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Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Review

Introduction to the Samsung BD-C7900

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories

Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player is compact, stylish, and performs well. The BD-C7900 provides playback of both 2D and 3D Blu-ray Discs, 1080p upscaling of standard DVDs via HDMI output, and has a second audio-only HDMI output for connection to non-3D enabled HDMI home theater receivers.

The BD-C7900 is also able to stream audio/video content from the internet, such as CinemaNow, Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, and many more content providers that you can choose from. After reading this review also check out my Photo Gallery and supplementary Video Performance Test Results.

Overview of the Blu-ray Disc Format

Blu-ray utilizes Blue Laser and sophisticated video compression to achieve high definition video playback on the same size disc as a DVD. For more details, check out my Guide to Blu-ray and Blu-ray Disc Players.

3D Blu-ray Disc Playback

The Samsung BD-C7900 complies with the recently adopted 3D for Blu-ray Disc standard. This means that the Blu-ray Disc player is able to deliver two simultaneous 1080p signals (one 1080p signal for each eye). In order to do this, the Blu-ray Disc play must employ a new version of HDMI 1.4 that is able to transfer this signal. Of course, on the receiving end, it is required that the TV must be able to receive and process this signal, which will also require that the TV also be HDMI ver1.4 equipped.

A 3D Blu-ray Disc movie can be played on any 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player. So, if you and a friend both have 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players, you can take your 3D Blu-ray Disc movie and play it on his/her 3D-enabled player.

DVD Upscaling

In addition to Blu-ray Discs, the BD-C7900 can also upscale standard DVDs to 720p, 1080i, or 1080p (in addition to 480p) to your HDTV, via HDMI.

720p is 1,280 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 720 pixels down the screen vertically. This yields 720 horizontal lines on the screen, which are, in turn, displayed progressively, or each line displayed following another.

1080i is 1,920 pixels sent horizontally and 1,080 pixels sent vertically. This yields 1,080 horizontal lines, which are, in turn, sent or displayed alternately - all odd lines are displayed, followed by all the even lines.

Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections

Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
1080p represents the same pixel resolution as 1080i, however, the lines are displayed progressively, rather than alternately, providing a better visual look. Check out more details on 1080p.

The Practical Side Of Video Upscaling

The capability of the BD-C7900 to upscale standard DVDs in 720p, 1080i, or 1080p format allows a closer match to the capabilities of today's HDTVs.

Although this is not the same as watching your DVDs in true-high definition, such as the results you get when watching Blu-ray Discs, it does provide a better DVD viewing experience on an HDTV, especially with today's larger screen sizes.

Samsung BD-C7900 Product Features

1. The BD-C7900 features Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality with 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 Resolution output, and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via HDMI 1.4 audio/video output.

2. The BD-C7900 can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/DVD-RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/CD, MKV, MP4, and DivX.

3. The BD-C7900 provides DVD upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p output via HDMI connection (adaptable to DVI- HDCP).

4. High definition video outputs include: HDMI, DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter.

5. Standard definition video outputs include: component video (progressive or interlaced), and composite video.

6. Besides audio output via two HDMI outputs (One HDMI output is for both audio and video, and one HDMI output is audio only), additional audio output options include: Digital Optical, and a set of 2 Channel analog audio outputs.

7. Built-in Ethernet and WiFi Connectivity. Netflix®, BLOCKBUSTER On Demand®, VUDU™, Pandora® Internet Radio.

8. One USB 2.0 port for BD-Live memory expansion (1GB memory already built-in) or access to digital photo, video, and music content via flash drive.

9. A Wireless Infrared Remote Control and full color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for easy setup and function access.

Samsung Internet Apps and AllShare

The Samsung also incorporates extensive Internet and Networking capabilities.

Samsung Apps employs a menu of widgets that provide direct access to online audio and video content sources, ranging from pay services, such as Netflix, BLOCKBUSTER On Demand, and VUDU to free services such as TwitTV, YouTube, and even Facebook and Twitter.

The user can select and build a personal internet streaming access menu. As Apps are selected, icons are placed in a personalized menu where they can be accessed easily by the user (see reference photo).

In addition, the BD-C7900 also features AllShare (DLNA), which allows the BD-C7900 to access digital media files stored on other networked devices, such as media servers and PCs that are connected in your home network.

For an additional look at the features, connections, and menu functions of the BD-C7900, check out my supplementary Photo Gallery.

Hardware Used

Home Theater Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR705, and Onkyo TX-NR708 (on review loan)

Additional Source for 2D Blu-ray comparison: OPPO BDP-83.

Additional source for 3D Blu-ray Comparison: Toshiba BDX3000 (on review loan)

Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - 3D Settings Menu

Samsung BD-C7900 3D and Network Blu-ray Disc Player - 3D Settings Menu

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (7.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3s, Klipsch C-2 Center , 2 Polk R300s, Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

TV/Monitor: Toshiba 46WX800 3D LCD TV (on review loan from Toshiba).

3D Glasses: Toshiba FTP-AG01U Active Shutter 3D LCD Glasses

High Speed HDMI Cables provided by Atlona for this review.

Software Used

3D Blu-ray Discs: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Goldberg Variations Acoustica, Monster House, My Bloody Valentine, Space Station, and Under The Sea.

2D Blu-ray Discs: Across The Universe, Avatar (2D), Hairspray, Iron Man 1&2, Kick Ass, Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Shakira - Oral Fixation Tour, Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight, The Expendables, Tropic Thunder, and Transporter 3

Standard DVDs used included scenes from the following: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Moulin Rouge, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - Sparks of Ancient Light, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Lisa Loeb - Firecracker, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

Proceed to Page 2: Evaluation (Video/Audio/Internet Performance) and Final Take

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