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Harry Warden
07-15-2009, 05:14 PM
Okay fellows!! I need some help. I am considering buying a Blu-Ray Player and an HDTV. So far, the brands that I've been told are the best are Sony or Sharp.

I have many questions and I hope you guys on this board may be able to fill in some blanks for me.

First off, are there brands that are better than others?

Second, I was told that when I purchase a new player and tv, to make sure to stick with either Sony, Sharp or LG. I was also told that I should make sure the resolution on the HDTV is at least 1920X1080 screen resolution and that I should make sure I get the correct cables..I was told HDMI cables. Is this correct?

Third, I just learned that companies vary with their Blu-Ray machines, and that if a Blu-Ray disc was made AFTER my player was made, that each machine has it's own computer if you will, and that some Blu Ray discs may not play until I download updates from my computer??? I don't know why discs wouldn't play but I was told that sometimes discs are made with updated information to make them readible only if my Blu-Ray player has been updated. This sounds like a pain in the ass. Someone at Best Buy mentioned that some companies supply updates every 6 months, some every year, some every two years? What gives???

Fourth, are there any particular lables (i.e. Fox, Paramount, New Line, etc..) where you guys have had more problems playing Blu-Ray discs then others??

-Fifth, I'm told that all new Blu-Ray players will also play all of my standard DVDs? Is this true and is there anything special that is needed to play standard DVDS on a Blu-Ray machine???

and sixth, I was recommened to purchase a HDTV/Blue Ray Combo by Sharp? Do any of you have combo's are would separate components be the wiser move? I think separate is best but I don't know what the quality of combo systems are like and if updates have to be downloaded, this may be a real pain in the ass.

I am at a loss here. I would really like a new player and I hate to sound stupid, but I hadn't any idea that the Blu-Ray transistion was this complicanted (at least for me) Any information you guys can supply would be very helpful.

spawningblue
07-15-2009, 05:30 PM
1 - Not sure what brands are best to be honest. It's probably more of a preference thing, although I'm sure some brands are better then others. they usually cost quite a bit more as well though. Sony TVs can be hundreds of dollars more for the same size, so if money is an option you may want to stay away from Sony TVs.

2 - HDMI cables are the way to go, although I would probably get them online or something as you can get them a lot cheaper then the $100 that most stores charge.

3/ 4 -Just make sure you get a Blu Ray player that is hooked into the internet, the PS3 is a great example. This will make updating so much easier as yes, as when you insert a Blu Ray that needs an update, it will just you if you want to update, you say yes and it does it itself. Seems like a lot of Blu Rays need updates, so I would just go that route and not worry about it.

5 - Yes, Blu Ray players will play all your old DVDs and even up convert them if you want.

6 - Don't know about combos. I've always went the route of buying everything separate, that way you can pick and choose the best. Some companies are better for TVs, or Blu Ray players, or Surrounds Systems, or Speakers, ect. I guess it depends what the combo is, as well as if you have a price limit, as combos usually are a lot cheaper.

Oh, and I am no expert on this, so I'm sure someone on here can give you a little more info.

2D4EVER
07-15-2009, 05:50 PM
I wouldn't get a Sharp. Go for a Sony, Panasonic, or Samsung. The optimal size is 40-46" but you may need/want a larger one depending on how far away you are sitting from the tv. Get your HDMI cables from monoprice.com. Cheapest place around for all types of cables. Do not get a combo player/tv. It's just asking for trouble.

rxfiend
07-15-2009, 06:51 PM
3/ 4 -Just make sure you get a Blu Ray player that is hooked into the internet, the PS3 is a great example. This will make updating so much easier as yes, as when you insert a Blu Ray that needs an update, it will just you if you want to update, you say yes and it does it itself. Seems like a lot of Blu Rays need updates, so I would just go that route and not worry about it.


Unless you plan on using BD-Live all the time, you really don't need to hook up your player to the internet. I don't have my player hooked up and never had any problems playing discs. I've only updated my firmware once and that was when I first bought it. But you can download those and put it on an USB drve / CDR and update your player that way.

My overall advice to someone going to HD, just make sure your TV is 1080p and get at least a 42" set. Be sure it has HDMI hookup (and like others have mentioned, get your cables online at monoprice.com). As for your player, just do some research online and check customer reviews. I bought a Samsung player at Wal-mart, which is now down to $168, and it works great. Have had no problems with it, loads up pretty fast, puts out a great video / audio presentation. And like I mentioned earlier, I've only updated it once and that is when I bought it. I have had no problems playing any discs, new or catalog titles including Fox.

Mutilated Prey
07-15-2009, 06:51 PM
LCD - go Sony or Sharp. I just know folks that own both that are happy with them. No personal experience there.
Plasma - go Pannasonic. I have two. A 42" and a 50" and don't regret getting either one of them one bit.

Definitely get the HDMI's online. Places like BestBuy will rape you horribly on cables. I just use the HDMI for video though since my receiver has no HDMO inputs. I use coax or optical for the audio.

Can't speak too much at Blu Ray players because I'm spoiled with the PS3. If you like gaming in the slightest bit this is the Blu Ray player for you.

No issues with any Blu labels as of yet.

Stay away from Combo units. Once one part goes your SOL and it will cost big bucks to fix. Seperate components is what it's all about. I was in PC Richards the other and had to laugh my ass off when I saw thes boom boxes that was as big as my 50" Plasma tv Detachable speakers about the same size as milk crates. Who buys this shit! And they're like $500-$600!

Look at these dumbass things..

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/8949/dumbkde.jpg
http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/1700/dumb2.jpg

Spitfire
07-15-2009, 07:13 PM
Sony and Samsung are the two brands I like best. However, I'm sure there's other brands that are just as good. Samsung is one of my favorites.

I would also say that a PS3 is a good option since you can play games and watch movies.

HDMI is indeed the best cable.

Sometimes certain advanced new features come with new Blu-ray movies in which you need the latest firmware update to access. So you just simply have to do an update of the machine. If you get a new Blu-Ray player you should have an up-to-date one. For future updates just download the firmware, via your computer or connecting the Blu-ray to the internet.

Harry Warden
07-15-2009, 08:19 PM
Thanks for those who have responed so far. Lots of good advice and I appreciate it. Best Buy gave me no help AT ALL. Actually, I stopped into the local Sears store this morning and met two associates that were WONDERFUL and very helpful. The one fellow told me that 42 inch or higher is were you find most 1920x1080 resolution HDTV's, and that anything in the 30 inch range is much more difficult to find with that resolution. Usually they are 720, not 1080. They do have a really nice 32" Sony HDTV on sale for $699 til the end of the month that does have 1920x1080 resolution. They had one Sony Blu-Ray player, a 500 series, that is on sale for $285 and it's the last one they have. The HDMI cords they sell are made by Phillips but I didn't ask the price.

I also stopped into our local Wal-Mart and was not impresses with their selections.

Mitbox
07-15-2009, 09:18 PM
I've read in some website about technology (don't remember) that to fully appreciate high definition, the TV should be at least 40''(1080p), You won't notice a difference in a 32'' TV if you had a high def and a standard resolution movie playing side to side. I have not corroborated this myself, but in case you can afford a bigger tv than 32, then do it.

spawningblue
07-15-2009, 09:35 PM
Yeah it is pretty hard to find a 32" TV thats more then 720, and like on here have mentioned you probably wouldn't notice a difference. if you are getting into it now, I would def. start right and get at least a 40" TV.

As for Blu Ray players, there's a good article on Digital Bits front page right now that may help you with your decision.

http://www.digitalbits.com/

_pi_
07-15-2009, 09:51 PM
I am at a loss here. I would really like a new player and I hate to sound stupid, but I hadn't any idea that the Blu-Ray transistion was this complicanted (at least for me) Any information you guys can supply would be very helpful.

I totally agree. It seem pointlessly complicated for the layperson. Feels like they rushed the product out on the market (presumably because of the Blu vs. HDDVD "war") but it doesn't seem particularly marketable. I can imagine a lot of people fussing about the need to upgrade every month or so .. I know I'd be annoyed.

I've read in some website about technology (don't remember) that to fully appreciate high definition, the TV should be at least 40''(1080p), You won't notice a difference in a 32'' TV if you had a high def and a standard resolution movie playing side to side. I have not corroborated this myself, but in case you can afford a bigger tv than 32, then do it.

The difference is noticable, especially if the DVD in question isn't top-notch (actually, after getting a 32" TV a few months ago, a LOT of my old DVDs don't look so hot anymore) but it's hardly a dealbreaker I'd say if the DVD has a good transfer.

However, once you go 40"+, the difference becomes crystal clear.

captain_brandon
07-15-2009, 10:03 PM
Yeah it is pretty hard to find a 32" TV thats more then 720, and like on here have mentioned you probably wouldn't notice a difference. if you are getting into it now, I would def. start right and get at least a 40" TV.

As for Blu Ray players, there's a good article on Digital Bits front page right now that may help you with your decision.

http://www.digitalbits.com/

Great read/articale. And yeah, I agree: from what I've read, the bigger television set definately helps. Within two years time, I am gonna get rid of mine, or just use it for video gaming, and get a bigger set that is at least 47" inches. But it'll have to wait at least two years, though. But I agree.

Odin
07-16-2009, 02:04 AM
How much are you planning to spend and what size tv do you want? Also perhaps consider a surround system as well? Get your hdmi cables from www.monoprice.com.

Harry Warden
07-16-2009, 02:37 AM
How much are you planning to spend and what size tv do you want? Also perhaps consider a surround system as well? Get your hdmi cables from www.monoprice.com.

I'm limited on space because the bedroom is the place I'm looking to put the new Blu-Ray/HDTV. A 32 inch is a good size, but I suppose I could go as high as 42-45 inch if I buy a larger stand.

Harry Warden
07-16-2009, 02:42 AM
[/QUOTE]The difference is noticable, especially if the DVD in question isn't top-notch (actually, after getting a 32" TV a few months ago, a LOT of my old DVDs don't look so hot anymore) but it's hardly a dealbreaker I'd say if the DVD has a good transfer.

However, once you go 40"+, the difference becomes crystal clear.[/QUOTE]


Hey PI - with the difference in your standard DVD's, are you playing them on a Blu-Ray player with your 32" TV? When you say they don't look so hot, in what way do they differ from before?

JIMX1975
11-04-2009, 09:35 PM
I have a 57" rear projection tv about 5 years old. It has no HDMI outputs. I get 1080i from my XBOX 360 and Dish HD using component cables. 540p is the highest on the "p" side. If I buy a Blu-ray player and use component cables will I be able to at least get 1080i?