Samsung Opens BD 'Resource Center'

In case you haven't noticed, consumer electronics has gotten complicated. This is obvious to everyone who has read the 200-page owner's manual for their cell phone. Well, actually, no one has ever read their cell phone manual, but you get my point.

One of the newest complicated technologies is Blu-ray. Buying a player is more than just finding a front panel that matches your coffee table. You need to know some techno stuff. And, many Blu-ray players are able to download firmware to fix bugs or add features. The latter can be a source of frustration for owners, especially because it's often hard to find where the code is lurking on the web.

To the rescue, Samsung has opened the Samsung Blu-ray Resource Center. This website is dedicated to all things Blu-ray. It is bifurcated into one section for owners, and one for would-be owners. The latter "looking to buy Blu-ray" section has a nice FAQ with shopping topics like "what's the benefit of 24p" and "What does Profile 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 mean?" This is undeniably useful information for the first-time buyer. Throw in a bit of advertorial for Samsung products, and it's a good place to begin browsing.

The "for Blu-ray owner's" section gets a more in-depth FAQ, and deals more particularly with issues specific to Samsung players. For example, "Does Samsung support its older Blu-ray players once the new models are being sold?" And, most importantly, you can get the latest firmware releases from this page. There's even a bit of a help desk with the topic, "I updated my firmware and I still can't play my new Blu-ray movie. Did I do something wrong?" Finally, the firmware download page has clear instructions for performing the operation, so even newbies can do it.

If you have a Samsung Blu-ray player, check out this site. Whether your player (BD-P1000, BD-P1200, BD-P1400, BD-UP5000) has issues, or it just needs a tune-up, this site might do the trick. Case in point, the v1.3 update for the BD-UP5000 upgrades this player to Profile 1.1, adding HD audio bitstream output.

Excellent. Now, if only I can figure out how to use the camera on my cell phone. -Ken C. Pohlmann