You can also play media from USB sticks, using the covered port on the front. The comprehensive list of supported formats includes DivX HD, MKV, MPEG-4, WMV9, hi-res JPEG, AVCHD, MP3 and WMA.
Aside from that, you get all the usual stuff you’d expect from a Blu-ray deck, such as 1080/24p output (or Movie Frame as Samsung likes to call it), HDMI-CEC and a range of useful picture presets – including a user-defined mode that lets you tweak individual picture parameters.
Slightly more unusual is the built-in DTS Neo:6 processing, which expands stereo sources to pseudo-5.1 through the analogue outputs, and the Screen Fit feature, which expands 21:9 (or 2.35:1) pictures to 16:9 and removes the black bars.
Samsung has radically redesigned the onscreen design for this year’s Blu-ray players, and we love it. The menus are logical and attractive, making installation a cinch. In the setup menu, you can tweak the sound according to the capabilities of your speakers and there are just two 3D setup options – one which forces the deck to output 3D content as 2D, and another that tailors the picture to your TV’s screen size. Thanks to the excellent remote, with its large, carefully arranged buttons, day-to-day operation is a doddle.
It’s also easy to connect to a network and find media content. Searching for access points and entering encryption keys is nowhere near as infuriating as it was on last year’s Samsung players, while the main menu’s large cartoon-like icons clearly signpost the different types of content at your disposal. Files are arranged into clearly labelled folders with jazzy graphics and smooth scrolling.
Thankfully, the BD-C6900 shares the HT-C6930W’s speedy start-up and disc loading times – we’re yet to encounter a deck that can get Terminator Salvation up and running any quicker than a Samsung.
The BD-C6900 is also a fantastic picture performer. We played a variety of 2D Blu-ray movies at 1080/24p, including Terminator Salvation, Avatar and Inglourious Basterds, and in each case the picture quality was faultless.
The purity, depth and sharpness of the image is hugely satisfying, with no glitches or artefacts to sully the picture. The rolling green countryside at the start of Inglourious Basterds looks as crisp and luscious as we’ve seen it, while Terminator Salvation’s dusty desert wastelands are displayed with every last scrap of detail intact.
We also tried out the HQV Benchmark Blu-ray and couldn’t catch the player out with any of the tests, apart from the Film Resolution pattern which showed just a hint of strobing in some of the boxes. Although this appears to have little bearing on real world viewing, its assured handling of this disc does confirm that there’s some competent video processing on board.