The Good Unique design; can be wall-mounted; excellent image quality on Blu-ray movies; Wi-Fi USB dongle included; Netflix and Pandora streaming; superfast operational speed and disc loading; Profile 2.0 compatible; onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio; 1GB onboard memory; streams media off connected PC.
The Bad Costs more than a PS3; unusual design won't fit all decors; compartment for connectivity is cramped; PC streaming setup is difficult.
The Bottom Line Samsung's BD-P4600 Blu-ray player is packed with features and its unique design makes it wall-mountable, but most buyers will be better off with the step-down BD-P3600.
Samsung BD-P4600 - Blu-ray disc player
Editors' note: Although our testing of the Samsung BD-P4600 was largely positive, Samsung Blu-ray players have consistently scored low with CNET users. We examined this issue, and it's worth considering before making a buying decision.
Samsung likes to say its "Touch of Color" design scheme elevates products to become a "work of art," but really it comes down to three main principles: rounded corners, translucent red highlights, and a glossy black finish. The Samsung BD-P4600 is the epitome of that design philosophy. It looks like no other Blu-ray player we've tested--reminding us of nothing so much as a thin plate balanced on a stand. The BD-P4600 has a feature set that bests most of its competitors, including Netflix and Pandora streaming, Wi-Fi compatibility with an included USB dongle, and 1GB of onboard memory. In all, we had very few complaints with the BD-P4600's functionality, but its $500 list price will probably scare of most consumers, especially when the step-down Samsung BD-P3600 ($400 list price) offers all the same functionality, albeit in a more conventional design. The BD-P4600 is an excellent Blu-ray player if you have no qualms about paying an extra $100 for its peculiar look or wall-mount capability, but most buyers will be perfectly satisfied with the cheaper BD-P3600.
Since the step-down BD-P3600 has all the same features and performance, the only reason to buy the BD-P4600 is its unusual design. Looking like a rectangular UFO, the BD-P4600 is relatively flat (1.6 inches thick) with round corners and a red, translucent finish. Perched on the included stand, it sits on an angle sloping downward, which exposes its touch-sensitive buttons. When the BD-P4600 is unplugged, it appears to have a completely buttonless, smooth design, but when you turn it on, the buttons light up seemingly from nowhere, along with a red LCD display right in the middle of the unit. Because the BD-P4600 is so slim, there's not enough room for a standard disc tray; instead, it features a slot-loading design similar to the PS3, with the opening on the side of the unit.
4K Blu-ray player shootout: Is anything better than the Xbox One S?
The Xbox One S was one of the first devices to play 4K Blu-rays, and it's still among the cheapest. So how does it compare to dedicated 4K Blu-ray players?
Best budget Blu-ray players you can buy right now
HD Blu-ray players are cheaper than ever -- but they're not all created equal.
4K Blu-ray discs on sale early at Best Buy
Despite an official release date of March 2016, one of America's largest retailers has begun selling the next-generation discs early.
Sony 4K Blu-ray player might not arrive until 2017
Sony Pictures will offer several of the first software titles arriving on 4K Blu-ray, but Sony Electronics may not have a physical 4K Blu-ray player until 2017.
Golden Globes winner 'The Martian' among first 4K Blu-rays coming in March
The first 4K Blu-ray discs have become available for preorder on Amazon with pricing from $30. Here's all the discs announced so far.
2014 Blu-ray players: Which is the best and fastest?
The Samsung BD-H6500 has emerged as the quickest and best budget Blu-ray player of 2014 in a series of speed and usability tests conducted by CNET.
Sony 'mastered in 4K' Blu-rays a mixed blessing
The "mastered in 4K" name is sure to confuse many buyers this year, but Sony's special new Blu-rays are an impressive boost in quality over your average Blu-ray release.
Blu-ray player buying guide
A Blu-ray deck will be a wise investment if your eyeballs crave crisp 1080p pictures. Allow us to help you choose the right machine.
Paramount and Onkyo flee HD DVD ship
In a series of moves which won't shock anybody, several of the companies which had pledged allegiance to HD DVD have now jumped ship into Sony's waiting arms (life buoys?).
Toshiba to Blu-ray: Game on, molls!
The pre-Christmas battlegrounds have been drawn as Toshiba announces an AU$400 drop on its budget HD DVD player, the HD-E1.
HD DVD strikes back through Toshiba
Toshiba is expanding its HD DVD product range and studios are releasing more HD DVD titles in the latest salvo in the high definition format battle.
Format wars - plan C?
The next generation high definition disc format is still being battled out in homes across the world, but are we yelling in the wrong argument? Could digital delivery steal the spotlight?