Pros Excellent Picture Quality for both Blu-ray's and Standard DVD's. Sound using analog output sounds amazing. It's 2.0 right out of the box. Can play pretty much anything. Has lot os extras in menu to work with. Slick and pretty dang cool to look at.
Cons Not really a con but it uses SD cards rather than USB. But I guess that's actually a good thing so you can view photos and such.
Summary I have tried three different players. I have a Samsung TV and thought that it would be a good thing to have a Samsung Blu-ray to go along with it. I had immediate problems with it. I then tried the Sony 350 which I had problems and some personal dislikes so I returned that one. After realizing I just needed to spend the money I went and picked up the Panny BD55. It is worth every penny. It surpases the picture quality and the sound quality of boththe Samsung 1500 and the Sony 350. The analogs out are great for anyone with an older receiver. The sound is fantastic. I picked up the incredible Hulk on Blu-ray and it was shaking the room. The menu is great and has tons of settings for those of us who like to tweak things. It is a beautiful looking player which you can easily find yourself staring at it. One thing that was very surprising is that the Vierra link works with My Samsung LN46A650 AnyNEt function so the Blu-ray player and my tv will interact with one another. I turn the player on and the tv will turn on and change to the Blu-ray source. I turn the TV off and the player will turn off. It's pretty niffty. All in all it's a great player and probably the best that's out there right now. IF you have the money go for it, it's worth it. If you don't need the analog out go for it's little brother the BD35.
Pros Ease of connection (HDMI) Easy meny set-up. Support material is very detailed and easy to read and understand.
Cons Didn't come with a free Movie...Ha!
Summary For those that want the best Blue-ray to play new BDs' and standard DVDs', you're in for a real treat. Fired this baby up with Indy Jones' Crystal Skull, and the wife came running out asking what I was watching. The sound is so pure. The picture quality is unmatched even on standard DVDs'. While watching Star Gate Continumn, it looked like I could step through the gate myself. Very Impressive. DMP-BD55 hooked to a new Mitsubishi 60" DLP and surround.(Al;l HDMI Connections of course).
Pros Hooked up to my older Denon 5803 using analog audio and HDMI to my 60" Sony SXRD. First time I have heard the newer Dolby tracks. Simply fantastic video and sound. Transformers is unbelievable
Cons Could have had better audio setup but not a deal breaker
Summary I purchased the BD55 over the BD35 because I needed the analog audio connections for my older receiver. I'm was impressed with the sound coming out of my system. The video is just as impressive. I wish it supported a wireless connection to the internet, but that to was not a deal breaker. I will just run a cable down to my video room. Bottom line, this was the best purchase I have made as an addition to my home theater. I also own an HD-DVD player but the picture on the Blu_ray player is as good if not better and the fact that I can now take advantage of the new Dolby sound tracks makes it stand above the rest.
Pros 5/7.1 Analog out
Onboard decoding of DD TruHD, DTS MA, PCM
Decent DVD upconversion
Cons Speed (or lack thereof)
Summary This is my first BluRay player and I could not be happier. Prior to making a purchase my only HD experience was via Verizon's FIOS service, which is a very good service IMO. But the quality of the picture (which is still very good) can't hold a candle to this BR player. I had done extensive research and this seemed to be the player for me based on my non-HDMI AVR requirements. Picture/Audio quality is tremendous and DVD playback is just fine.
Speed is a bit slow compared to my standard DVD player but certainly not a deal-breaker, and I knew going in that it would be slow. Usability is poor though. The manual is complicated and the remote sucks. Luckily there is a great thread at the AVS forum with plenty of people sharing information to get the most out of the player. But once the machine is setup properly it's pure HT nirvana. If you already own an HDMI capable AVR save some cash and go for it's baby brother the BD35. But if not THIS is the player for you.
Pros Very nice picture and sound through HDMI connection and 7.1 analog audio outputs.
Cons Incompatible with Sony AVCHD format
Unit is very light weight ...Just by touching lightly with one index finger moved the whole unit.
Summary I bought this Panasonic BD55 player after reading all the good reviews here and at CNET. OK Here is my story:
I have Sony HDR SR12 camcorder which record HD in AVCHD format.
I had been editing my home video using Sony Vegas Pro 8 burn it on regular DVD and play it beautifully on my PS3 with no problem.
When I put in that same AVCHD DVD into BD55 it gives me an error message saying "UNSUPPORTED FORMAT". I was afraid of this...
So I am sending this player back and exchange for Sony BD player.