Quest for the ‘Perfect’ Blu Ray DVD Player
Not long ago, I bought a 1.0 TB Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-XHL. It’s great… very small, very quiet. It sits, hidden, on a shelf in our living room next to the wireless router and cable modem. You’d never know it was there. I use it for Time Machine backups from my MacBook, to stream music to iTunes, to store many, many photos and, increasingly, stream video to my computers through DLNA. (I’ve been playing with XBMC on the Mac.)
I’ve now built up enough of a video collection that I want to watch them on my 42-inch Philips LCD over the wireless network. After looking at various computer based options and dedicated media players / extenders, I decided what I really wanted was a wireless Blu Ray player that was DLNA certified.
So this weekend, with my father-in-law and son in tow, I hit the local BestBuy and came home with a Samsung BD-C6500. Setup was a breeze, the UI fast, quick disc load time… and it could play videos from my Linkstation. Except…. why is there always an except? Except that when playing movies from the Linkstation, the Samsung could not pause, rewind or fast foward. Yep… it could play and stop. That’s it. When I resumed playing, the movie would start over at the beginning. Some additional research indicated this was a known problem unless you were streaming from Samsung provided Windows-only software. Next.
I now have an LG BD570 and have a feeling this one is going back, too. Like the Samsung, setup was equally a breeze. Unlike the Samsung, the LG can play, pause, rewind and fast forward videos on my Linkstation. However, the LG has a couple of its own drawbacks. Disc load times seem long compared to the Samsung and the UI is sluggish. There’s a 1-2 second lag between selecting an icon and execution of the action… which is annoying. And the single USB port is on the front of the unit behind a door that runs the length of the device. The door folds down when the DVD tray ejects or to provide access to the buttons on the front face. It’s going to look pretty silly if I have to keep this door open all the time to to connect a USB drive… which I’ll have to as the unit has no on board storage for BD-Live content.
Next up… the Sony S570.