Blu-Ray and DVD players
Samsung BD-F6500 review
The Samsung BD-F6500 adds integrated Wi-Fi and 7.1 surround sound to the BD-F5500 we've previously reviewed. But does that justify an extra £40 on the price tag?
Design & looks
Like the other players we've reviewed from Samsung's 2013 Blu-Ray series, the BD-F6500 features an unusual asymmetric design with a curved corner. An LED display lights up the front panel. Apart from this, the design is quite ordinary, with a tray deck and touch key control button. It's very compact though, and will nestle snugly among your other AV equipment.
The BD-F6500 is a versatile player capable of playing both 2D and 3D Blu-Ray disks. In addition it can play DVDs, including DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW, and can also handle CDs, including CD-R and CD-RW. As with most modern Blu-Ray players, playback quality is excellent.
When playing DVDs, the player can upscale to 1080p HD using Samsung's BD Wise feature. This also adjusts settings such as contrast and colour balance, and gives the best results for older DVDs.
A wide range of audio formats are supported. In particular, this player is unusual in that it offers support for 7.1 surround sound (DTS and Dolby decoding supported).
These days, Blu-Ray and DVD disks are being overshadowed by Catch-up TV and on-demand content streamed over the internet. With a fast broadband connection you might even find that you watch more streamed content than disks. The BD-F6500 is well equipped for this, with native apps for Catch-up TV, Netflix and LoveFilm. At the time of launch, not all of the Catch-up TV services are in place but they will become available shortly and will include the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. There are also apps for YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
The player connects to a HD Ready TV via HDMI and there's an optical digital audio output for connecting to an external speaker system.
A USB port in the front panel lets you plug in a USB or external hard drive and access music, photos or videos on your TV.
Internet access is available via ethernet or built-in Wi-Fi for maximum flexibility.
The Allshare screen sharing technology lets you display content from a Samsung smartphone on a compatible TV so you can view photos and videos and play games using your handset as a controller.
If you have a Samsung TV, the Anynet+ feature lets you use just one remote control to control both devices. You can also use a compatible smartphone to control the TV.
Conclusion - a player fully equipped for 2013
At first glance the £40 price difference between the BD-F6500 and the BD-F5500 feels like a lot to pay for built-in Wi-Fi and 7.1 surround sound (which hardly anyone will use). But this is a player fully equipped for the new age of content streaming. While the Catch-up TV, Netflix and LoveFilm apps will be rolling out to all Samsung's 2013 range of Blu-Ray players, only the F6500 (and the over-expensive F7500) will offer the flexibility of accessing content via built-in Wi-Fi. Add in the Allshare screen mirroring and the F6500 just feels like a more versatile and future-proof option. We rate it as the top pick of Samsung's 2013 Blu-Ray range.
Samsung BD-F6500 features include:
Samsung BD-F6500 user reviews
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Reviewed by Az smith from England on 15th Jun 2013
Reviewed by Dkeys from Malaysia on 7th Jun 2013