No Built in storage/memory for BD-Live, So-so Smart TV
Review updated: 03/24/2011
I needed to replace an aging Panasonic DMP-BD35K, which had decided to become selective as to which BD's it would play( typically newer titles wouldn't load, I'm not sure if it's a question of a lack in newer firmware, of which Panasonic hasn't released an update in about two years, or if it just isn't working any longer.).
I had researched extensively on the purchase of the Panasonic reading many reviews from several websites, but on this purchase I just decided to take a chance with Samsung. I do own a Samsung television which I really like and the reviews of Samsung's 2010 Blu-ray player were also good. Nearly as good as the 'King of the hill' Oppo( according to cnet video test scores. ). I was also aware of the many negative reviews of the 2010 BD-C6500 and I also noticed that they were mostly in regards to the web enabled apps, and not in regards to video playback. I have an Apple TV which I use for Netflix streaming( it does an excellent job of that, 720p only, but no biggy for me ), and I don't really have any use for the other apps.
So in comes the BD-D6500, I unpack it and connect it in about five minute. The set up is basic with many of the menu selections being 'Auto'. I'm still playing with the set up to see if anything looks better/more accurate. I pop in a disc( Avatar ) and wow, it just looked better. I start going through several BD's and they all look great. The blacks are darker without an over zealous increase in contrast. I run it at 24Hz and it appears to do that better as well( it was always so-so on the Panasonic. ). The Imax shots in The Dark Knight look awesome. And all the while as I am going through several BD's I notice how fast this player loads the discs. Really fast compared to the much older Panasonic.
I'm really impressed by this player. I also played some old DVDs to see how well it upscaled and it did a great job. Again it clearly out performed the Panasonic.
Now as far as the Smart TV apps are concerned I did try to watch a movie on Vudu as it gave me a free rental, and after I selected a movie( Machete ), the player locked up. Maybe it didn't like the movie I picked, but it still shouldn't have done that. I did notice that after I registered the player, the Vudu, along with all the other apps that I went through seemed to work. Perhaps I needed to register the player before I was able to use the apps? And there isn't any built in memory for BD-Live which is kind of lame. You need to use an external USB drive.
In the end I am very happy with this purchase and to be completely honest, a part of me was hoping that this player would have sucked just so I could justify the $500 purchase price of the Oppo BD-93. But it doesn't. It's just a really good Blu-ray player and that's what I wanted. So if your not too concerned with Smart TV apps( which are now working for me ), or too worried about playing files off of your PC( which I think it does, but I haven't a use for. ) then buy with confidence, as I am sure that once the different review sites get their hands on the this new BD-D6500, the results will be stellar.