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Samsung BD-D8500 - Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung BD-D8500


Our Score:


Samsung has always managed quick Blu-ray disc loading times and the BD-D8500 is no different. Terminator Salvation started playing in 37 seconds, which is a reasonable wait, but most discs fire up a lot faster.

The BD-D8500 is an excellent performer with 2D Blu-ray material, delivering an astonishingly bright and engaging image with no noise to speak of. Fine detail is rendered with emphatic sharpness and stability, plus it achieves wonderful picture depth through its dense, solid blacks and clear shadow detailing. These qualities are clearly evident with Terminator Salvation’s gloomy yet intensely detailed transfer, which look fantastic

It also does a decent job at reproducing the test patterns on Silicon Optix’s HQV evaluation disc. The Video Resolution Loss test looks stable, with no strobing in any of the boxes. The Jaggies tests are also masterfully reproduced – the edges of the rotating bars are smooth and free from stepping, which reveals that the diagonal processing is up to scratch. However, the Film Resolution Loss test pattern suffers from significant strobing in the corner boxes and the subsequent camera pan across Raymond James stadium shows moiré noise patterning in the upper tier of seats.

High-definition channels on Freeview HD look remarkably crisp and vibrant, particularly Human Planet on BBC One HD. The stunning photography is conveyed with all the deep, luscious colours and intricate detail intact, with nary a trace of noise. You don’t have to watch programmes live to enjoy this level of quality either, as they’re captured on the hard-disk in pristine quality.

Standard-definition channels don’t quite match up, and it’s not just about the drop in resolution – there’s more block and mosquito noise in the picture, a problem that appears to be exacerbated when recorded on the hard-disk, but this level of noise is to be expected from Freeview pictures and it shouldn’t greatly mar your enjoyment.


All things considered, the BD-D8500 is a mind-blowing product. Few Blu-ray players can match its staggeringly generous range of features, which includes Freeview HD recording, built-in Wi-Fi, 3D playback and easy-to-use networking tools. Most impressive of all is Samsung’s new-look internet portal, which boasts more content and a friendlier layout than last year’s Internet@TV. Aside from this incredible feature list, the BD-D8500 provides excellent Blu-ray pictures, sports an attractive new GUI and a typically alluring external design.

On the downside it’s a little sluggish in operation, certain functions are a bit long-winded and two-channel recording would have provided even more recording flexibility – if that’s what you’re after, check out a dedicated Freeview HD PVR instead. We’d also like to see a few catch-up TV services added to Smart Hub. But these things aside, the BD-D8500 is a superb solution for those who want to upgrade to Freeview HD and Blu-ray in one fell swoop – provided your budget can stretch to it.

Overall Score



March 11, 2011, 6:40 pm

i'd much rather buy smarthub on this device and save money by being able to buy the samsung tv you just reviewed without a tuner, or any other gubbins. Just the screen and speakers will do fine. Surely there is a gap in the market waiting to be filled or is the marginal cost of all this technical wizadry zero so tv manufacturers chuck it in for free?

Will Robinson

May 17, 2011, 3:20 pm

"..built-in Wi-Fi adapter, which ... allows you to stream media from PCs and NAS drives on your home network".

Initially I thought this didn't work at all. It's certainly fiddly to set up.
I was under the impression my computer (a Windows Home Server) was DNLA compliant 'out of the box' but seems I was wrong about that (or at least it is not 'Samsung DNLA' compatible)...
You have to install the Samsung AllShare software (or Samsung-compatible third party DNLA media server software such as Serviio) on the PC / NAS hosting the files.
Load the software, set it up to point it to the correct library (folder) and as if my magic, the Samsung suddenly sees the remote files. Hopefully, it'll play them too...


July 13, 2011, 2:55 am

Just Bought this model and like all the quality of the tuner and DVD/Bluray upscaling to my Pioneer 1080i Tv.

What is not mentioned in any review i have read is that when your recording you can't use the smart hub features, watch a Movie attached to the the usb port or through your shares. People should know this before buying it. Im keeping it because i can switch to my WD LIVE on other AV and watch movies on their.


July 14, 2011, 7:41 pm

Just an update. Spoke to Samsung today about the the recording issue. Samsung said they thought this had been fixed with the last firmware update. They told me they will fix it and let me know when the file is ready to download. So glad i called them, now the PVR is almost perfect.

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