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Blu-Ray: Panasonic v. Sony?


KingBee e2
8 399 2 Scotland
16 Sep 2010 12:15PM
As some of you will know, I'm no techie, so I'll keep this simple.

I want an entry-level Blu-Ray player that will upscale my existing DVD collection to give me best possible picture quality. I'm torn between Sony's S370B and Pana's BD45.

All I want is something that will be fully compatible with my Panasonic Viera TX-L37G10B and when playing SD DVDs will offer near-HD performance. I don't have a home cinema set-up nor do I want one; nor am I particularly interested in streaming anything from the Net. No, I want a player purely to give me the best possible picture when viewing an upscaled DVD via an HDMI connection to the telly: end of.

I'm drawn to the Panasonic because I prefer Viera TVs to Bravias, and common sense would suggest that I should get the same-brand BD player. But if the Sony player beats the Pana hands-down, will there be any loss of functionality hooking it up to my Viera? Reviews I've read would suggest that, for an extra twenty quid, the Sony is the much better machine.

Sorry if similar questions have been asked a million times before, but any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks. Bob

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Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
16 Sep 2010 12:51PM
I have a Panasonic HDTV and a Sony upscaling DVD/HDD player. Works for me! Wink
KingBee e2
8 399 2 Scotland
16 Sep 2010 1:11PM
Cheers CB, that's helpful. I also have a HDD/DVD player (Panasonic, SD) but I'm assuming that a Blu-Ray player will give my DVDs that extra kick, especially through my Full 1080p HD telly. If that's not the case, then I might not need a Blu-Ray player after all (at least, not if all I'm going to do with it is view SD DVDs).
javam e2
10 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2010 1:21PM

Quote:If that's not the case, then I might not need a Blu-Ray player after all (at least, not if all I'm going to do with it is view SD DVDs).


Correct. I use my PS3 for blue ray playback, but I have a sony DVD/HD recorder that i use for DVD playback and it does a good job of up-scaling. There are much cheaper (non recorder options) that will also upscale. Both are connected via HDMI in my case so no compatibility issues.

However as Richer Sounds are selling the sony BDPS360 Blue-Ray player for 60 (if you are signed up to their VIP emails, 80 in store if not) which upscales DVDs to 1080p, I would probably still go for the BR player to give me the option of watching blue ray discs as well if I was in your position.
Sparkleson 6 134 England
16 Sep 2010 1:24PM
Some HD DVD players use a technique known as 'Upscaling' to boost the output of a standard-def DVD.
Whilst this will improve the output when compared to the SD dvd, it will never be able to match the high-def equivalent.
High-def DVDs have 4 times the data/pixels to play with. When upscaling, the player has to 'guess' what the missing three-quarters of the pixels are.
mlewis 10 1.5k United Kingdom
16 Sep 2010 1:25PM
Remember that a DVD upscaling Blu-ray player will not necessarily upscale SD content as well as your television.
davart 9 2 2 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2010 2:52PM
Hi KingBee,

We recently bought a Panasonic Blue Ray player, I think its either a BD36 or BD60 and use it with a Panasonic Viera Plasma. The image produced by the player and TV together is absolutely brilliant. We have an audio surround system as well and the sound is incredible too. Incidentily the Blue Ray will aslo play CD's through the audio system with real high fidelity. As for uscaling DVD's, it depends on the DVD. I have found that some which perhaps were not recorded to a high standard in the first place dont look any better, and sometimes a bit worse (the 1080p resolution is ungorgiving in such cases). Other DVD's like 'The Bourne Sepremacy' however upscale really well and look almost like blue ray quality. Bear in mind that no DVD will give you blue ray quality no matter how good the upscaling simply because it dosen't have the same amount of picture information recorded. Upscaling only makes pictures bigger it cant add detail that isn't already there.

One last thing. Both the Panasonic TV and BR player are brilliant at what they do, but the Blue Ray player is very annoying during start up, it seems to go through all sorts of messing around before will even open the disk tray. (this could be because I haven't set it up properly though).
Hope this helps.

Dav.
Big Bri 13 15.7k United Kingdom
16 Sep 2010 3:20PM
Ditto. I have Pano TV and Bluray and the quality is stunning, but the BD player does faff around a lot at the start......
MalcolmS e2
9 1.1k 13 England
17 Sep 2010 8:46AM
I've got the Sony and it faffs around as well, but hooked up to a Bravia the picture is stunning with a BR disc and the sound is terrific through the cinema system.
KingBee e2
8 399 2 Scotland
18 Sep 2010 7:50AM
Thanks everyone - all most helpful, as always. Unlike these snobby buggers on AV Forums, who don't appear to want to bother replying to simple questions ......

OK, got the Sony (my local Costco, 82 - not bad, eh?), and first impressions are very favourable indeed. Quite apart from the difference in picture quality (depending on the quality of the DVD, as has been pointed out), the sound quality, even through my 'old skool' i-fi speakers, is incredible.

Next thing: in spite of what I said about not being bothered about streaming, can someone tell me, in plain English, please, how I connect the Sony to the Net without using my existing PC and (wired) broadband router, both of which are miles away in another part of the house? Although I'm not especially interested in streaming per se, at the very least I will need a connection for firmware upgrades, yes? The player currently sits beside a phone socket which has a broadband low-pass filter connected. Thanks again to all who've contributed thus far. Bob.
Big Bri 13 15.7k United Kingdom
18 Sep 2010 9:37AM
No idea how you can wire it up to the net without using your router. Certainly not using your existing ISP.
I ran a Cat6 cable round the house and stuck a small network switch behind the TV, which serves by BD player, my Humax and the kids' PC, which gives them much better access than the wifi they were using. Cost me about 10 quid for the cabling and about 30 quid for the gigabit switch.
BigRick 9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2010 1:19PM

Quote:Thanks everyone - all most helpful, as always. Unlike these snobby buggers on AV Forums, who don't appear to want to bother replying to simple questions ......

OK, got the Sony (my local Costco, 82 - not bad, eh?), and first impressions are very favourable indeed. Quite apart from the difference in picture quality (depending on the quality of the DVD, as has been pointed out), the sound quality, even through my 'old skool' i-fi speakers, is incredible.

Next thing: in spite of what I said about not being bothered about streaming, can someone tell me, in plain English, please, how I connect the Sony to the Net without using my existing PC and (wired) broadband router, both of which are miles away in another part of the house? Although I'm not especially interested in streaming per se, at the very least I will need a connection for firmware upgrades, yes? The player currently sits beside a phone socket which has a broadband low-pass filter connected. Thanks again to all who've contributed thus far. Bob.



you need to use the router, as the player has no capability for this.

You can get updates online though and put them on a memory stick (i asume that your player has a usb port?) and then download them to the player that way.
User_Removed 5 1.4k England
18 Sep 2010 1:24PM
For today's high bitrate content streaming you might aswell upgrade to a wireless N network. The hardware for the older standards are just not worth the money.

Get a wireless N router, and then a wireless N Ethernet bridge to connect into the sony. (The router will easily cover the whole house and beyond).

(Or run the relevant networking cable through your house)

- There are other options, such as network-by-power - but these can be expensive and of poor quality, and sometimes even impossible to install due to the phase modulation in your area.
KingBee e2
8 399 2 Scotland
18 Sep 2010 2:53PM
Thanks again everyone. All clear (I think!). Much appreciate the helpful advice, which gives me a couple of useful options to consider. Bob

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