We tried out Allshare and it works like a dream. Unlike Samsung’s last generation of Blu-ray systems, setup is child’s play and the on-screen menu system looks utterly classy – folders are laid out in a logical structure and use polished, colourful graphics. File browsing is also slick and responsive, and most of our test files played without any problems.
As well as media streaming and BD Live, the internet connection also grants access to Samsung’s Internet@TV service, which brings a variety of applications to your TV through a smart, approachable interface.
The most useful of these is YouTube, but other apps like Twitter and Picasa are great for keen social networkers, plus the forthcoming Facebook and LoveFilm services will make this feature even more worthwhile.
The extensive multimedia support continues with the front-mounted USB port, which will play the formats listed above from USB flash drives, MP3 players, digital cameras and USB card readers. It won’t play back from external HDDs or NTFS-formatted devices though, and our WMV HD files played back with no sound.
Amazingly, we’ve barely scratched the surface. Buried among the usual array of DSP modes (Smart Sound, Power Bass, MP3 Enhancer) and sound effect settings (which have overly descriptive titles like ‘Philharmonic Hall in Bratislava’), you’ll find Dolby Pro Logic IIz. By moving the surround back speakers to the front of the room above the TV, this processing mode adds a height element to the soundstage, which can be particularly atmospheric during scenes with non-directional ambience.
Samsung claims that the on-board Crystal Amplifier Pro delivers a total power output of 1330W, which sound pretty impressive on paper, plus it boasts Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio decoders. Elsewhere there’s 1GB of built-in memory for BD Live downloads and it supports 1080/24p Blu-ray output from the HDMI port.
The vast amount of components and gizmos in the box makes installation more complex than your average all-in-one system – we’d set aside a good hour just to put it all together. You have to connect the speakers to colour coded terminals on the back of the main unit using the supplied cables, as well as rig up the wireless receiver at the back of the room and assemble the two-part tallboy front speakers, which slot together and screw into sturdy square bases.
The four matching surround satellites are robustly built, and their compact cuboid cabinets should be easy to accommodate. The centre speaker is similarly styled but elongated to fit under the TV, while the passive subwoofer is surprisingly stylish and compact. In situ, the HT-C6930 will bring a bit of glamour to any living room.
On-screen setup is easy. The gloss-black remote’s button layout is nigh-on perfect, while the menus’ crisp multicoloured graphics, smooth scrolling and logical menu structure makes them a breeze to explore. During playback, the Info and Tools menus provide key details and additional setup options, including picture presets and user adjustments.