Pros Blu-Ray PQ, Menu System,
Cons Upconversion of standard DVDs. Speed of loading java-enabled blu-ray discs
Summary I bought both the Sony BDP-S300 and Samsung BD-P1200 one week apart, and connected both to my Sony KDSR60XBR2. After a week comparing the two, I've decided to return the BDP-S300, but it wasn't an easy choice. Both these blu-ray players perform well, but the main difference is in upconversion of standard DVDs and speed of loading java-enabled blu-ray discs. Samsung is better in both respects. I had to perform the firmware upgrade to the BD-P1200, and after that most of the early-reported glitches disappeared (yes, I had them all!). I still get a brief pause on one disc (7 Years in Tibet) when layers are switched, but it's very minor and worth the trade-off for better upconversion and speed. Maybe a future firmware release will fix this minor shortcoming as well. The notoriously problematic Pirates of the Caribbean blu-ray loads and runs flawlessly on both machines, but loads twice as quickly on the Samsung. I am aware that the Samsung also offers HDMI 1.3 unlike the Sony, but from a performance point of view with current TV and receiver I can't tell the difference. The Samsung has an ethernet port for upgrading, the Sony does not, however you can burn a CD and upgrade firmware on either machine that way so this is not a big deal. IMHO, the Sony has a better menu system than the Samsung, but maybe that's because I've gotten used to an upconverting Sony dvd player after all these years, including the typical Sony remote. I have set both players to bitstream audio out and connected to my higher-end (but not ES-series) Sony receiver for decoding Dolby Digital, etc. Sound connected this way seems the same from both players. Again, I might notice a difference if I were to use a higher-end receiver. And lastly, for what it's worth, somehow the Sony's PQ on blu-ray seems ever-so-slightly softer, but with ever-so-slightly less motion artifacts. These are minor differences, but I do prefer the Samsung's sharper PQ overall. At first, I was sure I prefered the color balance of the Samsung over the Sony, but after a week I'm beginning to think it's my imagination. I am posting this review on both the Sony BDP-S300 and Samsung BD-P1200 review pages. The price (as of July 2007) of the Samsung BD-P1200 has dropped to near the price of the Sony BDP-S300 and so I feel it's a fair comparison. I am rating the Samsung a 9, and the Sony an 8.
Pros clear, sharp images; great sound
Cons "boot" up time somewhat long
Summary I love my BDP-S300 Blu-Ray! Picture quality is excellent and so is the Dolby digital 5.1 (sorry, I don't have Dolby HD). As reported by someone else previously (poor picture with "flicker" in certain sections), I have found NOTHING of the sort!
It is connected to a Toshiba 64" DLP with 1080p native resolution.
The only troubling thing was that Blockbuster reported "only" having Blu-Ray DVDs from now on and when I went to two different Blockbusters, neither had even ONE Blu-Ray DVD for rental. I've gotten them on Blockbuster online so this really isn't a problem but it is very strange that retail stores do not have them.
Pros Price is good for a dedicated player, Blu-ray has the largest selection of movies, Blockbuster just went Blu-ray exclusive in 1400+ stores.
Cons PS3 is a better bang for your buck as you can still get the 20GB version at some places for the same price, and it supports HDMI1.3, can play games, and work as a media hub.
Summary So, a quick look at the manual for this unit reveals that indeed it DOES support TrueHD sound. I'm puzzled how the reviewer got this important feature wrong... Perhaps they should RTFM before the make inaccurate claims. The manual is available at http://www.docs.sony.com/release/BDPS300.pdf page 48 shows TrueHD as a supported 5.1 channel PCM output on BD-ROM.
"BDP-S300 / MAY 2008"on by caijen
Pros Simple setup,reasonable load time,Extraordinary picture quality and sound
Cons Remote is not backlit.
Summary The Sony BDP-S300 second generation blu-ray disc player is entry level player.If you are a novice who is just learning about HDTV-VIDEO and you cant afford a top end player this is a model for you.I purchesd my Reconditioned Blue-ray from Greys on line for $365 with 12monts warranty.
I'm useing a Phillips 42" plasma with built in HD,and a Dennon AVR 2700 amp.
My Sony Blu-ray took me around 10 minutes to set up useing a HDMI cable and then run a RCA lead from my digital out on the TV to the digital input on my amp and got dolby digital sound from my amp(yes).The latest firmware version for the Sony BDP-S300 is
version 3.8 and if you have this version then a lot of the problems mentioned in other reviews Have been addresed,and your hd video playing experiance should be very enjoyable.
Pros 1080p, video, cost, look
Cons very slow for some operations
Summary I waited to buy this Sony unit with great expectations. I was not let down on the video department. It looks fantastic on my Sony 1080p LCD via HDMI. Regular DVDs look great as well.
I do not care if it can decode every audio mode. I rather have the receiver do the decoding, just like I've always done before. The new receivers are now hitting the market, so I am glad Sony released a lower cost unit that lets me redirect the savings to a new receiver.
My only complaint, is like most others, is the reposiveness of the unit. The power up, eject, and loading does take a while. I thought this would have been much faster by now. But this is quickly forgotten when the video comes up!