Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Performance
If you are upgrading from a previous Blu-ray player, the first thing you will notice about the BD-HM59C is its speed. This is one of the fastest Blu-ray players I have reviewed. Blu-ray disc loading is quick; it does not test your patience. What bothered me occasionally was that the Blu-ray player would not respond to the remote control.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Connectivity
Audio and Video
There are only a few connections available on the Samsung BD-HM59C. For video output there is a single HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connector. HDMI carries an audio signal. There is also a coaxial connector. These digital audio connections transmit stereo or up to 7.1 surround sound.
It comes with Wi-Fi or 802.11 b/g/n. I could confirm that it worked with a 802.11n wireless router, but I have read some reviews that state that the BD-HM59C does not actually support the faster 802.11ac 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz standard.
When it comes to a consistent connection this one works best. The local area network or LAN port allows you to connect the Blu-ray player directly to you cable or DSL modem.
There is one USB port on the front. Unlike most Sony Blu-ray players the Samsung Blu-ray BD-M59C includes internal memory. So, you can start using streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, straight out of the box.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Screen Mirroring
Samsung’s “Screen Mirroring” is their implementation of the Miracast standard. Currently, Android and Windows devices support Miracast. Miracast was established largely as a competitor to Apple’s Airplay. Airplay works flawlessly. This is not the case with Miracast. In practice, this standard suffers from having too many cooks in the kitchen. Every company that adopts the standard gives it a unique name and not every Android or Windows device supports Miracast. Conceptually, this feature is great, however it may or may not work well for you.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Streaming channels
First of all, on the box it is stated that the BD-HM59C offers “100+” streaming services. Here is the problem with that statement, I could not find more than 13 streaming services. I looked, but could not find any option to download more services. I made sure to update the software for the Blu-ray player and still only 13 were available. Now, for most people this will not be an issue because the most popular video streaming services are included: Netflix, Vudu, Youtube and Hulu Plus.
After looking around a bit more, I discovered the “100+” streaming services largely reside within the Opera TV Store. Most of the content is not worth listing and some streaming services are outdated. Sony’s Crackle and Amazon’s Instant Video are not available on this player.
Youtube On The Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C
Watching Youtube on a television is usually a pain, but that is not the case with the BD-HM59C. The feature I am highlighting is not actually a feature of the BD-HM59C itself, but a feature Youtube has made available through many streaming devices. When you launch the Youtube app on the BD-HM59C it gives you a notification to visit Youtube on your tablet or phone and input a code. The code is displayed on your television screen. Once you input the code you are able to navigate Youtube on your touch device and watch the video on your television. This is a superior navigation experience when compared to using the included remote.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C streaming channels:
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Value
Blu-ray is Still The Best
Currently priced at $88.95, the Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C is a quick Blu-ray player with a few quality streaming services. It offers a high quality viewing experience at home.
I own Pacific Rim, the 2013 science fiction mech movie, on Blu-ray and from the Vudu streaming service. Watching this visually arresting movie on Blu-ray is, without question, the best way to watch movies at home. And the BD-HM59C delivers that experience.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Design
The design of the BD-HM59C is fairly typical with the exception of the curved front right corner. The on-unit controls are on the top within a circle. The display on the front is large and clear.
Blu-ray offers the most Special Features
Blu-ray still, without comparison, offers the most content when it comes to special features, bonus content and extras. iTunes and other streaming services offer extra content with their movies, but rarely do they offer a comparable amount. Blu-ray continues to be the ideal medium for movie fans who want to gain insight into the development and making of a movie.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C 3D Playback
The BD-HM59C will play any 3D disc you put into it. Keep in mind that you will also need a 3D television.
The major television manufactures, including Samsung, continue to build 3D televisions even though most consumers and tech reviewers consider 3D a gimmick. 3D on HD does little to improve your home viewing experience. As long as it is perceived by manufacturers to add margins to televisions, those manufacturers will continue to add 3D to their televisions. However, smaller niche brands, like Vizio, are leaving 3D behind.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C User Interface
Samsung’s user interface is uniform and easy to navigate. All apps are laid out using squares and rectangles. Installed apps use the same UI layout but are limited to two rows on the bottom of the screen while the top half of the screen is filled with relevant information and imagery. Visually, it is better than the Netflix layout in iOS, but not necessarily more efficient when browsing.
Samsung Blu-ray BD-HM59C Remote
The Samsung AK59-00149A remote has a medium length and a narrow width. The back is curved which complements your hand. The button layout takes some getting used to. Most of the buttons are rectangular and are difficult to distinguish by touch.
The Samsung BD-HM59C is a great Blu-ray player with mediocre streaming services. If you want a superior viewing experience and only need the most popular streaming services this is a good choice for you.