Samsung BD-E6100 review

Bargain Blu-ray player chucks in 3D and Smart Hub apps

Samsung BD-E6100 review
3D movie performance is almost as impressive as Smart Hub content

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Just 3.7cm tall and less than 20cm deep, there's not an AV rack around that couldn't take Samsung's well-equipped Samsung BD-E6100 Blu-ray player.

That fact that it's 3D-capable will attract many, especially since that feature only appears to attract a premium of £30 or so over a bare bones Blu-ray deck, but in truth it's only a polished user interface or two away from Samsung's 2011 crop of Blu-ray players.

We liked

The inclusion of Wi-Fi on a budget Blu-ray player is laudable and adds essential flexibility to the Smart Hub and networking features, while the file support over both Wi-Fi and from a USB device is as impressive as it gets.

FLAC audio file support gets a special mention, although it's the overriding AllShare Play user interface that we like best. It's a great attempt at joining together different sources, and links together laptops, PCs and netbooks to a TV, with thumbnails of videos beautifully presented.

We also like the way Smart Hub can conduct a keyword search across all video streams, YouTube, Facebook and even in a web browser. But the boldly coloured 2D and 3D images really make sure that the Samsung BD-E6100 never strays from its core aims.

We disliked

The Samsung BD-E6100 is slow. Not to load discs, but software. Just returning to the home screen causes a blank of about five seconds, while engaging anything remotely complicated - such as Smart Hub - takes even longer to completely render or refresh.

Updates to the Smart Hub's contents are regular and take an age to load. Given the regular updates and firmware upgrades, any kind of prodigious use of the Smart Hub is going to easily exceed the built-in 300MB storage; you'll have to learn to live with a USB stick protruding into the room from the front of the Samsung BD-E6100.

We're also not convinced about a lot of content on Smart Hub (who wants the bland Fitnesss and Family Story cluttering up the Smart Hub screen?) while both the web browser and the appearance of adverts within the user interface are disappointing.

Final verdict

A great value 2D and 3D Blu-ray player boasting excellent picture quality, impressive streaming and digital file playback, Samsung's entry-level Samsung BD-E6100 stutters only on a slow Smart Hub interface that's cluttered with novelty apps, services and even advertising.

Also consider

An almost identically priced and specified deck, the Samsung BD-E6100's biggest rival is likely to be the upcoming Sony BDP-S390.

If you're prepared to pay a bit more to get to grips with a customised touchpad remote control, consider the Panasonic DMP-BDT220, which also boasts a swish new user interface and refreshed Viera Connect services. We'd judge both as tidier and richer in core content than Samsung's efforts on the Samsung BD-E6100, but they come at a higher price and will be overkill for some.

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 He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),