What’s that? You’re still watching regular DVDs on a regular DVD player? Or even worse…you’re still hanging onto HD-DVD? Maybe you’ve upgraded to one of those upconverting DVD players in hopes of extracting more HD from your HDTV? Well, it’s time for you to get with the program and upgrade to the world of true 1080p home movie watching with a proper Blu-ray player. After you go Blu-ray, you’ll never look at a regular DVD quite the same way again, upconverted or otherwise.
One of the newer units to hit the market is the Samsung BD-P1500, which is meant to be an upgrade over some Samsung’s older units like the previously reviewed BD-P1000 , BD-P1200 and BD-P1400. I had the opportunity to check out one of these older players some time ago and I was really disappointed with the loading time of media. Now that it’s been a while (the disc is still loading), I have high hopes that Samsung has been able to catch up to the Sony PlayStation 3, which serves as a sort of benchmark for Blu-ray movie playing. How does the Samsung BD-P1500 compare? Let’s find out.
Features at a Glance
When you take a look at the specs and features on the Samsung BD-P1500, everything seems to fall in line. It can output a video resolution of up to 1080p and it’s got HDMI output to accommodate all of that high-definition goodness. Going through the rest of the specs, you’ll discover the following.
- Playback formats: VC-1, MPEG2, H.264
- BD profile 1.1
- HDMI 1.3
- Ethernet port and USB 2.0 for firmware upgrades
- Compatible discs: BD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, AVCHD, Audio CD
- DVD upconversion
- DTS Decoder (no HD Decoder)
- Dolby Digital Plus Decoder
- Dimensions: 16.9 x 3.3 x 10.8″
- Weight: 8.6 pounds
The Samsung BD-P1500 ships with BD Profile 1.1, meaning that while there is support for a secondary video decoder (PIP) and a virtual file system, there is no support for the BD-Live online features that you find with BD Profile 2.0. There aren’t a lot of movies that ship with these BD-Live interactive elements, but you’re already behind the curve if you go with BD Profile 1.1. Hopefully an upgrade isn’t too far behind, bringing this machine up to speed.
What’s In The Box?
In terms of the contents of the box, Samsung didn’t include all that much. You get the remote control, a bunch of documentation, and a standard composite A/V cable. Believe me when I say that you will not want to use the provided cable, because it effectively nullifies the reason why you’d get a Blu-ray player in the first place. You’ll want HDMI and you’ll need to provide that cable yourself. I’m sure MONSTER CABLE will be happy to hear that.
Whether you actually like their products or not, you have to admit that Samsung knows what it’s doing when it comes to external design. Yes, nearly the entire portfolio from Samsung emphasizes its piano black finish and slim profile, so you really shouldn’t expect a huge step away from this trend for the BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
But I’m not saying that this is a bad thing! The Samsung BD-P1500 is a great-looking unit. The front face sports Samsung’s signature glossy black finish, but the rest of the player is a standard matte black. In the front, you get a round set of controls on the right side, but you’ll probably never use these. That said, I’m glad that they didn’t go with touch-sensitive controls for this: I hate those. The power button glows red when the player is off and it glows blue when it is on. The small and simple display also features blue font on a black background.