$199 vs. $499
For this article, I went to Crutchfield.com and compared their most popular $199 model Blu-ray player from Samsung to their latest model $499 player from Yamaha. For the tech specs on each player, click on the following links for the Samsung BD-P1600 and the Yamaha BD-S1065. The results of my find were pretty interesting.
I did a side by side comparison of each model, and they both offer many of the same features. In fact, all of the core features are virtually identical since you will find them on nearly every Blu-ray player. These include the ability to play 1080p HD signals with an HDMI cable, the ability to upconvert 480p DVD pictures to 1080p, various Dolby surround sound options, and more. These are the basics.
One thing I noticed the expensive Yamaha has that the Samsung did not was something called DRC, or Dynamic Range Compression. All this does is help keep the sound at a consistent level, and is most often used to keep loud parts of movies or music in check. The Yamaha also has some built-in digital to analog audio converters. One thing the cheaper Samsung has that the Yamaha did not was the ability to play back Netflix movies via the Internet. I am a Netflix subscriber and that’s a big deal to me.
The biggest difference between these models is something you won’t really find in the list of features, and that’s the hardware found within. You are paying a premium for better quality components with the Yamaha, but depending on what kind of HDTV you watch the Blu-ray movies on, you may not even notice a big difference. For the average movie viewer, that $199 model will do everything you need. Both models are backed by a one-year warranty.