Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player Real-World Performance
Load times for Blu-ray players is still pretty sluggish, especially compared to standard DVD players. It took the BD-P1500 about 57 seconds to load Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (the time from closing the disc tray to the appearance of the first image on the screen), while the PS3 was only slightly quicker at 47 seconds. The third installment of Disney's ultra-successful Pirates series was one of the first Blu-ray discs to provide BD-Live features, which accounts for its longer load time. An earlier Blu-ray title like Million Dollar Baby took about 24 seconds to load on both the Samsung and PS3.
The internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD on the BD-P1500 was very good, though I slightly preferred the performance of the Pioneer VSX-94TXH A/V receiver when I passed the bitstream to it. For this test, I used the extraordinary Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City as my reference Blu-ray disc. The Pioneer was a bit more transparent, offering extended clarity and greater strength to the track "Crush."
It's important to note that the Pioneer is an exceptional AVR, costing around $1600. One would hope it offers some quality improvements, even if they are only slight. With a more modest A/V system, I suspect it might be near impossible to detect much of a difference between the decoding of the BD-P1500 and many AVRs.
I also did an A/B comparison of the Samsung's internal decoding of Dolby TrueHD versus the PS3 and found them to be virtually identical. I could not detect any difference between them worth noting. Visually, the same was true—playback of Blu-ray discs on either unit was indistinguishable.
When it comes to upconversion of standard DVDs, the PS3 had a slight edge over the BD-P1500—and I do mean slight. Playback of The Incredibles on the Samsung appeared a little flatter, while the PS3 exhibited a bit more detail and vibrancy in darker scenes.