Excellent file compatibility with AllShare
If your budget doesn't stretch to the BD-F7500 - or you simply don't need 4K upscaling, two HDMIs and analogue audio outputs - then the BD-F6500 is a fine alternative. Apart from the above features and a more basic design it's essentially the same player at a lower price. That means you get the same generous internet content, slick DLNA streaming, screen mirroring, 3D playback and wide format compatibility, not to mention the superb new operating system that makes navigation a breeze.
Excellent picture quality, Slick operating system, Bountiful smart TV selection
We often see Blu-ray players and question why the manufacturer has included or excluded certain features, bearing in mind the price and positioning in the market. Not so, here.
Jettisoning analogue outputs seems reasonable enough on what is a straightforward all-digital deck. By favouring and refining the smart TV side of things, Samsung seems to have its finger on the pulse and has delivered an excellent all round Blu-ray deck for today's rapidly evolving home entertainment market.
Playback quality is excellent
At first glance the £40 price difference between the BD-F6500 and the BD-F5500 feels like a lot to pay for built-in Wi-Fi and 7.1 surround sound (which hardly anyone will use). But this is a player fully equipped for the new age of content streaming. While the Catch-up TV, Netflix and LoveFilm apps will be rolling out to all Samsung's 2013 range of Blu-Ray players, only the F6500 (and the over-expensive F7500) will offer the flexibility of accessing content via built-in Wi-Fi.
Solid picture performance, Extensive smart functionality
For the money, the Samsung BD-F6500 is a likeable and competent machine. The feature count is high and picture quality is of a good standard â?? itâ??s a shame that the sound quality lets the side down.
A excellent Network and disk player
If you're looking for a solid disk and network player, the BDP-S5100 is well worth a look. Is it worth upgrading from last years BDP-S590? ... well, only if you are a heavy youtube user would I consider it. The BDP-S590 was already a excellent Bluray player, and Sony has only done a few incremental improvements here.
Very capable Blu-Ray player with 3D playback
It costs a bit more than the other Sony Blu-Ray players, but not enough to break the bank. If you're buying this is conjunction with a new TV you won't even notice the price difference. Since the BDP-S5100 includes 3D playback and built-in Wi-Fi, we'd recommend that you choose this one instead of one of the cheaper models. It's always a good policy to future-proof yourself as much as possible when buying tech.
Clean, sharp images, Impressive detail in dark scenes
If the BDP-S5100 is any indication of what's to come, 2013 could be a bumper year for Sony's Blu-ray players. This has all the hallmarks of a class-leading machine.
Excellent feature list
It's great to see Panasonic back challenging the likes of Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo with a high-end, audiophile-focused Blu-ray player, and thanks to its superlative picture and sound quality, coupled with a killer feature list, it's better value than the brands above can offer although true audiophiles might be put off by the lack of DVD-Audio and SACD playback. Overall though, the DMP-BDT500 is an accomplished Blu-ray player, truly worthy of its flagship status.
Picture is terrific in both 3D and 2D
The DMP-BDT500 is a niche Blu-ray player in some senses. If you don't own home cinema kit and simply want to connect to a TV set, its extensive audio adjustment options aren't necessary: save your money and buy a cheaper Panasonic. The same's true if you're not into music, or prefer to use a separate component for music replay. But if you want one deck to do the lot, it's a must-try.
Excellent build quality
The Panasonic DMP-BDT500 marks a fine return to high-end Blu-ray for the Japanese brand. Its flagship disc spinner boasts a wide range of features, including Viera Connect, 3D support and DLNA streaming, not to mention its sophisticated audio components, robust build quality and generous connections.
Great with 3D and upscaling
Overall, is the Panasonic DMP-BDT500 worth the extra cash over the cheaper models in the range?
Definitely. Improving on an already brilliant line-up, it's a captivating player that will make you dig out all your discs and watch them anew.
Impressive video playback
The DMP-BDT500 certainly looks like a flagship player with an attractive, if rather traditional, design. The metal chassis, gloss black finish and brushed metal strip along the bottom of the facia give the player a suitably high-end look. The larger dimensions, solid feet and increased weight, also help provide a sense of high quality player and the BDT500 is very quiet in operation.
Excellent analogue audio performance
Overall, I rate Panasonic's DMP-BDT500 as a superior Blu-ray proposition, albeit one with some caveats. Its audio-visual performance is exemplary, both in the analogue domain and over HDMI. While the lack of support for Super Audio CD, and to a lesser extent DVD-Audio, will take some shine off it for those with legacy disc collections, mainstream users are unlikely to be disappointed.
A shame then that the DMP-BDT500 lets itself down with something quite so basic as the IR controller.
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