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Samsung BD E5500 Blu Ray Player Review

Feb. 5th 2013

Samsung BD E5500 Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the Samsung BD E5500

Introduction

Here at the office, we’re big fans of the movie ‘RED’ (starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and a disconcertingly fanciable Helen Mirren). Why? Well, to borrow from Barry (of ‘High Fidelity’ fame), its funny, its violent and the soundtrack kicks ass. The problem? Our copy, (given to us by a mate) is an AVI file. Whatever will we do? Introducing the Blu Ray player that can play ANYTHING. But is it magic, or simply a trick of the light? We oiled up our expert and dunked him in a room full of Bi-curious bodybuilders until he…Well, he’s still in there, come to think of it…

THE SPECS

It weighs a respectable 2.3 kg and its dimensions are a perfect 10 (as in cm) all around. It looks like a prop from a science fiction movie about the Blu Ray players and it handles like a dream. This is the Samsung BD-E5500 3D Blu-ray player and nobody is going to tell it otherwise.

WARNING – Before we continue, a disclaimer…There is a long, sad history of people buying Blu Ray players and then complaining that the quality isn’t up to much, or is only marginally better than their DVD player. Yes, I know these people are hopelessly misguided, but there are a lot of them, so just be aware that you will only get optimum performance from your Blu Ray player by connecting it to a pukka sound system and an HD TV with 1080p resolution.

The BD-E5500 is an Internet ready, WiFi enabled player that connects so quickly and so willingly that it even has time for a bit of karaoke (no joke, the BD-E5500 has a karaoke function). It will play anything; streamed content, web extras, DVD-Rs, every file extension known to man, it’ll even kick a ball about in the back garden with the kids if you’re a bit tired. OK, so maybe you can throw it a curve ball and find something it won’t play. We gave up after a while…

THE PRICE

At nearly £80, this one comes dangerously close to pricing itself out of the market (for our value-centric reviews policy anyway), but with some on the Amazon marketplace available at just over £50, you’re looking at a serious bargain.

THE PERFORMANCE

Neither the fastest, nor the quietest Blu Ray player we’ve seen, this isn’t debilitating in either area. The picture quality is great (as is the sound) and the up scaling of DVDs is generally very good.

The sheer amount of format options is truly a thing to behold and we found that it could play almost anything we wanted on it. The karaoke game is a fun bonus feature too, especially as it will record and save the evidence of your mates drunkenly warbling ‘you’ll never walk alone’ for your personal enjoyment/blackmail purposes the next day. The game also rates your singing, based on what notes you hit and which ones elude you completely and then renders an impartial decision based on whichever one it deems to be the best. As extra features go, this is impressive.

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

This product doesn’t have as comprehensive a set of reviews as some of the others we’ve looked at this month. This is due to the fact that the Samsung BD-E5500 is a relatively new product. Still, looking at the Amazon reviews, they are fairly good, but also somewhat mixed.

The user ‘Greg R. Pettit’ from London gave a very positive 5/5 review; he went on to say that he also has a Samsung TV and that the two worked nicely together. He warns, however, that the mains cable is only 6m long, which begs the question: how big is his arseing living room?

Fellow UK user ‘Jubes’ also offered a perfect score, praising the Samsung BD-E5500 for the sheer amount of formats and files it is able to play. My personal favourite quote of his was as follows; “this device plays pretty much any file format around and it also does 3D Blue Ray. Boom!!!” Any product that warrants onomatopoeia like ‘Boom’ (followed by three exclamation marks no less) is a definite winner.

 ‘Mike K’ from Eastbourne only gave a 3/5 review and actually managed to find a format that this device won’t play. Apparently, he bought this product in order to play avchd discs and they didn’t work at all, so that’s worth noting (right after you find out what the heck an avchd disc is…).


Our Verdict

This is one of the most versatile Blu Ray players out today. It is up to date, fun and works really well in almost any format. We recommend the BD-E5500 for its versatility above all else. The price is still a little steep, though…

Features:

8/10

Performance:

9/10

Design:

9/10

Value:

8/10

Was: £89.99
Now: £74.32

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

Posted by Player Bluray | in Dolby Digital, HD, Internet, Product Reviews, Samsung | Comments Off

Samsung BD D5100 Blu Ray Player Review

Dec. 20th 2012

Samsung BD D5100 Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the Samsung BD D5100

Introduction

Now reduced down to about £60 (with free delivery, no less!) the Samsung BD-D5100 Blu-ray player is a budget model on a mission to hit the big boys where it hurts…Their profit margins. The question is, is it a hit or is it…Um, not so good? We poked our intrepid reviewer with poison-tipped punji sticks until he agreed to go and find out for us…

THE SPECS

Weighing in at a slightly chunky 2.3 kg and measuring a pretty hefty 19 x 43 x 4 cm, this is one of the bigger players I’ve reviewed. It doesn’t effect the outcome of the review that much if the player is a little on the ‘large’ side, but obviously, we’d all prefer a smaller and more ‘storage friendly’ model. Having said that, the Samsung BD-D5100 will fit comfortably into most entertainment centres (that’s an upper-middle-class euphemism for whatever you keep your telly on) so you shouldn’t have a problem.

It is important to remember that owning a Blu Ray player will not immediately improve the resolution of your TV, nor will the sound suddenly transport you to Wembley stadium in time to see ‘Bon Jovi’ (or whatever you kids are listening to these days). The truth is that without an HD TV (at 1080p resolution or more) and without surround sound, you’ll never get the most out of your Blu Ray player. The Internet is littered with the embittered reviews of many a gibbering wreck who splashed out big money for Blu Ray, only to notice no difference in quality at all on his five (or even ten) year old telly. So be careful.

The Samsung BD-D5100 is also Internet compatible (as well as DNLA), which gives you access to all manner of online content, from streamed videos to Internet-only downloads. In addition, it has two USB ports, which will allow you to view content from external devices (including cameras and hard drives).

THE PRICE

At a reasonable £66, this really isn’t bad. However, it was always intended to be a ‘budget’ model (as the original RRP of £107 can attest) and there are better Blu Ray players that have since dropped down to around the same price. It is worth mentioning that the Samsung BD-D5100 can also be picked up from the Amazon marketplace for less than £50.

THE PERFORMANCE

There is an automatic ‘How To’ video installed into this player, which plays upon the initial setup (though it also comes with an instruction booklet). Needless to say that it can be booted up and ready to go in almost no time. The Samsung BD-D5100 is also an excellent ‘up-scaler’ of DVD quality, making the older discs seem fresh, new and vital again.

Sadly, the Samsung BD-D5100 is very noisy indeed. The initial noise of start up (a common annoyance for Blu Ray viewers) is offset by a loud ‘clunking’ noise at random intervals throughout the film. Though this does not affect playback, it is very annoying. The loading time is not the fastest either (in fact, it can be painfully slow) and Samsung have put out far quicker Blu Ray players before now.

This is, simply put, not a particularly good Blu Ray player. It isn’t bad, but, for sure, there are faster, less noisy players in the world.

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

A user calling him (or her) self ‘Dr. J.H Beattie’ gave the player a 1 star Amazon review on the grounds that it was not a multi region player.  Whilst it is important to find out if your player is indeed a multi region one (especially if that is what you’re after), this was kind of silly. In fact, it was very silly. (s)he also goes on to say that Samsung have made it difficult to hack and that (s)he won’t purchase any more Samsung products as a result. I’m sure you’ll be missed, Doc!

On another, less mad, note, the user ‘Boommachine’ gave a comprehensive and helpful run down of the Samsung BD-D5100. In her (or his) review, (s)he said: “I timed 1:42 seconds just for the machine to recognise the disc inception. It then played the legal copyright notices, then took a further 1:02 seconds to load the menu, followed by a further 36 seconds after hitting play. 3:20 to start a disc”. This would be annoying in the extreme and I completely understand why ‘BM’ returned the device just a few days later.

Our Verdict

Back in the old days, when Blu Ray still commanded £300 + price tags, the Samsung BD-D5100 would have seemed like a bargain. However, in today’s market, this is a ‘budget’ model that is now being undercut and completely outclassed by the very products it was launched to undercut. It is, purely and simply, not worth the effort.

Features:

7/10

Performance:

9/10

Design:

8/10

Value:

3/10

Was: £99.99
Now: £72.00

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

Posted by Player Bluray | in Dolby Digital, Samsung, Upscaling | Comments Off

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Tags: blu ray player