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Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player review

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Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
  • BD-P1500 BD Player (BD-RE, DVD-RW, CD-RW - BD Video, DVD Video, PCM, MPEG-2, JPEG, MPEG-4, VC-1, AVCHD Playback - Progressive Scan)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Samsung follows up the impressive BD-P1400 with the predictably named BD-P1500, which adds a few features missing from its predecessor but keeps the price at a very affordable level.

Most significantly, the BD-P1500 is a Profile 1.1 player and can therefore play BonusView material found on an increasing number of Blu-ray discs. But the clever part is that it’s ‘BD Live ready’, which means it can be upgraded to Profile 2.0 by downloading the relevant firmware update from the Samsung website, which should be available in October.

The BD-P1500 looks very different to the BD-P1400 – out goes the curved fascia and in comes a flat front panel and a slimmer chassis. The gorgeous gloss-black finish remains (a must for any self-respecting BD player) and buttons are kept to an absolute minimum, making this deck a real piece of eye candy.

Around the back, the lack of 5.1 or 7.1 analogue audio outputs is unsurprising at this price, but it means that you’ll need an AV receiver with HDMI inputs to enjoy HD audio soundtracks. Otherwise it offers all the basics, including HDMI, component, composite, optical digital and stereo audio outputs.

There’s also an Ethernet port for making firmware updates and downloading BD Live content when the unit is upgraded, plus a USB port for ‘service use only’ – but our guess is that you’ll need to plug an external memory device into this when you upgrade to BD Live, which will provide the local storage needed to download web content (in the same way that the latest Panasonic and Sony players need SD cards and Memory Sticks to store content).

The BD-P1500 performs most of the tricks you’d expect from a Blu-ray player, although its inability to play DivX, MP3, WMA or JPEG files is very odd in this day and age, and the lack of DTS HD Master Audio decoding is a pity. However, it does decode Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital Plus, and can output them in bitstream form.

There are three audio output options on board to cater for the needs of different audio systems when playing BonusView discs. By selecting PCM, the deck decodes the Primary and Secondary tracks into PCM and outputs it from the HDMI port. Bitstream (Re-encode) decodes both streams into PCM, then re-encodes it into a single DTS bitstream that’s available from the optical output, allowing those without HDMI-equipped receivers to enjoy BonusView audio. Finally, the Bitstream (Audiophile) option outputs the Primary soundtrack via HDMI for your AV receiver to decode, but you won’t be able to hear the Secondary audio track.

Other features include 1080/24p ‘Movie Frame’ output, Anynet+ HDMI CEC support and playback of AVCHD discs with x.v.Colour.

jopey

September 25, 2008, 4:34 pm

Looks pretty good... If it has a multi-region hack for SD and Blu-Ray then I would definitely pick one up once that 2.0 profile firmware is out. Do other samsung blu players a region hack?

Pbryanw

September 25, 2008, 6:52 pm

Sounds good - a Profile 2.0 (potentially) compatible Blu-ray player for under 𧶀. I'm interested. I just wish I had a bigger TV to do it justice. At the moment I only have a 26" HD-Ready one, so I doubt I'd see much detail?

Danny P

September 26, 2008, 2:49 pm

Pbryanw - You will definitely notice the increased detail on a 26in screen, but you're absolutely right, it does look better on a bigger screen.

Andy Vandervell

September 26, 2008, 4:10 pm

This is bound to hit below 𧵎 by Christmas. Maybe it'll be the player helps ignite Blu-ray for the masses...

Mike Jones

February 23, 2009, 5:06 pm

I got this one free with a Samsung 656 (which I have offered my thoughts under TV's) and well, it's my first venture in blue-ray land, the proper BR disc is incredible in 1080p through the Samsung 1080p 40" TV. Up scaling is so good I thought I was watching blue-ray quality! Harry Potter non-blue ray amazing as what JD in Pirates of the Caribbean, on I shall end up with square eyes. Although you can probably get better (say others) I simply don't believe it, AWESOME and an 11 out of 10 from me.

Murf15

October 28, 2009, 12:13 am

My BD-P1500 has started to pixelate. To start with it was happening on the odd one or two discs but now half of all played are having the problem.(BR discs) The player is just out of its warrenty but has been updated once via the samsung web site 6 months ago. Can anyone help with a solution? many thanks Murf.

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