Samsung's Blu-ray Player Reportedly Has Faulty Chip

Posted Wed Jul 19, 2006 at 02:46 PM PDT by
Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Player After suffering weeks of negative buzz over the picture quality of its first-generation Blu-ray disc player, Samsung now says an internal scaler chip may be to blame.

As reported earlier today by A/V magazine The Perfect Vision, Sony exec Don Eklund first brought the issue to Samsung's attention after noticing that the image quality produced by Samsung's BD-P1000 player "...did not match the quality of the master tapes from which the Blu-ray titles were encoded."

Samsung engineers later determined that "the noise-reduction circuit in the player's Genesis scaler chip was enabled, causing the picture to soften significantly."

Though Samsung has yet to issue any formal statements regarding the apparent faulty chip, the company's senior vice president of marketing for its Audio and Video Products Group Jim Sanduski confirmed to The Perfect Vision that the company is working to fix the problem on future shipments of the BD-P1000, and also plans to issue a firmware upgrade to correct the problem on current players.

"Samsung is currently working to revise the default settings on the noise-reduction circuit in the Genesis scaler chip to sharpen the picture," Sanduski is quoting as saying. "All future Samsung BD-P1000 production will have this revision and we are working to develop a firmware update for existing product."

As we've previously reported, some early adopters have experienced poor picture quality when using the recommended HDMI output on the Samsung player. Switching to component outputs has improved the image quality for these users, which could be a result of the component outputs bypassing the scaling chip.

Though the launch of rival format HD DVD was not without its own glitches, reviews of that format's first-gen hardware and software have been largely positive. If a repaired chip in the Samsung BD-P1000 markedly improves picture quality from the deck, it could help close the perceived gap in quality that currently exists between the two formats.

We will keep you posted on the latest developments in this story as it continues to unfold.

Tags: Sony, Samsung, Hardware (all tags)