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We should all know by now that the so-called 'format-war' is over. HD-DVD lost and Blu-Ray won, becoming the undisputed successor to DVD and the high-definition format of choice.
What does this mean for us - the consumers?
It means that the price of a standard Blu-Ray player has plummeted and you can now experience High-Definition Blu-Ray for the cost of a high-end DVD player or standard mid-range DVD recorder (around the £150 mark). This does of course depend on you having a High-Definition television too, and you can only experience the full 1920x1080 resolution playback that this player offers as long as your TV supports it too.
Here we have one of the better value and quality Blu-Ray players on the market currently. Samsung is a quality brand - well known in the electronics industry for producing televisions and mobile phones among other devices.
APPEARANCE -------------------- As we have come to expect from Samsung, the BD-P1600 is black and glossy. This looks fantastic although you'll need to dust it regularly to keep it looking crisp and clean. Just ask the missus to do it - simple! No, I didn't mean that. Tell her to do it.
Only joking !!!!!!!!!!
Get off the couch and do it yourself every few movies or so lol, that is when you can drag yourself away from this great Blu-Ray player.
PICTURE QUALITY -------------------------- The picture quality is fabulous, especially when a 1080p blu-ray disc is being viewed through a 1080p TV. The playback is great, and extremely detailed. You can expect even standard DVD's to look far better on this player due to the upscaling feature built-in, to improve the quality of their playback. Bear in mind that this is effective when viewing through a HDMI 1.3 lead. The menu screens also look crisp and defined. One of the biggest differences evident from playing Blu-Ray discs is the massive improvement in colour - even the dullest of colours can look vibrant and literally leap out of the screen like a great painting or watercolour.
AUDIO --------- The audio quality is superb - again, very crisp and clear. It's compatible with Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD and should satisfy the vast majority of consumers. I should point ut though that some people seem to have had some audio set-up problems, with incorrect audio playback and issues such as speech not matching the moving of the mouth on screen etc. Thankfully, this seems to be down to incorrect settings, and is rectified by some fiddling of the different audio options of the player and also the TV - until everything matches.
UPGRADES AND INTERNET CONNECTION ------------------------------------------------------------- You may not be aware that there are firmware updates released for Blu-ray players much like for PC's and games consoles. This is to keep them up-to-date and compatible with new features included on discs. The upgrades are quickly and easily downloaded to the P1600 by either connecting an ethernet cable to an internet connected laptop or PC. You can also if you prefer, purchase a Samsung usb dongle and connect wirelessly via a wi-fi connection, or upgrade via a disc. You can access the BD Live servce and extra bonuses on certain discs via the internet connection.
There are 2 USB slots included with this player which is a brilliant addition believe me. You can connect other devices such as USB memory drives to add to the 256mb internal memory, or as mentioned above - the wi-fi dongle.
One of the best aspects of this player is the incredibly fast loading times and eject/start times. Discs - both blu-ray and dvd seem to load much faster than the majority of players, so you'll be hard pressed to find time to make a coffee while the discs load. When you need to press eject to remove the disc, you'll find that this happens almost instantly. Superb! No more pressing the button over and over thinking that you didn't push it correctly the first time!
All in all, this is a great blu-ray player and is a reletively cheap method of getting into hi-definition disc playing. You get a great remote, an ok manual and some batteries and a cable to get you started. Be aware that better cables are available to get the most out of the picture, although obviously at a cost. Go for this if you're wanting a great-looking, inexpensive and reliable player but be aware that you'll be needing to dust it regularly, and are likely to never get off the couch again - which makes it harder to do the dusting, haha.
Shop around, check the net, prices vary and so do return policies in the unlikely event that you're not happy with your purchase. Enjoy!
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