Samsung has debuted its new lineup of Blu-ray players, featuring some of the most elaborate Smart features of any BD player from a major manufacturer. All new 3D players feature Samsung’s new SmartHub, which includes access to cloud based services, apps, and a full web browser.
The BD-ES6000 is a compact Blu-ray player, only slightly larger than the discs themselves, and is designed for tight spaces or discrete installation, while the BD-ES65000 is the more robust device, sporting built in Wi-Fi, and dual HDMI inputs for connecting other gear on port challenged TVs, or for those who don’t yet have 3D-capable AV receivers or processors.
Also, the Samsung smartphone app has been extended to Blu-ray players, and in addition to general control functions now offers information on the movie being played back. Finally, Samsung Kids, a channel full of educational programming and activities, is available on the SmartHub
Managed Copy, the ability to rip mobile or media server versions legally from commercial discs, has been one of the promised, but never fulfilled, features of the Blu-ray format. While some prototypes have been shown, no actual product has been launched, and only a handful of discs actually support the feature. Samsung thinks they might have a solution, and it involves the Flixster app and your DVD collection
The Disc to Digital feature is a boon to consumers with a library of DVDs. They can now register their ownership of physical DVDs, and access the same movie content on a variety of devices, virtually anytime and anywhere—even from multiple locations at once. Once digital copies have been created and added to the consumer’s UltraViolet collection, the content will be made available through the Flixster application on Samsung’s Smart Hub, as well as on a broad range of connected devices such as smart phones, tablet, PCs and Smart TVs. Consumers also have the option to purchase HD quality versions of these movies, and can share digital library content with other members under the same account.
While this is likely a Warner Bros initiative, at least for the moment, if it proves popular, you can expect other studios to follow suit. Whether or not these upgrades are free is up to the content owners, but with Sony, Universal, and Fox all now on the Ultraviolet train, you can expect that there will be something from them soon, especially if Warner starts making a decent income from it.