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Best Blu-ray Player 2016: 5 best Blu-ray players right now

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Samsung UBD K8500

2 / 5

Reviewed by Danny Phillips

22 April 2016

Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

Read full Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player review

4K Blu-ray support at a reasonable price

Key features:
  • Ultra HD Blu-ray support
  • HDR support
  • Dual HDMI outputs

Right now the Samsung UBD-K8500 is your best bet if you want a relatively affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray player. At around £400 it’s not a pocket-money buy, but does get you right up to date with support for both 4K Blu-rays and HDR.

Image quality is slightly better in the more expensive arch-rival Panasonic DMP-UB900, but that machine costs up to 50 per cent more.

The Samsung UBD-K8500 doesn’t have any fancy displays to make it seem like an ultra-expensive player, but it does have a fancy curved bottom that helps to detract from the ‘boring black box’ effect a little.

Buy Now from Amazon.co.uk from £360 | Amazon.com from $367


At the time of review the Samsung UBD-K8500 was available for £429

Our Score:

8

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:42 am

You must be Kidding! Either that or you actually haven't tried the BP550 yourself.

OK the Blu-ray itself is fine. No issue there. But the WiFi frankly sucks ... like big time! Set it up to connect, Fine so far. but notice there are no options to speak of. IP address and DNS etc cannot be set manually for example. True, not many people play with that level of detail however get this... it doesn't save passwords! So when the link goes down and you reconnect, guess what, it's time to reenter the password again! That gets old real quick when the link is somewhat flaky.

That's bad enough but now you're connected and using Netflix say. Now you get to experience frequent pauses as the buffer overflows (presumably). Brings me back to several years ago using an underpowered PC and low-bandwidth Internet connection. "Oh it must be your connection" you say? No. Not so much. I have tried other Blu-ray players with WiFi as well as a WD TV Live media player that I can hook up easily to compare. Nothing performs as dismally as the BP550.

Another fail is the fact that no CD playlist info is displayed when playing music. And some CDs are flagged as faulty but reinserting them a few times will finally allow them to be played.

Out of a scale of 0 to 10, I rate this Blu-ray player a minus 5!

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:53 am

I tried the Sony BDP-S5500 myself. Not bad. Slick setup and nice user interface. The remote isn't prone to fat-fingering so that's nice too. The biggest problem I have with the Sony is that the player has to call home to do anything. I found out about that after purchase because I was having a problem (can't recall exactly what it was) so went to the Sony site to get the manual --- you know when all else fails RTFM :) Anyway while at the site, I read some of the reviews and it seems many people had extended periods of Netflix unavailability because as it turns out, Netflix was working just fine but a Sony server was down (apparently for several weeks and not just a one-time thing) I said to myself "screw this, I'm not going to chance an unnecessary point of failure" so brought the unit back.

Ike Bottema

February 23, 2016, 12:57 am

The Samsung BD-J7500 isn't bad but the remote sucks big time. The buttons are too close together even the arrow navigation arrows. It becomes very frustrating attempting to navigate through menus esp when emulating keyboard functions. One wrong move and kiss a long string goodbye! So I kissed the player goodbye.

EM87

June 3, 2016, 6:41 pm

Eh, i'm buying the Sony BDP-S6500. It's just amazing for its price (100€).

Rex Steinkuller

June 12, 2016, 6:29 pm

So I got the Samsung BD-J5700 cause it has "Opera TV Store" but there's no Opera browser there?! Samsung support was clueless! I finally figured out, on my own, I should've gotten the J6300 which also has 3D which I don't want...arghh!

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