Samsung BD D8500A 3D RecorderIf 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.

 Whats in the box?As a bit of a celebration of their newly launched improved and now excellent website found at  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?

Rear of unitSETUP
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.

TV aerialOPERATION    
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
    AVCHD     Yes
    MKV     Yes
    WMV (1/2/3/7/9)     Yes
    HD JPEG     Yes
Audio Decoding Format     Dolby Digital     Yes
    Dolby Digital Plus     Yes
    Dolby True HD     Yes
    DTS     Yes
    DTS-HD HRA     Yes
    DTS-HD Master Audio     Yes
    LPCM     Yes
    AAC     Yes
    MP3     Yes
    WMA     Yes
Audio Decoding Output     Dolby     7.1ch
    DTS     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
    Karaoke     No
Connectivity     Anynet + (HDMI-CEC)     Yes
    USB Host     1EA
    Ethernet     Yes
    Wireless LAN Ready     No
    Wireless LAN Built-in     Yes
    Allshare**     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
    Radio     Yes
    OTA     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

Illuminated front touch screen 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.
Note -  the lumenescent functions on remote

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  are asking for it.