Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

This entry-level Blu-ray player offers core Blu-ray features like BD-Live and BonusView support, as well as DLNA streaming, WiFi-readiness, and the excellent Samsung Apps Web platform. For $179.99, it's a great package.

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The BD-C5500 is Samsung's newest entry-level player; as such, it lacks some of the features you'll find in the company's higher-end models, including 3D capability. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-C5500 ($179.99), but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BD-Live Web functionality and BonusView/picture-in-picture playback, and it offers both onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The BD-C5500 does not offer built-in 802.11n for a wireless network connection, but it is wireless-ready, with the use of an add-on adapter. The AllShare feature allows you to stream digital media content from a PC or DLNA-compliant server, and the player supports Samsung's [email protected] portal, which lets you access the new Samsung Apps store that offers both free and fee-based apps. Much like the Apple Apps Store, this incarnation allows you to tailor the BD-C5500's functionality to suit your taste: apps are available for VUDU, Netflix and Blockbuster video-on-demand, as well as YouTube, Pandora, Flickr and Twitter, among others.

Additional Resources
• Read a review of nearly every Blu-ray player on the market from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Your Blu-ray reviews are welcomed at hometheaterequipment.com's Blu-ray Disc review page.

In terms of video connections, the BD-C5500 offers HDMI, component video and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. Picture adjustments include the ability to choose between three preset picture modes or go with a user mode in which you can adjust sharpness and noise reduction. Audio outputs include HDMI, optical digital (no coaxial), and 2-channel analog. The BD-C5500 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.

The BD-C5500 supports playback of BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, WMA, MP3, and JPEG. A back-panel Ethernet port is available for quick firmware updates and accessing BD-Live Web features; the BD-C5500 does not have built-in WiFi for network connectivity, but you can attach an optional adapter (WIS09, $79.99) to the player's back-panel USB port. The BD-C5500 has 1GB of internal memory to store BD-Live content, and a second, front-panel USB port is provided for additional storage. This USB port also supports music, photo and movie playback. The player lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.

Read about the high points and the low points of the BD-C5500 on Page 2.

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High Points
• The BD-C5500 supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• The player has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources.
• It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• The BD-C5500 supports DLNA media streaming and Web-based video-on-demand. The Samsung Apps store offers a lot of flexibility to customize features.
• The player is wireless-ready and has internal memory for BD-Live storage.

Low Points
• The BD-C5500 lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it's not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• The player lacks built-in WiFi and an advanced control port like RS-232.
• The BD-C5500 is not 3D-capable.

Competition and Comparison
To compare the Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-ray player against its competition, please read our reviews for the Sharp BD-HP24U Blu-ray player and the Oppo BDP-80 Blu-ray player. Other sources of information you can visit are our Samsung brand page and the All Things Blu-ray Player section.

Conclusion
The BD-C5500 is a features-laden player offered at a great price. You get all the functions of a Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player, plus great media-streaming options and the ability to customize the experience through the Samsung Apps store. Moving up the price chain in Samsung's line will get you multichannel analog outputs and built-in WiFi (BD-C6500), a cool on-wall form factor (BD-C7500), or 3D capability (BD-C6900), but this entry-level model is an excellent choice for someone who wants the core Blu-ray and Web package for under $200.

Additional Resources
• Read a review of nearly every Blu-ray player on the market from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Your Blu-ray reviews are welcomed at hometheaterequipment.com's Blu-ray Disc review page.

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