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Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 November 2008
Article Index
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
Page 2
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The Downside
As I just described, the BD-P1500’s deinterlacing of 480i isn’t as consistent as it could be, and the situation does not improve with 1080i content. The player failed the video and film resolution tests on my 1080i HD HQV Benchmark Blu-ray disc (Silicon Optix), which means it does not correctly deinterlace 1080i content or pick up the 3:2 sequence in film-based sources. Since most Blu-ray content is natively 1080p, this will seldom be an issue, but you might occasionally encounter a 1080i concert disc, in which case you could see jaggies and other digital artifacts. The BD-P1500’s questionable deinterlacing causes me to repeat my mantra about the benefits of a source direct or native mode that bypasses the player’s internal processing and outputs every disc at its native resolution -- that way, you can let your display or external video processor handle all deinterlacing and upconversion. Not many players offer this feature, but I appreciate the ones that do.

The BD-P1500’s audio-decoding options are not as thorough as those of the PlayStation3 or DMP-BD50. Samsung originally indicated that it would add DTS-HD Master Audio decoding to the BD-P1500 via a future firmware update, but the company has since backed away from that claim (it does plan to add DTS-HD High Resolution decoding in a future upgrade, but that format isn’t as common). So, the only way you can enjoy the full complement of high-resolution audio options is to mate this product with a receiver that has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. More so, the player’s lack of multichannel analog audio outputs is an issue for anyone who has an older, non-HDMI-equipped A/V receiver and desires the ability to listen to high-resolution audio tracks. Again, you’ll have to upgrade to a new receiver, which adds to the bottom line.

Compared even with other entry-level players, the BD-P1500 is surprisingly limited its playback of diverse media formats. While Divx and WMA playback aren’t a given, just about every player I’ve auditioned at least supports MP3 and JPEG playback, through its disc drive, USB port, or SD card slot. The BD-P1500 supports none of these formats.

Playback was generally reliable but not without a few glitches. The Fifth Element Blu-ray disc froze once. Twice, when I switched from a Blu-ray disc to an SD DVD, the picture completely broke up into a fuzzy, distorted mess, requiring me to reboot the player. The disc drive brings down the overall build quality, as it’s fairly loud during start-up, disc load, and shutdown; occasionally, it also emitted an audible high-pitched ringing.

All in all, the Samsung BD-P1500 is a solid Blu-ray player offered at a great price. With a street price as low as $250, it's one of the least expensive Profile 2.0 players you can currently buy.. I’d like to see the BD-P1500 behave with a bit more stability, but perhaps that’s something Samsung can address with future firmware updates. The BD-P1500 isn’t the best choice for someone with an older, non-HDMI receiver; however, if you’ve already upgraded your audio system or plan to upgrade soon, the BD-P1500 delivers good video and audio quality with Blu-ray movies and, thanks to the October 7 upgrade, now has all the features that a Blu-ray fan will want.

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