Samsung BD-P1590 is a big stinkeroni

apologies

Look, I feel really bad about this.  I usually don’t complain about product on my blog, but this has really gotten me worked up. I’ll also provide a quick review.

the good

Our old, progressive scan DVD player gave up the ghost a couple of months ago.  I have been lobbying for a Sony PS3 but haven’t been able to get “executive approval” for the purchase, so when Costco had a deal on the Samsung BD-P1590, we got the green light to pick it up.  At first glance, it has some nice features:

  • Pandora support
  • Youtube
  • Blockbuster
  • Netflix
Don't buy it.

Don't buy it.

My Dad has the Samsung 2550 and it was pretty cool.  We liked the Pandora and Netflix integration so at this price, it looked pretty good.

the bad

We bought the unit, brought it home, and I began hooking it up.  First off, it doesn’t have COAX out.  It’s either standard RCA jacks or TOSlink out.  I had to rewire the Xbox.

But once I got it hooked up, the first thing it wanted to do was upgrade the firmware.  A guy we talked to at Costco said he upgraded the day before and he said it was good.  Once it rebooted, I popped in my Pink Floyd concert DVD and it looked great, (I don’t have any Blu-ray, yet).

pink_floyd_pulse

Then we signed up for Pandora and Netflix.  Pandora sounded great!  It was tickling my subwoofer and sounded really good.  Then we ate dinner and I heard the unit beep and it powered off.  I guess it shuts down if it is idle.

Then, when you hit the power button, the display says “LOAD” and that’s it. I can open and close the tray but nothing else.  I tried the various ways I’ve found to “reset” the unit, and none of them worked.

I found an “offical” forum over at CNET:

Samsung 2009 Blu-ray Player Firmware Update Available Now

by blu-ray chic Samsung staff – 9/3/09 10:06 AM

All, 
Firmware has been posted today for 09 models. (other models to follow, please be patient).
I’m in the process of updating my players and will share the results when I’m through. However, please feel free to use this thread to report any issues with your upgrades, findings, thoughts, etc…
When you post your info, please be sure to let us know how you upgraded (USB, CD, Network) and any pertinent details. 

IMPORTANT: Please note the launch of our new website. The download center is currently not showing f/w details such as what’s been corrected or worse, what file type is which. 
If you have a network connection, this is the easiest way to update. Simply turn the power on and wait a moment before you receive a notification for the new firmware. 
If you choose to use CD or USB updates, the first one listed is the USB update. The second which ends in ISO is the disc update. These updates need to be installed only once, not twice like the first update. However, if you’ve never updated your player, you may need to install the update twice. Again, please share your findings with us all. Thanks for your participation! 

What should these upgrades address?

A/V sync issues
Title compatibility 
NTP should be defaulted to on after reset or power failure
Error msg “your Netflix Keys have been hacked”
And finally – to provide Blockbuster and YouTube support.. (crossing fingers that I haven’t spoken too soon)

As soon as I get the final details I’ll let ya’ll know.

Best of luck to you all! ;)

And according to the thread, I am not the only one with a bricked unit.  Again, I am one not to bitch, but this was OUT OF THE box and we got to enjoy for less than 15 minutes.  Seriously, I will spend more time in the car taking it back then the amount of time we got to use it.

the rub

And here’s the rub.  If I was to exchange it at Costco, ANY replacement Samsung BD-P1590 I get is probably subject to the same fate.  I did nothing special or weird to my unit.

If you were me, what would you do?

19 thoughts on “Samsung BD-P1590 is a big stinkeroni

  1. I would take it back to Costco. You don’t need to get the same model right? They have a great return policy. I wouldn’t feel bad about a negative review with your experience, especially if its not a crazy fluke.
    I just can’t believe it didn’t have the connections you wanted. You research like mad before you buy. I still stick to my trusty consumer reports but I really do not know how good a job they do.

    • Thanks, Bob! I did take it back to Costco on Sunday morning. Here’s the timeline for those keeping track.

      Samsung releases firmware 2.02 on 9/4
      We buy our Samsung BD-P1590 at Costco on 9/5
      Firmware update gets applied 15 minutes out of the box on 9/15, then the player auto shuts down due to being idle.
      I take the player back to Costco on the morning of 9/6; they have five more already returned that morning.

      Apparently, version 1.03 was what was out in the wild, and 1.04 was what was on new players on the shelves. I think there was something wrong with the 1.04 upgrade to 2.02 and since everything looked good until it shut itself down, I think that might have triggered it becoming a brick.

      Finally, here’s the final word from a Samsung engineer from the thread I had in my post:

      Please don’t shoot the messenger!

      NOTE: If your player is NOT BRICKED, downgrading the firmware is a possiblity. However, if your player is stuck in “LOAD”, I’m afraid it will be impossible to downgrade the firmware.

  2. Jeff.. I had the same exact thing happen to me tonight. Plugged the joker in, it upgraded the firmware, then after I let it sit for a while, it auto-shutdown. And now bricked. This is AWESOME. I’ll call samsung in the AM and see what they have to say for themselves – they’ll probably recommend a can of “shrug”. But I’m going to head to costco to return the unit anyway. Hmm, do I buy another one? Somehow I envision myself standing there mashing on the remote control buttons and feeling stupid after the next one bricks right on schedule. This really sucks because I was all ready to get rid of my PS3 and start streaming netflix (I’m not a gamer.. just used it for bluray and media library).

    • Hey Tom, thanks for the reply. When I took the unit back the next day to Costco, they had three others already returned that morning. It’s a shame since it does appear to be a nice unit for the money. I think any BDP-1500 bought from Costco is at risk for this, (since they all have to have firmware 1.04 on it).

      I wish I could help you with the PS3. I can not get executive approval for a PS3 (since we already have two game consoles), so a Blu-ray standalone is pretty much my only option!

      Please let me know what Samsung says if you call them. I’m curious!

  3. Hi Jeff, New development here… I walked away from the entertainment center for a while. Had the samsung shut down along with the TV. I decided to later watch some broadcast TV and when I turned on JUST the TV and started watching, I happened to notice after a few minutes that the samsung unit was mysteriously powered on. And it just said “No Disc” or something… Not “Load”. I’m not sure if my turning on the TV signaled to the samsung via hdmi that it should power up or what happened. But after that I was able to use all of the features of the samsung. Tried shutting it down and starting it back up in an effort to test its stability and it worked. What I did not try, is to let the unit auto power-off again. I should probably let it do that just to make sure I don’t have a ticking time-bomb.

    (… just went and spent a while letting it auto-shutdown…)

    Here’s the deal… after it auto-shutdown, it was stuck at “Load” again. So what I had to do to get it back was turn TV and Samsung off. Unplug Samsung unit for a minute and plug back in. Turn on TV with HDMI 1 selected so that it signals for Samsung to turn on. All is well again. So weird but as long as I can reliably get things up and running again, I’m not going to go through the headache of returning it. It’s pretty ridiculous though that Samsung doesn’t publish a fixed firmware version. I’m a software engineer and if this were my software, I’d consider this a “Severity 1” defect and get it fixed in hopefully a day or two… It seems people have been having this issue for months now. Samsung is ‘tarded. Hopefully someone will be able to use my trick to get their rig up and running again.

    • Tom, glad you got it back up. I tried all of that with my unit and nothing worked. I agree they should have a Sev 1 type of thing, but if a unit is bricked, I still don’t see any other option but to return it.

      However, I have to laugh at your, “I’m not going to go through the headache of returning it;” We’re talking about Costco, who has one of the best return policies… EVER! Like I ever need another reason to visit Costco!

      Thanks for your comments! I appreciate it!
      Jeff

  4. We also just had this issue with ours. As I had my game face all ready to return it to Sam’s Club in the morning (sounds like we got a better price on it there boys!) my husband got it up and running again – although he’s not sure how…I think he was power cycling it repeatedly with the button on the front. I think I’m just going to refrain from letting it turn off on it’s own. Hopefully the one I just bought my dad for Christmas doesn’t have this problem!!!

    • Good luck! I tried power cycling mine over and over, with no dice. If it works, I think it would be a great unit. I think the Netflix streaming is very cool!

  5. I got this unit yesterday from Walmart, I skip on the extended warranty not sure if that was a good idea. It seems to be ok so far. The only thing I can’t get to work is streaming movies from my computer.. Any idea??? Also I was hoping that I could plug in a USB drive with movies on it and I could just play them but that doesn’t work either. It just tells me no program installed. Not sure what that means… If anyone has any ideas???? that’s

    • Hey James, wish I could help! I didn’t have my unit long enough to get that far. I agree, if it works, I think it would be a very good unit. Good luck!

  6. What I do? I’d stop crybabying and return for another unit – Costco is GREAT about this – and try another. Or get a refund and buy another.

    Why? Because I bought the exact same unit you did, bought it the same weekend (Labor Day, 2009, right?), brought it home, hooked it up, let it update the firmware, and IT WORKED FINE. I’ve updated the firmware several times without incident.

    You got a bum unit. OR … you didn’t let the firmware update complete properly (it takes 20 minutes or so, I’m watching it do it right now). OR … you’re cursed. Whichever it is, don’t blow holes in the manufacturer and tell people not to buy something based on your single anecdotal experience.

    Someone call this blogger a waa-ambulance.

    • Hey David, thanks for your comment. I don’t think I got a bum unit. I see a lot of traffic coming to my post about the same situation I had, so I know I’m not in the minority. It seems that the problem was upgrading from 1.03 (which was never released in the wild, only store shelves), if memory serves me correctly.

      If you don’t believe me, check out the post over at CNET regarding the Samsung DVD players. I’d be happy to get on the waa-bulance if I didn’t have a clue, but I think I do! 😉

  7. I am grateful for finding this link. I encountered the dreaded LOAD message and stuck on it without being able to do anything on my unit (a 1590). I never had updated the software as I heard the update made things worse. Being so disappointed that I now had a crappy unit, I have good news that I did try exactly what Tom Rogan’s post advised and I got my unit to wake up. I got the Update Software notice and was curious since now I got a unit that got stuck on LOAD without updating, and it has a new update version of 2.08. So I am updating the software now as we speak. I hope since this is April 17, 2010, Samsung would have fixed the problem. The unit still had the 1.03 (or 1.08 version out of the box).

  8. I also wanted to mention that I never had any issues before with the unit until today (so I have been using it for about a month) when it powered-off by itself.

    Also, as I turned everything off, and unplugged everything, and waited a couple of minutes. I turned on my TV first (not using the samsung control) and set it to the HDMI I channel (to use the unit and see movies I have to use HDMI 2 channel). Then I powered the Samsung 1590 with the samsung control. At first it did say ON, the LOAD but once it looked for a disc and no disc inside, it went to the msg “No DISC”, which gave me hope. It was no longer stuck on LOAD. Then on the TV screen, on HDMI 2, I had my invitation to Update to new firmware. It is taking its sweet time.

    Hope this helps others too.

  9. Gareth.. I’m glad you got your unit up and running and happy to have helped. I have the latest firmware and haven’t had any problems aside from the occasional glitchiness while watching streaming netflix. That just requires a restart and only seems to happen intermittently, after watching more than one subsequent movie in a sitting.

    Jeff.. Gareth was just referring to my comment above, from 10/20/2009.

  10. I just started the firmware upgrade and keeping my fingers crossed. I hope i dont have to hate samsung.

  11. I have a Samsung BD-1590, after having a problem with skips and stalls on a new Ironman II BluRay, I decided to upgrade from 2.05 to 2.12 XAC. After waiting for over an hour for the upgrade to complete using a USB key with the file, I had to remove the power from the player to get response back. It did fire back up but did not upgrade, I had to burn the file onto a DVD to get the upgrade to complete. Just a heads up if you have a problem with USB upgrades.

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