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BD-P1400 Review hometheaterhifi.com

BD-P1400 Review hometheaterhifi.com

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Published by chigong1
This is the third Samsung Blu-ray player that I've evaluated. Samsung was the first on the block to release a Blu-ray player with the BD-P1000. This first model had a few hiccups in design, but ultimately after a few firmware updates, it provided decent performance. They followed up that model with the BD-P1200, which featured Silicon Optix's Reon video processing, making it a formidable Blu-ray player and an excellent solution for standard DVD playback. The new model, the BD-P1400, is an extension of the original BD-P1000 and drops the Reon processing but adds a few new Blu-ray playback features.
This is the third Samsung Blu-ray player that I've evaluated. Samsung was the first on the block to release a Blu-ray player with the BD-P1000. This first model had a few hiccups in design, but ultimately after a few firmware updates, it provided decent performance. They followed up that model with the BD-P1200, which featured Silicon Optix's Reon video processing, making it a formidable Blu-ray player and an excellent solution for standard DVD playback. The new model, the BD-P1400, is an extension of the original BD-P1000 and drops the Reon processing but adds a few new Blu-ray playback features.

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Published by: chigong1 on Apr 15, 2008
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Product Review SummaryBlu-Ray/BD-P1400
 
Hometheaterhifi.com
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cd-dvd-player-product-reviews/dvd-players/samsung-bd-p1400-blu-ray-player.html Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray Player Written by Kris Deering  Thursday, 10 January 2008Page 1 of 3
Introduction
  This is the third Samsung Blu-ray player that I've evaluated. Samsung was the first on the block torelease a Blu-ray player with the BD-P1000. This first model had a few hiccups in design, but ultimately after a few firmware updates, it provided decentperformance. They followed up that model with theBD-P1200, which featured Silicon Optix's Reon video processing, making it a formidable Blu-ray playerand an excellent solution for standard DVD playback. The new model, the BD-P1400, is an extensionof the original BD-P1000 and drops the Reon processing but adds a few new Blu-ray playback features.  The BD-P1400 is a third generation Blu-ray player. Throughout my time with various Blu-ray players(I've used just about all of them), I've been really impressed with the build quality and features that mostof them bring to the table. Compared to the rivalHD DVDformat, Blu-ray players have beenconsistently bringing true 1080p support, 24p support, and a wide variety of other features. The pricepoint is a bit higher, but ultimately I've felt it was justified given the features and playback experience. What I'm not so pleased to see is a continuation of the sluggish interface and load times, as well as otherusability issues. As this format progresses, it seems that only a few of the hardware companies are truly trying to improve on the user experience and instead justify their costs on small advancements incapabilities that are at times a bit underwhelming. We still have not reached the point where I feel thehardware has truly matured enough that mass market consumers would have a truly seamless and
 
 
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otherwise painless transition from the SD DVD format. I see this as one of the biggest stumbling blocksfor both competing high definition formats.
Specifications
 
Codecs: Blu-ray, DVD-V, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, CD, CD-R, CD-RW 
 
Built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD, plus multi-channnel uncompressed PCM
 
Outputs: Composite, S-Video, Component Video,HDMI 1.3a
 
720p/1080i/1080p Video Scaler for DVD (through HDMI output only)
 
Dimensions: 16-15/16"W x 3-3/16"H x 14-3/8"D
 
MSRP: $499.99 USA
 The Design
  The BD-P1400 is an average size player that is only slightly larger than what you normally see from theDVD market. The front panel is a glossy piano black and in line with the styling that has become atrademark of the Samsung brand. You won't see a lot of buttons or lights from the front. Instead,Samsung has included a single multi-function interface with controls for play, pause, skip, and stop. The back panel is also the same as most of the Blu-ray players on the market. All of the requisiteaudio/video connections are included. You'll find an HDMI output, component video output, andlegacy composite and S-Video outputs. Keep in mind that the HDMI output is required to take fulladvantage of this player's video output capabilities, including 1080p60 and 1080p24 playback. Thecomponent outputs are limited to 1080i while all other video outputs are limited to 480i video playback. 
 
 
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 On the audio side, Samsung has included a Toslink and digital coaxial outputs and a 5.1 analog output. The HDMI output is the latest version (1.3) and supports bitstream transmission of all of the new audioformats including DTS-HD Master Audio. This is one of the very few players on the market thatsupport this feature and is probably one of the biggest selling points of the player now that we're seeing more and more receivers and processors with advanced audio decoding from Dolby and DTS. I was abit disappointed to see that the analog outputs only support 5.1 audio. This player can decode the new Dolby Digital Plus format. Unlike HD DVD, Dolby Digital Plus is used strictly for soundtracks withmore than 5.1 channels, including 7.1. If you are using a receiver or processor that doesn't support 7.1 via HDMI or doesn't have HDMI to begin with, this limits your opportunity to hear these new soundtracks with full 7.1 support. The BD-P1400 also has a LAN connection on its back panel. This serves as a means to update theplayer via theInternet hen firmware updates are available. The player can also be updated with CDs by downloading ISO images of the latest firmware from the Samsung support website. During my time with the 1400, I did update the player using this method and found it fairly simple, though I would liketo see both formats get their hardware and software to the level where firmware updates are rarely if ever needed. While an A/V enthusiast and veteran such as myself stays on top of things like this, theaverage consumer may not balways be on the lookout for updates. It is a ridiculous proposition torequire the players to be updated constantly as new software is released with small differences in theirplayback experience.
Blu-ray VideoPerformance
  The Blu-ray camp has always been the most consistent when it comes to video playback quality. Toshiba has delivered quite a few HD DVDplayers onto the market, but their video output features and quality have been vastly different from each other, and in my opinion, not nearly as impressive across the boardas the Blu-ray camp. The 1400 does not feature a standalone video processing chip like its predecessors did and instead relieson the Sigma Designs HD decoder chip for its video processing duties. This has its pluses and minusesdepending on what you want this player to do at the end of the day. The player supports output resolutions of 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p60, and 1080p24, with the lattertwo requiring use of the HDMI output. All resolutions are derived from the decoding chip. Like all of the Blu-ray players with a 1080p24 output, you will only see this output resolution if the software isencoded as such. SomeBlu-ray discsare not encoded as 1080p24. The Samsung does not have a forced1080p24 output either, so it must see support for this resolution from the EDID information of theattached display in order to enable it. This has caused some frustration with some end users in previousmodels, as the HDMI interface doesn't always cooperate when it comes to EDID information. As I mentioned before, I recently reviewed the Samsung BD-P1200, which featured onboard SiliconOptix Reon video processing. That was the only Blu-ray player with a high-end video processing chip,and its video performance was quite impressive compared to the majority of the Blu-ray players outthere. To date it is still the only Blu-ray player to do well with both DVD playback and Blu-ray playback  with video based content. Samsung dropped support for this feature with the BD-P1400, and this took its toll in several areas of video performance.

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