Pros Excellent picture (using 720p monitor) ; audio can produce 7.1 analog and full range of DTS and THX optoins on AV receiver (Onkyo 804). BB salesman responded positively to request for "what's the best price you give me."
Cons When viewing special features, some discs "freeze" and cannot advance to the end; montor then gets green screen. I have to shut down and restart to get menus back.
Pros Nice design
Cons This player is sold with a netflix streaming capability, however after trying to get the unit to work with netflix for several hours I contacted Netflix's Help desk only to be told that a problem currently exists with all samsung players!
Summary This player would be great if Samsung or netflix sorted out the current problem with the streaming function. As of today netflix or samsung do not have an answer to the problem and are currently WORKING on fixing the problem (who knows how long this will take!)
Pros Good picture quality, Netflix on demand, Pandora internet radio, plays burned DVD+R disks
Cons Soooooo slow! Slow to turn on, slow to read a disk, slow to turn off, slow to fast forward or rewind. Some confusing audio/picture setup features...
Summary I am really impressed with this Blu-ray player. It produces clean, crisp pictures when connected to a 1080p HDTV with an HDMI cable. Regular DVD playback was good with some aliasing, particularly when the DVD is paused. Audio can be routed to a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system with digital optical output, but the setup for 5.1 sound is a bit confusing, even when reading the user's manual. Same thing with some setup features for HDMI and picture settings. The player has a good set of connections, including a network cable for online content with certain Blu-ray disks.
What makes this player exceptional is the addition of Netflix on-demand movies (both in standard definition and in HD) AND Pandora internet radio. Both these services are only available after the BD-P2550 is plugged into an internet connection and the player's firmware has been upgraded. The online upgrade takes a couple minutes, but is completely worth it! Netflix online is GREAT. There are thousands of movies for download for no extra charge with a standard Netflix subscription (Blockbuster currently charges $1.99 per download!). After a movie is chosen, playback begins after about 30 seconds of downloaded buffer. This is with a fairly fast, 2.5 mbps DSL connection. Pandora internet radio is also amazing! It takes any artist or song you enter in to its relatively simple interface and creates an entire internet radio stream based on songs or artists similar to the one you chose. It's a great way to expand your musical tastes.
Besides these great non Blu-ray related options, this player WOULD have scored 5 stars were it not so painfully SLOW! I'm telling you, this thing is horribly, embarrassingly slow. Sometimes when I want to watch a Blu-ray disk, I'll put the disk in the player and walk away for a couple hours only to return and find it's STILL not loaded! Unfortunately, when the BD-P2550 is connected to the internet for Pandora or Netflix, if you insert a disk with downloadable online content, this dumb player STOPS loading the disk and asks you if you want to download the online content BEFORE you ever get to the disk's main menu. VERY dumb design flaw. Besides that, I've timed some of the BD-P2550's operations... it takes a full 60 seconds to load a Blu-ray disk to the main title menu. Compare that to a mere 25 seconds for a PS3 to do the same. If you turn the player on with NO disk in the tray, it takes nearly 30 seconds to recognize that NO DISK is loaded and go to its main menu. 30 seconds to tell me there's no disk loaded!?! A PS3 can detect no disk and completely boot to its main menu in about 10 seconds! These slow load times shouldn't be a big deal, but the player won't respond to ANY commands during these long load times, which means if you turn it on without a disk in to specifically listen to Pandora or use Netflix online, you have to wait half a minute before you can start. Forget it if you DO have a disk in the player but ONLY want to use Pandora! It simply WON'T work that way! With a disk in the player, you have to wait a FULL minute for the player to get to the title menu, before you can tell it you want to listen to Pandora. You'd THINK that you could simply eject the disk and choose Pandora/Netflix right away, but the BD-P2550 won't do ANYTHING with the disk tray ejected! It only gives the message, "Please close the tray first." Also - don't eject the disk tray while listening to Pandora, the BD-P2550 will turn off Pandora completely and go to the main menu! STUPID design! The WORST part of the SLOW response times? This player takes a full 20 seconds to TURN OFF! I'm not joking! What is it doing for 20 seconds after I've pushed OFF? Just turn off!!! The slowness of the BD-P2550 is also felt when trying to fast forward or rewind a movie. The player just doesn't respond as fast as it should.
Overall, I'm happy with this Blu-ray player. It is a relatively inexpensive player and an OK alternative to buying a PS3. It has enough output connections to meet anyone's home entertainment needs and good picture quality. With an online software upgrade, the addition of Netflix on demand and Pandora make it a really useful entertainment device. I've actually used this player to listen to Pandora MORE than I've watched Blu-ray disks! However, it falls short of a 5 star rating because it is so frustratingly slow.
As a side note, the BD-P2550's box and manual claim it won't play DVD+R disks, but I've found that it does with no problems! I used higher quality Sony DVD+R disks burned with DVD movie content and it played them fine...
Pros Netflix Player Built In (Great playback resolution and functions, much better than expected)
Cons Static electricity caused "audio pops" until I grounded the unit (Samsung tech support doesn't have a clue)
No Memory Stored at Shut Down/Power Off. Upon re-power, must manually search through DVD to find previously watched "pause/stop" time.
Summary I live in a dry climate that is responsible for causing static electricity to build up on this DVD player, and many other electronic devices in my home, though not all of them. This "static charge" resulted in very loud audio "pops" sometimes during the power up cycle and sometimes during play back and using DVD functions, like skipping forward to the next chapter on DVD's. Samsung Tech Support wanted me to send the unit back to them to "check" for problems. I rejected this idea and found out that attaching a small "ground" wire to the rear of the case fixed this "audio pop" issue. Tech Support does not have a clue. I have reported this "fix".
However, my biggest dislike (function problem) is the lack of thoughful design relating to shut down. This unit does not have a memory which stores the place/time on a DVD when you "pause" or "stop" the unit, like when you shut down the unit for sleeping, having dinner, etc. When you re-power the unit, since there is no memory of where you had previously stopped movie playback, the unit starts the DVD at the beginning! So you must "write down" on paper the time on the DVD that you "stopped/paused", and then manually skip through chapters and fast forward or re-wind to the place on the DVD where you previously stopped.
I own 2 other "el cheapo" K-Mart specials (les than $50 each) which I purchased years ago that "remember" the point where you "shut down" the DVD. So, when you power up, these DVD players "automatically" start play back at the exact previous "shut down/power off" point on the DVD.
Samsung Support as of 03/20/09 says they are working on a "firmware update" to address this issue, but do not know if they can use a "firmware update" to fix this annoying non-functionality. They also do not know when a future model will be released to address this issue if "firmware" can not solve it.
But, here's a "work around" for this DVD memory "pause" quirk. "Pause" DVD playback, but do not manully shut off the unit. After 5 minutes of "pause", a screen saver program begins and then after 30 minutes, a "power saving" program will automatically shut off the unit. Only then does the DVD "pause" time get stored in memory, so when you "power up" the next time, the unit will start playing the DVD at the point where you previously stopped watching the DVD. I found this by "chance" as there is no mention of this in the product manual or if you call product support. Go figure.
Pros Setup was very easy and picture quality is very good.
Cons 1. The remote control will not work with my new Sharp LC-46D65U
2. A few lockups when accessing BD Live. Cycling power corrected problem
3. Occasional no sound when trying to watch Netflix. Cycling power corrected problem
Summary Overall, I found this to be a very good all around performer and am pleased with the unit.. Broadband speed is critical for online viewing and you should confirm your connection speed and reliability. Slower connections result in lower bit rates and quality. Also - connection problems to Pandora and Netflix could be your router and not the unit itself. Rebooting my router and then the DP2550 seems to work reliably.
Next, BD Live is a bit over-rated (through no fault of Samsung). Trailers need to be downloaded which is a very slow process and I find the online content sub-par.
Pleasantly, I found that most of my movies which were converted to DVD+R will play on this unit even though Samsung states that it is not supported (a couple, however, will not play). DVD quality is very good and Blu-ray is excellent and haven't found one yet that will not play. With a 6 MB/sec connection, typical Netflix quality is 7 out of 10 bars consistantly. HD viewing is 10 bars and load times are typically 20 seconds. Blu-ray load times seem faster than on first gen. players. When fastforwarding through a movie on netflix, movie thumb nails scroll across the screen so that you can visually see the location in the movie. A status bar below also shows elapsed time as well as remaining time.