The BD-D5500 entry-level Blu-ray Disc Player from Samsung does something remarkable. Despite being one of the cheaper players, Samsung has manage to equipped it with many nice Blu-ray features usually only found on higher-end players. Features such as Smart Hub, 3D playback and DLNA support. The only real drawback is that the BD-D5500 is WI-Fi ‘Ready’. Meaning you need to purchase a wireless USB dongle. But if built-in Wi-Fi is not a concern for you, than the BD-D5500 is a very solid choice for those on a budget.
While the price and extra features of the BD-D5500 make this Blu-ray Player a very good value, there are still some compromises Samsung had to make. For example, if you are familiar with Samsung’s higher-end models, you will quickly notice how well-built and stylish they are. Missing from the BD-D5500 is the high-tech looking silver finish or unique design. Instead you get a glossy back finish and a normal design layout. However, the BD-D5500 is slim, measuring only 1.5 inches, and its operation is easy to use with sensor touch control buttons.
Video Quality: The BD-D5500 Blu-ray Disc Player is capable of FUll HD 1080p video resolution on Blu-ray discs and can up-convert standard DVDs to near HD levels. You get superb picture quality that highlights every detail of the images. The player produces clear, natural colors that stay consistent throughout. Video connections for the BD-D5500 consists of a HDMI Output, Component Outputs and Composite Outputs. Of course you would want to use the HDMI output, as it provide the best possible picture quality.
Audio Quality: Audio connections include the HDMI Output, Optical Digital Output and 2.0-channel Analog Outputs. The BD-D5500 delivers high-def audio with decoding of Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. Providing brilliant, realistic soundtracks to all your Blu-ray movies. You get multichannel movie theater audio when you connect the player to your A/V receiver via HDMI. Unfortunately, there is no multichannel analog outputs, only 2-channel. This is not surprising, considering this is an entry-level model.
One big advantage you get with this entry-level player is the ability to playback 3D Blu-rays discs. It is very rare for an entry-level player to have 3D capability. Even if you don’t own a 3D HDTV, having this feature means you will not have to update your player in the future if you do get a 3D HDTV. Saving you money. If you do have a 3D HDTV, than don’t worry about the 3D performance of the BD-D5500. The video quality on 3D images is also excellent, providing crisp details, nice colors and smooth motion.
Other great feature you get with the BD-D5500 includes Samsung’s Smart Hub with Web connected Apps. Giving you access to online streaming content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. There is a Search All feature where you can find videos or files on apps or on other devices through Samsung’s AllShare DLNA Technology (Stream media files from your computer to your TV screen). Also, you have a Your Video feature which will recommend movies you might like based on your previous viewing habits.
Of course to access these features you will need an internet connection. The BD-D5500 can connect to the internet through its Ethernet Port or with a Wireless USB adapter. The USB adapter is sold separately. This is a major drawback and if want Wi-Fi; you should consider purchasing a Blu-ray Disc Player with Built-in Wi-Fi. It is cheaper to ourchase a mid-level player with built-in Wi-Fi, than getting a player and a wireless USB adapter.
The BD-D5500 also has 2 USB ports. The USB port can be used to playback videos, music or photos. The supported files include AVCHD, MKV, AVI, DIVX HD, XviD, MPS,WMA, WMV and JPEG. These files are also supported by the AllShare DLNA feature as well. Great for any one who has a wide range digital media collection.
The BD-D5500 Blu-ray Player is fast and easy to operate compared to other players. The main menu is simply a row of options at the bottom of the screen. These large icons, which are easy to identify, can be selected by moving left or right with the remote. This straightforward structure is duplicated through-out the player’s menu system.
For its asking price, the Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-ray DVD Player provides many great features and delivers excellent performance on both 2D and 3D Blu-rays, as well as DVDs. The Smart Hub feature is one of the better online streaming media services and if you add in the player’s DLNA and USB capabilities, you have a Blu-ray Player that will give you endless hours of Home Entertainment.
THE PROS: The BD-D5500 Blu-ray DVD Player is an entry-level model in Samsung’s 2011 line-up. Beside playing Full HD 1080p, the player has many other great features. Such as being 3D capable and is equipped with Samsung’s Smart TV. Giving you access to thousands of movies, TV shows and music from Netflix, Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora and social updates from Facebook or Twitter. The player has an Ethernet Port and is also Wi-Fi “Ready’ if you want to connect wirelessly. Other features include DLNA capability, 2 USB ports (DivX HD, MKV, MP3, WMA and JPEG support) and Ultra-fast Play.
THE CONS: The player is capable of handling BD-Live content, but a USB memory device of 1 GB is required to download any material. This is needed because there is no internal memory located on the player. Also, if you want to have a wireless connection, a wireless LAN Adapter is required – which must be purchased separately. The BD-D5500 is also not as well-built or stylish as some of the other higher-end models.
THE FINAL WORD: The Samsung BD-D5500 is a solid entry-level Blu-ray Disc Player. Offering all the standard blu-ray features like excellent Full HD 1080 video resolution on Blu-ray discs and audio decoding of of Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. What separates it from other entry-level players is the extra features like DLNA and 3D playback. Most entry-level player are 2D players. If you are not interested in the 3D function, you may want to check out the BD-D5300 which is not 3D and is even cheaper. Price you should look for when purchasing — Under $150.00