Not only can the BD-D6900 play 3D Blu-ray discs, but it can also convert 2D discs to 3D, a feature only previously available on Samsung’s 3D TVs. It can also be applied to Freeview pictures, which is no match for Sky 3D but might just bridge the gap until real 3D channels come to Freeview. You won’t find any of the 3D picture adjustments found on the Panasonic DMP-BDT110 though.
There’s built-in Wi-Fi, providing wireless access to the unit’s DLNA-certified media streaming functionality and the Smart Hub internet portal. The former feature, dubbed AllShare, works smoothly and uses attractive, logical menus. It allows you to stream a wide range of file types from PCs and NAS drives, including DivX HD, MKV, MP3, WMA, WMV, JPEG and XviD (you can also play these from USB devices).
Smart Hub, meanwhile, is the superb replacement for Samsung’s Internet@TV system, boasting a much simpler and more intuitive interface plus a bunch of new features that make it easier to organise and access your content.
The line-up of ‘apps’ includes BBC iPlayer, Facebook, YouTube, LoveFilm and Picasa, with loads of other great-looking games and puzzles that should keep all members of the family entertained. The icons for these apps are arranged in a grid – a nod to the iPhone or Android – and you can group them into folders, remove ones you never use and add new ones from the store. If a couple more catch-up TV services are introduced to Smart Hub, it will become even more formidable.
New for 2011 is Search All, which scours Facebook, YouTube and connected PCs for stuff that matches what you enter. It finds loads of relevant results in a flash, making it a very effective new feature. It’s joined by Your Video, which recommends movies and TV shows available in LoveFilm and other VOD providers based on your viewing history and ratings, as well as providing shed-loads of trivia and photos relating to each movie.
On the Freeview side, the DVB-T2 provides access free-to-air hi-def channels, with an eight-day EPG and an onscreen info banner that lets you browse the schedules. With an HDD connected, you unlock features like series link and Timeshift (play/rewind live TV).
It’s also a very well-specced Blu-ray deck – aside from 3D compatibility, it decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, provides 1GB of built-in BD Live memory and outputs movies in 1080/24p. A full house, in other words.