Home » TVs & Audio » Blu-ray Player » Samsung BD-H6500

Samsung BD-H6500 review



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung BD-H6500


Our Score


User Score


  • Excellent features, particularly online content
  • Fast operation and attractive onscreen presentation
  • Dazzling hi-def pictures


  • Lightweight build quality
  • Not a massive evolution from the F6500

Best Deals

Review Price £149.99

Key Features: 3D playback and UHD upscaling; Smart Hub online content portal; Network file streaming; Samsung multiroom support; Screen mirroring and Wi-Fi Direct

Manufacturer: Samsung

What is the Samsung BD-H6500?

The Samsung BD-F6500 was one of the most popular Blu-ray players of 2013, primarily because it offered all the snazzy features of the flagship BD-F7500 for an irresistibly low price.

Such was the success of the F6500 in fact that its replacement, the BD-H6500, has been promoted to flagship status for 2014 – thankfully while retaining its budget price tag.

This standalone Blu-ray player sticks to the formula of its predecessors – a sleek, sexy design, tons of features and extensive online functionality – but throws in a couple of new frills to keep things fresh. It’s not luxurious or ‘high-end’ by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re looking for an affordable HD disc spinner packed with all the latest tech then it could be another no-brainer.

READ MORE: Blu-ray Player Reviews

Samsung BD-H6500

Samsung BD-H6500 – Design and Connections

There isn’t much of it, but the BD-H6500 is a handsome slip of a Blu-ray player. Samsung’s customary sleek gloss-black finish and clean lines give it maximum living room appeal, while the super slim dimensions (33mm high) are perfect for slotting in an AV cabinet or perching under a bedroom TV.

The most distinctive feature is the curved front corner, a pointless but attractive quirk introduced on last year’s range. On top, a circle of touch-sensitive controls sits inside the curve, including play, stop, open/close and power keys.

Samsung has squeezed an LED readout, disc tray and USB port onto the slender front panel. The display shows elapsed time and other choice words in large digits, which are comfortably legible from a typical viewing distance.

Our only design reservation concerns build quality – the bodywork has the light, plasticky feel of many budget Blu-ray decks and doesn’t inspire confidence in its long-term durability, but that’s no great surprise for the money.

Samsung BD-H6500

On the rear panel is a typically sparse selection of sockets for a budget player. There’s an HDMI output (capable of handling 3D and upscaled 4K video signals), an optical digital audio output and an Ethernet port. Unlike most high-end players, there are no dual HDMI outputs, analogue outputs (stereo or multichannel) or other sockets for legacy amps – this deck’s target audience simply doesn’t need them.

Samsung BD-H6500 – Features

The BD-H6500’s slender frame is stuffed with features, reinforcing its position as one of the best-value Blu-ray players around. Heading the bill is Samsung’s selection of online content – accessed via the built-in Wi-Fi connection – which once again features the UK’s four main catch-up TV services: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. As far as we’re aware Samsung is still the only company to offer all four of these services.

They’re joined by a plethora of other video apps (56 at the time of writing), including YouTube, Viewster, BBC Sport and News, Vimeo, Netflix, LoveFilm and Dailymotion. Among the 36 ‘lifestyle’ apps are Napster, Twitter, Facebook and Picasa, alongside vTuner internet radio. Add the wealth of games, sports, information, education and kids’ apps to the mix – not to mention a built-in web browser – and you’ve got a formidable web line-up that offers something for everyone.

ROUND-UP: Best Blu-ray players

Samsung BD-H6500

If you get bored of Samsung’s selection you can play your own content stored on PCs, phones or NAS drives connected to the same network as the BD-H6500. There’s also Wi-Fi Direct if you want to beam content from a mobile device without going through a network.

But there’s a nifty new twist to this deck’s network functionality. It’s also designed to work in tandem with Samsung’s new Sonos-challenging multiroom speaker system (WAM750 and WAM550), allowing you to play a CD on the H6500 and send it to multiple speakers around the house.

Format support is wide-ranging. On the music side it will play hi-res FLAC files (but converts them to 48kHz) as well as MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV, while supported video formats include DivX HD, WMV HD, MKV, AVI, 3GP and MP4.

Elsewhere you’ll find screen mirroring, which lets you view your Android phone or tablet on a TV over a network, 3D playback, 4K (UHD) upscaling, a DTS Neo:6 mode and support for HD audio formats. The Tools menu offers a range of picture presets (Standard, Movie and Dynamic) and a user-defined mode that allows you to adjust sharpness, noise reduction, contrast, brightness, colour and tint.

Next page

David Horn

March 24, 2014, 8:33 am

This is going to sound thick, but since all the Blu-Ray player has to do is take a digital stream from the disc and fire it off down the HDMI cable for the TV to sort out, wouldn't you expect every player to deliver identical performance? So accurate colours are down to the quality of the TV, not the player.


March 24, 2014, 9:59 am

I've thought this pretty much every time I read a review of a Blu-Ray player.

It's a bit like HDMI cables, where all it's doing is passing digital content. so long as it's not broken, it's doing it's job. Simple as that.

I guess with a Blu-Ray player things like up-scaling and processing may effect the final image. If it were just passing the signal I think you'd be right, but these machines usually add their own 'sparkle' to the image. That's my understanding at least.

Matthew Salmon

March 24, 2014, 10:22 pm

no - the content is being processed - so the player reads large amounts of data from the disk and then processes it into an image and sound - there is no stream directly from the disk.. you are right that colour accuracy is mostly down to the TV tho


March 25, 2014, 2:20 pm

What's up with the BD-rive: is it a silent player?

Matthew Hayes

March 31, 2014, 6:53 pm

I've just taken delivery of a shiny, new BD-H6500 but, contrary to the review, it does not seem to have iPlayer on it. All the other catch-up services but not the one I use most. Am I missing something obvious?


April 1, 2014, 8:23 am

Samsung definitely has it -- it's the only company to have all the catch-up services. I suggest you drop Samsung a line. They can probably help.

Matthew Hayes

April 1, 2014, 8:42 am

I contacted Samsung Customer Support: their reply "Upon initial release of products annually, there is typically a period of up to 4 weeks from release before all apps are available in the Smart Hub. These are released onto the Smart Hub servers in phases so the apps will be coming soon, although we cannot advise of a specific date for any individual app's availability". So it looks as if I shall have to wait patiently for an indefinite period.
Odd though as both this review and Samsung's own material emphasises the availability of all the catch-up apps as a selling point for Smart TV.


April 7, 2014, 3:18 pm

It does seem strange that the review talks about using a feature that doesn't even exist yet!
FWIW, the BBC has a list of all devices that are "iPlayer certified" and none of Samsungs 2014 units are on it yet while sony, panasonic etc. do have 2014 devices on the list.
Who knows how long we will be waiting to experience: "apps like BBC iPlayer load up in seconds".
I guess the lesson is don't buy anything from Samsung until it's been on the shelves for 6 months, and don't trust trustedreviews. :)


April 7, 2014, 3:22 pm

I already dropped Samsung a line, They said they don't have iPlayer for he BD-H6500 because it's not ready yet.


April 9, 2014, 2:57 pm

I bought a BD-H6500, partly on the strength of this review. One of my required features was iPlayer support. Your review clearly mentions using the iPlayer app. Now I have the device and there is no iPlayer. I have talked to Samsung about this and they say it's not available yet. Nowhere in the review does is mention that it is not the retail version being reviewed. Maybe Samsung sent you a unit with a beta iPlayer app... however, you don't mention that in the review, and now rather than apologising for the misleading information, you are defending it by referencing a chromecast review?! and calling me a troll. wow.

Matthew Hayes

May 20, 2014, 1:33 pm

2 months on and the iPlayer app still not available. Samsung customer support say "soon".

Mike Dinsdale

June 10, 2014, 10:41 am

What file formats can it play via DLNA please? Will it handle MP4/MKV or AVI? I'm looking toupgrade my old unit and include DLNA rather than buying a separate unit. Thanks.


July 29, 2014, 11:13 am

You might like to know that as of this week, the iPlayer app is now available on the smart hub! You should find it on the 'popular' apps category.

This has been an annoyingly long wait, but it was out of Samsung's hands. Apparently, BBC pulled the app for 'testing and certification' just as this hit the shelves. This is why a lot of review sites who had it early saw the app and we didn't.


July 29, 2014, 11:15 am

The iPlayer app is now available :-) Check on the 'popular' apps category

Andy W

July 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

I like the look of this, but it appears that I could not record from a HD Camcorder onto it, or make/record Blu Ray discs? I'm still used to the ol' VHS decks where I could back up all my films?? Or is too simple a task nowadays?? :)

Darrell Darrell

November 28, 2014, 10:59 am

I use plex on my pc with a mapped drive to my NAS where all I have is 1080p content in MKV. There is a plex app for the player and it upscales EVERYTHING to 2160p.

Paul C

January 24, 2015, 9:22 pm

Will not play "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" or "Guardians of the Galaxy". Samsung support says that a firmware update is coming "soon". I am returning this machine to get one that plays movies that I want to watch. Will NEVER buy Samsung again.

Eldiablo Evony

March 2, 2015, 2:51 pm

Piece of shit, the controls for moving around the screen is infuriatingly slow and ponderous, you feel like you are trying to move an earthmoving machine around the screen it is that cumbersome. You cant download apps as you cant find one that matches the operating system, it stops the sound on movies it doesn't approve off and sticks a big label on the screen. It is fine for playing discs and that's about it other than that buy a computer and watch that because you can use a keyboard and mouse something this player wont let you.
These machines are the biggest waste of money, buy a computer or aniPad or something, just not this!!!

comments powered by Disqus