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View Full Version : Looking for some buying advice



Gentleman
09-02-2011, 03:14 PM
I am considering buying a media player like the Western Digital TV Live Plus. But I have just come across the PHILIPS BDP5100 and BDP5200 Blu-ray players and I am wondering if any of the two could suit my needs.

My main requirements are:

Capability of playing videos and displaying photos from a network location through DLNA
Capability of selecting audio and subtitle tracks on MKV files

How do you rate the BDP5100 / BDP5200? Do you think any of them might suit my needs?
What are their drawbacks, if any, when compared with popular media players from Western Digital and Asus (let's not consider the disc player feature for now)?

Shurakai
09-05-2011, 09:49 AM
How do you rate the BDP5100 / BDP5200? Do you think any of them might suit my needs?
What are their drawbacks, if any, when compared with popular media players from Western Digital and Asus (let's not consider the disc player feature for now)? .

If you want a multimedia player, capable of playing alot of different video/audio formats I sadly cannot recommend a Philips device. When you browse through this forum you will find alot of post dealing with the different bugs Philips devices have. I own a BDP5180/12 and honestly I've to say, it plays DVD and Blue-Rays just fine, but when it comes to playing content streamed via DLNA or from attached USB devices, the player fails totally. Several firmware updates rather did make it worse than better. The support from Philips is also rather bad. Instead of eliminating bugs in new firmware releases they like to introduce even more bugs. When I bought my BDP it was able to play AVI/MKV just fine. Several updates later it freezes quite often after several minutes when I try to play an AVI/MKV via DLNA, or I encounter audio/video desync or stuttering playback. FF/RW only 4x but up to 32x and chapter / time search support depends on the DLNA-Server I use. Content played via USB has the same issues, but not that often.
If you want a BD-Player Philips is ok, if you want a multimedia player, you are better served with another brand.
I recently bought a ACRyan PlayOn HD Mini 2 in order to overcome my problems with the BDP. This tiny shiny device plays absolutely everything, you can access the shares of a NAS or the computer by NFS or SMB so you dont need to stream the media via DLNA, but you can also play stuff streamed from a DLNA sever if you wish. The device can also act as DLNA server if required. I'm totally happy with it and don't need to become angy about resetting and restarting my disfunctional BDP anymore. I can fully recommend the ACRyan.

plus-Points of the BDPs:
-plays DVD and BD-Discs just fine
-if playback works, even MBAFF encoded H.264 videos look very good, the hardware deinterlacer is quite good
-audio and subtitle tracks can be selected when embedded in the MKV, but there are problems with special characters in subtitles and with the italic/bold formatting. You've to adjust the SRT to the needs of the BDP.

minus-Points of the BDP:
-limited supported codecs
-bad firmware support
-playback of video/audio over ethernet only possible via DLNA, so you'll need a rather good DLNA server, since there are for example alot of compatibility issues between Twonky and Philips devices
-bad firmwares with alot of bugs
-limited support for subtitles (only SRT in MKVs)
-limited profile support for H.264
-you will find yourself re-encoding and remuxing alot of movies in order to play them on the BDP

Gentleman
09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
Shurakai, thank you for your detailed reported.
I was planning to buy a BDP5200 this week, but after reading your comment I probably won't.
Having a Blu-ray and a DLNA capable media player in a single device is great idea. It's sad it doesn't work as expected.