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Best Blu-ray Player 2016: 7 best Blu-ray players right now


Samsung UBD K8500

2 / 6

Reviewed by Danny Phillips

22 April 2016

Samsung UBD-K8500

Read full Samsung UBD-K8500 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:


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.


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!

edward brady

August 26, 2016, 3:24 am

Oppo is Clearly the Best! period!

Lexington Goyle

January 7, 2017, 8:02 pm

Streaming is convenient but disc formats have superior quality over streaming. The layman looks at the resolution but an enthusiast can clearly see the difference between streaming/digital download and disc playback. Most streaming movies are maybe a gig or two in size where on disc the movie is anywhere from 20-60 gigs depending on the production. And this is only with the 1080 format.

At the end of the day I prefer to maintain a physical library with superior quality video for my money. Unfortunately the layman, being larger in numbers, will ultimately influence this and it will be betamax vs vhs all over again with the layman choosing an inferior format over superior and the superior format ultimately being killed off because of it.


February 10, 2017, 9:11 am

Hi friends .I am new to the review world .I would like to share that

I am using Mitsun Bluray DVD Player .Model No: Mitsun MIT BLU- 3000
It is the first Bluray DVD player i have seen with a lot of amazing features at this price range (Indian Rs.6,300). I have purchased this Bluray Player after a market study among Budget friendly Bluray players available in the Market .
One of the main features of this Bluray player is it is having 5.1 Analog audio out. So it will be useful for the customers those who are using old ,conventional type of 5.1 analog surround home theater receiver/amplifier. So by using this Bluray Player we can enjoy the 5.1 HD surround sound experience over the 5.1 Analog home theater without updating the home theater to HDMI AV receiver .

Second thing is this product having 2 USB slots which can load External Hard drive , i am using 2 TB Seagate External Hard Disk having more than 200 HD movies with DTS surround sound.

Also this Bluray DVD player supports almost all types of HD Audio/ Video formats without any lagging .

For the last one year i am using this product.I am really happy about this product .This type of product is really appreciative .

Jamie Alexander

March 14, 2017, 9:31 pm

The Panasonic doesn't hold a candle to the Oppo UDP 203, it's not even close.

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