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DVD/Blu-ray Player Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Hummy Arms' started by Black Hole, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    I'm on the lookout for two players, one just DVD the other with Blu-ray, preferably not very expensive.

    DVD: should I be looking for up-scaling, or is it irrelevant with modern TVs? I saw a Philips DVP3850G selling for £30 today, compatible with every CD/DVD format I can think of, but I hit the Interweb for specs and it doesn't appear to have an HDMI output!

    The Blu-ray will be my work-horse and needs to do everything in terms of optical playback - but I know nothing about Blu-ray.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    Sony Smart 3D BDPS490 Blu-ray Player is my choice, if it will be wired into your LAN. Otherwise, there is a cheaper non-3D WiFi one and a more expensive WiFi one.
  3. HarveyB

    HarveyB Active Member

    Re sony bdps490. I bought one couple of months ago.
    Save you some trouble researching sony, the models below (390 etc) do not support 3D (not sure if that is important to you - or anyone really!!!)
    Next model up (590) is same but with built in wifi but at a price!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  4. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    I got mine FREE from Amazon! :)
    A 390 too!!! :p
  5. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    3D doesn't float my boat! I don't really need to network it either, unless it has ITV Player etc (better than HDR-FOX).

    How about Samsung?
  6. HarveyB

    HarveyB Active Member

    Bdps490 offers Demand 5 and BBC iplayer only.
    Internet connect is useful for:
    - gracenote, it looks up details of blu-ray disk being played
    - iPhone/iPad remote control via network
    - firmware upgrades
    - DLNA - it can render some formats that I think the humax may not, if I remember rightly.
    I'm sure there are other things but I can't remember.

    If you are not interested in 3D, then I suspect the bdps390 meet your needs, I think it does the same as 490 otherwise.

    Don't know about Samsung, etc.

    Ps. I agree that 3D is not important, I just chose 490 to be compatible with TV plus the free 3D disks that came with TV an previous player (2 years ago!).

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  7. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, after you have watched Avatar in 3D, err, are there any other films?

    Although I will buy Life of Pi in 3D, so that makes two. :D
  8. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Been thinking...

    The non-BluRay player is for the non-tech household, which has just acquired a Samsung 32" with HDMI for the first time (and unfortunately seems to switch away from the HDMI to live TV sometimes, leading to consternation and phone calls - I need to get to the bottom of that one, and it's not something my LG suffers from).

    I have noted the current steam DVD player (no HDMI output) switches the screen to SCART automatically, which is very useful from a usability point of view, and there is a good chance it would not do the same through HDMI, so I'm thinking it would be a good idea to stick with SCART for the DVD.

    Does the team think there is any advantage to DVD playback via HDMI? I'm not sure whether the current player has RGB, but if it does (or I get one that does) presumably that signal would be as good as you can get from non-BluRay DVDs? Or does the TV only upscale from HDMI input??
  9. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    It could be something as simple as pressing the Back button on the remote that switches out of HDMI mode.

    Auto-switching of HDMI is available usually, but the manufacturers call it by different names. I have it off because I use a universal remote to place everything in the correct input mode.
  10. gomezz

    gomezz Well-Known Member

    Definitely. Less conversions between analogue and digital going on overall so as long as the DVD player upscaler is as good as the one in the TV then that would be my preferred connection method.
  11. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    RGB is more than capable displaying the DVD standard of 720X576 pixels and your TV will upscale all input video to fit the number of pixels in it's display panel (usually 1920X1080 or 1366X768) so it's just a matter of where the upsaling is done. Some time back I tried out an (albeit cheap) DVD with HDMI against my older RGB/component DVD player, the quality of the former was nowhere near as good. Hardly surprising I suppose when comparing the upscalers in a £30 DVD player against the one in a £1000+ TV
  12. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    Aaarrggghhhhhh!!!! :(

    Let me go back a bit:

    I supplied my "supported user" with an HDR-FOX to replace the set-top box, powering an old CRT analogue TV with SCART inputs, and a Harmony 300 to control the Humax and DVD player. All she needed to do was turn on the TV with its switch, power up the Humax, and she had full telly with pause, record, etc. if she wanted to play a DVD, powering up the DVD automatically switched the SCART over, and powering off again brought it back to the Humax. Absolutely fine, except for the small (ish) screen of the steam telly.

    So she got a Samsung 32EH5000. Lovely picture, LED backlit, better than mine.

    I programmed the Harmony for the TV (one selling point of the Harmony being she would never need to get used to another RC, with the ulterior motive of having the volume and mute controls automatically break through to the TV) and hooked everything up, Humax via HDMI and the DVD via SCART. The SCART continues to auto-switch when the player gets powered up.

    The problem is that the TV refuses to "stick" on the HDMI input. Turn it off, and power back on - it defaults to the internal tuner even if the Humax is given time to boot up first. That was OK until she wanted to play a recording - why didn't the media menu appear? (She had been watching the internal tuner.) I tried unplugging the aerial to the TV, and although that means she can't be watching the internal tuner by accident, the process of switching the input to HDMI is not second nature and she is getting frustrated. My LG TV doesn't do this - once set to HDMI input it stays there. And of course, the Samsung doesn't have an on/off button, so there is mode changing required on the Harmony (the Samsung has a built-in joystick which brings up menus on the screen - turning off is a process which requires dexterity!).

    I could connect the Humax by SCART, but the TV only has one SCART and anyway it seems like a retrograde step. I might try it on RGB and see what the picture is like, it might be a temporary solution.

    The Harmony is not as configurable as I would like, but even if it was I don't know what I could do. It would be useful if there was a key sequence guaranteed to bring up the HDMI input instead of "input, down n times, OK". Erasing the number buttons might help, so that the TV can't be sent channel numbers by mistake.

    I need to do something to help tomorrow, and I am not at the moment fully aware of the ins and outs until I have a play, but in the mean time if anybody has any bright ideas I would like to hear them.

    When are manufacturers going to put more consideration into their user interfaces from the point of view of elderly users? It would do no harm for the rest of us either.
  13. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Many TVs do support direct input selection but you need a Harmony with a higher number to support it as part of the 'Watch TV' activity/macro unfortunately. At least the 300 has a big 'TV Input' button that just needs pressing repeatedly until the Humax is selected (at least on Sony/Panasonic sets)
  14. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    The other problem with the Samsung selection of External inputs is the time it takes, on mine you can either select inputs from a menu (after navigating to it) or press the AV Next button on the remote, but with the latter you have to wait for an HDMI handshake each time before you can press it again, so to get to the 7th. input takes ages. Luckily the LE46A786 does retain the last HDMI it was using
  15. 4291

    4291 Well-Known Member

    My Samsung RC has a dedicated HDMI button that switches instantly. The connection is also retained.
  16. Scuttlebroom

    Scuttlebroom Member

    How spooky, I have just returned from assisting an elderly friend for whom I set up a new HDR yesterday, after her old TopUp TV box gave up the ghost this week.

    She popped down to say it wasn't showing the guide, and had tried reading the manual, but couldn't work out why it failed to show on the TV.

    I think the issue is her TV also looses the HDMI1 port setting after it is in standby for a while, so I have set her HDR remote to control her Toshiba TV, so if it fails to turn on to the HDMI1 port, she presses "PVR" on the HDR remote, presses "On" then as the HDR is waking up, presses the "TV" button, then "On", then presses "PVR" again, to make sure the remote is int he correct function to control the HDR, then if the Guide or Media buttons don't appear to work, she simply keep pressing the "Source" button on the HDR remote until HDMI1 is highlighted and then the TV automatically switches over to the HDMI1 port, and the correct functions work!

    Complicated, but at least they are able to have written instructions, that they can follow, instead of saying it doesn't work!
  17. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    I sympathize with you. It isn't just elderly people, it is wives as well! :)

    You can program a delay on the Harmony, then send a "HDMI1" command if there is one, but looks like there isn't in your case.

    Funny, my Samsung TV remembers its last setting and although its remote has no direct input commands, they do exist, and are available via the Harmony. Have you contacted Logitech? I hate it when the only way to get to the next input is via a long cycle of inputs, it's guaranteed to fail with a URC. In the good old days, you could program channel numbers as other inputs.

    What happens if you de-tune the internal tuner completely in the TV, so she HAS to watch TV via the Hummy?
  18. gomezz

    gomezz Well-Known Member

    My Samsung TV lets you select the input from a menu *but* it also supports direct input selection commands which you can programme into a suitable remote control (such as my Harmony 555) even though the buttons for these are not on the original TV remote.
  19. Mike0001

    Mike0001 Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is what I use. We have a Toshiba in another room, though, and there are no direct commands for that to select inputs. Just a command that either displays the current input or else moves on to the next one. It is fun to watch a Harmony struggling with it!
  20. Black Hole

    Black Hole May contain traces of nut

    I had considered direct codes, but where do you get them from? The Harmony 300 has a learning function, so it would be possible to inject a code up it (from a suitable source).