Samsung recently added four new 3D-capable models to its Blu-ray player line, including the portable BD-8000 and the new “top-shelf” BD-C7900. At $399.99, the BD-C7900 replaces the original BD-C6900 as the most expensive of the non-portable Blu-ray models (the BD-C6900 is now $349.99). We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-C7900, 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-C7900 features built-in 802.11n for a wireless network connection, and the AllShare feature allows you to stream digital media content from a PC or DLNA-compliant server. The player supports the Samsung Apps Web platform, which includes access to VUDU, Netflix and Blockbuster video-on-demand, as well as YouTube, Pandora, Flickr, Twitter and more. Samsung recently added the Hulu Plus service to its Apps platform.
In terms of connections, the BD-C7900’s big addition is a second audio-only HDMI output. The benefit of dual HDMI outputs is that you can send the 3D video signal directly to your 3D-capable display via an HDMI 1.4 output and still send HDMI audio to your A/V receiver via HDMI 1.3 (so you don’t have to upgrade to a new 3D-capable receiver). The BD-C7900 also offers 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. The Screen Fit function zooms in on 2.35:1 movies to remove the black bars.
On the audio side, Samsung chose to omit the multichannel analog audio outputs found on the BD-C6900. At first, this decision surprised me, but it actually makes perfect sense. This player’s major selling point is that second, audio-only HDMI output; if that feature appeals to you, then you probably have no need for multichannel analog outputs. Other audio outputs include optical digital (no coaxial) and 2-channel analog. The BD-C7900 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 audio setup menu includes audio sync (delay) and the ability to set up DTS Neo:6 Music and Cinema modes for stereo sources.
The BD-C7900 supports playback of BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx HD, WMA, MP3 and JPEG. You can add the player to your home network using either the back-panel Ethernet port or the internal 802.11n wireless module. The BD-C7900 has 1GB of internal memory to store BD-Live content, and a 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.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the Samsung BD-C7900 with its competition by reading the reviews for the Panasonic DMP-BDT350 , the LG BX580 and the Sony BDP-S570. Learn more about 3D Blu-ray players by visiting our Blu-ray Players section.
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• The BD-C7900 supports 3D playback, when mated with other 3D-capable components. It includes dual HDMI outputs to send separate signals to your 3D HDTV and A/V receiver.• The BD-C7900 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 and BonusView.
• You can wirelessly connect the BD-C7900 to your network, and it has internal memory for BD-Live storage.
• The BD-C7900 supports DLNA media streaming and Samsung Apps, for video-on-demand and other Web services.
• The BD-C7900 lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it’s not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• This player lacks an advanced control port like RS-232.
If your 3D Blu-ray player is going to be part of a complete home
theater system, with all of the audio signals running through a preamp
or A/V receiver, then don’t underestimate the convenience of dual HDMI
outputs on the player. You’ve already paid to upgrade to a 3D-capable
TV and Blu-ray player, and you’ve probably had to purchase several
pairs of 3D glasses. Do you really want to upgrade to a 3D-capable
receiver, too? If not, then the BD-C7900 is definitely worth a look.
For those of you who have already upgraded your receiver or just don’t
need the dual HDMI outputs, you might want to consider the new BD-C6800
instead. It offers the same features as the BD-C7900 – like built-in
WiFi, onboard memory, DLNA media streaming, and Samsung Apps – for an
MSRP of $279.99.