Hands on with Samsung's BD-P1000 Blu-ray player

Mark your calendars, Blu-ray fans: June 25th is the day Samsung will release the first Blu-ray player into the wild, and there are reports that a few are even on store shelves now. Blu-ray, of course, is one of two formats that put high-definition movies on disc — the other being HD DVD. I got a chance to play around with a Blu-ray player earlier today, and snapped a few pictures of it, along with some shots of how the onscreen navigation is a little different from DVD. While watching Memento in what I was told was 1080p format (the HD format with the highest resolution) on Samsung's oh-so-sweet 80-inch plasma (not available right now — sorry, Mr. Trump), I got to try out first hand the joys of using a Blu-ray player. My verdict: The picture quality looked fantastic, although some basic things (like simply going back to the main menu) sometimes seemed to take longer than I would expect if I were watching a DVD. Being able to call up menus while the flick was still playing is a nice perk, though nothing revolutionary. At any rate, you'll be able to check out Samsung's baby for yourself a week from Monday for bargain price of $1,000. Just FYI: entry-level HD DVD players cost half the price, but different studios support each format. It wouldn't hurt to do a quick search on Amazon before committing to either side of the format war. Or, y'know, just wait 'til one of them wins. More pictures after the jump.