The BD-D5500 takes 46 seconds to load Terminator Salvation, which is relatively fast. And from the opening scenes of The Dark Knight, it’s clear that the BD-D5500 is an assured picture performer. As the camera moves towards the towering skyscraper, the image is dazzlingly crisp, allowing you to make out textures and delicate shading on the rooftops of the other buildings. And where the edges of the buildings meet the sky it’s emphatically sharp, with no noise to speak of.
Superb detail reproduction is backed up by a level of depth that makes the image appear suitably filmic at all times, but the perfectly-judged contrast allows you to make out everything that’s going on. So when viewing the scene in the car park as Batman goes up against Sandman’s gang, you can discern fast-moving objects, black costumes and even facial detail.
Colour reproduction is also excellent, with the Samsung getting skin tones spot-on and displaying the bright blue sky with dazzling vibrancy as the Joker blows up the hospital. We’re also impressed by the depth of blacks and the clear shadow detail within them. You might get a little more clarity by investing in a more expensive player but it’ll be a marginal amount.
Switching over to 3D (viewed on a Sony set) there are no problems with the quality of the deck’s image layering or with crosstalk, which results in an immersive viewing experience. You also get crisp detail, gorgeous colours and smooth motion, clearly demonstrated by our Avatar and Monsters Vs Aliens test discs.
Your DVD collection is also in safe hands, as the BD-D5500 upscales SD content with few artefacts, plus the quality of Smart Hub videos is excellent, making programmes on BBC iPlayer look remarkably smooth and free from the usual block and mosquito noise associated with web videos.
With Smart Hub, DLNA streaming and 3D support on board, the Samsung BD-D5500 represents excellent value for money for under £100. It also welcomes a wide range of digital media formats, boasts two USB ports and a first-rate operating system. There’s no built-in Wi-Fi and the design isn’t up to the standards of other Samsung players, but on the whole you can have few complaints when you’re getting a player as good as this for such a low price.