If you're hoping to watch 3D movies on your new 3D TV, then you're going to need a compatible Blu-ray player to go with it. Samsung's BD-C6900 is just such a machine, with a mountain of extra features to boot. It's available now, at a premium price of around £300.
We're excited by what this player offers, even though we're not massive fans of 3D. Online functionality and media-playback options mean it's more than just a bog-standard Blu-ray player. It's truly a home media hub.
Pinnacle of style
The C6900's funky design really impressed us. The window that allows you to see your spinning Blu-ray movie isn't entirely necessary, but its pulsing blue light looks pretty cool. You can switch it off if you want to. The player is also relatively tiny, which is a refreshing change, considering that players from as recently as last year were still pretty massive.
On the front, there's a concealed drive tray, simple LED display and a single USB socket. On the top of the player, on its right-hand side, you'll find some touch-sensitive buttons. These are by and large a pointless extra, but they do look very cool. If you put something on top of the player, they'll be rendered useless, though.
On the back, there's quite a healthy selection of sockets. There's an Ethernet jack for taking advantage of Samsung's networking and Internet TV options, and the player also has built-in Wi-Fi. You get component and composite video outputs too, although we think these are going to be ignored on this player -- 3D won't work over component, and who wants the standard-definition quality of composite these days? There's also 7.1 analogue audio out for connecting the machine to an AV receiver. The provision of these RCA-style jacks means that you can use older receivers and still get the benefit of lossless audio.
In addition to all of this, there's an HDMI socket. This is an HDMI 1.4 connector, which means that it's able to trigger your TV to automatically switch into 3D mode when a 3D disc is playing. It's worth pointing out that, if you run this HDMI through an older, non-3D-compliant AV receiver, then your TV probably won't be able to automatically switch to 3D. Is that a massive problem? We think not, but it's worth considering when you set your equipment up.
3D out of the box
Unlike some 3D Blu-ray players, the C6900 supports 3D from the moment you unpack it. There's a massive 3D logo on the top of the unit to remind you of this, but, if you're using 3D discs, it should be pretty obvious when a movie starts too.
All you'll need to start enjoying Blu-ray 3D movies with this machine is a 3D-encoded disc and the right number of glasses for all the eyeballs in your house. Your TV will need to be 3D-capable too, but we're assuming you know whether yours is or not.
Glasses not included
Although the player is 3D-ready, it doesn't come with a pair of 3D glasses. A voucher is included for a pair of free glasses, though, as is the case with Samsung's 3D TVs. Extra glasses cost between about £60 and £100 at the time of writing.
3D glasses are expensive, and the ultra-comfortable Samsung models are also rather fragile. We managed to break a set by sitting on them. If you've got young children, it might be worth considering buying some of the glasses that have a full frame, rather than the cheaper, half-framed sort that we used. We have to congratulate Samsung, however, on making 3D specs that are a million times more comfortable than the ones provided by Panasonic.
The name 'Internet@TV' is wrong on every level. It's a grammatical disaster and it's factually inaccurate, considering the C6900 isn't a TV. The service to which the name refers, however, is actually quite cool, and certainly worth having.