Unconventional cool

Samsung's ultra-thin deck is more proof of the brand’s style ambitions

This achingly petite BD player claims to be the world’s smallest Blu-ray player and it’s more of a lifestyle statement than a traditional AV component. Available in trendy silver or gloss black, it’s a remarkable example of ‘Harry Potter’ engineering.

Because of its size, there are no rear-panel connections. Instead, outputs have been consigned to a small cavity on the undercarriage. Consequently, if you use anything other than cheap HDMI cables you’ll have to abandon any plans to rack this conventionally. Fat cables will lift the player clean off its feet.

Inside said cavity there’s provision for a single HDMI output, digital optical audio and mini-jack AV out (a mini-jack to phono AV lead is supplied in the box), plus Ethernet. wi-fi is integrated.

If you are foiled by its thinness, you can use the cute, angled pedestal supplied. The player will also wall mount via brackets are supplied in the box. There’s a slot loader on the right hand side of the player with a USB slot for media playback or BD-Live storage to the left.

Samsung’s user interface remains a treat to use, and is the most approachable in our group. Animated menus guide you around, connecting to either networked devices or the brand’s internet Smart Hub portal. Presented here this version looks much like it does on the brand’s TVs, bar the open web browser.

Full fat Apps

Samsung has created the richest online platform when it comes to general content. A fast growing apps store offers plenty of causal games plus left-field infotainment, such as How to Tie a Tie and Yoga Helper. There’s also a big selection of streaming video options, including the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo and Acetracks. Social media is covered by clients for Facebook and Twitter, with Picasa, AccuWeather and Google Maps, too.

Also part of the Smart Hub package is a Your Videos section which is a kind of IMDb-lite. It would make more sense if you could stream movies from within it, but that’s not an option (at present). While most of the VoD is FOC, there is a subscription service in the form of Box Office 365.

Not only is the player 3D Blu-ray compatible, it has 2D-to-3D picture processing onboard. Of all the various faux 3D processes available, Samsung’s is probably the best currently available. Media playback from USB covers all the bases. The deck decoded and played AVIs (with subtitles), MP4, MP3 and WMA, and had no problem with HD video in WKV wrappers.

I had less success pulling content from a NAS across our network, with only AVIs available for streaming. Picture quality from the BD-D7500 is very good. There’s a clinical precision to its images which is easy to appreciate, but it’s less enticing as a CD player, though.


HCC VERDICT

Samsung BD-D7500
Price:
£300 Approx

Highs: Slim design; wall-mountable; integrated wi-fi
Lows: Uneven media streaming file support; poor cable access

Performance: 3/5
Design: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 4/5


Specifications

3D: yes
Upscaling: yes to to 1080p
Multiregion: no Region B BD/R2 DVD
HDMI: yes 1 output
Component: no
Multichannel analogue: no
Digital audio: yes optical
SACD/DVD-A: no/no
Dolby True HD/DTS HD decoding: yes
Dolby True HD/DTS HD bitstream: yes
Profile 2.0: yes
Dimensions: 380(w) x 158(d) x 23(h)mm
Weight: 0.9kg
Features: 3D Blu-ray; Ethernet; DLNA certified; Smart Hub content portal; USB media playback for AVIs, MOVs and MKV, All-Share content playback