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When I bought this Blu-Ray player, it had just been surpassed by the BDP1600, which meant I got it relatively cheap.
This is perfect for what it is intended to be used for, it plays Blu-Ray discs, DVD's and CD's. It has an Ethernet port for going online, but this is where the problem is because the Ethernet is practically useless as when attempting to use the BD-Live function on discs, the player requires extra storage space - i.e an external flash drive, however the USB Port on the player is not compatible with said devices and is only used for upgrading the firmware. The Ethernet port also allows this feature too.
another con is that the player processes quite slow when loading newer films, which are more data intensive - There is no lag whatsoever on films, but actually getting to them sometimes takes a bit longer than I would like to wait.
Positives are that it is FULL HD 1080p and supports backward compatibility. the player also looks very sleek too and works on anynet+ with any corresponding Samsung TV.
To conclude, I am very happy with the player for its basic use, but for extensive use as developed by Blu-Ray players such as BD Live, it is not one I would recommend.
6/10 - Plays perfectly, but a bit slow and lacking features.
This is the first Blu-Ray player I have ever owned. My husband is a massive film buff and ever since the Blu-ray technology came about he had been keeping his eye on this model. When he had finally convinced me we needed one we went looking around for the best deal.
I think we picked it up for around £200 or something like that. We've had this player for a long while now, and it's a good little machine. It plays not only Blu-rays but it plays your standard DVD's and upscales them to almost HD quality.
I do have a few minor problems with this model though. It is extremely slow to load and read the discs, and the smallest smudge on the disc will mean it won't read it. In fact we rented a film from blockbuster once for the disc to be deemed unreadable by the blu-ray but our normal DVD player played it fine!
It takes an age to switch on and off and ages to open/close the tray. It also sounds like a transformer when you switch it on and whilst it loads the disc.
But if you can live with this the bare bones of the machine are good. It's been in our house for about 2 years or so and other than the odd time where we've had to clean the odd mark off a disc it's always worked fine.
Blu Ray is a great new piece of technology that, i must admit, I was rather doubtful about in the beginning...thinking it was yet another pointless fad! But, I have come to be a bit of a Blu Ray fan. I do think Blu Ray is truly fantastic when dealing with animated films or films with quite alot of special effects. But when it comes to your average, every day people who should look pretty film....Blu Ray sort of kills tha magic a little. It's just a bit too much High Definitiion....kind of see the pores like craters definition...and for most humans who are not so cosmetically enhanced that their skin no longer moves, that kind of high definition takes away a bit of the magic.
As for the Blu Ray player, well this is our first Blu Ray player and we have had it for about a year now. It is a great piece of kit, without a doubt, but I definitely have a few bones to pick with this particular model.
With regards to functions, I would say that it is pretty user friendly. It was easy to install, simple HDMI cable connection and Bob's your uncle! (Be advised, if you don't have a HD Tv...this machine and Blu Ray discs would be a big fat waste of cash.) The picture is, as expected, fantastic and the sound quality is pretty good. We do seem to have to crank up the volume quite considerably when using the Blu Ray player but I couldn't say for sure if this is an issue with the machine, the connection or the TV.
Loading time on the Blu Ray player is a bit frustrating. Not just on Blu Ray discs either. It seems to take quite a few minutes to load any disc, blu ray or DVD, and the machine is quite noisy when it is loading. The same goes for turning it off, bizarrely enough. It takes such a long time to actually register that you've pressed the off button that often we find ourselves pressing it again, thinking we've missed or it hasn't registered, and end up turning the darn thing on again.
But, if you can ignore all these slightly irritating quirks then it really is worth getting and worth paying the money for (if you have it to spare.) And don't panic, there is no need to replace all those well loved films that you have on DVD. They can be played on the Blu Ray machine also. So you only need the one piece of kit (bit of a bonus for thoe crowded TV units.)
This is a great bluray dvd player. This is the first one I have ever bought. I couldn't ask for a better one. It has phenomenal picture quality and best of all, it allows me to play Netflix Instant (on demand) movies. It is very easy to use, even for an inexperienced user like me. Very impressive.
What is a Blu-Ray Disc?
Blu-Ray is a high definition disc, designed to hold more than 5 times the storage of a standard DVD, with a huge 25GB single layer or 50GB on a dual layer disc. The term 'Blu-ray' stems from the colour of the laser used to read the data on a disc. Standard DVD players use a red laser, whereas a Blu-ray Disc player uses a Blue laser.
About the Samsung Blu-ray player
This is one of the most important factors for me when purchasing a new item, it's price. I set a budget of £200 for a standalone Blu-ray player, and loose change would be a bonus.
I paid £165 for this kit from an online store, which was a massive saving of £90, and it came with 3 FREE blu-ray dvds.
The style / appearance:
For me, the looks of the unit is spot on. There aren't any big ugly buttons, or a huge display. The finish is very reflective, gloss black. There is a Samsung logo located to the top left of the set, with a small power button a few centremeters below. The LED display is neat and the brightness can be adjusted within the menu too. To the far right are the DVD controls (play, pause etc) placed within a tidy circular button.
Overall, it's a very sexy looking DVD player.
The unit is very very quiet when on. There's no buzzing or clunking of the DVD drive.
The unit takes about 30 seconds to boot up, which can seem like an eternity when you're stood waiting to put your new DVD into the tray. The reason for this, the unit has a small hard drive which stores your settings / prefferences which needs to be loaded each time you switch the set on.
Ports / Connections:
On the reverse of the unit there are several ports available for your av equipment. HDMI + Component + Composite + Optical Audio out. There is also a USB and Network port, these can only be used to update the onboard software and provide the set with updates available from Samsung.
DVDs / BluRay DVDs:
The set will play Region 2 or B BluRay, DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW and Audio CD.
The dvd player can output in FULL HD, this means it can output up to 1080p (including 1080i, 720p etc) Ideal if you have a FULL HD TV.
Obviously the sound quality also depends on the TV / Cinema kit you are using in conjunction with the player. This DVD player does offer a Dolby True HD Decoder, and sounds great when hooked up to a surround kit.
Ok, this is the one you want to read about, I mean this is why you want BluRay after all, isn't it?
I was shocked just how good BluRay was, the colours were vivid, the image was just so sharp. I was using 'I Am Legend' to test the quality on the first night, and couldn't believe just how good it looked. One of the first scenes where Will Smith is driving through the empty streets in his Mustang, the car looks fantastic, and the attention to detail almost looks like a computer game.
The unit has HDMI version 1.3 output, which today is the best version available.
There are 2 menus available on this DVD player.
1. The main menu which gives you access to the DVD player's main settings such as the quality settings (1080i / 1080p etc). You can also choose the frame rate for your TV.
From this menu you can change the brightness of the front LED display too.
2. The pop-up menu which can be used during film play. From here you can bookmark scenes, fast forward, rewind, scene select etc.
What's in the box?:
Well, it dosn't come with a HDMI cable, so bear this in mind. I purchased a 2m v1.3 HDMI cable from another store which works a treat.
You get the usual manual, warranty information and a remote control with 2 x AAA batteries.
My overall thoughts:
I'm impressed with it, and I truely think it's worth every penny. I wasn't sure on taking the plunge to get a BluRay player, but now I wouldn't look back.
I'm not sure it's worth it's £300 price tag, but then as I've mentioned I paid nearyl half of that.
Items used for testing:
Samsung PS50A556 (50" Plasma Full HD) + I Am Legend BluRay DVD + v1.3 HDMI Cable