Having reviewed some high-end decks majority of the time, we decided to turn our attention to a budget player for a change, and Samsung players looked to be a good place to begin with. We present to you today the Samsung BD-E6100 3D compatible Blu-ray player that has been designed keeping the budget consumers in mind and yet boasts of an impressive picture together with some cutting-edge features. The South Korean manufacturer doesn’t really cater to the elite crowd always by introducing expensive decks, but are also smart enough to cover the less fortunate audience and the BD-E6100 looks to be a perfect deck for the same, especially with its attractive price tag. Also it would be the first in Samsung’s home cinema lineup for 2012 and regardless of its entry-level cost, the deck packs enough features making it a worthy upgrade for consumer’s home cinema setup.
- Samsung BD-E6100 Blu-ray Player
- User manual
- Remote Control – Remocon TM1241
Design & Connectivity
Guess Samsung doesn’t really need to be taught how to make decks and their last year’s BD-D5500 would be a perfect proof to this statement, which went on to prove that you don’t really pay through your nose for some latest and happening features like streaming media, Wi-Fi or internet content etc. And if we remember right, it indeed was a fabulous deck that was worthy of every penny spent, together with few of other Samsung decks unveiled in 2011 that were categorised as good value for money. Well, the trend seems to continue in 2012 too.
The BD-E6100 Blu Ray Player would cost you roughly somewhere around £130 and is equipped to play 3D together with most of the features that the BD-E8500 packs (barring a few), which we will get to shortly. For now, let us enlighten you on the player’s design and ports and connectivity which screams out aloud “textbook” Samsung.
This super slim and compact deck comes in an attractive brushed-metal-looking plastic finish and slots into any AV rack without much of fuss. Although at 37-mm it might look to be no great competition for the yet slimmer Panasonic DMP-BDT320 (well, if it really does bother you so much). As with majority of the blu-ray players, yes it is comes in a pitch black finish that has a brushed rotary texture on top. The front panel comes devoid of both the much favoured touch-sensitive display and the disk slot that we saw on the E8500, which has been replaced with a tray that slides out, chunky physical pushes together with a clunky light emitting diode display (now, what else can be expected from a budget player as this). Again, we are not greatly smitten by its light bodywork and it certainly lacks the quality seen in other Samsung decks.
If you think this is basic, wait until we move on to connectivity. So, talking about connectivity, there is a USB port sitting on the far right, in the front panel, that comes in handy with media playback from gadgets like digicams, card readers etc., The rear has been kept relatively sparse with connections like the Ethernet port, coaxial S/PDIF outputs and HDMI; Looks like it does give you a restricted feeling on stuff that can be watched on this Blu-ray player. Well, Samsung’s reasoning to this is many users end up plugging in players into the TV through the legacy analogue video ports and were of the wrong notion that they were watching Full HD. Though we do get the point here, we still think an additional component output wouldn’t really hurt and if anything, would only add to the flexibility. Off note, as the player evidently lacks a second HDMI and multi-channel analogue outs, you are better off having a 3D-capable receiver, if you are looking at enjoying HD audio and 3D content simultaneously. Well, you obviously cannot expect a cheap player to offer 2 USB ports or a SD card slot right?
On the brighter side, the USB port sure does come in handy, particularly with the deck’s incredible support for file formats like DivX, MKV, MOV and XviD that works perfectly seamlessly and so does AVI, MP4 and H.264. Now, if you are someone that hates the cluttering caused by messy wires, or in simple words running an Ethernet cable to the TV, then there is good news for you, all Samsung’s Blu-ray players that is internet-ready now come with an integrated Wi-Fi, no matter what the specification is. Doesn’t this make it perfect to get online, such that the Smart Hub on your Smart TV is at your disposal anywhere anytime?
Interface & Features
Looks like the deck hasn’t go through much of a makeover in terms of interface and for the most part remains unchanged. There is one main screen holding every app that includes your hub for Video storing on-demand services like Netflix, LoveFillm and BBC iPlayer. Then comes the universal search option that rummages practically every app that you may have installed, in an attempt to hunt down all of your video apps from a single box and succeeds in getting the content that you are after.
Moving on to the insides of the BD-E6100, well the deck surprises you big time presenting you with an exciting assortment of connected features that you can toy around with. The vital thing here would be the Wi-Fi onboard that allows you to go online without the need for any USB adapter. Now if you don’t have a Wi-Fi (which is highly impossible in this day and age) there is always the option of using the Ethernet port. Upon being connected, all that remains to be done is punch the Smart Hub key on the remote (there is also an option to do the same via the Home menu) that navigates you into the world of Samsung’s portal where there is a wealth of content waiting to be explored that includes Social Networking, video-on-demand, puzzles and games, internet radio service, so on and so forth together with some additional 2012 signature services.
Check out the new 3 zones in the Smart Hub, namely Kids, Fitness and Family Story. Kids puts together a handful of cartoons, games and puzzles that keeps your tiny tots glued to the set – all of which is presented in an apt lively and loud menu. Fitness is a Wii Fit-style equivalent that presents you with an array of fitness regime keeping you healthy. Though it cannot be compared to Nintendo’s accuracy (owing to the absence of a balance board), it sure is reliable in telling you the calories that you managed to burn successfully depending on the amount of clips that you exercised with. Lastly, the Family Story seems to be the useful of the lot by providing you online storage of your pictures via a Samsung account which you are allowed to share with families and friends (particularly elders who don’t really bother logging into social networking sites), provided they also own a Samsung Product. While installation of most of the content in these zones can happen via the Smart Hub interface itself, this looks to be a yet more convenient way to access things. Additionally, the vivid/breezy animated menus sure does seem to be a lot more fun to toy with.
Samsung seems to have a great taste for content and this only seems to get better by the day with crowd-pleasers like Netflix and BBC iPlayer joining the smart machos like Dailymotion, Picasa and YouTube. While Social networking is taken care of by Twitter, Facebook and Gtalk apps, the other high-brow options like AccuWeather.com, USA Today and This Day in History would be among the rest.
Moving on to Samsung Apps, this is where the entire content available gets stored via bold and chunky UI that is user-friendly too, just choose and install the ones you want. Now if you are not satisfied with Samsung’s selection, go ahead and delve into the net using the browser onboard. Then again, we wouldn’t really recommend doing so, even if you choose to utilize a wireless keyboard or USB mouse, because of the simple fact that you would require enormous patience to work with the arrow cursor in making it to travel around the screen via the pointer browsing method. The same goes true with link browsing too where it simply jumps from one link to another without the need to move the cursor. Trust us, you will have zero tolerance towards its clumsiness/sluggishness and will flee back to your laptop.
Again, the player is DLNA certified and is capable of streaming media content via a PC or other devices. It also allows for files stored in a PC to be accessed via a Smartphone and uses the deck as a renderer. Additionally, the deck doesn’t really rely on you for a Wi-Fi router coverage too, as it supports Wi-Fi Direct, and allows for creation of a peer-to-peer network. On the other hand, with the deck being connected to a router, the Software-enabled Access Point feature permits connection of other devices to the same network via Samsung.
The deck supports an excellent range of formats with playing media either via an USB device or over a network. On the video front, it covers MP4, 3GP, ASF, AVI, VRO, MKV, VOB, TS and PS containers together with WMV, DivX, MPEG-4, XviD, MPEG-1 and 2 codecs. It is also equipped to handle FLAC, MP3, JPEG and WMA.
Thanks to the Allshare feature that has undergone some tweaking, content is pretty much easier to find too, with the AllShare Play. This pulls together all possible content that it can lay its hands on in the network and USB devices into a single place, and lists the content types on the left and the devices connected on the right.
Lastly, the player is capable of piping frame sequential 3D Full HD content to a compatible TV using its v1.4 HDMI connection. Though it lacks any tweaking of manual image (that can be been seen on Panasonic’s players), you are allowed to enter your TV’s size to get optimal images.
Check out the neat menu system, which starts with an attractive Home menu using big animated icons for Settings, Smart Hub and AllShare Play. It is a pleasant experience navigating though the vivid colour palette and the precision of the proper HD graphics is worth mentioning. It holds true for the rest of the key menus too. Though it might not seem as astute as the UI of Panasonic’s decks, yet it is quite hard to not be impressed about the same. There is a neat ergonomic remote with chunky buttons and legible labeling that takes control of everything with smart placement of buttons making your fingers feel right at home.
Performance & operation
Following a seamless and rapid boot-up, the deck runs through a quick check of all vital settings namely, software update, wireless network etc., which happens in about 15 to 20 mins. The simple and attractive onscreen menus speeds up this process, though you might eventually be annoyed with the software updates that keeps springing every now and then.
Disc loads happen in a blazing speed of 35 to 40 seconds flat, right from the time you close the disc to the time your first video makes its appearance. Picture quality is amazing too. Moving on to the incredible 3D images with the promotional Avatar Blu-ray disc, it is a real feast for the eyes with great attention for minutest detail and a great depth in colours. Images look gorgeous with stuff flying and the kind of emphatic clarity that is rendered together, not to mention the absence of smearing. The hypnotic images look amazingly composed that stretches in the background with little bit of a crosstalk which brings about some disappointment. One cannot help but be dumbstruck with the swaying tree branches and flapping ferns in the foreground and amount of conviction with which all of these dig into the camera.
Now if you wanna get to the conventional 2D, it only gets even better with similar magnificent picture quality. Images are natural and crystal clear. There is a subtlety with shading in places where required together with shadow detailing in darker scenes absolutely clear, such that you do not miss out the action.
Last but not least, the deck handles almost all of the following seamlessly – playing of multimedia files via USB or network, HD MKV files with 1080p video content looks just amazing, Netflix video streaming via Wi-Fi looks to be consistently sharp and smooth together with the player doing a decent job of acting as a CD player as well.
The Samsung BD-E6100 is beyond doubt an amazing player packing tons of must-have features, not to mention the Smart Hub portal that has been through a makeover together with couple of new features like the fitness and family stuff that is sure to win over fitness fanatics and the elderly alike. Let us not forget the multimedia support via the USB and DLNA with a neat and slick user-friendly interface. Last but not least what can we say about the 2D and 3D content that is nothing short of amazing. Well, the deck has its own negatives too in terms of sparse connections, a snail-paced web browser, so on and so forth. But guess this shouldn’t really bother users a great deal, especially given its alluring price tag placing the deck into the category of a “full value for money” slot.
Samsung BD-E6100 Blu Ray Disc Player – Technical Specification Table
|Control Button||Tact Switch|
|Disc insertion type||Drawer|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||430 x 37 x 194.5mm|
|Rear Panel||1 x HDMI output
1 x Coaxial S/PDIF output
1 x USB port
1 x 10/100 Wired network ports
HDMI Version 1.4
|Playable Disc types||3D Blu-ray
|Video Decoding Formats||Colour System: PAL
|Audio Decoding Formats||Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus/TrueHD
DTS-HD Master Audio Decoding
DTS-HD High Res Audio Decoding
DTS- HD Bitstream output
|Connectivity||Integrated Ethernet LAN
Anynet + (HDMI-CEC)
Integrated Wireless LAN<
AllShare DLNA (DLNA)
|Audio Decoding Output||Dolby Decoding Channel – 2Ch
DTS Decoding Channel – 2Ch
BD wise web
Video upscale DVD
Quick start mode (0.5sec)
OSD default language – English
|Power Specification||Rating Voltage: 220~240V
Power Cord Type: BS2
|Power Consumption||Stand-by: 0.3W
|Energy Star Rating||2.0|
|Warranty||1 year on parts and labour|