Note, this is not about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. :-)I’ve been pretty happy with our two LG players (an LD-530 in the bedroom and an LD-531 in the living room), but one feature has been lacking and it’s getting more and more critical over time.
More and more of my downloaded TV shows are in resolutions higher than NTSC. The LD-530/531 (and the follow-up LD-731 apparently) can’t handle any resolution better than 720×480. Most of my shows are now in “HR” format, which is exactly one-half the dimensions of 1080, i.e. 960×540. Some are in HD720p and some are now coming in as HD1080i (in raw .ts form, no less; let’s hear it for over-the-air recording!). So I think I’ve found a new player: It’s the “Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player”.
Not only does it play up to HD1080p resolution DivX and WMV (and MPEG and .ts I think) with HDMI output, but it has an ethernet jack and wireless 802.11g through which you can play HD content on your network.
The highest bitrate you can play wirelessly is 12 MBps, because.. that’s as fast as wireless can go.
Helios X5000 (rear)
and people are
saying good things on the AVS forum. It’s a bit pricey, but it has a lower-cost sibling, the 3000, which I haven’t looked into yet.
It also has a pricier sibling, the 8000.
I’ve spent too much time on this already so feel free to mention the pros and cons of the two siblings in the comments!