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Samsung BD-D5500 review

The affordable BD-D5500 is impressive with HD content, but sounds wearing Tested at £170

Our Verdict

Far from disgraced – it’s four stars, after all – but the competition is unforgiving

For

  • Ample features and functionality
  • can be profoundly impressive with high-def content

Against

  • Can sound wearing
  • not a great upscaler
  • streamed content can look iffy

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Far from disgraced – it’s four stars, after all – but the competition is unforgiving

Pros

  • + Ample features and functionality
  • + can be profoundly impressive with high-def content

Cons

  • - Can sound wearing
  • - not a great upscaler
  • - streamed content can look iffy

It’s a sign of just how safe the looks of these players are that the BD-D5500’s fascia, with its touch-sensitive lights, seems giddily avant-garde.

That minor flourish apart, it’s Samsung business as usual – which means competitive build, decent menus and a proper remote.

And it’s specified in the manner to which we’re rapidly becoming accustomed.

As well as its disc-spinning abilities, the BD-D5500 enjoys an absolute stack of SmartHub functionality, and can sync up all your DLNA-enabled devices via what Samsung’s calling AllShare. This can be done wirelessly if you pay for the appropriate dongle.

Bright and detailed in 3D
Picture quality when streaming the likes of YouTube is, broadly speaking, fine.

Edges can get a little jagged in extremis, and the most rapid motion can be problematic, but it’s nothing too severe.

DVD upscaling, too, is slightly marginal: Inception is a tough test, and the BD-D5500 regularly falls prey to picture noise.

It’s flustered by complicated patterns, too, though nothing like as much as some competitors.

Predictably, 2D Blu-ray images are far more convincing. Clean and detailed, and with a real talent for handling rapid or unpredictable motion, the Samsung delivers crisp and vibrant pictures.

It’s particularly adept with skin-tones, and does fine work with textures of all kinds.

Gratifyingly bright and detailed
And all of those positives are carried over to 3D. The Samsung’s picture is gratifyingly bright and detailed, and develops prodigious depth of field – the distance from foreground to background in Avatar looks considerable.

There are hints of the diorama about some edges, though, which keeps the D5500 from an unqualified 3D recommendation.

Sound is expansive and dynamic, with appreciable bass weight. It veers towards the shrill at times, mind you, and doesn’t do too well with extreme dynamics.

So the Samsung gets plenty more right than it does wrong – its four-star verdict just goes to show that the competition is mighty fierce.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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