Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray Disc Player
At a Glance
The Samsung BD-P1600 has an annoying front-panel cover, but otherwise offers terrific color performance, and even has streaming video options.
The $200 Samsung BD-P1600 delivers good-looking Blu-ray playback and adds a host of multimedia goodies--including BD-Live, Netflix On Demand, and Pandora streaming to your TV and home-theater sound system--previously found only in higher-end Samsung models. Unfortunately, this Blu-ray Disc player stumbles in a few simple areas.
When playing Blu-ray discs, the BD-P1600 sent very good but not spectacular images to our HDTV. Its best performance came in its handling of the opening sequence of the animated movie Cars, where it delivered vibrant, saturated colors.
On the other hand, the BD-P1600 didn't fare well with standard-definition DVDs, which the player must upconvert to 1080p.
Another issue: This model has a big flap over its front panel; the flap swings open when you eject the tray, and it stays open until you remember to close it, meanwhile posing a scrape hazard to anyone who walks past the player too closely.
The remote was disappointing, too: Many important buttons--such as the ones for Play, Pause, and the disc menu--are well placed but too small, while the setup button is quite large. The remote isn't backlit.
The BD-P1600 offers a relatively inexpensive way to add network streaming services, and it produces solid images; but you may find this unit's design frustrating. In our most recent appraisal, it finished in the middle of a pack that includes the Sony PlayStation 3, the Sony BDP-S560, and the Pioneer BDP-320.