Built around a ground-breaking new disc mechanism, Samsung’s BD-D7500 is the world’s smallest 3D Blu-ray player. Indeed, it’s so tiny it comes with a wee stand to hold it aloft just so you know where it is. Because of its size, connectivity is inevitably compromised. There’s only room for a single HDMI output, plus related string, on its underside.
Given that this player is made for fashionistas, you wouldn’t expect much in the way of performance – but its video output is suitably crisp. 2D-to-3D conversion is also offered, for those that want to dimensionalise existing disc libraries. Having access to Samsung’s Smart TV hub is a welcome bonus: BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are all on-board. Wi-Fi is built-in but media playback is at its best from USB; across a network this Samsung tends to get a little confused by file types.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Samsung
If you’re looking for more than just disc playback, consider this hybrid which incorporates a 500GB Freeview HD DVR (there are also versions with 1TB and 250GB drives respectively). As you might expect, such co-habitation means the deck is a little more fulsome than other disc spinners. Samsung’s Smart TV net connectivity is also included, which means BBC iPlayer, YouTube and more apps than you’ll find in the Appalachians. There’s a single HDMI output, plus the usual routine extras. Wi-Fi is built in.
While HD Blu-ray image quality is unlikely to disappoint, CD playback is fairly mundane. BD loading times are relatively slow. The deck’s DVR works well, but you can’t stream or go on-line while the machine is timeshifting. Media playback is fine from USB – MKV, AVI and MOVs all play – but music is restricted to MP3 and WMA.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Samsung
Next page: Sharp BD-HP90S
In this age.....
..when everything is designed to fail the minute it gets past warranty why would you bother to spend more then £200 on such a mundane device?
Before anyone counters, yes I was one of those folks that would spend £1500 on a CD player. So I know all about the 'superior power supplies", "the enhanced DACs" for picture/sound quality etc. etc. However, that was many years ago when you could count on support for 10+ years on a device. So maybe it was worth paying the extra for that. Nowadays?
Now I see any electronics device, regardless of price as delayed landfill. That and I've grown up a bit.
Still well overpriced
Most of these Blu-ray players seem to be high-end models that only audiophiles would chase it seems, making it not particularly relevant to 95%+ of the people reading this article.
I bought an LG combo drive for my PC in September 2008 for 67 quid that can read and write CDs and DVDs plus read HD-DVDs and Blu-Rays. Where's the equivalent 67 quid standalone Blu-Ray player over 3 years later? Whilst there have been a few special offers (HotUKDeals is your friend) in the interim, most Blu-ray players are still well above 100 quid! Why?
Blu-ray is doomed to fail long term on pricing alone (after over 5 years from launch, sub 100 quid players are still a rarity rather than the norm they should be - plus shouldn't Blu-ray movie discs cost the same as DVD discs by now too?), never mind that movie streaming via a net connection is slowly closing the viability window for Blu-ray too.
Basically, Blu-ray is an epic price fail and unless the prices fall soon, it'll be dodo time for the format.
Not buying into it again.
I bought my movies on VHS.
I bought my movies again on Widescreen VHS.
I bought my movies on DVD.
I bought my movies on remastered DVD Directors cuts.
I'm tired. I'm not buying them anymore.
Its the local lending library or streaming from now on.
I'd be more convinced about these comparative reviews if there was anything approaching a blind test. As it is, all this talk of superior audio and video quality is just so subjective as to be useless. Of course, the expense of doing properly controlled blind tests is enormous, but as it stands all this impressions stuff has to be taken with a large pinch of salt. For much the same reason, the Hi-Fi mags long ago went into unknowing self-parody propagating myths and pseudo-scientific nonsense.
I'm waiting for the first comparative review of HDMI cables, then the end will surely have come.
Why would anyone waste £170 on ANY of the Blu-Ray players on this list in that pricerange, when a PS3 can be gotten for £179 that does everything they do and a whole lot more besides...
By not including on this list, turns it into a pointless "gadget show" list of randomly cherry-picked players.