best budget region a player

DistortionNat

Active Member
Hi guys,
Im in Canada right now and thinking of maybe picking up a region A Blu-Ray player while Im here.
I have a Denon 1909 receiver at home so dont need the player to decode any audio.
Whats the best budget unit (dont want to shell out loads of dosh here)

Thanks.
 

DistortionNat

Active Member
Ok Ive had a look round and seen a few models and Ive checked out a few reviews too.
Theres the Panasonic BD60, the Sony S360 and S550.
To be honest the reviews are mixed. Some say the Pannys are excellent all round, some say the upscaling on the Pannys is a bit crap and the Samsungs are better. Some reviews are saying the Sonys are excellent and others say the sound is a bit lacking.
So yeah, the usual headache now of trying to decide which unit to go for....

It seems that in Canada things are bit more money than in the US but no more than in the UK.

The Panny BD60 goes for $400 (200quid) the Sony S360 for $350 and the Sony S550 is $329.

I have a fair ammount of region 1 DVDs at home which I would be watching with this player so the upscaling is important to me.

Also, what happens about firmware upgrades when you use a US machine in the UK, will the upgrades work or will they brick my machine??

Plus I take it I will need a step-down transformer?

And finally, are there any other issues I should know about when using a Canadian machine in the UK??

Thanks guys! :)
 
The Panny BD60 goes for $400 (200quid) the Sony S360 for $350 and the Sony S550 is $329.

I have a fair ammount of region 1 DVDs at home which I would be watching with this player so the upscaling is important to me.
The scaling and deinterlacing of NTSC discs in the BD60 is fine. It doesn't handle some of the more rare cadences, but the common 3-2 one works perfectly. I don't think you will have any complaints at all.

Also, what happens about firmware upgrades when you use a US machine in the UK, will the upgrades work or will they brick my machine??
No, it will just connect to the internet and download the US firmware. No worries.

Plus I take it I will need a step-down transformer?
Yes, almost certainly.
 

emthree

Active Member
The Panny BD60 goes for $400 (200quid) the Sony S360 for $350 and the Sony S550 is $329.

Thanks guys! :)

The prices in Canada aren't displayed taxes inclusive; so it can be a bit of a shock when the final bill is something like 15% more. You can claim back gst part (about 7%) of it back, however, after you return, but conversion and reconversion back to GBP takes a lot out of it:)
 

kingfats

Distinguished Member
Ok Ive had a look round and seen a few models and Ive checked out a few reviews too.
Theres the Panasonic BD60, the Sony S360 and S550.
To be honest the reviews are mixed. Some say the Pannys are excellent all round, some say the upscaling on the Pannys is a bit crap and the Samsungs are better. Some reviews are saying the Sonys are excellent and others say the sound is a bit lacking.
! :)

Hi. :)
The Samsung 2500 may better the Panasonic but there's certainly nothing wrong with the 60's scaling especially with NTSC discs. :smashin:
Sound wise they should be on par.
All the best.
 

iainl7

Well-known Member
The prices in Canada aren't displayed taxes inclusive; so it can be a bit of a shock when the final bill is something like 15% more. You can claim back gst part (about 7%) of it back, however, after you return, but conversion and reconversion back to GBP takes a lot out of it:)

You can claim GST back, but when you do so then the man from HM Customs knows you've got the player and wants rather more than that in import duties...
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
i bought an american bd35 while in New York, then bought a mod chip to make it region free for blu-ray so i can still buy region B discs...you might want to consider soemthing similar or you could be limited by reion b locked discs. Importing discs from the US has lost it's appeal sue to exchange rate changes and suppliers pushing up their prices
 

DistortionNat

Active Member
I found the Sony S550 for $299 so I may go for that now.
I really dont want to shell out a load of cash here in case the thing goes wrong etc and Im stuck in the UK - Im guessing noone is going to replace a broken unit in the UK that was purchased in the US right!
I was looking into even cheaper models but they seem to be a bit crap as regards not working with all movies etc so thats just false economy.
I did have my heart set on a Panny as it would go nice with my Panny plasma but its an extra $100 plus there is that whole tax at the checkout thing that the above poster reminded me of...
I did see an "as is" display Panny BD30 for $199 but that seems pretty old now and not 2.0 so I guess thats no good really.
Cant find any Panny BD35 units anywhere so they must have been well discontinued now.
I probably wont make my purchase until tomorrow so if anyone has any other advice or ideas they would be most welcome.
Oh yeah and as regards the price of importing movies, its not really about price for me, its about the fact that our cousins in North America get a better selection that we do in the UK and also some of the North American relases are better and more feature packed / uncut / extended etc...
 
i bought an american bd35 while in New York, then bought a mod chip to make it region free for blu-ray so i can still buy region B discs...you might want to consider soemthing similar or you could be limited by reion b locked discs. Importing discs from the US has lost it's appeal sue to exchange rate changes and suppliers pushing up their prices

Question about US BD35s: do they play PAL DVDs or does it spit them out?
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
You can claim GST back, but when you do so then the man from HM Customs knows you've got the player and wants rather more than that in import duties...

Why would that be?

I was under the impression that the allowance was a few hundred quid now therefore a £200 BR player shouldn't cause any hassle.

edit: ok , appears there's different limits and tarriffs for different types of goods.

Best tell my mate to cover my Panny BR player up well:rotfl:
 
Last edited:

mossym

Distinguished Member
Oh yeah and as regards the price of importing movies, its not really about price for me, its about the fact that our cousins in North America get a better selection that we do in the UK and also some of the North American relases are better and more feature packed / uncut / extended etc...

that was my main reason for getting one too. however if you did go region free with it it does allow you to also play the times where the uk release is better.

also, where the two discs are similar ti does allow you to go for the cheaper option. amazons 3 for 2 and play's deals are better than naything movietyme or play usa are coming out with(except for the VERY rare example)

for example, defiance, movietyme £22, blockbuster £12...
 
however if you did go region free with it it does allow you to also play the times where the uk release is better.
(Crickets chirp)

I kid - it has happened. I guess situations where British films have lines dubbed over to make them more understandable to Americans is a good example.
 

DistortionNat

Active Member
that was my main reason for getting one too. however if you did go region free with it it does allow you to also play the times where the uk release is better.

also, where the two discs are similar ti does allow you to go for the cheaper option. amazons 3 for 2 and play's deals are better than naything movietyme or play usa are coming out with(except for the VERY rare example)

for example, defiance, movietyme £22, blockbuster £12...


I have a UK PS3 for my British needs...
 

DistortionNat

Active Member
So, I bought the Sony S350 and got it safely back into the UK. Im well happy with it, great machine for the £130 I paid for it.

What amazed me is how many of the movies I have bought in the UK play on it.

All the Bond movies I bought in the UK are multi-region but the bond movies I bought in Canada are region A only.... hmmm.... unfair me thinks...

But yeah, finally, I can now resume my collection of region 1/A movies!!

Thanks for all your help guys! :thumbsup:
 

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