It's hard to breathe new life into the stale Blu-ray category at CES 2013, but Samsung is giving it its best shot with the BD-F7500.
The Samsung BD-F7500 is the newly announced flagship Blu-ray player, including the company's new "S-Recommendation" feature, which suggests content based on what you watch. The BD-F7500's step-up features are rounded out by its 7.1 analog outputs and its ability to upscale content to 4K resolution.
Like most Samsung Blu-ray players these days, it has built-in Wi-Fi and access to Samsung's Smart Hub suite of streaming-media services. More importantly, Samsung is promising an overhauled, simplified user interface for Smart Hub, which, in the past, has been plagued by a cluttered look. The BD-F7500 also includes a new feature called "Smart View," which works like a reverse-AirPlay, sending video from your Blu-ray player to a Samsung mobile device.
The 4K upconversion may be a "premium" feature, but it's tough to get excited about. For all but the largest TV screen sizes, 4K resolution (or "Ultra High Definition") won't improve image quality much. And 4K upconversion in a Blu-ray player is even less essential, as any 4K TV or projector will have built-in 4K upconversion, so you won't need that functionality in your Blu-ray player.
Perhaps the BD-F7500's most exciting feature its dual-core 900Mhz processor. It's hard to compare that spec with specs from other manufacturers that don't release internal chip specifics, but faster operational speed would be a boon to Blu-ray players that are frequently sluggish.
The Samsung BD-F7500 is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2013. No pricing has been announced.