I currently own a high end Pioneer Elite which is being repaired so I though I'd pick up an inexpensive player that does Netflix streaming and will play some of the discs I own that the Pioneer refuses to play. I bought both the Samsung BDD6500 and the Panasonic BDPT210 and had them at the same time to compare them. They both do a great job of upscaling regular DVDs (almost as good as the Pioneer Elite). The bluray playback looks similar on both machines. I love the slot loading mechanism on the Samsung. The Panasonic has a cool feature where you wave your hand over the top of the machine and the disc tray ejects. The Panasonic does seem to offer more video tweaking and audio options than the Samsung. For me, it comes down to how well the internet streaming works. It's here that I'll give the nod to the Panasonic. They both have a great deal of apps. When I bought the Panasonic, the new firmware upgrade 1.70 installed Vierra Connect to replace the Vierra Cast it came with. Many people aren't aware of this. On the Samsung, the Vudu app wasn't able to do a HDX stream (their highest quality) but the Panasonic can. YMMV but I do have a fast D-Link dual bank G, N type router. The other main difference is with Netflix. On the Panasonic, everything loads faster and, on many titles, there are options for Dolby Digital sound (missing from the Samsung) and an option to put on subtitles (also missing from the Samsung). According to Netflix, they told me that the Panasonic is also one of the few devices that supports 1080P streaming from them as well. The Panasonic isn't perfect however. I watched one movie that got the black flashes everyone talks about. It did only happen on just one movie.
The Samsung at hand is a fantastic deal at only $99. You simply can't go wrong at that price. For me, I don't mind spending a little bit more to get the improved streaming on the Panasonic. I'm probably going to return both and buy a new 2012 Panasonic when released hoping that the black flashing issue was solved.
Last edited by cpatrader; 01-28-2012 at 08:26 AM..
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