If you have a 3D TV already, then you would do well to consider the Samsung BD D8500A Blu-ray player/recorder as an item that you really should purchase next. There are huge advantages in coupling your 3D TV to the right player, both from a quality and ease of an operation perspective. This review will endeavour to show the rewards and benefits that can be had if you use careful consideration when “daisy chaining products”. Remember that your picture quality and ease of operation of the TV hinges on the weakest link in your chain.
So read on and I’ll show you what we discovered.
As a bit of a celebration of their newly launched improved and now excellent website found at www.eljo.com.au online company Eljo said we could pick something to review that would hook into our new 8000 series Samsung 3D 60” television. A quick check of their site showed us that they had pretty much anything we wanted so we clicked on Video recorders and went from there. The value here is that we can test how well one components input /output (BD D8500A 3D Blu-ray player/recorder) influences the end result of another, (Samsung TV UA60D8000).
We are curious to see how well the Samsung TV and Samsung BD D8500A each compliment the other in terms of artificial intelligence and how much hard work is needed to set it all up. I must say that at the time of unpacking, I am always impressed if we find a sticker relating to “passed” in quality control. It always gives me a feeling of confidence that all will work. We found such a sticker with the BD D8500A 3D Blu-ray player/recorder.
The player was well packed with a layer of plastic stuck to all surfaces of the unit to protect it from unwanted scratches etc. A HDMI cable was not supplied, which surprised us - maybe they figured most people would still be using AV lines?
We connected the TV to the unit by HDMI, and we connected the BD D8500A Blu-ray player/recorder 500Gb to a high quality digital outside aerial by way of RF input via a satellite coaxial cable. Then we saw the advantages of using “same brand products” when daisy chained as we immediately received an on screen message on the TV saying the recorder was recognised and from there we just followed the idiot proof prompts.
The unit loaded ALL the TV Channels without us doing much at all. We put in a Blu-ray 3D DVD movie and noticed that the remote has its 7 key function buttons in a glow type fluorescent which makes them easy to see in the dark.
General Deck Type Slot-in
Front display VFD
Control button Touch Pad
Playable Disc Type 3D* Blu-ray Yes
Blu-ray Video Yes
DVD-Video / DVDR / DVDRW Yes
CD DA / CD-R / CD-RW Yes
VCD 1.1 No
Video Decoding Format MPEG 2/4 Yes
DIVX (including XVID) Yes
DivX HD Yes
WMV (1/2/3/7/9) Yes
JPEG, PNG, GIF JPEG
HD JPEG Yes
Audio Decoding Format Dolby Digital Yes
Dolby Digital Plus Yes
Dolby True HD Yes
DTS-HD HRA Yes
DTS-HD Master Audio Yes
Audio Decoding Output Dolby 7.1ch
Features BD Wise Yes
BD Profile Profile 5.0
3D* Converter (2D->3D) Yes
Video Up-Scale (DVD) Yes
Hyper Real Engine Yes
Local Storage (Memory Built-in) Yes
Ultra Fast Play Yes
Full Screen Yes
Connectivity Anynet + (HDMI-CEC) Yes
USB Host 1EA
Wireless LAN Ready No
Wireless LAN Built-in Yes
AV input/output HDMI Out 1EA
Composite Output Yes
Component Output Yes
Optical Digital Audio Outputs Yes
Coaxial Digital Audio Outputs No
Analog Audio Outputs 2ch
MIC Jack No
HDD Capacity 500GB
Plate Size 3.5"
Recording Time (HD, SD) HD: About 56 hours
Tuner Dual Tuner Yes
DVB-T/C Yes (DVB-T)
DVB Auto channel scan Yes
Manual channel scan Yes
EPG (Digital) Yes (SI-EPG, HMEG-EPG)
TTX (OSD) Yes
Subtitle (DVB) Yes
Subtitle (TTX) Yes
LCN (Logical Channel Number) Yes
Favorite channel Yes
Parental Guide Yes
Channel List Yes
Auto Clock Setting Yes
Time Shift Yes
Timer Recording Number of Events (Programming ) 50 Events / Month
EPG (Digital) Yes
OTR OFF, 10 minutes ~ 6 hours
Dimensions & Weight Set Net Weight (Kg) 3.6
Set Net Dimension(W*H*D) 430 x 60 x 299mm
Power Consumption Standby/Operating 1W / 33W
EnergyStar 2.0 No
What we liked
• We liked the ability to be able to record a movie or program from the Program guide with a single button press which also records title and info’ about the program you have recorded for later playing. This feature allows very precise recording start and finish times as the unit can use the clock from the actual broadcasts.
• We did like the function touch screen on the recorder face which was there to use if you wanted.
• Whist you can now watch any 2D Blu-ray discs in 3D, we found it not to be a true 3D as its 3D effects are considerable less than a true 3D DVD played on the same unit.
• With the SmartHub** feature, you can easily find and watch movies online with the touch of a button.
• The combination of Samsungs’ AllShare feature and Built-In Wi-Fi, you can create a wireless home network.
• You are able to record one program while simultaneously watching another.
• Built-in Blu-ray disc player enables you to record** and consolidate digital media files in a single device.
• Any broadcasting programs from terrestrial, cable and satellite that you receive via your aerial port (RF In) are recordable.
• Watch and preview movie clips and TV programs from your Samsung Smart Blu-ray Player and Blu-ray Home Entertainment System through a customised recommendation service for VOD.
• Using the Wi-Fi feature, movies, TV programs, or whatever you’re watching on your Samsung Smart Blu-ray Player, can be seamlessly shared between DLNA certified devices.
• Built-in 3D Auto Contrast feature on your Samsung Smart TV. (3D Auto Contrast enhances 3D picture quality through its automatic 3D depth rendering technology.)
• You can watch your favourite 2D movies, TV shows or even games in 3D but they are similar in effect to that of DVD’s as previously mentioned.
• BD Wise facilitates communication between connected AV devices, enabling them to share media information. This allows them to then create an optimised viewing environment for all multimedia formats.
• HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) allows you to easily connect your compatible devices to process the TVs audio signal without an optical cable.
• Built-in benefit will up-convert SD content, including Internet streaming video, to create HD-quality images.
• In most cases it possesses easily followed menus. Even the setting of recording in advance is good.
• We liked the ability to resume in playback.
• We also liked the Auto Allshare device connection system as it took a lot of pain away from optimizing picture quality etc.
• It will do “chase play” whereby you could set the machine recording then start watching it until it caught up with recording. We consider this an extremely good function to have.
We also liked the remote, with it's glowing buttons!
What we did not like
• Slow booting and loading times of DVD’s (but we believe all 3D blu-rays do this as they need to load and check files before playing), even the manual warns you to expect some delay.
• Unable to by-pass advertisement breaks with an auto button press. (Some DVR’s will do this but the ones we are familiar with are not Blu-ray 3D. Additionally, the manufacturer has now ceased production of recorders.)
Very worthwhile to have brand compatibility as it simplifies EVERYTHING! Overall, a good unit that does all it’s designed for well. Note that you must view all 3D movies in a room as black as you can get it, as any light causes an uncomfortable feeling that is hard to pinpoint and gets progressively worse as the light increases. However, make NO mistake about it, by using these two coupled units to watch a DVD Blu-ray 3D movie, the result on screen is completely flicker free. In a very dark room, viewing a whole movie is a pleasure, with the objects coming out of the TV about 4 metres and appearing to actually pass you, so much so that several guests ducked as knives went whizzing past their ears. You should also note that the distance that the objects come out of the TV is also dependent upon how dark the room is.
At $395 Aud we found the unit to be well worth the price that ELJO www.eljo.com.au are asking for it.