You are right the multi region version has now gone from Amazons listing, i had it on my wish list so i know it was listed but it certainly isn't there anymore...that's a real pain in the you know what eh! That just leaves you two options as multi region playback is important to you, you can return it for a refund and get one from Richer Sounds or stick with it and hope that a hack appears soon.
I would be tempted to return it as you haven't opened it and then get the multi region from Richer Sounds and save yourself some cash in the process. Waiting for a hack will mean that you run the risk of further firmware updates from Panasonic removing the multi region capability of the dvd section and as it's essential to keep the firmware up to date i wouldn't be happy paying for a hack only for it to be wiped and back to square one. It might transpire that all that is needed is a code to unlock the region coding of the dvd section but as it's such a new machine only time will tell.
Despite the hassle i would return the deck and go to Richers for a multi region version so you can wave goodbye to your old dvd player and enjoy superior upscaling to your tv with ALL your dvds. The application for the free blu rays isn't that tricky it just means making sure you have any pics in Jpeg format, apart from that the application is very simple and for the sake of a little hassle the free movies are a nice reward.
I guarantee you will notice the difference between the BDT500 and your PS3 even on your tv, it's not that old after all and being 37 inch you will have plenty of screen on which to see the differences! Granted it's not going to look as nice as it does on my 42GT30 but i'm sure you will be very surprised the differnce it makes to both picture and sound quality.
Keep me posted with what you decide to do in the end, i'm genuinely interested to see if you return it or not.
Hope i have been of some help to you.
Samsung UE55F8000 (THX Pro calibrated), Yamaha RX-A2020, Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence config), Panasonic DMP-BDT500MR, WD TV Live, Marantz CD6003, Marantz PM6004, Beresford TC-7220 MKII, PS3, Xbox 360, QED Silver Anniversary XT speaker cable, Wireworld Chroma 7 HDMIs, Chord Crimson Sub and RCA, Chord Superscreen Mains Cable
Received my BDT500 today from Richer Sounds. Thanks for your set up, it made my job much easier. Touch pad remote took a little getting used to, but no real problem. Player looks great after the BDT310, especially on top of my Atacama Europa rack!
Picture and sound look and sound great so far, although I've just had a quick play so need to play a couple of movies to really get a feel for it (plus I am getting my MA R370HD subwoofer fixed tomorrow, so hard to tell right now).
My software version is 1.23, but where do I look to see what the different versions give you (is it worth upgrading)? Also, if I do upgrade the firmware will it effect or stop the multi-region for DVD playback?
Panasonix TX-P46GT30B, Panasonic DMP-BDT110, Onkyo TX-NR609, Monitor Audio R90 HD10 (fronts/rears = R90HD; centre = R180HD; subwoofer = R370HD), Sky+HD
No worries Paul glad it helped you out, and good news that the player arrived...must look nice on the rack eh!
I found that with movies the BDP500 is a clear step up in performance with every movie i have thrown at it so far, i really am pleased i upgraded from the BDP310 and i don't find the touchpad an issue to use after a bit of time to get used to it.
Great news that your sub will be back with you soon as you will be able to enjoy the sound to the full...nice.
As for firmware updates...these are important to keep up to date with. There is nowhere that i have found which details the exact improvements made to every iteration of firmware except some brief stuff on Panasonics website, but none on the BDP500 updates on there that i could find. Firmware normally updates the software for disc compatibility issues, bug fixes, some software fixes to operation and connect services and should be carried out to avoid disc issues, some new bluray releases require a firmware update to a player in order to play.
As you bought the multi region version of the player from new any firmware updates you carry out will NOT affect the players multi region playback of dvds. Go to system menu, Firmware update and update your firmware to version 1.31 which is the latest version available but exactly what it addresses i don't know, i have tried to find out but with no luck...google returns some strange results no matter how i narrow the search.
Hope that helps, enjoy the player
Many thanks for the info on updates. I'll do it tomorrow!
hopfully someone can confirm this , I have noticed under system settings and TV system that it is selected as NTSC , should this not be PAL?
Oldboy,can you expand on the better pq compared to your old 310?
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I tought i had Graham but looking back i didn't cover it very well, there are a few major advances over my previous 310 player cheif among those are detail (shadows especially), motion and colour reproduction. My test disc of choice is the opening of The Dark Knight bluray and i was struck by the extra smooth motion throughout it and the detail of clothes fibres on the Jokers suit and the extra depth to all the shadows in the bank vault.
Skin tones are far more accurate too as the bank managers face was overly red on the 310 but the 500 is far more natural and convincing and loses the redness to the face...talking of colour the jokers suit is another standout as the extra shadow detail and clarity reveal it to be far more shabby than on the 310, the different shades of purple being more convincing.
The outside scenes as the camera pans in and they zip wire across the street definately benefit from the extra detail of the 500, the reflections on the windows are far more convincing and the slight stutter from the 310 on motion is eliminated completely, i really noticed the extra detail on the street when they zip across as previously it was a bit blurry but the 500 makes it pin sharp.
Also silly things like the resolution of the gravel on the roof are better and more three dimensional which is a good test as it combines the extra detail, shadow depth and colour. The masks that the heist crew wear are worth a mention too as more marks can be seen on them making them look more beaten up and worn.
I done a comparison of the two players with this scene before i sold the 310 so it's not as if i'm looking through rose tinted specs and the 500 is definately the superior machine, the way it deals with motion compared to the 310 is a revelation as stutter is virtually eliminated.
I'm very happy i upgraded, it was well worth it.
Yes, unless you watch an ntsc dvd which is unlikely.
cheer's for the review oldboy,shall def have to have a look at a new bdp,but maybe one that plays sacd this time.
by the way,when you play your disks,does your tv switch to cinema mode?
My Panasonic - same as Oldboy's - switches to Cinema mode every time too - its a bit annoying but the easiest thing is to calibrate the cinema mode settings on your tv.
It also switches my Sony av amp to tv mode which I cant seem to stop it from doing either. This is really annoying too as my player goes through the HDMI 1 input and I have to reach for the Sony remote to change it every time. Plus it confuses the wife.
Other than that it's a brilliant player.
Interestingly, I too have found the picture motion to be the best I have ever experienced from a blu ray player - their is nearly no judder on anything I play on it. However, the original Star Wars triology is awful - has anyone else noticed this ? I wondered if I should not be playing it back on 24f settings ? I appreciate this was a converted to Blu Ray set of films.
No worries happy to help and yes my tv does switch to cinema mode just as my 310 did. Seems to be only when a Panasonic player is connected to a Panasonic tv so i'm guessing it's something built into Viera link, when i use my Sony 570 player on occasion (for some free 3D content) the tv never switches over to cinema mode and since my GT30 went off for repair my Samsung 32 inch LED tv doesn't switch picture mode when using the BDP500.
As psurquhart suggested it just means that cinema mode needs calibrating but i must admit it would be nice if you had the option to stop it switching picture mode as i use three different modes for movie viewing and the one i use depends on what content i'm viewing. Only a minor annoyance though on what is a fabulous tv and bd player combo.
Strange issue with your Sony amp psurquhart, have you tried running the player through a different hdmi socket on the amp to see if this resolves it? Sounds like a hdmi handshake issue, the other option would be to switch off hdmi control on the amp and/or tv and if this stops it then you know it's a handshake issue. The only option then is to either leave hdmi control off on the amp or live with it swtiching the amp to tv mode and just be prepared with Sony remote in hand.
Totally agree with the motion on the BDP500 as it was a revelation to me when i fired up the first disc on it and made me realise the advantages of not buying a budget player, it's just lovely saying goodbye to all that nasty judder eh
You are not seeing things with Star Wars....i was shocked at just how awful it looked. It seems to be that A New Hope is the worst affected of the movies with Empire slightly better and Jedi better still with picture quality but the latest (worst by a mile) movies are almost reference material by comparison. My old BDP310 dealt with the original trilogy far better but was softer in comarison to the 500, i've not thought about trying the 24p setting but it seems logical to leave it on as that's how film works...all movies are shot at 24 frames.
I will have another look at the original Star Wars trilogy tomorrow when my tv arrives back from repair and see if there is a setting that changes things for the better, if you do the same then hopefully between the two of us we might be able to solve the issue as i was very disappointed with the picture quality of the original trilogy through the BDP500
Strange that your TV switches to Cinema mode when playing a Blu-ray/DVD, as both my 310 & 500 leaves my TV on the 'Normal' picture mode, maintaining my preferred picture settings. I pass through my Onkyo HDMIs from my BDT500 to my 46GT30B, and have never seen a switch to Cinema mode when playing a Blu-ray/DVD.
That is very odd indeed as we have the same amp and tv combo plus a Panasonic bd player, my tv always switches to cinema mode and i can't find a solution to stop it from doing it....i'm wondering just what is different in your set up to mine now. I will have a play around with my tv and player tomorrow when my tv comes back from repair and see if i can stop it from doing it, it's very strange that your tv never switches to cinema mode.
I can't explain it, but if you have any suggestions i would love to hear them as i find it very annoying that the tv keeps switching picture modes by itself....there must be a solution if your tv, bd player and amp combo doesn't do it.
Thanks for your settings Oldboy , the only thing I have different is Picture mode is Cinema ,by the way I noticed that when High Clarity sound is enabled you still have to turn it on when playing a disc by going into options.
Wonder why this is?
Can't say I notice any difference either with it off or on though.
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