For a long time I have been using a PC as a Blu-ray player with Cyberlink’s PowerDVD software but since I got a 3D TV (see my review) I have been trying unsuccessfully to get 3D Blu-ray’s playing on my TV. It looks like it is a problem with my PC’s integrated graphics card so I look at alternatives and in the end it worked out cheaper to buy a dedicated Blu-ray player so I got Samsung’s BD-E8600.
The player has USB, HDMI, Network, Coaxial audio output and WiFi. Connected over HDMI it uses Anynet+ to communicate to the TV so the TV’s remote will control the player and when playing a 3D film the TV switches in to 3D mode. When playing a Blu-ray I found it took about 10-15 seconds to startup which is a lot faster than my PC.
The BD-E8600 has the same apps as my Samsung Smart TV, so you get apps from Netflix, LoveFilm, Youtube and BBC iPlayer as well as many other apps. There is also a web browser built in which I found a little clunky to use. The apps work very well and for some reason the video quality on LoveFilm is much better than running through a PC. The player also has a DLNA client (Samsung AllShare) so you can browse DLNA/UPnP servers and stream videos, pictures and music to the TV.
With it having video apps and a DLNA player and my TV also having the same features I find I am using my HTPC less and less and now it’s mainly acting as a TV server.
Here is my video review: