A Review Of The Samsung BD-J7500 – J7500 – 4K Upscaling Blu-Ray Player
Samsung’s BD-J7500 Blu-ray Player is a serious contender in the current market and impresses us with almost every aspect of its well-thought out design and features. With a truly user-friendly interface, a great pre-installed app bundle and access to all the catch-up and streaming content your heart could possibly desire, the system is everything you need and more. The list of extras adds to its growing reputation, with the surprise addition of an additional 7.1 surround sound analogue output being one of the top favourites. The highlight by far though, is its 4K UHD upscaling capabilities. Blu-ray is crisper and brighter than ever; 3D is deeper and bolder, and older, low resolution content is given more life than ever thanks to the roughly 8 million additional pixels the smart system brings to the party.
But while all of this is fantastic, is this really the right time for a 4K upscaling Blu-ray player? 4K UHD Blu-ray DVDs and players will be hitting the shelves in a matter of months, and the system could be rendered pretty irrelevant. We’re also left wondering whether this is the reason Samsung has stuck with last year’s Smart Hub interface for the system. As brilliant as it is, it too has a limited shelf life.
When all is said and done though, we have to give this system some serious points. It’s so much more than just a Blu-ray player; it’s an all-round smart home entertainment system with endless capabilities that won’t put you out of pocket.
The player comes with a host of pre-installed apps, including Netflix, Plex, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Deezer and TED. If these bundle apps aren’t what you’re looking for, you can easily download your favorites too. Once you’re connected to the web, either through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable, the clean and comprehensive interface provides simple navigation for you to access on-demand and catch-up content, as well as seamless streaming.
The picture quality in a word? Flawless. Colours are vibrant, details are crisp and there isn’t the slightest hint of lagging or blurring. The player’s 4K upscaling brings Blu-ray and 3D DVDs to life, with deep contrast, immaculate brightness and well-judged colours. DVDs, if not as impeccably, are still convincingly upscaled, and even low-quality digital files get a significant boost – basically, it really makes the most of whatever you throw at it. For several million ‘guessed’ pixels, the performance is pretty astounding overall.
One area where the BD-J7500 really stands out from the crowd is its connectivity. While it features the standard bouquet of wired/ wireless LAN options, HDMI outputs, Toslink audio and USB, it also boasts a full set of analogue audio outputs, including individual outputs for a 7.1 surround sound setup for those with older AV receivers that aren’t compatible with 3D or 4K video. From a convenience and price point of view, this alone blows many of the player’s competitors out of the water. The player also conveniently connects to any Samsung M-Series wireless speakers or sound bars for an unrivaled surround sound experience to match the visuals.
The BD-J7500 is more than nippy, with discs loaded and ready to play in less than 15 seconds. Say goodbye to your settling down time while the disc loads and seeks. Its responsiveness is consistently impeccable and you won’t find yourself staring at a ‘loading’ screen ever again. Streaming functions are fast too, with apps such as Amazon Instant, Netflix and BBC iPlayer loading and reaching their full HD resolutions in no time at all.
Its sleek and clean design adds good looks to ample brains for the whole package. While you might be used to hiding players away in a cabinet, you won’t mind leaving this little bombshell out for the world to see. Although yes, it is technically a black box; its compact design, stylish gunmetal finish and disc tray which glides out from behind a black mirrored flap give it an elegant edge. The imperceptible controls are flush on the top of the player and are subtly backlit by LEDs which dim during playback, so there are no distracting flashing lights while watching.
A host of smart and convenient little extras will make you feel like a kid on Christmas. Our favorite has to be the glow in the dark remote. Say goodbye to the hassle of losing it in the couch or having to put the light on to adjust the volume during a movie.
4.5 - 94 Reviews
Our first question about the BD-J7500 is a big one – why? While it’s useful for those who’ve adopted a 4K-capable television, 4K Blu-ray DVDs and players, which will vastly outshine 4K upscaling, are in the pipelines and could be here before the end of the year. It seems like the player – as hot as it is – could just be a flash in the home entertainment pan.
Samsung has also decided to stick with last year’s Smart Hub, and although everyone agrees that it’s an excellent interface, we can’t help but worry that it’s going to seriously limit the lifetime of the player’s relevance.
A handful of small details also have us falling just a bit out of love with this otherwise-awesome player. Granted, the touch-sensitive controls are undeniably sleek, and dimming during playback is a smart move, but it makes the buttons frustratingly hard to find, particularly while watching a movie.
The screen-mirroring feature also loses points for the BD-J7500. While this seems to be a problem across the board, and not just for Samsung devices, it doesn’t make it less infuriating that most devices just don’t seem to work as they should.
Upscaling Engine: Yes
4K Upscaling: Yes
3D Blu-ray Playback: Yes
Smart Features: Yes
Disc Formats: Blu-ray, DVD, CD, CD-RW, DVD + R/RW
File Formats: WMV9, MPEG4, MKV, DivX HD, MP4, FLAC, MP3, AAC, JPEG
Audio Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution
HD power consumption:
Stand by: 0.4
Rating voltage: ac110-120v ~50/60hzmaster audio
While the BD-J7500 generally impresses across the board, a handful of features really stand out and take it to the top of the Blu-ray player food chain.
The 4K upscaling works brilliantly. Low-res digital content gets a major boost, and the already impressive Blu-ray and 3D footage is elevated to a new experience with bold colours, crystal clear details and a fresh depth of contrast.
Interface can make or break or a system and Samsung has kept it pleasantly clean and simple with the Smart Hub. Easy to navigate and swift to respond, this one is a winner.
The BD-J7500 comes with a pre-installed app bundle that will please just about anyone, but if they don’t, you can go ahead and download your favourites too. Never-ending Netflix, glorious Plex, Deezer and of course, YouTube are just some of the 22 well-chosen apps. And with the player’s fantastic streaming capabilities, you’ll never have nothing to watch again.
Last, but definitely not least, there isn’t much you can’t connect to the BD-J7500. While most players nowadays offer the full suite of wireless LAN options, HDMI outputs, Toslink audio and USB, our handy BD-J7500 also gives us analogue outputs for a 7.1 surround sound setup for older AV receivers that aren’t 4K or 3D compatible. Dual HDMI outputs also allow you to use the player with both your 4k TV such as the UN60JS7000 and projector simultaneously, so there’s no need to rewire it every time you host movie night.
4.5 - 94 Reviews
The BD-J7500 is all about visuals. The player’s 4K UHD upscaling does justice to 3D and Blu-ray DVDs, giving them a new depth with vibrant colours, defined details, flawless brightness and surreal contrast. Even lower-resolution footage gets a new lease on life with almost 8 million additional pixels being ingeniously added to each frame. Playback doesn’t reveal a hint of lagging or blurring, and the tell-tale jagged edges of mediocre upscaling don’t feature in the slightest.
While it’s true that the picture quality is still not at the level of native 4K quality, the system really puts itself a cut above the rest by elevating whatever you throw it.
The BD-J7500 ticks all the boxes when it comes to connectivity.
HDMI Output: 2
Screen Mirroring: Yes
Optical Digital Audio Outputs: 1
Built in Wi-Fi: 1x1 Dual Band
The BD-J7500 is currently discounted on Amazon for $157.99. Regular price is $249.99.
4.5 - 94 Reviews
Large number of pre installed apps
4K UHD up-scaling built in
1 second start up time
3D Blu-Ray capability
Dolby Digital Plus & True HD for suberb sound
Dated operating system
Screen mirroring doesn't always work
Touch sensitive controls not intuitive