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Samsung BD-H8900 review

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900
  • Samsung BD-H8900

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Superb range of features
  • Blu-ray picture quality
  • Attractive onscreen menus
  • Flexible Freeview functionality

Cons

  • Plasticky build quality
  • Sluggish menu cursor in places
  • Recorded TV list and web browser

Key Features

  • Twin Freeview HD tuners
  • 1TB hard-disk drive
  • 3D Blu-ray playback and UHD upscaling
  • Smart Hub online content and network file streaming
  • Samsung multiroom support with M7/M5 speakers
  • Screen Mirroring and Wi-Fi Direct
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £329.99

What is the Samsung BD-H8900?

It’s a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, 1TB Freeview HD PVR and network streaming device all rolled into one. Sitting at the heart of your home cinema system, this slim deck can access HD content from Blu-ray discs, Freeview, network servers and video streaming apps, as well as recording TV shows onto it capacious 1TB hard disk.

At over £300 it’s pricier than your average Blu-ray deck, bit with so much added functionality – not to mention a new multiroom feature for 2014 – the BD-H8900 really does cram in a lot for the money.

Samsung BD-H8900

Samsung BD-H8900 – Design and Connections

The BD-H8900’s design is practically identical to last year’s BD-F8500, again using a distinctive curved right-hand corner to communicate a sense of elegance and modernity. As ever the gloss black finish is sleek and stylish, blending perfectly with Samsung’s black TVs, and its slim bodywork slips easily into an AV cabinet.

The controls are arranged inside the curve on the top panel, include open/close, play/pause, stop and power. They’re touch sensitive too, which is always cool. A USB port allows you to play media from flash drives. The LED display is fairly small and could do with being bigger and brighter.

The BD-H8900’s bodywork has a disappointingly flimsy, plasticky feel. It lacks the heft and solidity of high-end players from the likes of Cambridge Audio and OPPO, but those are more expensive models – for the money the BD-H8900 is probably as good as you could expect.

Samsung BD-H8900

Rear connections include an HDMI output, an Ethernet port, optical digital audio output and a second USB port that lets you hook up an external HDD for extra recording space.

OId-school users might be disappointed by the lack of a Scart output, which would allow you to watch the Samsing on older TVs without HDMI inputs or to copy HDD programmes onto Blu-ray or DVD, but most buyers probably won’t be bothered by that.

newmodelsadness

April 24, 2014, 4:36 pm

"Also impressive is the BD-H8900’s line-up of apps, which includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5 – all of which gives Samsung a significant advantage over big-name rivals who don’t yet offer this full range of catch-up TV services."

The H8900 DOES NOT have BBC iPlayer available nor does it support MHEG-ICS streamed freeview HDchannels such as VuTV or MotorsTV. The F8900 did this no problem so looks like Samsung have stepped backwards on some basics - firmware upgrade soon!?

Lawrence Armour

May 17, 2014, 1:43 pm

The brilliant search for DLNA content is limited because the damn thing doesn't find stuff on DLNA registered devices. You can see the DLNA devices and it shows three categories, Photo, Video and Music. All empty. I would put this down to misconfiguration if it weren't for the fact that I have a Samsung TV that does browse the same content and finds the videos. It also does USB connected hard drives. Except that the loading time is pathetic. We're talking 15 to 30 seconds between videos. It does have reasonable codec compatibility: MPEG 2/4 , DIVX HD, AVCHD, MKV, WMV (1/2/3/7/9), JPEG, PNG, GIF

The "superb remote" is a bit rubbish when you're using USB video. Fast forward doesn't always work depending on the format, but the left and right cursor buttons cause jumps of about 20 seconds (with around 6 seconds for the damn thing to actually load the jump). When your viewing USB video there are so many buttons that don't work, to have the ones that do in different parts of the remote is just stupid. You need two hands to operate it!

The web format flv doesn't work, and f4v files won't load, but if you stick .mp4 on the end of the f4v file name it plays fine. It won't play the latest 4K format video even when it's an MP4 file. For something that cost this much, I'd expect more.

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