- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 03 September 2013
The Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray Player In Use
With your standard Blu-ray movies, the BD-F5900 is a fine performer. Menus and loading are relatively quick, and the image looks correct when watching a variety of titles. There is no clipping of colors or pixels, and so the image on-screen with films looks just like what was on the disc. I don't have any glitches or errors with discs not loading, which are all too common now, but even early screener copies of films play back just fine.
On DVD content, the playback looks much choppier that it does on my reference Oppo BDP-103. At the start of the Porto Corsa race in Cars 2 there are a number of pans around the racetrack and those have a very choppy feel to them. I don't notice this with Blu-ray content, but since DVD is encoded differently, it seems to only affect this aspect.
The biggest change in the Samsung from the prior model I reviewed is the updated SmartHub interface. Previously the SmartHub was divided up into multiple sections, lack the ability to customize it much. The new interface allows for far more streaming services or apps on the screen than before, but you can also customize it to how you want it. You can even setup multiple users, so my wife can see her choices, and I can see what I'm interested in.
The one aspect I find confusing is the bottom of the screen would say "More Apps", which leads to a second page if there are a lot of apps installed. A label of Next Page is clearer about what this is for, as the App Store is used for adding more. A small nit-pick, but it was the only confusion I had with the new setup that is overall great.
My go-to apps for testing, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu, all work great for the most part. Netflix has the Kids interface option, and the rest of the apps all sport their standard interfaces and not custom skins. I also installed the Amazon Cloud Player app, which I'm finding more and more useful. The one issue I did have with the apps is Amazon Instant Video triggered a restart of the player once. It never repeated, so it may be rare, but it did happen.
The one feature on the Samsung that caused the most issues for me before, and still does, is the Search feature. If I'm looking to watch a movie, like Cars, I can use the Search feature and Samsung will show me all the ways I can watch it across the different streaming services. This time when I searched for Cars and then hit OK, it instead brought me to Michael Jackson: This is It. That is the title that was highlighted in the interface before I hit search, so there is some bug that is causing issues with Search still. If Samsung can get all the issues ironed out in this it will be a nice feature, but as with the last time I tested it, it remains a little buggy.
Overall I find the BD-F5900 to be good for Blu-ray content, with quick loads and menus, and to have the best streaming interface of a Blu-ray player I've used this year, but to have a bit of an issue with DVD playback.