"Great 2nd Gen Blu-Ray Player"4.0 starson by ttk421
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.