When Panasonic released the DMP-BD35, it was the first Blu-ray player to include all the major features we look for and cost significantly less than the PlayStation 3. At that point, a lot of us at CNET were wondering, what's next for Blu-ray, other than falling prices? The Samsung BD-P2250 does a good job of answering that question, taking a solid Blu-ray playback and adding additional streaming media options such as Netflix and Pandora streaming to the package. Its Blu-ray credentials are mostly solid, too. It has excellent Blu-ray and DVD performance, thanks to HQV processing, and support for older audiovisual receivers with 7.1 analog audio outputs. We did have some nitpicks, as DTS-HD Master Audio decoding won't be onboard until a future firmware upgrade and we did have the player freeze on us while playing back Thunderball--not a good sign given Samsung's previous problems with disc compatibility. Even with those flaws, however, the Samsung BD-P2550 is a top-performing Blu-ray player and should be on your short list if you're looking to buy a standalone.
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