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Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Review

The Samsung HT-D6500W Provides and All-in-One Entertainment Package

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Front View

Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Front View

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Samsung HT-D6500W is a home theater-in-a-box system that combines 3D/Network Blu-ray Disc player that also houses a built-in receiver/amplifier in combination with a 5.1 channel speaker system that includes a wireless receiver module for the surround speakers. The Blu-ray Disc player section includes native 3D, 2D-to-3D conversion, internet streaming, and the ability to access digital media content store on your PC or additional network connected devices. The HT-D6500W also provides two additional HDMI inputs for connection of other devices, such as another Blu-ray/DVD player or cable/satellite boxes. For more details, read my review. Also, after reading this review, also check out my supplemental Product Photos, as well as a sampling of Video Performance Tests.

Samsung HT-D6500W Overview

General Description: The Blu-ray Disc player section of the HT-D6500W 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. Built-in 2D-to-3D conversion also provided.

Compatible Formats: The HT-D6500W can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/-RW/DVD+R/+RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW, MKV, AVCHD, MP4, Divx and DivxHD compatible.

Video Processing: The HT-D6500W also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p output via HDMI connection (adaptable to DVI- HDCP).

Networking and Internet capabilities (Smart Hub):

Samsung HT-D6500W employs a menu that provides direct access to online audio and video content sources, including Netflix, VUDU, Hulu Plus, Pandora, plus additional content accessible via Samsung Apps.

Also featured is Samsung All-Share (DLNA), which allows connection into a home network with the ability to access digital media files from other DLNA network connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

Product Overview - Receiver/Amplifier Section

Video Processing: Direct pass-through of external video source signals (2D and 3D) up to 1080p resolution, DVD and analog input source upscaling to 1080p. 2D-to-3D conversion capability.

Audio Decoding and Processing: Dolby Digital, Dolby Prologic II, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio/Essential

Additional onboard audio processing modes include:

SFE (Sound Field Effect - Hall 1/2, Jazz Club, Church, Amphitheater), Smart Sound (evens out extreme volume changes between scenes or sources), MP3 Enhancer (upscales MP3 file playback to CD quality), Power Bass (increases subwoofer output), Virtual 7.1 (creates the illusion of 7.1 channels using a 5.1 channel setup), 3D Sound (Adds more pereived audio depth by pushing front and surround channels forward).

Auto Sound Calibration (ASC): Automatic speaker setup feature using test tones in combination with a provided microphone. Executed as Music Room Calibration (MRC).

Samsung HT-D6500W Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Rear Connect - LAN - iPod - Dig Opt - HDMI

Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Rear Connect - LAN - iPod - Dig Opt - HDMI

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Audio Inputs: (in addition to HDMI): One digital optical, One set analog stereo.

Video Inputs: Two HDMI (ver 1.4a - 3D-enabled).

Video Outputs: One 3D and Audio Return Channel-enabled HDMI output (same HDMI output referred to in Blu-ray Disc player section overview), One Composite Video.

Amplifier output: Main unit 165-170 wpc x 3.1, Wireless Receiver for surround channels 165-170 wpc x 2 (speakers and subwoofer rated at 3 ohms impedance - no THD rating given).

Note: No reference given (such as RMS, IHF, Peak, number of channels driven) for stated amplifier power output ratings.

Speaker Connections: On board connections for Center, Front L/R, and Subwoofer speakers, wireless transmitter (slot provided) provided to wireless receiver/amplifier module for powering surround L/R speakers.

Additional Connections: Built-in WiFi, Ethernet/LAN, iPod Docking Station input, USB, and FM antenna/cable input.

Product Overview - Loudspeakers and Subwoofer

Loudspeakers: Impedance - 3 ohms, Frequency Response - 140Hz - 20kHz

Center Speaker: Drivers .79-inch Hard Dome Tweeter, Dual 2.5-inch midrange/woofers, Dimensions (WxHxD) 14.17 x 2.93 x 2.7 inches, Weight 1.28 Ibs

Front L/R: Drivers: Drivers .79-inch Hard Dome Tweeter, Dual 3.3-inch midrange/woofers, Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.54 x 13.17 x 2.7 inches (Stand base 4.29 x 3.86 inches), Weight 1.85 lbs.

Surround L/R: Driver 3.3-inch full range, Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.54 x 5.57 x 2.7 inches, Weight 1.28 lbs.

Subwoofer (Passive Design): 6.5inch side facing driver with rear port, Frequency Response 40Hz - 160Hz, Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.61 x 13.78 x 11.22 inches, Weight 8.38 lbs.

Included Accessories: Wireless Receiver/Amplifier module for surround speakers, TX wireless transmission card, speaker cables for all speakers and subwoofer, iPod Docking station, Remote control with batteries, Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) microphone, composite video cable, Quick Start Guide, and user manual.

Additional Components Used for Performance Evaluation and Comparison:

Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705.

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-93 used to play 2D and 3D Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and streaming movie content.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System Used for Comparison: Klipsch Quintet III in combination with Polk PSW10 Subwoofer.

Video Projector (2D and 3D): Optoma HD33 3D DLP video projector (on review loan)

TV/Monitor (2D only): A Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3 1080p LCD Monitor

Software Used

3D Blu-ray Discs: Avatar, Despicable Me, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Drive Angry, Goldberg Variations Acoustica, My Bloody Valentine, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Space Station (IMAX), Tangled, Tron: Legacy, Thor, and Under The Sea (IMAX).

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

Standard DVDs: 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, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

Streaming Movie Content: Netflix - Hobo With a Shotgun, 13 Assassins

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, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

Set Up and Installation of the Samsung HT-D6500W

Setting up the Samsung HT-D6500W is fairly straight forward. However, it is important to mention that you should look over both the provided Quick Start Guide and User Manual, so that you know how to set up the wireless rear surround sound speaker module, how to use the Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) system, and set up the internet streaming functions.

Speaker and Audio Setup

Once you unbox everything, place the Blu-ray Disc player/Receiver combination near your TV, then place the center speaker above or below your TV and the front left and right speakers on either side of your TV or the front of your room. Also place the subwoofer in spot in the room that will give the you best bass response - usually either on on the left or right side of your TV. Color coded speaker wire is provided to connect the speakers and subwoofer to the main unit.

Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Rear Connect - Analog - Speakers

Samsung HT-D6500W 5.1 Channel Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System - Rear Connect - Analog - Speakers

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The next step is to set up the surround speakers. First, insert the TX Card in the main unit and place the wireless receiver module behind your listening position. Then connect the surround speakers to the wireless receiver module using the provided color coded speaker wire. When you turn on the main unit, the wireless signal should lock into to wireless receiver.

Also, if you desire to mount one or more speakers on the wall, the built-in speaker stands om the front left/right speakers can be detached. Wall mounting hardware is not provided.

To determine if all your speakers are properly connected and active, you have two options: You can either use the manual speaker settings option to set the distance and volume level for each speaker (a microphone and built-in test tone generator is provided), and/or you can use the Samsung Musical Room Calibration (MRC) feature that uses the microphone and test tone to perform these tasks automatically.

One interesting thing is that any manual speaker settings are separate from the automatic Musical Room Calibration Settings, allowing you to select either listening option according to your preference. Also, besides speaker distance and volume levels, a built-in graphic equalizer is also provided for you to fine tune speaker frequency response in relation to your room or personal preferences.

Internet Setup

The other major setup options include either wired or wireless connection to your home network and the internet. The HT-D6500W features built-in WiFi, which is very convenient if you have a wireless-enabled internet router, but you also have the option of connecting the system to your router using a wired connection using an Ethernet cable. I did not have any difficulty using either connection, however, in many cases a wired connection is best for streaming audio and video as it is more stable. Use the option that works best for you.

Proceed to the next page: Video and Audio Performance - Final Take

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