Elsewhere the deck outputs Dolby Digital and DTS bitstreams from its digital audio port and decodes Dolby Digital into a two-channel mix from the analogue outputs, but doesn’t do the same for DTS, which is the first real sign of cost-cutting. It can, however, upscale DVDs to 1080p, 1080i and 720p or you can stick with regular 576p if you’re happy with your TV’s upscaling capabilities. The HDMI socket also supports Samsung’s Anynet+ CEC application.
In the box is a credit card sized remote, which is less fiddly to use than we were expecting as it does away with many of the buttons that clutter up Samsung’s full-sized handsets. The playback and menu control keys are helpfully placed for the thumb and all of the keys are clearly labelled.
Hit the Menu button while the disc has stopped and you’re greeted by a neatly-arranged setup menu, but sadly it’s one of the most sluggish we’ve ever encountered. It crawls from option to option with all the speed of a dead snail and makes for a frustrating installation procedure. Found in this menu are a few picture tweaks, including brightness, contrast and colour adjustments and the option to switch the component video output between interlaced and progressive.
Otherwise the DVD-F1080 does everything you’d expect a DVD player to do, offering a useful range of playback tricks that includes slow motion, frame advance, 128x search speed, zoom, bookmarks and so on.
The EZ View mode button on the remote toggles through a range of screen size options that alter the picture according to the aspect ratio of your TV and the source material. So if you’re playing a 4:3 disc on a widescreen TV, for example, the Screen Fit mode stretches the image to fill the screen horizontally but cuts off the top and bottom. If you’re watching a 16:9 disc on a widescreen TV, Screen Fit can be used to make the black bars on a 2.35:1 movie disappear (but inevitably it makes the image look stretched). It’s the sort of thing your TV can probably do already but you might prefer to do it at the source.