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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?

Samsung BD-C8500M
Although it's not ready for 3D Blu-ray, this deck has just about every other base covered


  • Excellent HD & SD pictures
  • Versatility with digital media
  • User interface


  • Single Freeview HD tuner
  • No Freeview+HD functionality
  • Over-complicated remote

There's no facility for 3D Blu-ray playback (for that consider this or Blu-ray recordings, but for anyone looking for an all-in-one solution, the BD-C8500 has little competition save its 250GB-endowed variant, the BD-C8200M, and Panasonic's DMR-XW380 DVD recorder or DMR-BW780/880 Blu-ray recorder.

Fitted with a 500GB hard disk and a single Freeview HD tuner, the BD-C8500 can pause and rewind live TV and record 120 hours of HD programmes.

Samsung's Internet@TV online video platform is also present, as is AllShare DLNA streaming from a PC or Mac on the same home network, playback of DivX HD (MKV) files, compatibility with Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, and a link to All Media Guide (AMG), which sees any audio CD inserted correctly named (and even ripped to the HDD).


On the rear of the unit is a HDMI output, Ethernet LAN (though the deck also has a Wi-Fi card built-in), RF in and out, component video, composite video, analogue audio out, digital optical audio out and two CAM slots for adding Top-Up TV viewing cards – now that's impressive.