Summary: The Samsung BD-D8500M Blu-ray player appears to offer it all -- a 500GB PVR, 3D support and Internet connectivity. But its multitasking issues and unconvincing media-streaming capability rather take the shine off this ambitious package.
Pros: Good 3D Blu-ray playback; spacious hard drive; access to Smart Hub Internet TV and apps portal.
Cons: Slow disc-loading times; key functionality disabled during recording to hard drive; component output restricted to standard-def images.
Summary: Samsung's much-delayed combination includes both a twin-tuner Freeview HD PVR and a 3D Blu-ray player. Picture quality is great either way, while Samsung's Smart Hub portal provides you with a massive reserve of online entertainment to play with. Read the full review of the Samsung BD-D8500 at whathifi.com .
Excerpt: Why take two hi-def sources into the shower when you can simply watch ‘n’ go with Samsung’s latest Blu-ray player/Freeview HD PVR combi? By forcing these two products into shared accommodation, Samsung is putting an unfeasible amount of content at your disposal, as well as saving you some space in your AV cabinet. The BD-D8500 is so cutting edge you could shave with it.
Conclusion: The high price and heavyweight size will put many off, but this 3D Blu-ray player-cum-HDD recorder’s combination of unusual features make it a niche product extraordinaire. Top quality 3D is the icing on an enticing high-end package that marries BBC iPlayer and comprehensive digital file playback via USB or DLNA to Freeview HD and a huge hard disk. Aside from a few onscreen menu niggles, our main criticism is that only one channel can be recorded.
Pros: Freeview HD, PVR functions, 3D pictures, BBC iPlayer
Cons: Single Freeview tuner, 2D-to-3D conversion, no multichannel 7.1 outputs