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Samsung BD-F6500 - Operation

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

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Samsung BD-F6500

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Samsung BD-F6500 - Operation

We’ve been big fans of Samsung’s on-screen design over the past couple of years – the menus have had a slickness and sophistication about them that made for a fun, engaging user experience. But it could be argued that they were also a little over-elaborate and confusing in places. This year Samsung has simplified them, opting for a menu layout that evokes the layout of Windows 8 with large blocks of colour and large icons.

Samsung BD-F6500

The Home menu, which is now called Smart Hub (last year Smart Hub only referred to the web apps menu) houses three large blocks labelled ‘Movies & TV Shows’, ‘Apps’ and ‘Photos, Videos & Music’. The latter takes you to the AllShare feature, where you can play content stored on networked servers. The menus look great, using graphics and bold colours to great effect, but there are too many different menu screens involved before getting to your content – last year’s layout felt a little more direct.

Samsung has revamped the ‘Apps’ menu to make it even easier to find content. It does away with the flash background graphics and opts instead for a simple grid of thumbnails, labelled ‘My Apps’, above which is a row of recommended apps. The Fitness and Kids zones are both found here.

If you want to view all of your downloaded apps, or arrange how they’re displayed on the Apps home page, select the ‘More Apps’ option at the bottom of the screen. This menu also lets you group apps into folders or delete them.

Samsung BD-F6500

Samsung BD-F6500

Elsewhere the AllShare menu is nicely presented, using more of those bold colours and eye-catching graphics, but it puts too many sub-menus between you and your DLNA/USB content. The first screen lets you select the type of content, the next gives you a choice of devices, then you have to navigate through the folder structure of your device. When you do reach your content, the files are displayed with large thumbnails, surrounded by useful details.

The remote’s large, rubbery buttons, ergonomic shape and helpful layout make it easy to use. The core buttons, such as playback and menu controls, are exactly where your thumb expects them to be, while lesser-used keys are clearly labelled.

Samsung BD-F6500

The only niggle (and it’s a very pedantic one) relates to the ‘Smart Hub’ button. This year, the main home menu is called ‘Smart Hub’ while the internet content menu is called ‘Apps’. However, press the Smart Hub key and it takes you to the Apps menu; press the ‘Home’ button and it takes you to Smart Hub. This is all because Samsung hasn’t updated the remote to reflect the new menu structure.

Also on the remote is a Tools button, which allows you to make adjustments and check disc details during playback. It provides a selection of picture presets and manual tweaks (sharpness, noise reduction, contrast, brightness, colour and tint).

General operation is fast thanks to the dual core processor, and in terms of disc loading Samsung’s 2013 players are the quickest ever – the BD-F6500 fired up Terminator Salvation in 28 seconds, a Blu-ray disc that previous Samsung players and most rivals take around 45-50 seconds to load. Prometheus took just 20 seconds.

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Jukka Laurila

April 20, 2013, 3:11 pm

Can you set this player to be region free for DVD? For Blu-ray?

Cameron

May 4, 2013, 12:14 pm

Going to upgrade my old BD-C6500 blu ray player with is one, having netflix and LOVEFILM with out Xbox Live is a big selling point for me

Kefrenz

May 19, 2013, 11:20 pm

Does the webbrowser support Flash ?

romeo

July 14, 2013, 1:11 pm

Is the upgrade feature on the internet?

Charlie

August 3, 2013, 2:46 pm

Does anyone know if the F6500 supports up to 60fps video? It does appear to support 28 Mbps bit rate.

Keiran B

August 7, 2013, 12:58 pm

Bought this a couple of days ago.

Looks nice and shiny.

Plays DVDs...

Unfortunatley that's where the good stuff ends...

Remote's a bit old fashioned, but hell, it's just a remote right...

But, I thought, at least there's some cool apps for it...

Let's get this Smart Hub rolling....

Oh.... It's a bit slow... but no matter...

That looks a bit ugly... Shouldn't it have a nice shiny screen design? Like a swimming pool...

Hang on a minute...

Where's Spotify gone?

Where's TED?

Turns out that it doesn't contain the Smart TV Smart Hub, but a cut down version for blu ray.

Also, unfortunately, the remote is soooooo sloooooowww to use to do anything. Typing something into youtube takes eons because you're having to press left/right 20 times to move between letters...

Liekwise moving between menu items.

The web browser is next to unusable... If you'd ever used the 'Experimental' browser that came on the old kindle you'd know what I'm talking about. Just can't move around the screen since it takes so long to respond to the remote.... And comes preloaded with msn and bing for good measure.

The app (Samsung Smartview) control drops out all the time, so it's difficult to use as a replacement, and doesn't pick up the keyboard controls (which would be the one useful thing about having an app to control the thing..) i.e. it presents you with a keyboard and then when you submit the text you've written it ignores, or just inputs the letter you were previously focussed on... Genius...

Just spent an hour on the phone to Samsung Customer Services and Technical Support.

Technical Support:

"I'm trying to get these apps working and can't seem to find them in the Samsung Apps page on the machine"

"I can't see these apps. Are you sure we support them?"

"Yes. They're on the front page of your Concepts and Services TV Apps page. Front and centre. Spotify and TED"

"What model is that?"

"BD-F6500"

"I can't see those apps. They're not listed on the page."

"They're right in the middle."

"Doesn't say anything about them"

"Are you looking in the right place? Try http://www.samsung.com/uk/tvap... "

"I'm looking at the page for your player... It says that is supports iplayer and ITV"

"Sure, but those are only the preloaded things. There's only about 5 apps on that page. This comes with 'Smart Hub' so I can download other apps onto it"

"We can only guarantee the apps that come with it"

"Sure, but you also have this wonderful app store where I can get other stuff. That's why it's smart, right? Now, Spotify says it supports Smart TVs F5000-F8000. Why can't I see it?"

"That must be written by a third party."

"Sure. But they write it with your SDK. You approve each app. And you advertise this one on your front page. It's not something written by two kids in a garage that makes lightsabre noises. It's the biggest music streaming service on the planet"

"It's not on the page."

"It's on your services TV apps page. Right there."

"We can't guarantee third party...."

"I know. Ok. But you can tell me if my player should be showing these... So I know it's a fault with the player... right? It says it's supported on models F5000-F8000"

"Those are only available for our Smart TV service"

"But I've got the Smart Hub. I get that a TV listing app isn't going to be much use on a bluray player, so I wouldn't download that, but spotify's useful. As is TED..."

"But you've got a bluray player, not a Smart TV..."

"But it comes with the Smart Hub. It's a Samsung Smart Blu Ray player.. That's why I bought it..."

"It's not a Smart TV..."

"Ok, so you're telling me that the Smart on the Blu Ray is a different product to the one on the TV? Shouldn't you be making that clear in your advertising?"

"I'm just technical support. I don't know about that."

"Can you confirm that it shouldn't work, and it is definitely a different product?"

"Sorry, I don't deal with Third Party Apps"

"But surely the whole point of the Smart service is that you can have apps for it?"

"I don't know about that sir, I'm just technical support"

"Ok, could you put me through to customer services... Maybe they can help with what it's supposed to do?"

.......

"And, as I was saying, I sort of expected that the Smart Hub would mean it had the functionality of the Smart Hub on your Smart TVs, otherwise it's a different product and you'd have told me that in your advertising"

"I don't know about that. I'm not technical"

"Sure, but we're not talking about some chip on the mainboard, or the operating system upgrade. This is sort of what the thing does... It's a product feature... you've been advertising it all over the place..."

"As I said, sir, I'm not technical"

"Don't you work in customer services for a massive technology company?"

"I only do policy. Since there is no fault with your unit, we can't do anything under warranty. And as per the Sales of Goods Act any other issue you'd need to take it up with your retailer."

"Ok. Technical Support can't help me with product features as they're just technical. You can't help me with product features as you're not technical. Could you transfer me to someone who can help?"

"You've already reached the highest point of escalation.."

"........ ..... You're the highest point of escalation!? OK... Good... Thanks for your time..."

Absolutely hopeless...

The worry, as discovered in the past with Samsung Products... (actually, Sony are pretty good at this too), is that since this isn't the 'real' smart hub, it will soon be unsupported at whcih point you've got a nice shiny piece of junk under your TV.

If you want my advice. I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole...

My friend has the LG-BP730 which me and some mates bought him for his birthday... Knocks the spots off this... And now I'm stuck with it... (justifying two Smart BluRay players to the Mrs is unlikely to go down well)

Eddy42

September 11, 2013, 12:00 pm

I don't know about this exact model but I have last year's model (BD-e5500) and it will play MKVs over dlna if you rename them .mp4 (go figure)

bob

September 25, 2013, 5:09 pm

Why the backplane picture shows coax output even if it has optical?

Oscar Grouch

October 16, 2013, 10:37 pm

You have more time on your hands than sense..

GL

October 20, 2013, 12:04 pm

If you have a problem with advertising, tell the Advertising Standards Authority. You won't get your money back though. If you need a refund, go to the Citizens Advice Bureau and Small Claims Court

foreignerph

December 28, 2013, 9:14 pm

Anybody wanting to use Youtube or any web application on a DVD player must be pretty desperate. You know, there are PC's with keyboards and a mouse around ;-)
What's more, I guess those browsers don't have any form of adblock. I'm allergic to ads, my religion forbids me to watch ads and they annoy me terribly. I never see ads on Youtube or Facebook under Firefox on my PC, so why should I fiddle with a remote on TV?
Does it play Blueray 3D or not? Like my dad always said: the proper tool for the proper job.

fernando

January 20, 2014, 7:08 am

Is it a multizone player?

Vernon Cholerton

January 20, 2014, 3:07 pm

No at this time it is with a Samsung repair centre for new parts to be fitted.Not bad since it was brand new at Christmas 2013 !!! Why Samsung didn't swap it for a new one don't know but will be reluctant to buy Samsung in the future !!!

Vernon Cholerton

January 27, 2014, 10:00 am

further to my original comments player now back from Samsung repair centre working perfectly.I am now.very happy.

Den

January 29, 2014, 4:14 pm

If you stream films to the player will it upscale them?

Rene Z

May 3, 2014, 2:50 pm

Today bought and ...brought back BD-F6500. First, advantages: fast, Blu-Ray quality, simple, convenient remote control. Cons: very, very bad sound quality is inconsistent with the view music videos; boom! in the movie, well, the dialogues bad; bad quality of upscaling DVD, mediocre quality when viewing a photo, noisy operation of the drive.

Tammytastic

June 8, 2014, 8:50 pm

Not sure why you say this doesn't upscale to 4k when it very much does !

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