First Look at Samsung BD-D6500

Samsung BD-D6500 is one of many Samsung Blu ray player with built in 3D function. While 2010 models lacked 3D options in most part, 2011 models from Samsung all boast built in 3D capability with exception of few models. The BD-D6500 is a middle tier Blu ray player with middle of the road pricing.
The BD-D6500 is fairly similar to the Samsung’s entry level Blu ray player, BD-D5500. The BD-D6500’s feature set and performance is almost identical to the BD-D5500 player. The only real noticeable difference is the inclusion of built in WiFi on the BD-D6500 model. Otherwise, the BD-D6500 is remarkably similar Blu ray player compared to BD-D5500.

Features

Like the BD-D5500, the BD-D6500 is a Profile 2.0 player with 3D capability. It is fully compatible with the latest BD-LIVE contents. As expected, it can natively decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HD, and DTS on top of media formats like MP3. One of the main selling point of Samsung Blu ray players is the Smart Blu ray player platform. Smart platform gives you option to download apps as well as enjoy all of the latest streaming contents. With Smart platform, you have access to Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu, YouTube, and Pandora. Samsung can add other streaming contents via updates. Also, you have access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The downloadable apps are fairly simple and straightforward. You have access to news feeds as well as weather. Also, there are some simple games like solitaire and poker you can download as well.


Design

The BD-D6500 is lot more aesthetically pleasing than the boring BD-D5500. The BD-D6500 have a “tiered” design instead of the flush rectangular design found on most Blu ray players. The most of the features are located on the bottom tier of the player including the LCD and playback function. The top of the player is finished in high gloss which can be a finger print and dust magnate. However, this does add some luster to the overall design of the player. The connections are almost exact copy of the BD-D5500. It comes with 2 channel analog audio output, 1 HDMI port, 1 USB 2.0 port, Ethernet port, and optical digital audio output. While the BD-D5500 comes with 2 USB ports, the BD-D6500 comes with 1. Otherwise, the overall function and connectivity is carbon copy of BD-D5500. The included remote is a pretty standard for a Samsung remote control. It has good layout and the button size should be pretty good for most people.

Video and Performance

Samsung’s Ultra Fast play feature is also present on the BD-D6500. As with BD-D5500, this feature does add some speed to the overall booting and loading of Blu ray discs. Tested with 4 different Blu ray discs, I found that the average loading time between BD-D5500 and BD-D6500 was almost identical. That is to say, the Blu ray discs loaded within 40 seconds from boot up.

The video processing showed no discernable defects. Like the cheaper BD-D5500, the BD-D6500 showed no signs of video processing defects like moiré, jagginess, and motion blur. The overall video processing was tested with 2 separate Blu ray movies. Both had no problem with the video performance as well as bonus and BD-LIVE contents. As mentioned in BD-D5500 review, you will most likely not find any video processing defects in the latest Blu ray players.


Audio

The audio playback was spot on as well. There were no audio formats that BD-D6500 failed to properly decode. The media files like MP3 and WMA all played without any hitch. However, BD-D6500 does not play nicely with SACD, AAC, OGG, or FLAC file formats. Otherwise, the audio performance was pretty spot on.

Overall

It is pretty hard to differentiate all the different Blu ray players. Each model from Samsung boast similar internals and software. The only real difference seems to be the design and inclusion of WiFi and few other features. The high end models give you option to convert 2D to 3D image. If that’s not what you need, the BD-D6500 is perfectly good player with included WiFi. It might be cheaper to purchase this model instead of BD-D5500 if you need a WiFi. If you don’t need WiFi, the BD-D5500 is better option because of the price.

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