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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
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>> Mathew: Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com and we're here with the Samsung BDC6500; this is a mid-range Blu-ray player from Samsung and it's currently selling for about $225 online. As you can see the design's a little bit different for Samsung which we liked. There's not as much glossy plastic on the front. It has kind of a brushed metal look although it is plastic and that's nice because you're not gonna see as many fingerprints or smudges on the front of your Blu-ray player. Once you turn it on you'll see that Samsung has completely redesigned its user interface and we like the new look. There's kind of a wood grain background and there are big colorful icons so you can choose what services you can take advantage of and it's also easier to get to some of the streaming media features which are located right on the top of the menu. If you click on the Internet Add TV icon you're gonna be brought into Samsung Apps which is the company's new expandable apps platform. What that means is that developers are gonna be able to write programs for the player so that you can add functionality after you've bought it. We don't know if the Samsung Apps platform is gonna take off but there's already plenty of great streaming media services available such as Netflix, Voodoo, Pandora and YouTube. If you look around back you'll see the connectivity available on the player. There's a standard port such as an HDMI output and an optical audio output but the big step up on this player is the 7.1 analog output, which most competing Blu-ray players have dropped from their mid-range players this year. That's a nice step up if you have an older non-HDMI receiver so you'll still be able to take advantage of those high resolution audio formats like Dolby True HD and DTSHD Master Audio. You'll also see there's an Ethernet port on the back but the Samsung has built-in WiFi which makes it easier to access those streaming media features like Netflix. There's also 1 Gigabyte of onboard storage so you don't need to connect a separate USB flash drive if you want to access BD Live Downloadable content. Pretty much the only feature the BDC6500 doesn't have is 3D Blu-ray capability which Samsung offers on its flagship BDC6900. Now, that's probably not a big deal if you're not thinking about going at the 3D any time soon. However, we would mention that the competing Sony BDPS570 is going to be 3D upgradeable and it costs about the same amount. So if 3D is something that you're thinking about in the future you may want to check out the Sony. In terms of Blu-ray image quality we were really impressed with the Samsung. It passed all of the most important test patterns that we threw at it and it also handled our standard program material tests. Sure our high-end OPPO BDP-83 Reference Blu-ray player passed a couple more tests patterns but it's just not a difference that you're gonna see on the vast majority of Blu-ray movies. Our biggest disappointment with the BDC6500 was operational speed as it wound up being one of the slower Blu-ray players that we've tested this year. It actually did okay if the player was already booted up and you were just trying to load a simple movie without any BD Java Menus but if the player was turned off it took a little bit longer to boot up and some of those movies with BD Java Menus like Pirates of the Caribbean or Spiderman 3 took longer than other competing players like the LG or the Sony. All together that sluggishness is really the only thing we could complain about on the BDC6500 as it has more features than its competitors in this price class and this Blu-ray image quality is excellent, so if you're willing to wait a little bit for your movies to load this is a great option in the mid-range price class. I'm Mathew Moskovciak and this is the Samsung BDC6500.
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