* Prices may differ from that shown
If there has been one thorn in the side of recent Blu-ray players, it's the painfully slow loading times.
So, it's refreshing to see that Samsung's BD-P1600 addresses this issue. It puts most players to shame. New machines from Sony and Philips certainly do similar, but nevertheless the speed at which we get up and running is a genuine positive for the BD-P1600.
You won't see this machine slip up when it comes to specifications, either. It's a Profile 2.0 player so has internal memory, USB inputs and BD-Live compatibility.
There are no multichannel analogue outputs, but we're far happier using the HDMI connection to send bitstream or decoded HD audio. There's an Ethernet port, or you can go wireless if you buy Samsung's optional dongle (£50).
A poised colour paletteStarting with DVD, we're happy with the poised colour palette, crisp edges and reasonable motion handling. The machine's ability to sniff out the finest details isn't up to the standards of the best, but we're far from perturbed.
It's more of the same with Blu-ray. The BD-P1600 shows a natural hand with colours on Gran Torino, alongside steady motion handling and decent black levels.
There isn't the 'wow' factor when it comes to Blu-ray's insightful sense of three-dimensionality, but the BD-P1600 is half the price of a certain high-flyer in this test.
It's an impressive baragainSome noise, albeit hidden in complex picture constructions such as the skyscrapers in The Dark Knight, has to be forgiven, too.
Sonically, you'll need to spend more to hear real punch and dynamic power from a film such as Valkyrie, and the Samsung could use a little more clarity to dialogue, but again we find ourselves shrugging our shoulders with a 'but it's only £200' expression.
It finally came to that time when my family decided to caste of the chains of DVD and move up to the high definition goodness of Blu Ray. We already had a HD TV and soon after buying this Blu Ray player upgraded to Sky HD (Also reviewed by yours truly on this website)
OK to the review
The overall look of this Blu Ray player is very sleek, i have seen plenty on the market that look like old VCRs, not the high tech state of the art equipment they really are. All controls are touch sensitive and hidden behind a pull down front, keeping it very minimalistic.
The system itself is pretty easy to use, and looks friendly on the big screen, there are a load of options and configurations you can play around with to customise the display.
Something i was very impressed with was the ability to link it to link it to the internet via wifi, this gives you access to you tube which is pretty fun if you are bored sat at home watching something then suddenly think you want to see some cats fall of things or a dramatic looking otter.
The front of the Blu Ray player also has a USB port, this was handy as well, i could play video files i had saved to a pen drive from my laptop, a very cool feature i wasn't expecting.
This has been a solid piece of equipment for a reasonable price boasting a couple of features that could really swing someone's opinion when deciding what Blu Ray player to buy.