Blu-ray Players

Samsung BD-D6500 Blu-ray Player


Design and Setup of the Samsung BD-D6500 Blu-ray Player

The Samsung BD-D6500 is a slim, half depth design with a slot load tray drive. As with all new players this year, there is no component video output for HD video and you’ll need HDMI. The BD-D6500 has WiFi built in, which makes it easy to integrate into your system without needing to run Ethernet to use all the streaming content. Aside from the slot loading drive, the BD-D6500 is a fairly standard Blu-ray player for 2011.

Setup of the BD-D6500 physically was very easy, as it’s just a simple HDMI cable and I was ready to go. It offers options for colorspace (RGB Standard, RGB Enhanced, and YCbCr that is 4:4:4 but not specified anywhere) and resolution, as well as letting you enable or disable Deep Color and 24p support. The only missing options that I really wanted were 4:2:2 colorspace support and a Source Direct mode. The BD-D6500 is a 3D Blu-ray player with HDMI 1.4, but it doesn’t have a 2D to 3D conversion mode. One feature on it that isn’t on the lower model D5500 is the ability to internally decode DTS-HD Master Audio to PCM over HDMI. If you have an older HDMI receiver that can’t handle the new audio codecs, you’d certainly want to purchase this model over that one to get all the sonic benefits.

All manufacturers now seem to offer an iOS application for their devices, and after getting over the “gee-whiz!” aspect of it, I typically stopped using them since it only emulated the remote, but with soft buttons which meant I kept having to look down at my iPhone to do anything. Samsung seems to have gotten this feedback and produced the first iOS remote that I’d actually recommend installing and using. While it can emulate the remote, it also has a context aware mode that adds a totally different layout that’s specific to the Blu-ray player screen. If you need to enter your WiFi password, or Hulu Plus account information it will pop up the iOS keyboard to make the job much easier than using the remote. If you’re in the SmartHub section, it displays a list of the different applications instead of forcing you to look at the remote and the screen to navigate. I included some screenshots of this to give you an idea, but I really do recommend installing it as soon as you get the player, since it makes setup and use easier than without it.