So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray player
Samsung's BD-P1600 delivers everything you need from a Blu-ray disc player
- Excellent image quality with both Blu-ray discs and DVDs, high-definition audio decoding, good operational speed
- Build quality could be better, flip-down front is annoying
Samsung’s BD-P1600 does everything you could want a Blu-ray player to do. Great picture quality, plenty of audio decoding support and a speedy interface combine to make it an easy choice. Our only concerns (the build quality and the design) are minor.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
The Samsung BD-P1600 is a Blu-ray disc player that is fully Profile 2.0 compliant and supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. A few annoying design quirks aside, it includes everything you’d want in a Blu-ray disc player.
The front panel on the Samsung BD-P1600’s flips downs when the drive tray opens. While some people may find this design quirky and interesting, we erred on the side of being annoyed. Without a comprehensive range of buttons, card slots and ports at the front we think it’s a little unnecessary. It means you can’t stack disc cases at the front of the player or they’ll go flying when it flips down.
The power button is hidden behind the door as well; you’ll need to flip it down by hand to turn the player on if you don’t have the remote close by. The build quality in general is slightly underwhelming and the player seems to pick up fingerprints very easily. The included remote mimics that of Samsung’s newer televisions and is an attractive accessory.
The player's on-screen interface is pleasant to navigate, and we had no problems finding items within sub-menus. Like almost every Blu-ray player on the market bar the cheapest, Samsung’s BD-P1600 is Blu-ray Final Profile 2.0 compatible. This means it can use all the BD-Live Internet-integrated features found on some newer Blu-ray discs. You’ll need to plug in a USB flash drive in order use online features. The player connects to the Internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The latter requires a proprietary USB dongle, so both the front and back USB ports will be occupied (requiring the front to be flipped down constantly).
When it came to video quality, the Samsung BD-P1600 does not disappoint. When connected over HDMI to a Panasonic TH-50G10A 50in plasma television (the Samsung player also has component and composite video outputs), 1080p Blu-ray movies such as Sin City and The Dark Knight were full of detail. DVD up-scaling was of an equally high calibre. Though obviously not rivalling 1080p source material, the image was smooth and plenty of detail and vibrant colour were visible.
The feather in the Samsung BD-P1600’s hat is its high-definition audio codec support. The latest codecs such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are included, so if you connect this player to a suitable surround sound system you’ll have great audio. A USB host port means multimedia file playback is also a breeze, and it supports H.264 and WMV video files.
If you’re looking for a fully featured Blu-ray player, you can’t go wrong with Samsung’s BD-P1600. It may have a slightly questionable design but the internals are top-notch.
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