Software

Geek Gifts 2010: Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Disc Player

The Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Disc Player packs about every feature you could imagine into one disc player, but is more really better?

The lines between television, disc player, and computer continue to blur, merge, and disappear as new products come to market. Consumers certainly have more choices than they have ever had before when it comes to buying multimedia devices for their living rooms. And the Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Disc Player is a prime example of this melding of electronic gadgetry.

Specifications

  • Product: Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
  • Company: Samsung
  • Dimensions: 16.9 x 7.9 x 1.7 inches; 6 pounds
  • Connectivity:
    • USB 2.0
    • HDMI
    • Ethernet
    • Wireless LAN
    • Composite Video Outputs
    • Component Video Outputs
    • Optical Digital Audio Outputs
    • Analog Audio Outputs (7.1 channels)
  • Video: Full 1080p picture quality with full HD 3D support
  • Special features:
    • Internet@TV
    • BD-Live ready
  • Cost: About $200 on Amazon (List price $350)

What I like

  • Ultra Fast Play: I don't know why, but it takes a really long time (minutes) for my one-year old Sony Blu-ray player to crank up and play a disc once I load it. Samsung has greatly sped up the process and knocked down the time to around 30 seconds.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi: Wireless networking capability should be standard for every multimedia device these days - this is where the future lies.
  • Concept of Applications: Services like Internet@TV are a mixed blessing. The ability to get Netflix and other high-quality services through your Blu-ray player is a great feature. However, so many of the apps that come with Samsung's Internet@TV service are absolutely useless. Until these devices and/or the televisions they connect to come with full Internet access, these services will have a few gems mixed in with apps that merely create clutter.

What I don't like

  • 3D: This is a pet peeve of mine, so if you like 3D my apologies. The idea of 3D television at home is just plain ridiculous. Consumers are never going to widely accept three dimensional television viewing as long as the only way to see "3D" is with glasses. Manufacturers can slap 3D on boxes left and right, but the concept is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned until we get technology that approaches the Star Trek holodeck.
  • Internet@TV: As mentioned before, services like Internet@TV are more clutter than feature. If may be good marketing to get all those logos on the box, but the reality is that, without complete access to the full Internet, these little widgets/apps are mostly useless.

Bottom line

There is not much wrong with the Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray Disc Player. It has all the features you could ask for in a Blu-ray player and it can be purchased for around $200, which is a reasonable price for a WiFi-enabled device. But just like the VIZIO M470NV 47-Inch 1080p LED LCD HDTV, reviewed last week, do not buy this player because it supports full HD 3D or has Internet@TV applications. Those features are really just marketing window dressing and should be ignored when making your buying decisions.

Geek Gift Score

  • Fun factor: ***
  • Geek factor: ****
  • Value: ***
  • Overall: ***

Want more reviews of tech gadgets and gizmos? Download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2010.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

10 comments
agoodspeed
agoodspeed

"I don?t know why, but it takes a really long time (minutes) for my one-year old Sony Blu-ray player to crank up and play a disc once I load it." You may need to hook up your Blue Ray player to your home network so it can download the latest updates. I've noticed this with Blue Ray players other than the PS3. The PS3 forces updates when trying to connect to their network, so you generally get most updates as soon as they come out. Most people i know with a Blue Ray player don't have it hooked to their home network. Try and see if there is an update avialble, it may speed up your play time considerably.

ScarF
ScarF

It doesn't play SA-CD. This makes me to stay with Sony's players. And, indeed, 3D is just another marketing BS, as it is in the present. The 3D experience on theatres' big screens or IMAX is something, but on the TV screen it gives the viewer nothing but headaches.

TSaL
TSaL

3d is going no where with home electronics. Leave it in the theaters.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are you watching your movies on a Blu-ray player? Has the experience been what you expected or are you disappointed?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

You may be onto something - I have not connected my player to the network because last year's model did not have Wi-Fi.

Omnifice
Omnifice

Agreed! I know I won't be doing the home 3D thing until tech reaches a point where it's more holographic.

garyleroy
garyleroy

I got a high-end Samsung BD player last year, which also plays Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube, and Pandora, and through USB will play DivX and many other digital formats. Not only that, but like many players it upsamples regular DVD's to higher quality (and really does work). However, in retrospect, I think just a good working Blu-ray player is a better choice, and one of the many media players...WDLive+, Patriot Boxoffice, etc...to handle Divx, Xvid, and even Netflix and other internet services is a better choice. Some aspects of the BD player have been maddening; the slow loading, even of DVD's, is really annoying, though it was somewhat fixed after returning it to Samsung. The upsampling of DVD's is great, and another feature...playing of AVCHD movies from digital cameras, burnt to DVD (which produces true HD-quality yet in a DVD format) is great. But the rest...Netflix, Xvid, etc. is best left to a separate media player that can be easily updated, and if your BD player, a mechanical device, dies, you can just replace that instead of the pricier "does it all" player. I agree, 3D for a home set is the most useless idea they've come up with in a long time, but I think one of the "features" of this device...being able to text your friends while watching a movie...is probably even dumber. Are people so addicted to being electronically connected that they need this? Invite them over to watch the movie, make some popcorn and talk to them in person, it's a whole world of difference.

Hazydave
Hazydave

I started into He video long before Blu-Ray or HD-DVD were launched. I bought a Japanese DVD player that could play limited (DivX, WMV/HD) HD, and encoded my own videos of Health viewing. So once the format wars were over, I bought a BD-R drive for my PC, then some months later, a PS3. Blu-Ray meets the promiise of HDTV better than any other format. There were many pundits looking to Internet video as the DVD upgrade path, but that's failed as a purchase model, and even with rentals, it's limited. Netflix is now using about 20% of all internet bandwidth during prime viewing hours, to deliver at best HD at less than 1/10th the quality of Blu-Ray. I'm not terribly excitedd about 3D. My PS3 already got the upgrade, but I need a new TV, new camcorders if I want to shoot in 3D, etc. No until they deliver better displays. As a DLP owner, I was hoping to see DLP models that worked with passive polarized glasses, like they do with RealD in theaters. Its possible, but so far, only active glasses. I'll wait for something better. and besides, I would have to upgrade gear all over again for the switch to 4K in a few years :)

Omnifice
Omnifice

I was a hold-out until the "war" was over. So far I'm pleased, and it makes the old DVDs look better too. Of course, the new 55 inch TV that "came with it" helps with the picture a wee bit. :) Cheers!

Omnifice
Omnifice

I think that access to the net services like Netflix and such are a great feature to build into a Blu-ray player. In fact, it's built into my TV and my Blu-ray player. Even better is the ability to connect to DLNA servers, which makes creating a centralized home media server, which any TV/Blu-ray player in the house can connect to is excellent! It makes it quite easy to take one box, plug it in, do a little configuration, and the new entertainment system, whether a tiny screen in the kitchen, or a huge screen in the TV room is on the network and can access the centralized server. Why have yet another component to plug in to your system? And the cost of the players with all the built in net features isn't really that high...especially if you consider that if you go the multiple box route, there is more cost in the other boxes too. YMMV. ;)