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Samsung HT-C6930 review

Ben Pitt
22 Nov 2010
Samsung HT-C6930
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
580
inc VAT

Packed with almost every conceivable feature but sound quality doesn't quite live up to the price

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It's hard to imagine a more feature-packed home cinema system than the C6930. It's a Blu-ray 3D player with a vast range of media-streaming facilities built in (see below). There's 7.1 surround sound, with two floor-standing speakers for the front and wireless speakers for the back. Ethernet and WiFi are built in, and an external iPod dock is included. We were unable to connect to our WPA-protected WiFi network, though, and the iPod's controls were disabled in favour of Samsung's comparatively cumbersome on-screen controls.

Samsung's Internet@TV internet portal has the feel of an operating system more than a media-streaming platform. You get 18 Samsung Apps pre-installed, including YouTube, Picasa, Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps and a selection of games. Lovefilm is also listed, but selecting it brings up a "Coming Soon" message. Various others Apps are available for download, and the fact that they're all listed as Free suggests paid content might appear one day.

Logging into Facebook and Picasa for the first time was an exhausting experience. Rather than taking us directly to the relevant place, an on-screen prompt sent us on a wild goose chase. The solution felt more like an exercise in hacking than logging in, but there are advantages to Samsung's complex system. The player can hold multiple users' accounts, and their normal passwords for Facebook and Picasa are replaced by a four-digit code, which is easier to enter on the remote control.

The Facebook and Twitter interfaces are attractive but a remote control isn't the best way to use these predominantly text-based services. Text input via the number keys was painfully slow, even compared to using the remote controls on other brands of Blu-ray player. Frustratingly, photo thumbnails were shown on Facebook's News Feed but selecting them just produced a blank screen. We were able to view photos and videos when browsing via our list of friends, so presumably this is a bug that will be ironed out soon. Hopefully Samsung's engineers will figure out how to make the photos fill the screen too.

Picasa support was more successful. Friends had to be added to our Favourites on a PC, whereupon their albums appeared on the TV including any private albums they'd invited us to view. Sadly, though, slideshows showed nothing but a loading icon for about three seconds between each photo. This might not bother most well-adjusted people too much but we found it unbearably annoying.

Slow text input hampered Samsung's YouTube player, too, making searches extremely cumbersome. Even basic navigation was slow and clunky. We were able to log in to access and manage our Favorites, but not our Subscriptions, Playlists or even our own videos. With audio sync and aspect ratio problems and an inability to reverse and fast-forward, this isn't a YouTube service we'd envisage using much.

DLNA access over a home network was generally good. Our media server appeared on the player automatically, and navigating our large music library was reasonably quick. Video format support was excellent, but slideshows were once again interspersed with a blank screen between each photo and photos tagged as portrait-shaped weren't rotated.