LAS VEGAS--Samsung has announcedand Blu-ray players at CES 2011, but the company still makes Blu-ray players look like, well, Blu-ray players. Samsung announced two new midrange Wi-Fi Blu-ray players today, the BD-D6700 and BD-D6500, each featuring Samsung's new Smart Hub content searching software.
Both players have built-in Wi-Fi and can access Samsung Apps, which opens up a wide variety of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, Blockbuster, and Twitter. New for 2011 is Samsung's Smart Hub, a unified search feature that looks through all of the streaming-media services for content and also makes viewing recommendations. Of course, that's what Google TV promised too (and didn't quite deliver), so we're eager to see how Smart Hub works in practice. The players are also DLNA-compliant, so you can stream your personal music, photos, and videos from a connected PC.
Samsung also has a new "1-foot connection" feature for Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to connect to your router without using a password if the device is within a foot of the router. This feature only works with compatible Samsung routers.
While both players can handle 3D Blu-ray playback, the BD-D6700 also has built-in 2D-to-3D conversion processing. Of course, most 3D TVs we've reviewed in the last year can also convert 2D content to 3D, but the player will provide buyers with another option for 2D-to-3D video processing. The BD-D6700's other main step-up is dual HDMI outputs, which is helpful for anyone with an older, non-3D compatible AV receiver with HDMI.
Samsung says pricing will be announced closer to the release date, and right now there's no specific release date except "first half of 2011."