I didn't get this through Play since they don't usually send this stuff abroad. Fair enough. But I did get this player after favoring over the PS3. Let's go through the basics. Anyone not managing to upgrade the firmware has to be kidding me! I mean all you have to do is visit the Samsung site, download the .bin firmware, burn it to cd...and it's done.
So with the new firmware I started experimenting a bit, and I must say that this player took all my dvds flawlessly. The image is rock solid and the sound is..well...I couldn't find my jaw for a time.
Receiving Ratatouille from play, I hurried with my daughter to watch the title on my 50inch plasma. I curse play.com seriously for messing up my weekend. We saw the movie five times, such is the stunning impact of Blu-Ray, and of this player.
Loading times ARE slower than conventional DVD players, but one has to remember that with Java interfaces and data streaming, it is only understandable. Not something I like obviously, but not something to complain about either.
The upscaling on normal movies is nothing short of amazing. Pearl Harbor on this monster is simply a new movie, and Happy Feet , as well as Ice Age 2 are simply marvelous.
I was wary of buying this player after seeing so many conflicting reviews. There was NO middle ground. People either hated it or loved it. I considered those who could not upgrade it as maybe being non-technical people. Then I looked at those who complained about the unit breaking,and reasoned that a bad batch can come from everywhere. Many people were impressed with the quality though, and I am no outsider to this group.
Thankfully the unit here in Malta comes with a 2 year warranty, and I am on my second month of usage.
About the only gripe I can come up with is that you have no audio control over HDMI cable unless your audio amp is connected via HDMI too. There is no way I can ever get rid of my old NAD, so I just have to find a way round that.
All in all a very good player, and I shudder to think what may come in the future. Well worth it!