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Samsung BD-P4600 review

Samsung BD-P4600 review
Ben Drawbaugh
Ben Drawbaugh|July 16, 2009 1:00 PM

In a day when the most inexpensive Blu-ray player can be had for $99, you really have to do something special to a player to make it warrant a $499 price tag. This is obviously what Samsung is trying to do with the BD-P4600, but not in the normal way we'd expect. Instead of adding features or improving the specifications, Samsung has instead went the supercilious route and focused this player on the "wall people.' We all know looks aren't everything -- or shouldn't be at least -- so you'll just have to read on to find out if the functionality of the BD-P4600 matches the appearance.

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The Good
  • Wall mountable.
  • We like the look and feel of the "buttons."
  • USB port on the side and under back for incldued $80 WiFi dongle.
  • Low power consumption at less than one watt on standby, 16 watts watching movies.
  • A double press is required to eject, which makes it hard to hit it accidentally.
  • Internally decodes all codecs which is nice for Bonus View.
  • Includes built in storage for BD Live (1GB).
  • Features a screen saver.
  • WiFi worked the first time we tried itNetflix and Pandora access.
  • HDMI-CEC worked perfectly with Samsung HDTV.
  • Great pictures quality.
  • Fast load times at 66 seconds to load Ratatouille from off, and 48 seconds when on -- but not the fastest.

The Bad
  • Fan noise is noticeable, but not super annoying.
  • No discrete analog outputs, which is rare at this price.
  • Audio track name is cut off on main info screen, so you can't tell TrueHD from Dolby Digital.
  • No eject button when off, but you can just load a disc to turn on -- are we the only ones who leave discs in?
  • We hate how you have to stop movie to configure options -- still.
  • Resume still only works on some titles, not sure if BD-J will always prevent this.
  • Samsung Blu-ray remotes still suck, no back light, cheesy etc.
  • HDMI-CEC should be on by default.
  • No resolution pass through and have to stop to change resolution for things like extras.
  • Minimal front display, track time only.

The ugly
  • No discrete IR codes for use with programmable remotes.
  • $499 price tag.

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Let's come right and say it, this is a great player, but not for the price. For anyone other than those who simply must mount everything on their wall, the BD-P3600 just makes more senses. Sure slot loading is cool, but not when it's on the side. The 3600 simply offers almost all the same features and more for less money, with the only difference between the form factor. So while we think the BD-P4600 is a great Blu-ray player, we just assume stick with the more traditional form factor and keep the $100 difference to spend on Blu-ray Discs.