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Samsung BD-UP5000 Blu-Ray Player
33 Reviews from Epinions.com
Mar 31, 2008
An Excellent Player at Recent Prices
Pros: Excellent picture quality Nice remote Easy setup
Cons: Limited audio capability Easily scratched slick surface Small and dim display
The Bottom Line:
A very good player with some limitations. The flexibility and picture quality rival most any product of it's kind, especially with the recent drop in prices.
I hesitated jumping into a dual player. Mainly because of the complexity involved with integrating two high definition formats with all the associated hardware and software requirements. Then there were the reports early on that dual players were having various reliability and compatibility problems.
I have an early generation HD DVD player (XA1), and with the latest firmware updates it became my mainstay DVD player.
The picture is very good, and includes several audio options sufficient for integrating with my existing receiver, including lossless tracks.
Now with the demise of HD DVD, which quite honestly I felt was a more reasonable and sensible approach, I did not want to forfeit being able to watch some great existing movies in Blue Ray and HD DVD, as well as any BR disks to be released in the future.
Adding another single player was not really a good option for me. I have limited space in my equipment area and did not look forward having to change a very convenient arrangement.
The LG BH200 and Samsung BD-UP5000 suddenly became viable options. This decision was reinforced with Blue Ray's commitment to release new profiles in a timely manner.
The LG was out of the question for two reasons. It was above my price point, even discounted, and did not include analog 5.1 or 7.1 multichannel output. This is a big advantage if you have a receiver that can not decode various lossless audio codecs like TrueHD but want to hear them through a player that will decode them.
I am glad I waited, because I feel the UP5000 has matured to a more reliable player in the last few months, and along with future software updates should satisfy most users.
Another bonus, prices have dropped significantly for this player.
On the downside, the warranty is only 1 year parts, and 3 months labor. Samsung does extend the total warranty by another 3 months if you register your purchase online.
I went ahead and purchased a very reasonable 3 year extension ($30) which was offered by the retailer at the time.
I felt for the small cost and considering the newness of the technology, this was one case where additional coverage was appropriate especially with respect to the short factory warranty.
FEATURES and PERFORMANCE:
My 5000 was built in Jan. 08 and already overcame some earlier deficiencies, like jre-Java compatibility.
Upon delivery I immediately upgraded the firmware over the internet. This was a very straight-forward process as I already had a wireless adapter incorporated in my system.
I have played about a dozen mixed format disks on this player. All played flawlessly. Both the HD DVD and Blue Ray copies have extraordinary picture quality, in fact I would give it a notch above my XA1.
Upconversion of standard DVDs is much on par with my HD DVD player, which is to say, very good.
I limited my audio selection in the menu to the re-encode mode. While this only processes lossy audio, it is multi-channel DTS which I can route to my analog or the optical (or coaxial) digital inputs of my receiver.
While it does not have the richness of lossless audio (not available on all disks) it is more than adequate for most movies. Hopefully with the promise of more firmware upgrades, I will be able to also enjoy superior soundtracks.
The remote is well designed for easy use. A backlight would make a good design even better.
I find the display dim (even when set for BRIGHT) and the characters too small. The shiny finish on the cover is attractive, if not totally practical.
I use a Harmony universal remote for my home theater, and programming the 5000 to take over the DVD functions for my system was a snap.
What I've gained is a superior player that can handle most all audio and HD/STD video formats with ease, including CD-R and CD+R disks, which is something very few DVD players can do.
I did a swap out with my previous player and saved the space, not having to stuff another component into my setup along with more wiring.
Based on my own experience, I would recommend that while you set up this player, avoid any selectable enhancements including Samsung's proprietary 'Anynet+' which is designed to control other Samsung products that may be in your system. I think it may add a very small convenience while offering another system that could be potentially troublesome.
Generally, simpler is always better.
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