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BaronGrivet

66 posts

Master Geek


#154715 5-Nov-2014 12:36
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Last year I built up a HTPC with the intention of making the most out of it's power/ flexibility to access video content across the web.

After several months it's only been used for:

 

  • Netflix (via UnBlockUs)
  • Youtube
  • BBC iPlayer (via UnBlockUs)
  • TVNZ OnDemand
  • DLNA media files
With this in mind I have to concede that the user interface can be frustrating (either wireless keyboard/trackpad or Unified Remote) and off-putting for other family members. I'm also having heat/ noise issues with the HTPC that are increasing with the warmer weather.

So I've been wondering whether it would make sense to get a Samsung BD-H6500 Ultra HD Smart 3D Blu-ray player or similar: 
http://www.samsung.com/nz/consumer/tv-audio-video/blu-ray-player/blu-ray-player/BD-H6500/XY

They're cheapish ($200-250), would come with a traditional remote - and would mean we could do everything (Blu-ray/DVD/streaming) from a single device.

I've heard that the Samsung interface isn't too bad either.

The rest of my gear is Sony so if Sony (or any reputable brand for that matter) do a comparable option I'd be interested.

Is anyone currently using a Samsung for what I've described? What do you think?

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Stress
48 posts

Geek


  #1169206 5-Nov-2014 12:39
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If the smart interface is anything like Samsung TV's it'll be very easy to use and the apps will work well.

 
 
 

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reven
3671 posts

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  #1169260 5-Nov-2014 13:59
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you wont be able to use netflix + nz apps at the same time.   you'll have to decide what region you want (unless someone knows a way around this?)/

I just set mine to the UK so i can view iplayer and netflix.  netflix can use the US account, even though samsung set to uk/different region.

DaveB
1139 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #1169386 5-Nov-2014 16:33
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Who wants to watch NZ apps? So much available through the UK site including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITVPlayer, 4oD, 5 on Demand, Scottish TV Player Ireland etc etc. There's only 24 hours in a day and hey, we do have to work during some of them. Oh and don't forget Plax server. Samsung Smart Hub will make everything you have built in the past obsolete. End of Story!



BaronGrivet

66 posts

Master Geek


  #1169686 6-Nov-2014 07:44
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DaveB: Who wants to watch NZ apps? So much available through the UK site including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITVPlayer, 4oD, 5 on Demand, Scottish TV Player Ireland etc etc. There's only 24 hours in a day and hey, we do have to work during some of them. Oh and don't forget Plax server. Samsung Smart Hub will make everything you have built in the past obsolete. End of Story!

I haven't had much interest in watching NZ television for a while now. Reality shows aren't my thing.

But some other members of my family want to watch the occasional NZ show OnDemand so I'm trying to make their lives as easy as possible.

SirHumphreyAppleby
2609 posts

Uber Geek


  #1169690 6-Nov-2014 07:48
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Can these output 1080P24 from Netflix and other streaming services?

The Roku can't, and I doubt they Amazon Fire TV Stick will.

BaronGrivet

66 posts

Master Geek


  #1169694 6-Nov-2014 08:01
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SirHumphreyAppleby: Can these output 1080P24 from Netflix and other streaming services?

The Roku can't, and I doubt they Amazon Fire TV Stick will.

Netflix Support is saying 1080p for some of the Samsung 6500 series - but they don't list the BD-H6500 here: https://help.netflix.com/article/en/node/500 


KiwiTim
373 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1171284 8-Nov-2014 11:37
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Yes, Netflix is 1080P and the BBC iPLayer can also stream in their HD mode very well. The picture quality is fantastic. I purchased a BD-H6500 for $149.99 when Harvey Norman had a special back in the middle of the year. I would not be surprised to see that price again just before and after Christmas. I would watch the price in Pricespy and pounce when you see a good price.

The only con I would have about this unit is that the processor is a little slow; it's a dual core. I would not be surprised if next year's model gets a quad core. Maybe that might be worth waiting for.

I believe that the Netflix app can do 4K for their 4K content if you have a 4K TV, which I don't. Also the unit upscales to 4K.

It's got to be the best value I've had for $150 for a long time.

Tim



BaronGrivet

66 posts

Master Geek


  #1171292 8-Nov-2014 11:56
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KiwiTim: Yes, Netflix is 1080P and the BBC iPLayer can also stream in their HD mode very well. The picture quality is fantastic. I purchased a BD-H6500 for $149.99 when Harvey Norman had a special back in the middle of the year. I would not be surprised to see that price again just before and after Christmas. I would watch the price in Pricespy and pounce when you see a good price.

The only con I would have about this unit is that the processor is a little slow; it's a dual core. I would not be surprised if next year's model gets a quad core. Maybe that might be worth waiting for.

I believe that the Netflix app can do 4K for their 4K content if you have a 4K TV, which I don't. Also the unit upscales to 4K.

It's got to be the best value I've had for $150 for a long time.

Tim

Thank you Tim for taking the time to get such excellent feedback, it's very much appreciated.

Two (hopefully quick) questions:

1. How does the slow CPU manifest itself? Is it poor picture quality/ buffering or the general responsiveness of the machine?

2. What other apps/ services do you use outside of Netflix and iPlayer? Any experience with the NZ offers?

richms
26761 posts

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  #1171321 8-Nov-2014 14:08
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DaveB: Who wants to watch NZ apps? So much available through the UK site including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITVPlayer, 4oD, 5 on Demand, Scottish TV Player Ireland etc etc. There's only 24 hours in a day and hey, we do have to work during some of them. Oh and don't forget Plax server. Samsung Smart Hub will make everything you have built in the past obsolete. End of Story!
\

Flatmates, Shortland street on ondemand are what got a friend complained at for changing theirs over to UK so they could get iplayer.

Just watch out, I bought a local samsung bluray with the intention of using it on a non smart tv.

It only outputs 1080P 50Hz so things look bad from the smart player stuff. Whereas the blu ray playback will switch rates based on the media. Samsung told me some nonsense about "PAL" when I complained, which is funny as it has no analog outputs at all to worry about these relics of the past, unlike the justification that the broadcasters use to cripple freeview at 50Hz.




Richard rich.ms

KiwiTim
373 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1171364 8-Nov-2014 16:59
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BaronGrivet:
KiwiTim: Yes, Netflix is 1080P and the BBC iPLayer can also stream in their HD mode very well. The picture quality is fantastic. I purchased a BD-H6500 for $149.99 when Harvey Norman had a special back in the middle of the year. I would not be surprised to see that price again just before and after Christmas. I would watch the price in Pricespy and pounce when you see a good price.

The only con I would have about this unit is that the processor is a little slow; it's a dual core. I would not be surprised if next year's model gets a quad core. Maybe that might be worth waiting for.

I believe that the Netflix app can do 4K for their 4K content if you have a 4K TV, which I don't. Also the unit upscales to 4K.

It's got to be the best value I've had for $150 for a long time.

Tim

Thank you Tim for taking the time to get such excellent feedback, it's very much appreciated.

Two (hopefully quick) questions:

1. How does the slow CPU manifest itself? Is it poor picture quality/ buffering or the general responsiveness of the machine?

2. What other apps/ services do you use outside of Netflix and iPlayer? Any experience with the NZ offers?


You just have to wait for a few seconds when the machine boots up, and during those few seconds the menu is a bit sluggish to navigate around. Once fully booted, it is fine.
I use Unotelly to access the UK content, and occasionally the iPlayer fails to start. This is usually easily rectified by exiting and restarting the app.

Besides BBC iplayer and Netflix, we use ITV, 4oD, BBC Sport, BBC News, France 24 News, Euro News. We don't have paid subscriptions for Amazon and other paid streaming video services that you can access through the Smart Hubb, so I can't comment on them.

You won't regret buying this device (unless you wish to hold off for next year's model). I have several friends with it. They have slower internet than mine (50 MBPS), but it seems to run smoothly even on 12 MBPS.

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