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    Pre-release Blu-ray impressions roundup


    We don't have a Samsung BD-P1000 yet, so we're busy reading the opinions posted by people who do. Apparently our local retailer has a policy about selling things "on or after their release date", whatever that means. Nevertheless, some have managed to get their hands on a Blu-ray player and movies already, despite the fact the movies don't officially release until tomorrow, and Samsung's baby isn't due until next week. If you're waiting anxiously to find out whether you should spend the $999 burning a hole in your pocket, you may want to take a look at these reviews.

    How are they? Decidedly mixed.

    While most have reported a shorter loading time than even the post-firmware update HD-A1, a few have had lockups and glitches. While not everyone has been able to get their hands on Blu-ray movies yet, many are reporting a surprisingly poor visual display from former DVD reference star The Fifth Element. Some have even gone as far as to state that Sony's strategy of using MPEG-2 and uncompressed PCM audio on single-layer Blu-ray discs may have required too much video compression, resulting in early releases that don't match the sharpness of VC-1 encoded movies available on HD DVD. Alternatively, kudos have been given for the uncompressed audio, compared to the DD+ 5.1 tracks on HD DVD releases so far,

    Meanwhile, most of the world waits until next week (or September, when Pioneer and Sony release their Blu-ray players which reports suggest will have superior hardware), to form their own opinion. If you see any we've missed let us know so we can add them, or if you have one already post your address tell us about it in the comments.

    Read - Hands-on BD-P1000 First Impressions @ The Man Room
    Read - Samsung Blu-ray BD-P1000 First End User Reports @ AVS Forum
    Read - Samsung BD-P1000: Blu-ray hands on @ CNet

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