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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

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Tags: blu ray player