Samsung BD-D5700 is something of anomaly in its place in Samsung’s Blu ray player line up. Wedged between the BD-D5500 and BD-D6500, it is the middle tier Blu ray player according to Samsung. However, the BD-D5700 is the only new Samsung player in 2011 to exclude 3D playback despite being more expensive than the BD-D5500. This looks like a player for those that don’t really need 3D playback capability and still want a full featured 2011 model.
From low end to high end models, the Samsung Blu ray players all have similar set of features. The only differentiation between BD-D5500 and BD-D5700 is the inclusion of WiFi and exclusion of 3D playback on BD-D5700. As with the other Samsung Blu ray players, the BD-D5700 is a Profile 2.0 player fully compatible with BD-LIVE content. It can natively decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HD, and DTS. You will not need to purchase separate receiver for audio decoding. Like other Samsung players, it comes with Samsung Smart Blu Ray Player. The internet streaming option is very extensive on the Smart Blu ray players from Samsung. You can connect to various internet streaming contents via Samsung apps. Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube, and Pandora are some of the few internet streaming contents you can access via BD-D5700. Also, there are news feed services as well as social media updates like Facebook and Twitter. You also have access to some simple games like Monopoly and poker. The inclusion of WiFi is the primary upgrade from the BD-D5500 model.
The overall design of BD-D5700 is fairly straight forward. It doesn’t emulate BD-D6700 or BD-D7500 in terms of stylish design. However, it is not a bad looking player. The overall glossy finish to the player makes it fairly nice. However, it does attract dust more than other finishes. The big LCD and playback buttons are located nicely in the middle with the USB port on the right side. There is a cover for the USB port as well. The BD-D5700 comes with the standard 2 channel audio output as well as optical digital audio output. Samsung has smartly opted not to include legacy output such as s-video or component outputs. Most buyers have no reason to use those outputs on their HDTV. As expected, a HDMI port is included as well. As the BD-D5700 cannot play 3D contents, you do not really need the second HDMI port as you would on 3D Blu ray players. The included remote is functional at best. You would be better off getting a nice universal remote if you have more than few home theater components.
Performance and Video
The overall speed of BD-D5700 is adequate. While it is not as fast as some of the other players, it is more than adequate for most users. It is about 5-10 seconds slower than Sony or Panasonic Blu ray players in terms of loading Blu ray discs from power up. The video processing was flawless on Blu ray and DVD playbacks. The usual moiré, motion blur, and jaggieness were all missing from the Blu ray and DVD playback. The spot checks revealed no defects on DVD playback as well as Blu ray discs. The Samsung player has always been great at decoding various video formats including MKV and Divx formats. The BD-D5700 was no exception. It played MKV file without any problems.
All the audio formats properly decoded. The high definition audio format and standard formats had no problems with onboard decoding. The lack of multi channel audio output was the only down side if you needed them in the first place. The lack of second HDMI was no problem was this player cannot play any 3D discs.
As stated earlier, the player sits between the low end and high end player. The exclusion of 3D capability might be aimed at consumers who have no desire to have a 3D television set. As the 3D technology is relatively new, Samsung has opted to give consumers option to purchase a player without a 3D capability. However, the price point should be lower than the entry level player with the 3D capability even with the inclusion of the WiFi. Other than that, the BD-D5700 is another solid effort from Samsung.
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