The Samsung BD-C5500 is Samsung’s new entry level blu-ray player in the sub $200 market. Although it’s an entry level player it does come with many of the latest features, multimedia capabilities and streaming content from the web.
In line with the green movement, the Samsung BD-C5500 features an environmental friendly eco-design which draws 13 watts during use and a mere 0.1 watts on standby.
The Samsung BD-C5500 looks slim and sleek in a glossy black finish. The sharp squarish design and touch sensitive controls give it a high tech look. Tucked neatly behind a drop down panel on the left is the disc tray. The power button on the right is illuminated on standby so you won’t have any problems turning it on in a darkened room.
Being a basic model the connectivity options are limited. On the back panel you get a HDMI out, component video output, digital optical audio output, stereo analog audio output and an Ethernet port. Wi-fi is not included in this model but there is an input for an optional wireless LAN adaptor. Additionally there is a USB port at the front located beneath the power button.
The BD-C5500 comes with a strong suite of streaming options. Once connected online you will be able to access Samsung’s latest incarnation of Internet@TV.
Here’s a summary of its key features:
- Internet@TV – Provides streaming content and downloadable apps from Netflix, BLOCKBUSTER, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Pandora and more. (Note: Some apps like Twitter and Facebook are not available at the moment pending future firmware updates).
- BD-Live ready – Get more out of a Blu-ray disc. BD-Live 2.0 lets studios future-proof their Blu-ray titles, so they can add content to BD-Live Ready discs even after they have been shipped. Simply connect your Blu-ray player to the Internet to download images, subtitles and more. Text-chat with friends during a movie, or play against others in online trivia games to unlock exclusive video content.
- AllShare – Sync up your entire household. A wired or wireless DLNA connection lets you stream your PC audio and video files to your HDTV using your remote.
- Full 1080p Picture Quality – The C5500 supports video resolution of 1080p for blu-ray discs with film based content without need for further conversion. It will also up-convert your collection of DVDs to 1080p.
- Wireless LAN-ready (Wireless LAN adaptor not included)
- Ultra fast play and disc loading
- Advanced HD audio support for Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
Samsung’s new players also come with improved energy efficiency by using new technologies such as loader duty control and low voltage spindle motor. The BD-C5500 is compliant with the stringent EnergyStar® 4.0 guidelines.
The BD-C5500 does not come with 7.1 analog outputs. This means you will need to have a newer generation AV receiver that accepts HDMI to enjoy all the high resolution lossless audio codecs on blu-ray discs.
Setup & Performance
Setting up the player is simple and easy to follow using the onscreen GUI. The new GUI is a marked improvement on the previous Samsung players with a more pictorial approach. Be sure to do the firmware update first. Once that is done you should have no problems getting Internet@TV up and running.
Long disc loading times have always been a major issue with earlier generation blu-ray players. With these new crop of players, Samsung has finally buried the problem. This is the fastest player we have tested. It loads Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a notoriously slow-loading blu-ray disc with Java heavy features, in 16 secs, which is about 9 seconds faster than the Panasonic DMP-BD65 and almost 20 seconds faster than the LG BD550. Quite a remarkable feat for an entry level player.
Blu-ray playback for is excellent delivering a sharp, crisp picture. On the Bucket List blu-ray, an early scene has Jack Nicholson’s character savoring a cup of espresso, served in an elegant gold-and-china demitasse, with easily discernible details. The color palette ranges from the subdued to the intense with just the right amount of color vividness. Flesh tone is natural and dark scenes are rendered with good shadow details. It may not rival the inky blacks of players in Oppo’s caliber, but this is very good performance for such a moderately priced player.
Although its blu-ray performance is outstanding, the same cannot be said for its implementation of DLNA features. Some functions like rewind and fast-forward are not available when playing a file stored on a DLNA server. Accessing jpeg photos can be excruciatingly slow at times. We hope future firmware updates will be able to resolve these issues.
The Samsung BD-C5500 offers excellent value for money for those who want a reasonably good-performing player with the latest multimedia features. The easy setup and simple operation is ideal for those who are adopting high definition playback in the home for the for the first time. However, Wi-Fi connection requires an additional outlay in cost so choose this player if you have an Ethernet connection and do not need to connect wirelessly. If you absolutely need wi-fi capability, you are better off going for the BD-C6500 for about $50 more.
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