Samsung's 2009 line of standalone Blu-ray players includes three new Netflix-enabled models: the BD-P1600, BD-P3600, and BD-P4600. We have not performed a hands-on review of the mid-level BD-P3600, but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality, and it offers both wired and wireless network connectivity, as well as onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and 7.1-channel analog audio outputs. In addition to the ability to play streamed content from Netflix, the BD-P3600 supports the Pandora music service and allows you to stream digital movies, music, and photos from PCs on your network. It's worth noting that the top-of-the-line BD-P4600 has most of the BD-P3600's features (minus the multichannel analog audio outputs) in a sleek, wall-mountable form factor that adds $100 to the price.
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In terms of video connections, the BD-P3600 offers HDMI, component video, and composite video outputs. For HDMI, the output-resolution options are BD Wise (an auto mode for Samsung TVs), 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, and 1080p/24. The setup menu includes an option to enable 1080p/24 output if your TV accepts this signal type; once you enable the feature, the player will always output 1080p/24 when it is available on Blu-ray discs. For component video, the output-resolution options are 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. The setup menu does not offer any picture controls, such as contrast, brightness, sharpness, or noise reduction.
The BD-P3600's audio outputs include HDMI, optical digital (no coaxial), and both 2- and 7.1-channel analog. This is the only model in Samsung's 2009 standalone Blu-ray line to offer multichannel analog audio outputs, which makes it the best choice if you own an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver. As I mentioned, the BD-P3600 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 setup menu includes the option to set speaker size (but not make level adjustments) for the analog outputs.
The BD-P3600's disc drive supports BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, MP3, and JPEG playback. (Previous Samsung Blu-ray models did not support the Divx, MP3, and JPEG formats.) This model has 1GB of onboard memory for storing BD-Live Web features; you can add the player to your home network either by using the back-panel Ethernet port or by attaching the supplied 802.11n adapter to one of the two USB 2.0 ports. These USB ports also let you add more storage for BD-Live content and play back MP3, JPEG, and Divx files. The BD-P3600 lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.
Read about the high points and the low points of the BD-P3600 on Page 2.