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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

TechRadar Verdict

Pros

  • +

    Excellent HD & SD pictures

  • +

    Versatility with digital media

  • +

    User interface

Cons

  • -

    Single Freeview HD tuner

  • -

    No Freeview+HD functionality

  • -

    Over-complicated remote

There's no facility for 3D Blu-ray playback (for that consider this (opens in new tab) 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).

Rear

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.

Jamie Carter
Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com (opens in new tab) and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com (opens in new tab) that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),