I hope nobody minds I'm starting a new thread with this specific subject... I read this as-branded player is supposedly of limited distribution, time-wise and country-wise (I got mine at Walmart in Canada), so best to get the little I know out while it's meaningful to those who may be interested. The distinguishing feature of this player is that it can play DVD and BD from all regions, via a not-so-secret manufacturer's menu (select Setup without a disc loaded, then press 8,5,2,0).
Please bear in mind I just opened and turned this thing on tonight. So this is just some pertinent info, not details. I also have a PS3 and OPPO BDP-83, fairly reasonable standards to form an initial contextual opinion. $88 +$2.75 Eco fee (not a tax!
) in Ontario at WM...a little over $100 overall with HST.
Absolutely first: especially important to those who are like me and are dubious of cheap stuff they might want to return: the remote will probably not work with "regular" North American AAA batteries, like Duracell and Energizer. Yeah, you used those, didn't you, so that if the player was a dud you could return the whole package in relatively pristine condition? (OT mostly, but apparently WM uses a service to make sure some returned goods are "correct". IOW they don't seem to care...but thanks for being thoughtful anyway!) Compare NA/Japanese standard AAA cells with the ones Seiki includes...notice the subtle physical diffs. The included batteries have a longer + "prong", and the protruding plastic at those ends of the battery compartment will not allow most of our regular AAA batteries' + terminals to touch the contacts. Result: dead remote, almost useless player. Now the remote has a prominent QC sticker on it, so naturally I was pissed. I do have proper tools to open stuff like this without leaving a mark, but in this case a credit card or two would work if you're curious re guts (it's kinda slick really). Six mostly passive electronic components inside, how could it work if they really did QC? Answer: they used batteries like they supply LOL. Solution: with a small screwdriver/needle-nose or something similar, pull out both + contact springs a tiny bit. After all, those supplied C-Zn batteries won't last for long and you'll need to use normal ones... Numerous people complained they had a dead remote right out of the box, probably people who do like me.
Next thing: the bottom right side (as viewed from front) of this player gets incredibly hot. It is the only BDP (of four) I've ever had without a fan. One way they keep the price down. It's the quietest BDP I've ever owned!
I would try to elevate the player by an inch; the shape of the bottom makes this a bit awkward, but not too bad if you can put something only under the existing feet.
Odd stuff: The tray requires two hands to take a disc out (for me)...you can't grab the disc by the edges and lift it out anyways, have to poke it up from underneath first. No front panel display...no problem for me, and I've never seen a BDP you could actually set up and totally use normally without a TV/display (like for playing music only).
More important stuff: This player is VERY fast and responsive to commands. Nice. FF speeds are similar to the Oppo, up to 32X only ("5") which pales compared to the PS3 (120X). Remote is very usable...let's just say it's a lot more usable (to me) than some remotes from certain companies who sell stuff at 20X+ the price (cough Denon/Anthem). Cheap but not unpleasant, buttons have shape differentiation and decent spacing (unlike Sony's PS3 BT remote e.g.). The differing button shapes/spacing help considering there's no backlight. Also decent IR output level and sensor sensitivity. (I expect most people will use another remote if they keep the player, as I will, but JIC.) There is a player-specific control menu (unusual IME) that you can pop up at any time, unlike the player Setup menu which you can't. You can view and change quite a few parameters from there, but some you can't change (typically separate buttons for those). Displays separate audio and video bitrates which are occasionally interesting (Oppo can't, PS3 can).
I only used HDMI audio and video. It sends ALL forms of audio bitstreamed via HDMI just fine, and I tried uncommon types like 6.1 TrueHD and 6.1 DTS-HD MA with no problem. The common 5.1 and 7.1 HD formats are fine, as are all PCM. Likewise with DD 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1-ES (both discrete and matrixed) from DVDs. Short: no limitations when bitstreaming current DVD and BD audio formats; totally as expected, but you never know...
1080p/24 BD looks very good. It's hard to screw this up, and they don't. If there's any diff between what the Seiki puts out, compared to the Oppo and PS3, I can't tell at this point.
I only tried specifically-selected VERY good DVDs, so this wasn't a torture test. (The Oppo excels at upscaling crappier ones, but not really crappy ones like for some TV shows. The PS3 is quite poor at upscaling many DVDs *in comparison* to the Oppo.) Let's talk the (PJ remake) King Kong DVD, which IMO is among the very best PQ ever put out on that medium. With the Seiki I bet somebody would have to (casually/unknowingly) watch this for quite a while to tell it isn't the BD (which also has VERY good PQ BTW, but not quite as "impressive" considering the medium). I also tried the R2 Narnia: Prince Caspian DVD, and it also looked very fine, no worse than I remembered it from an Oppo 2 weeks ago. So, we know the other region feature works, and still looks very good when outputting in *PAL* (sorry, did not check the PAL->NTSC conversion yet, it is not something I would ever normally use with my Pio display). I do not have any non-region-A BDs now. That was my main intention for getting this player. I have some on order from my long want-list of BDs not available in our region (Canadian films even!) so can report on that aspect in about a week.