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Im looking at the sony PS3 , sony 300 and the 350. I have read about the load times on various BR players is one I listed better than other in that. Also Im a xbox user and will never use the PS3 for games ...so is it worth the money just to use it as a BR player. Im sorta leanig to the 300 as you can buy it for 230 new from amazon. Id really like to have a BR changer for my movie room like my 777es's. Any news if they will ever make something simple like that and not the $2000 hes-v1000
 

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The Playstation is regarded to be one of the best but usually doesn't "fit" the look of the home stereo rack well. The Panasonic line of bluRay players are getting very good reviews and so is the new Samsung BD P1500.
Load times for most players are about the same these days but really is not a big deal because like for myself I just turn it on first and have to wait for the projector to warm up anyhow.
 

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I think i will just buy the cheapest BR player i can get right now as i stumbled upon a 400disck sony is making THANK YOU says it will be out in 09.
 

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I think we'll see sub-$200 BD players by this christmas season or close to it if they're not already there. I would recommend this over a PS3 if games have no place for you. The PS3 is a fine BD player but won't stack into your av system like a regular component.
 

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I would go for the PS3 if I were you. The main reason is that it will be much easier to sell it further than an old S300 or S350 standalone BD player. Or you may simply keep it as a game machine :)

As I can see, there's not much price difference between a PS3 and the S300. HD picture and sound are very good on the PS3 and, as a bonus, you can use for many other things too!
 

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Since the poster stated he didn't want a Playstation I'd say go for the costco version of the same player but includes an hdmi cable and backlit remote. The Sony BDP-BX1 is the costco badged version of the S350, got it for $278. Nice player.

Darren
 

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hey guys i bought the sony 350 from amazon for 258 shipped. I ordered it right before the one guy post stating it was at that price. It showed up like 5 days after I placed the order using free shipping. I was surprised at how fast it showed up. I have been watching the first season of Mad Men on it every night since. I have no experience with other BR players but this on suits me just fine. Pretty fast loading as well.
 

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I was also looking at the Sony S350 (was at $339, then last week went down to $258!!!---for a few hours, then back up to $298, then $338, lol -- now it's at $299 today, I think cuz' Best Buy has it at the same price). Anyway, I WAS looking at it, thinking I'll wait til it goes down a bit and pull the trigger. NOW, I see they have a New model out, the S550 for around $399 (not much less anywhere else---I checked all over the Net'), and though it's a bit much for my budget, i'm thinking it'll go down nearer the holidays. Plus, I heard it's set up better for Tru-HD and configured better for 5.1 AND 7.1 set-ups, whereas the S350 isn't (?). Im not a newbie but at the same time, not Mr. Tech when it comes to Blu-Ray. I've been waiting to find the "right" BR player, and i'm leaning towards this newer Sony model. Anyone out there have any info, hints, advice, regarding the newer one's capabilities vice the 350's? Thanks in advance Folks!

ps - found this info at www.blu-ray.com on the Audio portion (it reviewed this S550 and some other ones, and this was the Only one of the New BLU RAY players that had a YES next to ALL of the Audio formats:
Playback audio:
Dolby Digital Yes
Dolby Digital+ Yes
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby TrueHD (bitstream) Yes
DTS Yes
DTS-HD Yes
DTS-HD MA Yes
DTS-HD MA (bitstream) Yes
PCM Yes
 

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I was also looking at the Sony S350 (was at $339, then last week went down to $258!!!---for a few hours, then back up to $298, then $338, lol -- now it's at $299 today, I think cuz' Best Buy has it at the same price). Anyway, I WAS looking at it, thinking I'll wait til it goes down a bit and pull the trigger. NOW, I see they have a New model out, the S550 for around $399 (not much less anywhere else---I checked all over the Net'), and though it's a bit much for my budget, i'm thinking it'll go down nearer the holidays. Plus, I heard it's set up better for Tru-HD and configured better for 5.1 AND 7.1 set-ups, whereas the S350 isn't (?). Im not a newbie but at the same time, not Mr. Tech when it comes to Blu-Ray. I've been waiting to find the "right" BR player, and i'm leaning towards this newer Sony model. Anyone out there have any info, hints, advice, regarding the newer one's capabilities vice the 350's? Thanks in advance Folks!

ps - found this info at www.blu-ray.com on the Audio portion (it reviewed this S550 and some other ones, and this was the Only one of the New BLU RAY players that had a YES next to ALL of the Audio formats:
Playback audio:
Dolby Digital Yes
Dolby Digital+ Yes
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby TrueHD (bitstream) Yes
DTS Yes
DTS-HD Yes
DTS-HD MA Yes
DTS-HD MA (bitstream) Yes
PCM Yes
Most of the players do everything but DTS-HD MA decoding on the player. It seems a pretty steep price to pay to get this extra feature compared to the older 350 model.

Do many movies come with DTS-HD MA over TrueHD? Also, if a disc comes with DTS-HD MA over TrueHD, does it usually have other encodings on the same disc? I have a Sony STR-DG720 and it doesn't accept the bitstream for TrueHD or DTS-HD MA, so i need a player that decodes them onboard. However, I cannot see paying $400 for the added decoding of DTS-HD MA. I'm only running 5.1 surround anyway, so i don't even know if TrueHD would benefit me.
 

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THX for the quick reply friend. lol, i'm not even 100% sure what ALL the diff. audio options mean, which one is the best (concensus) sounding to most readers here, and I have an Onkyo TX-SR505 7.1 Receiver---if that helps to which player will work best with that receiver (?). latest Amazon price for the 550 was $329, so i'm hoping it will be lower on Black Friday. A reader on Blu-Ray.com is a manager at Sears and noted he knows the 350 will be at $180 that day (their sales dept had a meeting and he posted that information), so maybe the 550 will be lower also. as well, another reader said that it sounded like the 550 would be better for my needs or work better with the Onkyo receiver I have. i'm also just a 5.1 surround system guy (smaller room, not really big enough for 7.1), but am "trying" to somewhat future proof my system for a while. I have a 50" Samsung DLP that I got earlier this year for $800 (floor model/clearance!) but I believe only has 1080i capability -- not that i'll really notice a Major Diff. with that and a 1080p TV, until I get one of those in a year or so when the prices go lower.
 

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THX for the quick reply friend. lol, i'm not even 100% sure what ALL the diff. audio options mean, which one is the best (concensus) sounding to most readers here, and I have an Onkyo TX-SR505 7.1 Receiver---if that helps to which player will work best with that receiver (?). latest Amazon price for the 550 was $329, so i'm hoping it will be lower on Black Friday. A reader on Blu-Ray.com is a manager at Sears and noted he knows the 350 will be at $180 that day (their sales dept had a meeting and he posted that information), so maybe the 550 will be lower also. as well, another reader said that it sounded like the 550 would be better for my needs or work better with the Onkyo receiver I have. i'm also just a 5.1 surround system guy (smaller room, not really big enough for 7.1), but am "trying" to somewhat future proof my system for a while. I have a 50" Samsung DLP that I got earlier this year for $800 (floor model/clearance!) but I believe only has 1080i capability -- not that i'll really notice a Major Diff. with that and a 1080p TV, until I get one of those in a year or so when the prices go lower.

Sounds like you're in the same boat as me with the TrueHD and the DTS-HD MA decoding. The newer model would probably be better if you ever get a movie that has either of these encodings since it appears to decode both in the player as well as sending it out via bitstream. I guess that is the price we pay going for a less expensive receiver (I almost bought the Onkyo over my Sony but the HMDI audio stopped me).

Those black friday prices are nice, too bad i hate to deal with the other shoppers during events like this, but they may all be at Wal-Mart and I could go to Sears.
 

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Yea, but I doubt the S550 will be at Walmart -- whereas I know the 350 is going to be at Sears. I'm just HOPING the 550 is lower somewhere---Amazon, BB, etc.

regarding the various Audio options--DTS, DOBLY TRU-HD, DTS-HD, DTS-MA, etc. -- is there one or 2 that are widely considered the Optimum audio options for Blu-Rays, or is it just diff. opinions? I've read things about "Lossless Audio", "PCM" as well. This is all a bit confusing! lol.
 

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Y

regarding the various Audio options--DTS, DOBLY TRU-HD, DTS-HD, DTS-MA, etc. -- is there one or 2 that are widely considered the Optimum audio options for Blu-Rays, or is it just diff. opinions? I've read things about "Lossless Audio", "PCM" as well. This is all a bit confusing! lol.
Dolby TruHD and DTS Master audio are basically the same thing from different companies both are uncompressed formats.
Lossless Audio is the uncompressed digital stream for audio formats. MP3 is not a Lossless Audio formats as there is a substantial amount of compression. PCM is a setting used on your DVD player if your letting the Player do the conversion of the uncompressed formats to the receiver and are using the analog audio outputs.
 

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Just bought sony bdp-s300 without remote for 76 bucks. If you can, try to buy a used from someone that got the bug for the latest and greatest. I also own a s301
 

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This is mostly for aerodude73, but the info may be helpful to someone else too.

I picked up a Sony BDP-S550 from Amazon for around $329 + shipping, and I am glad I went this route over the S350. I had to use the remote control to change from Dolby Digital 5.1 (it was EX I believe) to TrueHD. Once I switched to TrueHD, my sony str-dg720 indicated PCM 2/3.1 and showed my 5.1 speakers all lit up. I figure DTS-HD-MA will do the same when I get my WALL-E disc tomorrow. I was concerned from reading so much conflicting specs for the S550 from actual owners. Some say to set it from Mix to Direct, and vice versa to get it to decode the HD audio and send it out as LPCM. It apparently knows to send it out decoded in both. Some said Mix would convert it to 2.0 channel LPCM. Mine seems to send out 5.1 channels regardless (with a TrueHD 5.1 signal, I don't have a 7.1 Blu-Ray). I think the mix is used to mix in the "alternate" channels, like director's commentary and the menu noises. The little bit of Deja Vu that I watched in PCM 5.1 were very nice, the ambiance of surrounding the characters was better than I remember on any DVD. Star Wars Clone Wars in TrueHD 5.1 was really good too.

I think having the DTS-HD-MA decoding on the S550 was the better option over the S350. From what I have read, it will output the DTS-core signal regardless, but I wanted to hear the lossless audio of the DTS-HD signal.

I know I could have had a PS3 for the same price, but I figure the S550 is a brand new product and the PS3 is getting old, regardless of the firmware updates. I am from the school of thought that if you want to watch Blu-Ray only, then a Blu-Ray player should do it way better than a game console that has to pull double duty, especially at the same price point.

I guess the only thing to worry about when getting just about any Blu-Ray player, is to make sure the receiver can receive the audio through HDMI (or with the S550, you can use the analog outputs too). I don't think the S550 can do 5.1 or 7.1 over optical, so you are stuck with HDMI. I seem to remember when picking a receiver in the low price range of mine, that there were many that would not input audio through HDMI.

I also was confused by the PCM, bitstream, and that stuff. In the case of the S550, if you have a receiver that will accept audio through HDMI, but will not decode the TruHD and DTS-HD, it will send the signal automatically to the recevier through Linear PCM. I am pretty sure that the signal is decoded but is still in a digital format for the HDMI cable. Then the receiver treats the digital signal as discrete PCM channels and then converts the PCM signal from digital to analog. I know tonyvdb, which confused me at first, but it is only analog when using those particular outputs. When using the HDMI it is digital PCM, at least on mine. I cannot say for all BD players, though.

Bottom line: the BDP-S550 is well worth the price. It gives excellent sound and video. It's almost a brand new product that should maintain compatibility for future changes in Blu-Ray.
 
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