Samsung BD-P3600 review: Samsung BD-P3600

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The Good Quick load times; sleek design; Wi-Fi dongle included.

The Bad No MKV support; design won't suit everyone; rather expensive.

The Bottom Line The Samsung BD-P3600 is a terrific Blu-ray player and the fastest on the market, loading discs faster than the PlayStation 3. We like pretty much everything about it, apart from its slightly limited codec support for MKV and DivX-HD playback. Here, the machine is bested by LG's BD370, which plays everything and looks gorgeous too. The BD-P3600 is still a worthwhile addition to your home cinema though, especially if you have an older AV receiver that needs help understanding lossless audio codecs

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8.3 Overall

The Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-ray player is a slightly different machine to the BD-P4600, which we recently reviewed. The BD-P3600 has a more conventional design and offers some added extras that sweeten the deal. It costs around £250, but we're certain Internet shoppers will be able to snag a relative bargain soon.

If the BD-P4600 isn't for you, there's every chance that the BD-P3600 will appeal much more. This machine is mostly going to be sold in specialist retailers, keeping it separate from Samsung's other Blu-ray products. In our opinion, it's well worth tracking down.

While the BD-P4600 is designed to be wall-mounted, the BD-P3600 is a more conventional box. But that's not to say it looks the same as every other player on the market -- in fact, its curved and sleek styling is quite unique. It also uses the highly reflective and shiny surface found on its wall-mountable brother.

The BD-P3600 has touch-sensitive buttons. These are lined up along the top of the player, on the right-hand side. Although these buttons are easy to use and responsive, they encourage the deposit of significant amounts of hand grease on the player.

As well as the standard-issue HDMI outputs, the BD-P3600 also has component video out for analogue fans. The Ethernet socket provides access to interactive features, and there are even analogue 7.1 RCA jacks, which are always good to see

At the back of the machine, you'll find a plethora of outputs. Naturally, HDMI is present, as is component video. You also get analogue audio outputs, which are RCA jacks. There's an optical digital sound output too, for getting Dolby Digital and DTS to an AV receiver. Don't expect to be able to send DTS HD or Dolby TrueHD via this connection though.

There are two USB sockets. The first, located on the front of the machine, is for media such as photos and MP3s. At the rear, there's a second USB socket, designed to accept the supplied Wi-Fi dongle. All handy stuff.

The remote control is pleasant enough to use. It's simple, feels study and is well built. The button placement is logical, and we think it looks pretty attractive too.

The BD-P3600 is profile 2.0 compliant, meaning that you can easily access extra content from the Internet. Pleasingly, the BD-P3600 offers both an Ethernet socket and the option to use Wi-Fi. Unlike other Samsung players, this one actually comes with a Wi-Fi dongle in the box, so you'll be up and running in no time if you have a home Wi-Fi network.

You also get some media-playback options. For example, the BD-P3600 is happy to let you listen to MP3s, watch a slideshow of your favourite images or even watch your video. Although codec support is pretty basic, it's still likely to be useful to some people.

We're thrilled to see analogue audio outputs too. This can really make a huge difference if you've got an old AV receiver that can't natively decode new lossless audio formats, like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. It's always good to see these outputs on a Blu-ray player, especially given the high cost of these machines.

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