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Samsung BD-P4600 review

Seth Barton
24 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
194
inc VAT

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Specifications

Samsung's stylish BD-P4600 is the first Blu-ray player we've seen that doesn't have the usual boxy design.

It's designed to be wall-mounted and comes with a pair of interlocking metal plates. One screws to the wall and the other fits to the back of the player. Of course, you'll need to run power and video cables to it, so some decorating work will be required if you want to make everything look neat. If you don't want to wall-mount it, you can use the supplied stand, which sets it at a jaunty angle.

Instead of buttons, the BD-P4600 uses touch-sensitive controls. We found these rather unresponsive, and the first press only activates them, so any input requires at least two prods. Thankfully the remote control is comfortable to hold, with sensibly arranged and clearly labelled buttons. The slot-loading drive is consistent with the minimalist design.

The BD-P4600 is quick, taking only 23 seconds to display Casino Royale's main menu after we had inserted the disc. Navigating from the movie to the menu was also fast at around six seconds. Image quality from Blu-ray movies was on a par with that of other players we've seen recently. Image processing is best left to your HD TV, as it's better placed to make adjustments based on its own display technology. The DVD upscaling wasn't the best we've seen, though.

Most of the ports are hidden in a recess on the back of the player. It has HDMI and composite outputs, but no component out. Like all modern Blu-ray players, this one supports 1080p and has a 24fps option. The BD-P4600 can output all the latest surround sound formats, including DTS HD Master Audio, which many cheaper players don't support.

Next to the AV ports are Ethernet and USB ports, plus a second USB port on the left-hand side. The BD-P4600 supports Blu-ray Profile 2.0 and BD Live, so you can access extra features and content for movies over the internet. It has 1GB of built-in flash memory to store these extras, and you can add more by plugging in a USB memory stick.

Connecting the player to our wired network was simple, but you can use 802.11b/g wireless networking by adding Samsung's USB Wireless Dongle (£39 including VAT from www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop, part code: WIS09ABGNX). With the player connected to your network, you can stream JPEG, MP3 and DivX files from any shared folder on your PC. Alternatively, you can play files from a local USB storage device. The BD-P4600 displays photo slideshows at three different speeds with or without music, and you can create ad-hoc MP3 playlists.

Our Budget Buy award-winning Blu-ray player, Samsung's BD-P1500, now costs just £120 from www.play.com. The BD-P4600 has better audio support, built-in memory for BD Live, optional WiFi, media file streaming and faster disc-loading times, but none of these is essential for watching Blu-ray movies. The BD-P4600 is a good Blu-ray player, but it's worth buying only if you intend to wall-mount it or you simply love the design.

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