July 25, 2006
As anyone who has been online the last few days knows, there is a widely reported story that Samsung has announced the presence of a defect in their Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000. The word is that there is an error in a default setting in the player's noise reduction chip, and it is this error that produces the softness in the image that we and other observers have been commenting on. According to the story, Samsung will issue a firmware update to correct the problem, most likely in September.
We have been attempting to get Samsung to confirm these reports without success. As of this afternoon, Samsung's technical support group insisted that no official statement, press release, or technical service bulletin has been issued by Samsung concerning any defect in the BD-P1000. That does not mean that there is no substance to the rumors--Samsung is a big company, and as is often the case in big companies, one hand may not know what the other hand is doing. However, it does mean that reports of Samsung having made a formal statement on the matter appear to be exaggerated. We have requested a statement from Samsung on the issue and we are still awaiting a reply.
At this point, all we know for sure is that Blu-ray image quality on the movies released thus far is not living up to expectations. It may indeed be due to a defect in the BD-P1000. It may also be due to quality issues related to the Blu-ray discs that have been produced. It may be some combination of several factors. We definitely see variations in image quality between the different Blu-ray titles that cannot be attributed to a single error in the Samsung player. We also see the BD-P1000 is able to play the Blu-ray demo disc with a clarity that exceeds anything it can produce with the Blu-ray movie discs. So the degree to which any possible defect in the BD-P1000 may be contributing to the total problem is unknown. When we know more about it, and can get a definitive statement from Samsung on the issue, we will report it here.
In the meantime, we are putting the finishing touches on the review of the Mitsubishi WD2000U, and it should be posted tomorrow.
By the way, in case you missed it, Optoma has announced an estimated street price of $5,999 for the new HD81, which is their first 1080p resolution product. Optoma has traditionally been aggressive in pushing prices on all resolutions down. Their HD72 was the first DLP projector in the WXGA class to go below $2,000 street prices. It appears that Optoma intends to lead the industry in the pricing of 1080p DLP projectors as well. We are still waiting for news of the exact ship dates, but with a little luck we will be seeing it before the end of next month.
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