Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray player - First Look

Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray player - First Look

It has been a long and winding road for Samsung when it comes to its past and current lineup of standalone HD players. The Korean company did beat the competition with its world's first Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000. But in the process of rushing out the product, it missed a software bug plaguing its pilot offering with softer-than-expected visuals. This development may have prompted its Asia regional office to bypass the BD-P1200 altogether for a more polished BD-P1400, a feature-packed kit capable of unlocking the full potential of the blue laser-based disc media.


The BD-P1400 has both the design, feature set and pricing to attract both the enthusiasts and fashion-conscious. For starters, its black piano finish and silver accentuation make the attractive player a perfect complement for most flat-panel TVs. The soothing blue power button and flush LCD display further add a touch of class unique among current HD players. Sharp-eyed readers may also have noticed its clutter-free front. Not that it's shy about displaying its long list of credentials via familiar Dolby and DTS logos, but rather these are kept out of sight on the front top-right.

Though this model lacks the BD-UP5000's powerful Hollywood Quality Video processor, it does output film-centric 1080p24 signals through an inbuilt HDMI 1.3 terminal. This, when coupled with a compatible display, eliminates redundant frame-rate conversion and promises smooth judder-free motion reproduction. For users holding onto their DVD compilations, the Samsung does 1080p upconversion for this standard-definition disc format. Lastly, an integrated network port allows firmware updates for possible BD-J 1.1 interactive video enhancements.

However, what really sets it apart from most of the competition is its comprehensive audio playback. On top of onboard surround sound decoding, the BD-P1400's HDMI also supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD bitstream audio output, an advanced function currently exclusive to the premium Pioneer BDP-LX70A. While there is little theoretical advantage arising form an external decoding approach, it does give your spanking new A/V receiver an opportunity to stretch its legs. There's also the thrill of witnessing the long-dormant HD audio indicators coming to life.


If you haven't noticed, the BD-P1400 is not exactly the sleekest HD kit around. Measuring 79mm high, it's probably the second-tallest Blu-ray player, second to the above-mentioned Pioneer with additional network streaming option. On the other hand, there are already several reports of playback issues from the reputable American AVS forum. These range from random audio dropout to unexpected shutdown and lockdown. That said, such problems are highly dependent on individual setup configuration.


We have already received confirmation from Samsung that the BD-P1400 will be launched in Singapore at S$999 (US$657.24) in the coming days. In fact, one of its dealers is already taking pre-orders at a special promotional price of S$799 (US$525.66) plus freebies. This may be a good opportunity to bag an affordable alternative to the noisy Sony PS3. But as to whether the P1400 will support the BD-J 1.1 standard is anyone's guess and a gamble for early adapters. Pricing and launch details for the rest of Asia were not available at press time.