By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung BD-8900M


Our Score:


In terms of operation, Samsung has really gone to town on this year’s Blu-ray products. You can clearly see its attempts to make the menus look and feel welcoming and straightforward through the use of brightly coloured graphics, large text and uncomplicated menu structures. It’s lovely stuff, the sort of onscreen design that doesn’t put you off using the product. Some menus drag slightly (particularly the DLNA menus) but the delays are far from infuriating.

Samsung BD-D8900M

The main menu is the best of the bunch, using animated icons laid out along a platform, with corresponding options floating above. Everything, including USB and DLNA playback, HDD recordings, the EPG and Smart Hub can be accessed from here, as well as the all-important Settings menu, which again is a cinch to use. The Recorded TV menu lays out programmes in blocks with a thumbnail, and these can be sorted by name, date or channel. There’s a range of editing features too, allowing you to delete parts of your recordings using an intuitive onscreen editing tool, but accessing these features is very long-winded.

Also long-winded is the process of setting up your Smart TV ID for apps like Facebook and Twitter. What's more, entering e-mail addresses and passwords using the onscreen keypad, which designed to look like that of a mobile phone, is convoluted, making you toggle through various pages of letters and switch between different text-entry methods. Thankfully you only have to do it once if you select the ‘remember my details’ tick box.

Other setup procedures are more straightforward, particularly Wi-Fi setup, which guides technophobes through the process using pretty graphics and simple explanations. Elsewhere one of the main things that makes this deck pleasant to operate are the little dialogue boxes that pop up when there’s a conflict or something you need to know. Recording clashes, timer schedule changes – anything that happens, the deck will tell you about it. There’s even a helpful feature that lets you know when an SD programme you’ve selected is also being shown in HD.

Samsung BD-D8900M

Selecting DLNA or USB content is simple too – the menus share the same layout as the Recorded TV display. Even the EPG is a design master class, squeezing a six-channel, two-hour programme grid, live TV box, programme synopsis and controls into a single screen without feeling cluttered. The only flaw is that you can’t read any of the programme names in the grid, which is a shame.

Samsung BD-D8900M

Hit the Info button while watching TV and you’ll see one of the best onscreen info banners around. The range of details on display is comprehensive, using coloured icons for things like aspect ratio, resolution, audio format, subtitles and Audio Description. What’s more you can browse the entire channel line-up and see what’s on days in advance.

Samsung BD-D8900M

The whole shebang is controlled by a wonderfully user-friendly remote that sports large, tactile buttons, large lettering and a sensible layout. The playback keys even glow in the dark, and helpfully there are dedicated buttons for Smart Hub and 2D-to-3D conversion. Hit the Tools button and you’ll find more options, including a range of picture presets and a User setting that lets you adjust various picture parameters.

Samsung BD-D8900M


June 25, 2011, 12:20 am

This was about to go straight to the top of my list of AV purchases until I read that although it has two Freeview HD tuners, it can only record one programme at a time. That's such a missed opportunity.


June 25, 2011, 12:35 am

I should have also asked, what's the difference between this and the BD-D8500 you reviewed a few months ago? I can only see the HDD storage size as being doubled here. That review seems to indicate that the menus are slower (sluggish) than the 8900 but I can't see how that's possible when they appear to be exactly the same apart from a different hard disk. Why even bother to review this one in that case?


June 25, 2011, 12:27 pm

Very good effort by Samsung in comparison to its rivals.

However, why not recordable BD? Simple, that will be on the Autumn model!! May be with a Freesat tuner instead of a second Freeview HD tuner? After all tvs are now coming with a standard Freeview/sat tuners.

Like I said drip feed to keep the Customers buying. However not good for the environment all round. Also not good for the commodity prices.


July 13, 2011, 3:02 am

I posted in a comment about the BD-D8500 and thought to post here in case it gets mist. You can't use the Hub features, allshare features or USB attached devices while your recording. It asks you if you want to stop recording if you use those features. Other than that i love the 85500 and yes the 8900 is the same unit but different size hard drive.


August 14, 2011, 4:45 am

Besides the doubling of memory to 1TB the other differences I've noticed are BD Profile 5.0 instead of 2.0 on the BD-D8500M, and 2 HDMI outs instead of one. So main difference remains the 1TB memory.


November 8, 2012, 2:40 am

I'm a bit disappointed with this unit which I bought to replace a Panasonic unit. As mentioned by palms, when recording, the hub i.e. internet and any wifi attached disc content is not available. Also when recording, the guide menu is laboriously slow to respond. Unlike my old Panasonic, I can't watch from the beginning a program which I'm currently recording - this is a real limitation which I didn't expect.

It also tends to reset itself a few seconds after being switched on. This unit seems feature rich but poorly executed.

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