Samsung BD-P3600

In almost every standalone Blu-ray player we review, you're likely to find a comment about its disc-loading speed and how it inevitably doesn't compare with the Sony PlayStation 3. For once, that's not the case, as the Samsung BD-P3600 is flat-out faster than the PS3 at loading most movies and its operational speed is just as quick. The BD-P3600's feature set is also impressive, including Netflix and Pandora streaming, 7.1 analog outputs, 1GB onboard memory, and an included Wi-Fi USB dongle.
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If you get a thrill out of people looking in your home theater stack and asking, "What's that?" then the BD-P3600 is right up your alley. Bathed in a glossy black finish, with round corners and a trapezoidal shape when viewed from the side, it looks like no other Blu-ray player we've tested.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Touch-sensitive buttons

There are absolutely no buttons on the front of the unit, with playback controls relegated to a series of touch-sensitive controls on the top. That means you pretty much can't stack other components on the top of the BD-P3600, and we occasionally had misfires with the touch-sensitive buttons, too.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

Front-panel USB port

There's a USB port on the front panel, but you don't need to use it for BD-Live storage thanks to the BD-P3600's 1GB internal memory.
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Side view

The glossy look is cool, but it really shows fingerprints and dust, so expect some upkeep to always have it looking slick. But in terms of pure wow factor, the BD-P3600 delivers. (If you want to go really unconventional, Samsung also offers the wall-mountable BD-P4600.)
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Back panel

The BD-P3600's connectivity is generous. The main connection is the HDMI output, which is capable of handling 1080p HD video and high-resolution multichannel audio.
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There's also a component-video output that can output Blu-ray at 1080i and standard DVDs at 480p. For audio, you can use the aforementioned HDMI output, but there's also an optical digital-audio output.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET

7.1 analog audio outputs

If you have an older, non-HDMI receiver, you'll still be able to take advantage of the new high-resolution soundtracks in full resolution, thanks to the BD-P3600's 7.1 analog audio outputs.
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Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio

The BD-P3600 has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. That means it can decode those soundtrack formats so they can be played back on almost every HDMI-capable AV receiver. Bit-stream output is also supported, if you'd rather the decoding be done in your AV receiver
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Included Wi-Fi adapter

The BD-P3600 comes packaged with a USB Wi-Fi dongle, which Samsung normally charges $80 for, so you won't need an Ethernet connection in your living room to take advantage of the Internet-enabled content.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET


The included remote is a substantial redesign over previous players, but in some ways it's a step back. Most of the buttons are logically positioned, but important buttons, like Popup Menu, Disc Menu, and Title Menu, are stuck at the bottom of the remote. We also would have liked to see easy-access buttons for Netflix and Pandora, but that's more of a nitpick.
Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET


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