Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray 3D Player (Home Theater magazine review) - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:07 PM
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Default Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray 3D Player (Home Theater magazine review)

Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray 3D Player (Home Theater magazine review)

** Converts 480i film based DVD’s to 1080P/24 **

While reading the Home Theater magazine review for the Samsung BD-F5900, I noticed one error in the specs for BD-LIVE. The Home Theater magazine spec page incorrectly mentions that the Samsung BD-F5900 has 1GB of internal memory for BD-LIVE. On page 55 of the Samsung BD-F5900 user manual it clearly mentions that a USB flash drive that is at least 1GB in size needs to be attached to the front USB jack. Some Blu-ray players offer 1GB of internal memory built in for BD-LIVE. In addition, since the Samsung BD-F5900 lacks a rear USB jack, this means that cosmetically a USB flash drive plugged into the front of the Blu-ray player all the time will not look good cosmetically. Most Panasonic Blu-ray players use a SDXC type card slot for BD-LIVE that is hidden behind a front door which looks better cosmetically. In addition, I have found that when using BD-LIVE some studios have a lot of HD trailers and HD bonus features for direct download and a minimum of 4GB of BD-LIVE storage is needed for those interested in downloading everything.

As required by the AACS rules this Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray player does not have any analog video outputs at all since the licensing agreements for all new Blu-ray players starting on January 1st 2014 requires only a HDMI output when playing AACS copy protected Blu-ray discs. This rule only applies to the analog video outputs and does not apply to the analog audio outputs. However many new Blu-ray players now are also removing all the analog audio outputs also to make the Blu-ray players cheaper in price.

** For those consumers that use a HDMI to DVI adapter since their display only has DVI inputs and no HDMI inputs, then you will be required to own a stereo system or surround sound system in order to hear audio from the Samsung BD-F5900. The reason for this is that Samsung decided not to offer any analog audio outputs on this Blu-ray player to make the Blu-ray player cheaper in price (It does not even have a RCA analog stereo left and right output which is needed for owners that have only DVI HDTV’s). For those consumers with a HDMI input on their HDTV this is non-issue and audio can be heard without a stereo system or surround sound system **

100% of all modern Blu-ray players have the exact same picture and sound quality when playing native 1080p/24 Blu-ray movies over HDMI. Bitstreaming and PCM internal decoding over a digital connection sounds exactly the same for audio tracks that do not have a matrix flag. The Home Theater magazine confirmed this when comparing the Samsung BD-F5900 to an OPPO Blu-ray player. However some Blu-ray players have better video performance than others when 1080i Blu-ray discs are played and 480i DVD discs are played. There are Panasonic, Sony, and OPPO Blu-ray players that have the exact same picture quality or similar picture quality when playing native 1080i and native 480i DVD discs that are upscaled to 1080P. OPPO, Panasonic, and the latest Sony Blu-ray players have passed all the difficult video benchmark tests, however the Samsung BD-F5900 failed one of the video tests for testing 2:2 HD. Another issue is that Home Theater magazine’s review never mentioned how good or poor the Samsung BD-F5900 upscales 1080i Blu-ray concert videos or 480i DVD’s to 1080P. Since the Samsung BD-F5900 failed one of the video benchmark tests a slight edge in video quality needs to go to OPPO, Panasonic, and the latest Sony Blu-ray players that have passed 100% of the video benchmark tests.

One of the positive features that the Samsung BD-F5900 offers is an option in the setup menu to convert 480i film based DVD’s to 1080p/24 by doing a reverse 3:2 pulldown. Of course upscaling a 480i movie to 1080p/24 is not going to look as good as a native 1080p/24 Blu-ray movie. So now Samsung joins OPPO, Panasonic, and Sony with the ability to offer 1080P/24 output for 480i DVD movies. Also it appears that the Samsung movie frame feature will output 1080p/24 for streaming content when movie frame is set to auto. However the VUDU streaming service on 100% of all Blu-ray players regardless of brand and model still only outputs 1080P at 60Hz by adding 3:2 pulldown. VUDU movies are native 1080P/24 when delivered to the Smart TV or Blu-ray player, however the VUDU application forces the Blu-ray player to add 3:2 pulldown and output 1080P 60Hz. Hopefully a software update to the VUDU app on all or some streaming Blu-ray players will one day fix this issue. The best way to watch VUDU is to own a Smart TV that offers 96Hz, 120Hz, or 240Hz with the repeating frame method turned on. Then the VUDU application built into the Smart TV will display the native 1080p/24 VUDU movie without 3:2 pulldown.

The following are select word for word quotes from the Home Theater magazine review

“Extremely loud disc loading”

You’ll notice that the rear panel excludes any analog connections. This was fully expected for component video outputs when the analog hole closed last year, though it’s increasingly common in cheaper players to find that manufacturers have also omitted the traditional stereo analog audio output. I’m sure it’s a money-saving move, but depending on your system, you might need that. Why, you ask? Well, if you run a multizone system and want to send a digital source like this to a second zone, you’ll probably find that your AVR won’t pass the digital HDMI or optical input from the player to the Zone 2 output. The workaround has always been to connect the player’s analog outputs alongside the HDMI cable—something I do with my Squeezebox Touch in my system to enjoy music in my backyard.”

The BD-F5900 passed all but one of our benchmark tests.”

“Comparing the video quality of the Samsung versus my Oppo BDP-103 revealed virtually no differences between the two. The color saturation and contrast were consistent throughout the film, and the minor black crush in the encode looked exactly the same between the two players. The bitstream audio out was the same as well, with ample LFE and an engaging surround environment internal PCM decoding revealed similar findings—again, no surprise.”

One of the first things you sacrifice with a budget Blu-ray player is build quality. At 4 pounds, there are teacup Chihuahuas that outweigh this baby, but you can’t have it all when you’re on a tight budget. Compared with other players in its price class, I’d say the Samsung’s build quality is equal to the competition.”

“The sparse rear panel includes a single HDMI 1.4 output that supports Blu-ray 3D and Deep Color (vaporware at this point in time), a TosLink optical output, and an Ethernet port. Since the player doesn’t include two HDMI outputs, you’ll have to have an AVR that’s 3D compatible if you plan on utilizing this aspect. If not, you could always run the HDMI directly to your display and then run an optical digital audio cable from your TV or the player to your AVR, but you’ll lose the stellar audio quality that DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD bring to the table. If you don’t plan to use 3D and have an older HDMI-capable receiver that can’t decode the lossless codecs, the BD-F5900 can decode them and send the data via HDMI as multichannel PCM to your legacy equipment.”

“Like last year’s crop of Samsung players, this baby is blazing fast in powering up and loading Java-intensive Blu-ray Discs, though with only one caveat. During the load sequence, the disc drive is extremely loud!”

“Thankfully, once the movie begins, it’s virtually silent.”

Vudu HDX streaming was a completely different animal. If I wasn’t a movie collector, I could live with watching Vudu to feed my movie appetite. On my 50-inch plasma, I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Vudu and Blu-ray on the video front. Where Vudu can’t compete is in the audio tracks, which are lossy versus the lossless formats found on those pretty, shiny discs. Regardless, if you’re in a pinch for some enter-tainment and don’t want to make a trip down to the local Redbox, you won’t be disappointed by the variety of films offered nor the quality of the presentation from the service—as long as you have a fast Internet connection.”

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