Samsung BD-C8500M Blu-ray player/Freeview HD recorder review

Freeview HD recording and Blu-ray playback: has Samsung created the ultimate all-in-one?

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With such few recording functions, the giant-sized HDD of the BD-C8500M does lend it an air of 'World Cup cash-in' (theoretically all 64 games could have been recorded in HD), though elsewhere this is a generous, versatile and well thought-out machine.

Samsung bd c8500m

We liked

Fitted with an easy to use interface, this is a versatile deck; as well as integrating well with external media, it seamlessly connects wirelessly to both Internet@TV content and to PCs and Macs on the same network.

With plenty to experiment with and some useful features (such as its twin CAM slots), Samsung hasn't ignored the box's core duties; picture quality impresses from all sources.

We disliked

The BD-C8500 isn't a Freeview+ HD recorder, which is a huge chance missed and severely restricts the usefulness of the HDD. An overly complex, cluttered remote is the price to pay for its multi-platform talents.

Final verdict

Despite its ability to record from Freeview HD, this box's huge HDD will likely be used just as much as a hub for your digital media, though its excellent Wi-Fi connection to both PC and Mac computers – along with its song indexing of CDs it rips to that HDD – means its usefulness is questionable unless you want to rip an entire CD collection.

Essentially a Blu-ray player with a separate Freeview HD tuner alongside, the BD-C8500M seems a way to get the latest tech into a living room in one box rather than the all-in-one HD player-cum-recorder it should be.

If you're after the last word Freeview HD recording, you'd better look elsewhere – or at least consider the smaller hard disk (and price) or the BD-C8200M.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Wireless LANYes
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS HD
Brand NameSamsung
Audio FormatsCD-DA, AAC, MP3, WMA
FeaturesVideo Upconversion, Bonus View, Screen Saver
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, MPEG-2, VC-1, AVCHD, DivX HD, MKV, MP4, WMV, 3GP
Width430 mm
Depth300 mm
Product ModelBD-C8500M
Product NameBD-C8500M BD Player
Manufacturer Part NumberBD-C8500M/XEU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Now you can enjoy movies, music and photos from your PC and other mobile devices, right on your Samsung TV screen. With Samsung's Allshare (powered by DLNA) you can wirelessly sync your PC and Samsung mobile phone with your Blu-ray player, streaming content and even keeping tabs on who's calling and texting you with real-time monitoring on your screen.

Package Contents
  • BD-C8500M BD Player
  • Remote Control
Weight (Approximate)3.80 kg