Home > The Soapbox > Listener Rant: Samsung BD-P2500 DTS-HD MA Promise Broken

Listener Rant: Samsung BD-P2500 DTS-HD MA Promise Broken

December 5th, 2008

Listener Ted had this to say about his recent purchase of a Samsung BD-P2500.

For this holiday season, I ordered for myself a Samsung BD-P2500 at a GREAT price (around $200 after various discounts).

I was so excited because it would have great upconversion (Reon-VX), and internally decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA via its 7.1 analog outs–I have an old receiver without HDMI.

So for $200, I could get Blu-ray and high-def audio and not have to shell out for a new AVR.

But, alas, that would turn out not to be true.

It turns out that the literature I was reading that said the BD-P2500 would support DTS-HD MA via a firmware update was then confirmed (much later) to be untrue because their Broadcom chip wouldn’t support it.

When Samsung designed the thing, how could they not know it wouldn’t support DTS-HD MA??? And then promise support via firmware update??

Around 20% of Blu-ray movies are DTS-HD MA, including Baraka, a movie Roger Ebert evidently says is justification enough to go Blu-ray. (It’s one of my favorites.)

The next good player that supports all the formats is the Panasonic BD55 ($375). On principle, I will not buy Sony unless I absolutely have to.

So I’m going to sell the Samsung once I get it. This is the second time I will have ALMOST gotten high-def audio (earlier this year, I returned my PS3 because it didn’t have analog audio out).

I just don’t think Blu-ray is worth it until I can have it for $200 and not have to buy a new AVR. Why? Because services like Vudu (and their HDX video codec) are getting close to making Blu-ray irrelevant.

Ted’s quest for affordable Blu-ray goes on. I feel for ya dude. I’m the same way. $250 is about as much as I can stomach as well. For me it is a little different in that I only need internal decoding and not the analogue outputs since I’ve got an HDMI equipped receiver. That Panasonic BD-50 definitely has my eye. I’m hoping to add it or something like it to my theater very, very soon. Keep us informed Ted.

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  1. Rob
    December 6th, 2008 at 13:42 | #1

    This is a very good point and one of the reasons I wish so badly that The Blu-ray Group would have decided early on to just make FULL spec support mandatory from the get-go, rather than keeping so many aspects of the format optional!

    I’m not sure if the extremely similar Samsung BD-2550 also has this same problem, but so far as I know, you’re only sure bets for getting a COMPLETE Blu-ray player

    (that would be a Profile 2.0 BD-Live player with internal decoding for ALL audio formats along with 7.1 analogue audio outputs)

    for a somewhat reasonable price are the Panasonic DMP-BD55 or the Sony BDP-S550.

    If, like Tom, all you need is internal audio decoding with HDMI output, then the Panasonic DMP-BD35 becomes the top choice.

    Through it all though, I still maintain that the highest VALUE is the PS3 along with a new HDMI receiver capable of accepting the 5.1/7.1 PCM audio signal. Even if you forget all about the gaming system and the media server capabilities – the PS3 maintains distinct advantages as a Blu-ray player: primarily its significantly faster load and navigation times and its much smoother BD-Live experience.

  2. Rob
    December 6th, 2008 at 13:49 | #2

    By the way, Tom, the Panasonic DMP-BD35 is just $235 with free shipping from Amazon these days – might be a good item for your Christmas wish list, no? 😉

  3. December 8th, 2008 at 12:12 | #3

    I see games like Resistance 2 and Little Big Planet and the PS3 is looking better and better. Though don’t tell my wife 🙂

  4. Rob
    December 8th, 2008 at 15:46 | #4

    Actually, Tom, you might want to get your wife to take a really good look at Little Big Planet! Most women LOVE that game – at least in my experience. Might help if there’s something exclusive to the PS3 that she actually wants to play herself 😉

  5. December 8th, 2008 at 18:44 | #5

    I have to admit, it’s a tough pill to swallow going to the HD game.

    Problem is so many people don’t want to commit all the way. If you want a full HD setup with all the features you have to pay. If you don’t want to pay wait it out and by next year the format will be dead or cheaper.

  6. Rob
    December 8th, 2008 at 19:44 | #6

    Indeed, dezoris. A genuine “High Definition” setup is a rather massive upgrade for most people. The old SD setup was potentially dead simple – just a TV with some sort of television signal (either cable or just antenna)and probably a super cheap DVD player connected with the red/white/yellow RCA cables.

    But a genuine HD system includes a fairly large HD display, a proper surround sound system, a HD television signal (which often means a new set top box from cable or satellite) and at the tail end, a Blu-ray player.

    Anything less isn’t really a proper HD system; anything less is only a partial one. And with each added component of the full system, more and more people stop short of completing the full HD experience.

    It’s pretty easy to convince a lot of people to get a HD display – but even at this first step, a lot of people only get a fairly small screen size due to price or just not realizing that in order to really see the difference, you need a fairly large screen.

    Once they have the TV, lots of people figure out that they need a HDTV signal. Usually they want it for Football or other sports – but here again, there are still way too many people who do not realize that the TV itself doesn’t make what they’re watching into HD!

    If they get as far as the display and the HDTV signal, then maaaybe they think about adding surround sound. But by this point they really don’t want to spend the money to do it right, so they end up with the crappy $250 HTiB.

    They’ve still got that super cheapo DVD player – and frankly, when they hook it up to their new HD display and their $250 HTiB, it looks and sounds pretty darn good! Certainly DVDs don’t look like crap on a HD display and that’s why the final step of a new Blu-ray player is such an uphill battle.

  7. David
    December 8th, 2008 at 23:20 | #7

    I know this is kinda late and a bit off topic, but Amazon had an amazing deal on the Samsung 1500 Bluray player. The deal included the player AND EIGHT BLURAY MOVIES for as low as $137.55.

    Warner Brothers was offering $200 instant cash back on Amazon when you bought the Samsung 1500 and eight of their movies. So if you bought the 8 cheapest $16.99 movies like Lethal Weapon 2 and Full Metal Jacket you could get the whole package for $137.

    I was going to jump on it, but a Bluray player is on my Christmas wish list and I didn’t want to make my family’s shopping any more difficult.

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