Buying a Samsung Blu-ray player when the world is swaying towards streaming services might seem like taking a step backward. But the hard truth is, there’s no streaming option yet that beats a Blu-ray disc in terms of uncompromised, high picture quality and best sound experience. You know why? Bandwidth!
In addition, having a Blu-ray player allows you to watch your old favorite movies that are only available on CD or are not licensed for streaming. So, if you’re considering buying a Blu-ray player, feel free to go all the way.
While the market abounds with Blu-ray players by various brands, Samsung Blu-ray players stand out because they provide a flawless picture and sound quality and come with other features that help you to stay on the cutting edge of display technology. Chances are you already understand this fact.
But considering that Samsung has rolled out a number of Blu-ray players over the years, making the right choice can be quite challenging. And that why we’re here to help.
Best Samsung Blu-ray Players: Our Top 5 Picks
In this guide, we’d be looking at the 5 best Samsung Blu-ray players based on features, buyer opinions, and pricing. Our aim is to help you know which one exactly to choose and why.
So, let’s cut right to the chase.
1. Samsung UBD-M9500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Following the debut of its 4K Blu-ray player in 2016, Samsung released the UBD-M9500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, a new model aimed at competing better with other market players. From its attractive look to its top-notch performance to its innovative smart features, the M9500 is simply a game-changer in the world of Blu-ray players.
The M9500 comes with a curved display just like the curved TVs from the Korean tech giant. To us, this is a little awkward considering that the rectangular disc tray is positioned at the left side. The build quality is a noticeable improvement from its predecessor, the K8500, as it has a glossy, metallic-look top panel but the price for it appears to be its extra weight.
The most impressive aspect of the design is the OLED display, which shares the same position with the touch-sensitive eject and power buttons, making it look unique. The downside to this is that you may struggle to read the text from a typical TV viewing distance. On the rear, the M9500 comes with the usual two HDMI connections for audio and video output as well as an optical audio output. There’s also the LAN port and the USB port which is positioned on the side of the player. Overall, the design looks great but we feel the curved shape is unnecessary.
The selling point of the M9500 is its 4K Blu-ray playback but beyond that, it can also play DVDs, HD Blu-rays, and CDs. It also allows for playing movies from USB drives or stream from the net while the audio playback can handle different formats which include FLAC, WAV, ALAC, and AIFF file type. The biggest attractive feature is the player’s ability to transmit high definition pictures to your phone. Advertised as ‘Blu-ray to Mobile viewing system’, this novel feature is one that you won’t find on rival players. Sadly, this feature is not supported on iOS devices.
Going further, the M9500 can also transmit sound to Bluetooth headphones and vice versa, meaning you can play music from your smartphone to the TV. Another step up from the competition with the M9500 is the smart features which offer access to more than 300 apps including major streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.
The M9500 performs better than its predecessor in many ways. For example, the color output is detailed and richer than before, making the viewing experience extra enjoyable. Second, when you play the discs you once played on the K8500, you will notice that the pictures are cleaner, marking an improvement in the upscaling of HD Blu-rays.
In addition, the player is also fast when it comes to disc loading and presenting onscreen menus while it is quieter when running than its predecessor. In all, we rate the performance high in terms of picture quality, audio output, and stable operations.
There are many reasons why this model of Blu-ray player is worth buying which includes its smart features and fantastic performance that makes it stand out from the pack. The only problem is that it comes with a price tag that’s higher than its contenders, and this might be a turn off to many buyers.
What we like
- Easy to set up
- Great picture quality
- Incredible multimedia features
- High-quality display
What we dislike
- No 3D support
- No Dolby Vision support
- No SACD/DVD-Audio support
2. Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
The K8500 is the first 4K Blu-ray player from Samsung which is expected to compete with its rival, the Panasonic DMP-UB900. The top selling points of the player are its loading speed and colorful UI. While you can think of the K8500 as a first-gen 4K player, the player still wins points on features and performance.
The K8500 has a design that shares a lot of semblance with other Blu-ray players on the market even though it’s pricier. Setting up the player is quite straightforward as there are four HDMI outputs for connectivity: Main, Sub (audio only), LAN and optical digital audio. There’s also Wi-Fi onboard to connect the entertainment center and router just in case they’re a bit far from each other.
There’s more to do with the K8500 than just playing discs, you can also enjoy streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Spotify, and YouTube. If you need more, you can head to Samsung’s store to download your favorite apps. However, one of the disappointments with the K8500 is that its remote control is powered by a coin battery instead of popular AAAs.
Picture quality is one of the chief reasons why many people are interested in 4K Blu-ray players and the K8500 doesn’t disappoint in that aspect. The picture output is amazing as evidenced by its rich colors and fine detail.
However, operating this player has some challenges you might want to know. For starters, it’s hard to decide the best mode to watch UHD HDR content as they all have some sort of complications. You can’t even use conventional test patterns to balance an image for HDR viewing, leaving you with no choice than to use the modes the player offers.
When it comes to the audio output, the K8500 didn’t thrill us as it gave a metallic, hash tone which is quite difficult to miss. However, if you’re looking to minimize the bad sound output, we recommend that you explore the sound menu and set the Digital Output of the player to “Bitstream (unprocessed)” and then make sure that the dynamic range is off.
To sum it all, we think the performance of the K8500 in terms of speed and stability of operations is fairly decent for 2019 even though it was considered very fast in the year it was released on the market.
The K8500 will easily win the heart of anyone who wants the most incredible images possible on their 4K HDR TV. The fact that it comes with 4K Netflix and Amazon video onboard makes it more appealing. What’s more, the price has slipped in recent times, making it an option for those who want to own a 4K Blu-ray player without having to break the bank. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this model now has newer siblings with better features just in case you want something more.
What we like
- 4K HDR image quality
- 4K Netflix and Amazon video onboard
What we dislike
- Poor music output
- Poor build quality
- Noise during use
- Remote uses a coin battery
3. Samsung BD-H8900
The Samsung BD-H8900 is one of the two Freeview HD recorders Samsung launched in 2014 (the other being the BD-H8500). Apart from being the more expensive option, the H8900 has a plethora of networking features and playback of digital files from the USB, making it a unique product indeed.
The design of the H8900 is pretty ordinary, as it has nothing new for users. Made from low-grade plastic, the player comes in 282 x430 s 55 mm dimensions which makes it big enough to fill up a lot of space. The H8900 also has touch-sensitive controls and is curved on the left, which is where you the dial for scanning controls and the standby switch are positioned while the front of the player shows the disc tray, a tiny LED display and a USB slot.
When you flip the player to the rear, you will find the RF slots which are connected to the HD tuners, two HDMI outputs for video and audio and another USB slot underneath the slot for Ethernet LAN. There’s also Wi-Fi connectivity to aid distant connection between your entertainment center and router. Samsung also added an unexpected feature to the H8900 – the multiroom – which allows you to set up a sound system that runs everywhere you want it too. Just add any multiroom speakers like the M7 wireless speakers wherever you might want to listen to your music.
The H8900 puts up a brilliant performance as it can record one channel while you watch another channel or even record two channels while you watch one of them, so you don’t have to miss your favorite TV shows. Altogether, the player offers over 400 hours of standard-definition recordings and about 250 hours in HD, and making the recordings is easy and straightforward. The electronic program guide allows you to schedule two hours for seven channels with a live TV thumbnail while you’re at it.
However, you won’t be able to make recordings while using Netflix even though the Freeview HD interface and the Smart Hub are different. Also worth noting is that the apps on the H8900 do not load as fast as expected but the stability of operations and fluency is superb. And while the picture quality is hi-definition and upwards, the H8900 doesn’t provide the most detailed images compared to other Blu-ray players on the market.
And just in case you’re looking to use the H8900 for your 4K TV, you might be in for some disappointment as the player didn’t play pro-res MOV and compressed MP4 files in 4K resolution.
While the twin Freeview HD tuners and 3D Blu-ray playback might be good reasons to invest in the H89000, it’s hard to overlook the cluttered user interface. This is definitely not the best Blu-ray player out there but if your aim is just to enjoy entertainment without monthly subs, by all means, get the Samsung BD-H8900.
What we like
- Twin tuners
- Concise user interface
- Glow-in-the-dark remote
- Two USB slots
What we dislike
- Key apps hidden
- Slow user interface
- Samsung-centric features
- Over-complicated remote
4. Samsung BD-H6500
The BD-H6500 was released to compete with arch-rivals from other brands like Sony BDP-S6200 and Panasonic DMO-BTD460. The H6500 offers digital playback of all kinds of files and speedy navigation as well as fast loading of the discs due to its dual-core processor.
The BD-H6500 rocks a design that’s basically like any other black box except that it’s glossy and curved at one end with an array of touch-sensitive buttons.
Positioned at the front of the player are a USB slot and a disc tray that can handle any kind of disc you want it to spin – and that includes 2D and 3D Blu-ray. The rear of the 360 x 40 x 196 mm H6500 features an HDMI output, an optical digital audio output, and Ethernet LAN. Like its siblings from the brand, this player also comes with Wi-Fi as well as DNLA networking and basic screen monitoring for Samsung devices.
The H6500 also comes with a wide variety of smart apps which you will find in the Smart Hub page as well as the Films and TV Shows panel which allows for streaming video content from the internet. Just by the side is a Play Disc window that reflects the disc spinning in the tray. The apps available are quite few and include popular ones like Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and AccuWeather. What this means is that you will need to visit the Samsung online store to download your favorite apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant among many others.
Disappointingly, locating the apps we wanted after we downloaded them from the online store is a slow process as they all queued up after the less popular apps on the Samsung App grid.
While we think the app organization is very poor, we can’t help but admit that the apps load quickly and that navigating the user interface of the H6500 is also fast. As if that were not enough, the player was able to load a disc in about eight seconds which doesn’t fall below the standard of other Blu-ray players. You can also choose from a variety of options during the playback of the disc like changing the picture mode, selecting a scene or even skipping to a chapter.
Like its sibling, the BD-H8900, the H6500 cannot play pro-res 4K MOV files even though it’s called a 4K capable deck and this is quite a shame. The picture quality looks ordinary as it doesn’t match up to what you’d get on a native 4K material. We also noticed some picture noise while playing an upscaled which was absent when viewed it on a regular Full HD TV.
The BD-H6500 is a multi-talented Blu-ray player worth owning as it comes with dual core processor which makes the player fast and can also play all kinds of digital files. The key flaw here is the poor organization of the apps which makes fetching the apps a bit of work. While this player might not be the best, it’s still a decent option to consider.
What we like
- Excellent user interface
- 4K upscaling
- Bright Blu-ray images
What we dislike
- Poor app organization
- 4K files not played
- Predictable design
5. Samsung BD-F6500
The BD-F6500 is Samsung’s giant entry-level Blu-ray deck for 2013 and it offers a TV experience that’s simply second to none. Although it’s been over 5 years since its launch, the device can still meet many consumers’ expectations.
The F6500 comes as a compact box with dimensions of 40 x 196 x 360 mm and a curved corner that features touch-sensitive controls on the top. On the front, the player rocks a camouflaged USB port, disc tray and an LED window that has a display that’s very easy-to-read. On the rear, there’s almost nothing to see except for the three sockets which are the HDMI, Ethernet and an optical audio output.
Another notable aspect of the design is the variety of logos placed on the top of the F6500 to indicate the quality of the player as well as its ability to output 1080p video, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby True HD. One of the most prominent logos is the Anynet + HDMI – CEC logo which indicates that you can operate the F6500 with any compatible TV screen’s remote control. You can also throw content to the TV using this Blu-ray player using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
The F6500 can handle a wide range of files which includes FLAC, MKV with subtitles, XviD, AVCHD, DivX, M2TS, M4A, WMA, WAV, and MP4 while the DNLA streaming can only support FLAC, MP3, and M4A. Meanwhile, the operating system is slick as we had no troubles navigating from menu to menu while inputting information was easier with the F6500 intelligently predicting the letters we needed and presenting them in an easy-to-identify way.
When it comes to the picture output, the F6500 doesn’t fall short of expectations as it displays clear images with options to tinker like HDMI Deep Colour, aspect ratio, 3D settings etc. The audio output also has several options to choose from with a variety of controls for optimizing the sound.
Turn to Movies and TV Shows portal for recommendations on from streaming services like Netflix and Acetrax. You can also download more video on demand apps like YouTube, PictureBox, BlinkBox and 40D. The recommendations are usually based on your viewing habits which are analyzed over a period of time. The remote control which helps to navigate a disc, change subtitles or audio and so on is anything but gorgeous – however, the consolation is that it’s rugged and comes with a glow-in-the-dark build.
The F6500 has an attractive user interface while offering dual-core processing, wireless networking, multimedia streaming, Wi-Fi connectivity, and 3D playback. Samsung has obviously invested in improving the smart TV side of things which sums up with other features to make BD-F6500 a Blu-ray deck to own.
What we like
- High picture quality
- Slick operating system
- A wide range of smart TV selection
What we dislike
- Archaic remote control
- Low build quality
- Can’t tell which VoD service provides recommended shows