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Samsung BD-D8500 review

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • Samsung BD-D8500
  • BD-D8500 Blu-Ray Player (500GB Hard Drive)

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Lengthy feature list
  • Excellent Internet and DLNA functionality
  • Blu-ray & HD channel picture quality

Cons

  • Sluggish in operation
  • Smart Hub needs more catch-up TV content
  • Can?t record two channels simultaneously

Key Features

  • Smart Hub
  • 3D Blu-ray playback
  • 2D to 3D conversion
  • AllShare DLNA networking
  • Built-in 500B HDD and Freeview HD tuner
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £305.96

Samsung already makes some of the most impressive Blu-ray players and systems in the business, but its 2011 range promises to be its best ever. With loads of new features aligned to the company’s canny fashion sense and keen eye for value, Samsung is taking the fight to its big name rivals – the first evidence of which comes in the form of the BD-D8500, a Blu-ray player with a built-in Freeview HD PVR that we’ve got our hands on before anyone else.

The BD-D8500 is a revamped version of the BD-C8500, adding 3D playback to a feature list already bulging under the weight of its own generosity. That, along with the built-in PVR, makes it the clichéd ‘one-stop shop’ for all your home entertainment needs, saving you money and space in your AV cabinet by combining two boxes into one.

The unit itself is typically stylish, but then you’d expect nothing less from a Samsung product. It’s not so much the overall look of the unit, which is essentially a slim black box, as the attention to detail – it features a new LED panel on the front that incorporates touch-sensitive controls into the display itself, including stop, play/pause, enter and eject. Next to them is enough space to show relevant words, the running time or any other pertinent information. Just below this is a disc slot that looks neater than an unwieldy tray.

The black finish is sleek and sexy, while the silver lip running along the front and brushed top panel inject a bit of extra glamour. There’s more to discover under a flap on the bottom right-hand side, including a USB port and a common interface slot that lets you add pay TV channels. Overall build quality is robust enough, with a slightly plasticky feel serving as the only reminder that we’re not dealing with a high-end player.

On the back is a standard array of sockets, which doesn’t include any inputs for recording external devices on the built-in hard-disk. You get an HDMI v1.4 output capable of sending hi-def 3D signals to a TV or AV receiver as well as HD audio bitstreams and multichannel PCM. It’s joined by component, composite, optical digital audio and analogue stereo outputs. There’s an Ethernet port and RF input/loopthrough for the Freeview HD tuner, but no multichannel analogue outs for decoded HD audio.

timple

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...

palms

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.

palms

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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