Monday, June 08, 2009

My New Blu-ray Player

Ever since the hi-def DVD format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray was resolved in favor of the latter, I've been shopping around for a Blu-ray DVD player. Finally bought the Samsung BD-P3600 and after using it for a couple of weeks, I'd say I'm totally satisfied.

The player looks minimalistically sleek and cool. Unlike a traditional DVD player, its front is completely smooth and clean and the playback buttons, which are touch-sensitive, have been moved to the top of the player. Blu-ray discs load up at speeds comparable to the loading speed on regular DVD players. The picture is ofcourse noticeably sharper on Blu-ray and watching a movie is now even more of a pleasure. Even regular DVDs look better than they did on my earlier upconverting DVD player.

The improved picture quality is a given for any Blu-ray player but it was the goodies on the BD-P3600 that helped make my decision easier. First, it supports Netflix streaming. Setting up Netflix was a breeze with movies added to the Instant Queue(on the computer) being available for watching immediately. Netflix has a pretty good collection now and the movies can be paused, FFed, etc. Second, the player supports file sharing for photos, MP3s and video. So I can connect to my desktop to flip through photo slideshows, watch movies, etc. No more hooking up the laptop to the TV for this. And the biggest advantage for me is that the above can be done wirelessly since the player comes with a USB Wi-Fi dongle. With the router at the opposite end of the house from the DVD player, the wireless connection isn't the strongest. The Netflix streaming quality, for instance, was only half of what was possible. Still, the movie started in just a few seconds, was eminently watchable quality-wise and played without any interruptions.

Now for two quibbles. While connecting to a computer is easy, the player doesn't save the settings. This means the IP address, folder name, user name and password must all be entered manually each time the file sharing feature is used. With an onscreen keyboard, this is not a fun task. Also, the player has a limited set of codecs and so recognizes only some AVIs. AVIs created with unsupported codecs and other video formats(like MP4s or DVD files) are not playable. I'm just hoping that these, especially the first, will be fixed with a future firmware update.

If you are shopping for a Blu-ray player and you are a Netflix member, this one's a no-brainer. If your answer is "No" to either of those, what are you waiting for? :)


At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I think the ps3 is a very good alternative. I has all the features u have mentioned and also lets you play high quality games, all this at a competitive price

At 2:26 AM, Blogger D.E.V said...

My country, Blue rays Dvds are still pretty expensive, they cost 100s, and a normal player is no less than RM2000. Traditionally Dvds are still going very strong and probably may take a another decade for the change.

At 8:41 AM, Blogger ரவிஷா said...

Oh boy, I already burnt my fingers big time on plasma two years ago! I waited for the price to drop and finally decided to buy Samsung
720p 50" plasma and in just two years the price has gone at least $2K down!

This time for BluRay, I am going to wait until I get somethig thats going to be <$99 with all features in it!

BTW, for this BluRay player, should you still be NetFlix' member to play streaming videos? (see I am already succumbing....)

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Arun Annamalai said...

Balaji, that last sentence of your post should be "Yes" to either of those unless you meant strictly either. Anyways, PS3 gives you more for less even if you dont play games, I think this Netflix option swayed your choice, Xbox360 has it but not PS3. Regarding saving settings, cant you have a shared public folder which your player can pick up without access info?

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, most web forums echo ur thots. just that I already have a Wii and wasn't ready to take the risk of another video game console addiction :)

skanda, its the same here. the price differential between ordinary and blu-ray - both discs and players - is quite high :)

ravi, in electronics, its good to never worry about the price drops. otherwise i'd still be lamenting about my lcd tv purchase. should just buy it and enjoy it :)

yes, u need to be a netflix member since they r streamed by netflix :)

arun, i just meant that one should just become a netflix member and then buy this one. but u're right. the netflix option swayed me since i get unlimited viewing under my plan :)

yes, i do have a shared public folder but the player still requires the ip address to access the machine with the shared folder :)

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Kay said...

Giri may get this for father's day.. Thanks for the post...

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kay, u r welcome. hope he enjoys it :)


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