played on the tv at 120hz refresh rate at 1080p. I don't have hd at this time; so I'm not sure the best method of setting up and viewing.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 08-08-2008   #2
rex
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Default Re: recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

Most BD players have been disappointing to date. All of the models you mention are older models which are extremely SLOW, often have trouble with firmware updates, and frequently have trouble just playing back newer BD releases. If you want a more up-to-date player, and have to buy one right now, you might consider the Panasonic DMP-BD50. It has the latest specification which is called "Profile 2.0"; it decodes all HD audio formats, and has 5.1 analog outputs you can use with your older receiver. (For 7.1 audio, you have to use HDMI.) Unfortunately, this player does not upconvert regular DVDs well. But you could get an OPPO for those. Or you could wait a few months more for some new players that have not yet been reviewed. The Sony BDP-S550, and the Samsung BD-P2500 should be released soon. They are both Profile 2.0 and decode all audio formats. They also both reportedly have 7.1 analog outputs, as well.
Blu-ray is still a new technology, and it always takes manufacturers a few generations to get things right. I certainly wouldn't recommend spending a grand or more on any of today's players, you would be better off just getting an inexpensive one to tide you over until next year when there should be better, (and more affordable) options to chose from. JMO Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2008   #3
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Default Re: recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

HDMI 1.3a Output supporting 36bit Deep Color
10bit Silicon Optix Realta HQV Video Processor inluding video scaling up to 1080p, IP converter and 24fps output
Bit Stream HD Audio Output from HDMI
HD Audio Decoder for Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio
Analog Devices 297Mhz/12bit Video DAC
7.1ch High Quality Analog Audio Output


Rex; the above was lifted from the Denon page about their BD 8002; claiming that it does bit stream HD audio over hdmi...is that the same thing as what is included in version 2.0 players? It has the 10 bit optix reata hqv video chip which is supposed to be good. The Denon description does not refer to which bd version it has inside....
Thanks for pointing out some purchasing pitfalls to avoid; how do I found out what version the current Denon is using...and I guess the same would apply to the Marantz as well....
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Old 08-08-2008   #4
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Default Re: recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

Rex; my bad; this refers to the Marantz bd player;; not the Denon....
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Old 08-08-2008   #5
rex
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Default Re: recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

These two players, Marantz and Denon, are very similar, they use the same chipsets; and may even be clones of each other. I am not sure what differences (if any) there are. All I can say is, IMO it is crazy to spend $2,000 on a player that is already obsolete. These players both have Profile 1.1 (which is called Bonus view), not the latest 2.0 (BD Live) specification. On the plus side, they decode (and also bitstream) most audio formats and have 7.1 analog outputs. The realta post processor should theoretically improve video performance, though at least one user on this forum has expressed disappointment: http://www.avrevforum.com/showthread.php?t=2264&page=2 I personally have not used either one.

Last edited by rex; 08-08-2008 at 11:20 AM..
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Old 08-08-2008   #6
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Default Re: recommendations on high end Blue Ray players

Quote:
Originally Posted by rex View Post
These two players, Marantz and Denon, are very similar, they use the same chipsets; and may even be clones of each other. I am not sure what differences (if any) there are. All I can say is, IMO it is crazy to spend $2,000 on a player that is already obsolete. These players both have Profile 1.1 (which is called Bonus view), not the latest 2.0 (BD Live) specification. On the plus side, they decode (and also bitstream) most audio formats and have 7.1 analog outputs. The realta post processor should theoretically improve video performance, though at least one user on this forum has expressed disappointment: http://www.avrevforum.com/showthread.php?t=2264&page=2 I personally have not used either one.
I agree and will not buy an other blu ray player that is not profile 2.0, it is like buying AV with HDMi 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and now 1.3 You would have to make a new purchase every year!!!
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