Like Sony and Panasonic, Samsung has developed an Internet portal, with 'walled garden' content that you can access from its Blu-ray players and TVs. Within this portal will eventually be video content from the likes of YouTube, the BBC and LoveFilm, with plenty more stuff on the horizon too.
If you want to catch up with your favourite iPlayer shows, then the C6900 will soon be able to make it happen. If you're a LoveFilm subscriber, with one of its 'unlimited' packages, then you'll be able to stream movies to the player over the Internet. And YouTube will let you watch plenty of adorable cat videos.
We like the Internet@TV service, at least in theory, but much of it isn't launched yet. We've seen Samsung's LoveFilm offering on another device, and we have to warn you that the picture quality of all these Internet services isn't up to much. There's certainly no high-definition content here and that really matters on a large TV -- we tested this player with Samsung's 55-inch UE55C8000 LED-backlit 3D TV.
During testing, we also noticed that plenty of updates needed to be applied to the player to get it online and working with any of the Internet@TV services. You should only be confronted with updates once in a blue moon, but it's still quite frustrating when you have to wait around for them to complete.
Holy Java load times and menu performance, Batman
Too often, Blu-ray players cost Ferrari prices, but deliver Fiat speeds. Happily, the C6900 is an exception. At £300, it's expensive, but it did at least have the decency to load our test movie, Vantage Point, in 31.4 seconds. That's the fastest speed we've seen yet from a Blu-ray player, and it's pretty respectable.
Discs with more complex interactive features might be slower to load, but the player showed us that it's no slouch. The process of moving through the menu systems is also a piece of cake, and they're as smooth as silk. This is good news if you're the sort of person who likes to explore special features on discs. Certainly, this player encouraged us to look around our test movies more than we usually do.
Picture quality and 3D performance
Most Blu-ray players are more than capable of blowing us away with their awe-inspiring picture quality, and the same is true of the C6900. The detail in movies like District 9 made them looked epic, and 3D animated movies were full of the beautiful colours we'd expect.
One word of caution, though -- the C6900's remote has a button on it marked 'full screen'. Please don't press this button, because it summons forth demons who will eat your cat, terrify your children and potentially melt your face off. Actually, all of that would be preferable to what it actually does, which is zoom into a 2.35:1 image, cutting off the left and right edges to remove 'unsightly' black bars. If you're the sort of person that thinks the 2.35:1 cinema ratio should be distorted in this way, then we don't think you deserve to own a Blu-ray player at all. Consider yourselves warned -- use this feature, and we'll send the boys round.
We have no reason to believe that how a 3D picture looks is related to your player -- your TV is what makes or breaks your experience here. Nonetheless, we tested clips from Monsters vs Aliens and the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Both looked stunning, and the 3D experience was truly joyful.
Advanced media playback
As well as its online video options, you can also play media files from memory sticks and portable hard drives. The C6900 can handle most types of video -- even HD H.264 files in MKV containers -- which is great news. If you're looking for a way to enjoy downloaded movies or TV shows on your telly, the C6900 would be a good option.
The Samsung BD-C6900 is a terrific Blu-ray player, with excellent 3D capability and good Internet functionality. It's more expensive than most standard players, but we think it has enough features to make it a worthwhile purchase, even if you don't yet have a 3D TV. If you do have a 3D telly, we'd urge you to buy it.
If you're looking at buying the C6900 along with a TV, then it's worth pointing out that Samsung has an all-in-one package that allows you to purchase the Blu-ray player, a 3D TV, two pairs of 3D glasses, and a 3D movie, with a significant saving. Watch out for deals like these, as they'll be more and more common as time goes on.
Edited by Charles Kloet