Samsung HT-E6500 review

Tom Morgan
8 Jun 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A well rounded 5.1 Blu-ray kit that’s a little expensive, but packed with great features


Samsung’s latest 5.1 home cinema package might look sleek and modern from the front, but it’s hiding something decidedly more retro – it’s fitted with vacuum tubes, designed to improve your audio experience by producing a warmer sound than other systems. However, it's still packed with up to date features, including DLNA media streaming, integrated Wi-Fi, Samsung’s SmartHub internet video and 3D Blu-ray support.

Samsung HT-E6500

The main unit is only slightly thicker than the average Blu-ray player, in order to accommodate the amplifier for the five surround speakers, as well as the chunky vacuum tubes. The pair of tubes is illuminated with orange LEDs, and can be seen through a transparent panel in the roof of the unit. It's almost a shame to hide them from view by fitting the player in an AV rack.

Otherwise, the unit is rather plain, with a disc tray and touch-sensitive LED buttons hidden behind a mirror finish panel. A fold-out flap hides the single USB port, as well as a 3.5mm auxiliary input. Around the back, there are two HDMI inputs to let you connect a games console or set-top box, as well as one output to connect the system to your TV or projector. There are also digital optical audio and composite RCA inputs, an FM antenna and Ethernet port, along with proprietary connectors for Samsung's external iPod dock and the optional wireless subwoofer receiver.

Samsung HT-E6500

Thanks to integrated Wi-Fi, you won’t need to worry about running a network cable from your router to the TV, and won’t need to use the front USB port for a Wi-Fi dongle, letting you use it for local playback from a USB memory stick or external hard disk. With excellent file format support, you should be able to play almost any file - all our test videos played flawlessly, including DivX and MKV files.

If you run out of your own content, there's plenty more to be found online. The HT-E6500 has the same SmartHub portal as Samsung's TVs, and it's incredibly wide-ranging. As well as catch-up TV services from BBC iPlayer, on-demand video from Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube and DailyMotion and social networking from Facebook and Twitter, there's also a fully featured web browser. Almost any USB keyboard and mouse should work without the need for drivers - there's only one USB port, so you're best off using a wireless set with a single USB receiver.