The other day Samsung made available a Version 2 firmware for its BD-P1500 Blu-ray player. As delivered the player was BonusView (ie. PIP) capable, and ‘BD-Live ready’. That is, it had the hardware for BD-Live (principally, the ability to access Web-enabled content). But not the firmware. The new firmware delivers on that promise.
Two minutes ago I checked, and it is not yet available in Australia. But I can’t imagine it will be very far away. When it does become available, this may well displace the Sony BDP-S350 as the fully functional Blu-ray player price leader, seeing as how my brother purchased one a couple of weeks ago for just $350.
UPDATE (Monday, 13 October 2008, 4:17 pm): So how much does the Samsung BD-P1500 cost anyway? Last month I was told its recommended retail price was $699. With the launch of the low cost Sony units, I thought that Samsung might respond with a price reduction. It apparently did since, as I mention above, my brother purchased one at a regular discount retailer for $350. So I’ve tried twice in the last week to find out the current RRP. On both occasions my regular contact hasn’t answered his phones, so I’ve resorted to the Samsung help line and asked there. They always maintain this information. On both occasions, though, after looking up their price lists they were unable to find a price. Odd. On the second occasion, the helpful operator went in search of an answer, and the one she was advised to deliver was that as the BD-P1500 is a replacement for the BD-P1400, it is the same price: $769.
Somehow I don’t think the price has gone up.
UPDATE 2 (Tuesday, 14 October 2008, 10:19 pm): Samsung’s PR firm advises me that the RRP of the BD-P1500 is $499. Now, that’s more like it! I hope to have info soon on the BD-Live upgrade. I want to test it out … and also see if the USB memory stick containing my BD-Live stuff from the Sony BDP-S550 will work on a different brand player.