Designed as the ultimate home entertainment centre, Samsung's BD-D8900 packs everything bar the kitchen sink into one big, shiny box.

It's not only a 3D-compatible Smart TV-enabled Blu-ray player, it's also a Freeview+ HD PVR packing a generous 1TB hard drive. Want one PVR to do it all? Then this mean machine appears to be your best option. But there are caveats.

Build and connectivity

Samsung bd-d8900

Accommodating all this technology requires a chassis of some size, and the BD-D8900 obliges. Measuring 430mm wide and 64mm tall, it's a chunky chap. That said it's not without charm and a certain refinement.

There's no clunky disc-loading tray, the unit uses a slick slot loader – feed it a silver platter and it will hungrily suck it in. It also incorporates touch-panel controls and has an illuminated disc mechanism, courtesy of a semi-translucent lid. We're guessing you won't want to hide this ostentatious hulk away in a cupboard.

Despite all the functionality, the rear panel is not overcrowded. There're two HDMIs, one of which is audio only. This is used to route lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio soundtracks from Blu-ray discs to legacy (non-3D) compatible AV receivers – the primary output then delivers 3D direct to your stereoscopic display.

There are also phono AV and digital optical audio outputs, plus an Ethernet connection. Wi-Fi is integrated, so there's no need to use a dongle. There's also a component video output, but be aware that this cannot be used for high definition.

As part of the AACS copy protection regulations, it restricts Blu-ray output to 480i. Not only that, it outputs Freeview HD at 576p (unlike the HDMI alternative). This will apparently solve the problem of online piracy at a stroke and is in no away absolutely infuriating for the minority of us that simply want to make a component hook-up to our flatscreens.

On the front of the deck is a pull-down flap concealing a CI+ slot and USB port for media playback.