By Robert Heron  |  Posted 2006-07-05 Print this article Print

I see HD DVD and Blu-ray as high-definition disc formats that have more similarities than differences, but it will be a while before we see one device that plays nicely with both. HD DVD made headlines by being the first one to market, with the Toshiba HD-A1 standalone HD DVD player.

Now, the first Blu-ray movies have finally arrived, and the Samsung BD-P1000 ($999.99 list) is a solid Blu-ray disc player that takes full advantage of the formats abilities. Being an early adopter isnt for the frugal, but the BD-P1000 has the potential to drive the best home theater setups to new heights.

Measuring 3.1 by 16.9 by 12.8 inches (HWD) and weighing 9.3 pounds, the BD-P1000 is slightly smaller all around and 7 pounds lighter than the HD-A1 HD DVD player. When I unpacked the box, I quickly discovered that the BD-P1000s glossy black finish was a magnet for fingerprints, but the paintwork quality was admirable nonetheless.

The front of the player maintains the liquid-black theme but adds a strip of faux brushed-metal trim along the lower edge that is angled back into the face. This provides an ideal (and relatively fingerprint-proof) location for the video output selection and power buttons. The left half of the trim has a fold-down door that conceals two media card slots that are used for viewing digital pictures on a connected television. Supported card formats include SD, CompactFlash, Memory Stick (all flavors), and MMC.

The BD-P1000s remote control is a narrow, lightweight design with relatively small buttons—not exactly what I was expecting from a $1,000 disc player. Oddly, the five glow-in-the-dark buttons centered in the middle of the remote control have nothing to do with operating the BD-P1000, but instead can be programmed to adjust a TVs volume and change channels. I would prefer that the directional pad, which is located immediately below these near-useless glowing keys, be placed in the middle, where it would be more easily accessible. At least the remote was exceptionally responsive from a variety of angles and distances, and gripping it naturally landed my thumb near the stop and pause/play buttons.

The video outputs on the rear of the BD-P1000 include component video, HDMI, S-Video, and composite video. Audio connections include 5.1 and stereo analog outputs, as well as optical and coaxial digital outputs. Conveniently, a component video cable and a two-meter HDMI cable are included in the box. When the BD-P1000 is turned on, blue lights accent the controls on the front of the player and an illuminated Blu-ray logo (glowing blue, of course) appears on the disc tray door. The display window (also blue) is configured to dim automatically during playback and brighten when stopped, but static dim and bright display modes can be manually selected if desired. The BD-P1000 was very quiet during operation, with a slight whirring sound audible only when I was less than three feet away.

Read the full story on PCMag.com: Samsung BD-P1000


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