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Excellent Blu-Ray Player but ...
Mar 25, 2010 (Updated Oct 26, 2010)
by Glenn Welt
a Somewhat Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Samsung BD-C5500 is great but beware of what the Linkstick might do (details below under CONS)..
Recommend this product?
Samsung BD-C5500 is my 3rd Blu-Ray player purchase after looking at many brands and models at retail stores. After much frustration with a VIZIO VR100 that was slow to load disks, refused to play many regular DVDs and lacked a way to add Wi-Fi, I went shopping for my third Blu-Ray player.
Found the Samsung BD-C5500C at Costco. I bought it primarily because it advertises fast loading and ability to add Wi-Fi with the additional purchase of a Samsung WIS09ABGN LinkStick Wireless LAN Adapter.
Before opening the box, I Googled BD-C5500 and found a number of mixed reviews on Amazon.
PROS. After only a few minutes of use, I found much to like about this Blu-Ray player:
1. Slim design. The Samsung is about half the height of my VIZIO Blu-Ray player.
2. One Touch control. Touching the ON/OFF symbol instantly turned the unit on, powered my LG 47SL80 TV on and even switched it to HDMI1 without me having to do anything else. In other words, the HDMI-CEC works with more than Samsung TVs.
3. Fast loading DVD tray. From the time I placed a DVD into the tray it displayed the disk menu in less than 6 seconds.
4. Auto-Play. Without having to do anything else, it starts to play a DVD after another 4 or 5 seconds.
5. Bookmarking. Unlike my former Blu-Ray players and contrary to other review er reports, if you pause, stop, turn the unit off or even unplug the power cord this Samsung BD-C5500 remembers exactly what you were watching.
6. Universal Remote Friendly. Harmony One has been my bedside pal for the past year. Although the BD-C5500 did not appear to be in Logitech's current device database, I only had to teach it 6 commands before it properly configured.
7. Internet @ TV. Assuming there are no connection problems to the internet via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi adaptor, the BD-C5500 has the ability to deliver news weather and other streaming data to your TV.
8. Excellent picture quality when playing Blu-Ray discs and does great job of upconverting regular DVDs via an HDMI cable connection to TV.
9. Excellent sound quality via an HDMI cable connection to TV.
10. Very fast disk changing. Having owned about 2 dozen DVD players over the years, this is THE FASTEST at swapping disks. By simply pressing any of the touch controls on the front of the unit it turns on, press the tray open/close, swap disks and press the on/off icon. All this can be done in about 7 seconds.
11. Samsung is adding more and more services and games via Internet @ TV wifi connection. It's fun watching youtube videos on my 46" HDTV.
CONS. Samsung WIS09ABGN LinkStick Wireless LAN Adapter cost me an additional $72 and it changed the language of my Blu-Ray player!
The Linkstick is the size and shape of most pendrives and plugs into the back of the player like a normal USB device. While trying to set-up mailto:Internet@home, all of the on-screen information suddenly changed to a language that looked like either Chinese, Japanese or Korean and i could not get the Blu-Ray player changed back to English because i could not read ANY of the info being displayed on any of the set-up screens. I looked for a pin hole on the player hoping that I could depress a reset button with the end of a paper clip. No such reset button. Tried unplugging the player for 12 hours to no avail. I finally gave up and returned the unit to Costco and took home a replacement. I plugged the Linkstick into the back of the player, connected my HDMI to TV and when the unit came on, much to my surprise, everything on the 2nd player was also in Chinese!
Logic suggested that the Linkstick had some kind of programming bug oir virus. Before driving back to Costco again, I decided to see if somehow I could "get lucky' and find a way to change the player back to English. Just in case this happens to you, here's how i fixed the problem;
1. Use the light green MENU button on the center of the remote to get into the Main menu mode.
2. Use the left or right arrow button to navigate to the Settings mode (icon with gears.
3. Press the ENTER button (button in center of the 4 arrow buttons)
4. You should now see a list of 8 headings on the left side.
Using the down arrow button, go to the 5th heading (Language) and click the ENTER button.
5. Click the right arrow button and a drop down list should appear with English as the top choice.
6. Click Enter button and everything should instantly change back to English. You can then press EXIT (white button below & right of arrows)
After i accomplished this I wondered if the Linkstick would allow me to do what it's supposed to do ... connect me to my wireless router.
I then went back to the Main Menu and navigated to mailto:internet@home. However, i quickly figured out that I needed to go back to Settings, select Network, select Wireless as Network Type and enter my alphanumeric security key. happily once I did this, i was almost instantly connected to my Netgear WNR2000 router. Once that was accomplished everything thereafter was fairly self-explanatory. I had no trouble connecting to Netflix, downloaded a free app of Texas Holdem and read some US News. With a distance from router to player of approximately 15 feet, I had zero connection issues and download speed appears to be somewhere between "G" and "N" so streaming a movie shouldn't be a probleM.
4/21/2010 UPDATE: As of yesterday my local Sams Club had stacks of these on sale at $149 (and Costco still has them at $159).
10/26/2010 UPDATE: Today I am returning the Blu-Ray player to Costco for a refund. Here's why:
1. I don't find the mailto:internet@home functions to be very useful when compared to an alternative that I created.
If you have a computer with a video card that has the latest HDMI port, you can simply run an HDMI cable from your computer to TV. This gives you the capability to watch ANYTHING on your PC or from the internet to the maximum hi-def of your TV. In short, I can now watch full length TV shows and movies at hulu.com on my 46" LG in full 1080 that is so close to the quality of Cox Cable, that i forget where the media is coming from.
2. The price of this Samsung player is now as $99. By Christmas (or shortly thereafter) it might be considerably less than that).
3. I can sell the wi-fi adaptor on ebay and mighty get enough to cover what I paid for the EVGA GT430 Video Card and the 50' foot HDMi cable I found on Ebay for $11.
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