We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Storage Devices Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Samsung BD-P3600 review

£249 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Equipped with all the latest "must-have" Blu-ray features, including YouTube access, DivX support, on-board storage (1GB) and wireless connectivity, the Samsung BD-P3600 is a solid Blu-ray Disc player for discerning videophiles.

Equipped with all the latest "must-have" Blu-ray features, including YouTube access, DivX support, on-board storage (1GB) and wireless connectivity, the Samsung BD-P3600 is a solid Blu-ray Disc player for discerning videophiles.

Like most high-end players, the Samsung BD-P3600 boasts on-board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, plus 7.1 analogue outputs for older receivers.

With its ultra-curvy body and unconventional button layout, the Samsung BD-P3600 is definitely eye-catching. We're used to reviewing the same sleek black oblongs with glossy fascias, so it's refreshing to see something a bit different on the shelves. That said, we're not sure about the placement of the touch-sensitive playback controls - instead of being at the front of the device, they're situated on top. This could prove problematic if you plan to slot your Blu-ray player in to a snug home-theatre cavity.

On the plus side, the Samsung BD-P3600's remote control is decently sized and worked a charm throughout testing. The playback buttons also glow in the dark: a very helpful touch. We were equally impressed with the menu layout, which is straightforward and functional.

One of the Samsung BD-P3600's main draw cards is the inclusion of Wi-Fi. The advantage offered by wireless connectivity is crystal clear: it means you don't have to run unwieldy ethernet cables from your network router to your Blu-ray player. Instead, you simply plug in the wireless dongle, follow the wizard prompts and connect to your network - voila.

You can then download BD Live content, view YouTube clips or access compatible media from networked hard drives - all with a few presses of your remote. (Unfortunately, cool US features like Blockbuster movie rentals and Pandora music downloads are not currently supported in the UK. Tch.)

Unlike the Sony BDP-S760 Blu-ray player or LG BD390 Network Player, the Samsung BD-P3600 does not come with built-in Wi-Fi. Instead, you need to use the wireless dongle included in the sales package. The results are in essence the same, with one exception - you can't misplace inbuilt Wi-Fi. (In short: don't lose your dongle!) Naturally, an Ethernet port is also included for wired connections.

The Samsung BD-P3600 was tested in the PC World Australia labs.

To test the Samsung BD-P3600's imaging performance, we connected it to a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV and watched the Jack Black/Michael Cerra abomination Year One (incidentally, this disc was sent out to us by another vendor to test their Blu-ray products - proof positive that the industry hates journalists). Despite the grim ‘comedy' on show, we had to admit that the film's picture quality was truly exquisite. The Samsung BD-P3600 did a great job at rendering complex textures, with plenty of fine detail in rolling sand dunes and dense foliage. We could even make out individual whiskers in Jack Black's thicket of face-fur, despite it being dark brown. The Year One disc took around 40 seconds to load, which is about average.

We then popped in our standard-definition DVD of The Matrix and watched the famous lobby scene. While the drop in quality was obvious, the Samsung BD-P3600 still did a pretty good job of upscaling the footage to 1080p. We've seen better ‘lobby scene' results from rival Blu-ray players, but the difference is marginal. All up, we were sufficiently impressed with the BD-P3600's video performance. We'd give it a B+.

In fact, our only serious reservation has to do with the current RRP. Despite being cheap by yesteryear's standards, the Samsung BD-P3600 is a little pricey for 2010. Indeed, you could pick up a Sony PlayStation 3 with a couple of games for the same price. The Sony PlayStation 3 plays Blu-ray discs proficiently, and also comes with free inbuilt wireless. Nevertheless, if you're strictly after a Blu-ray device that offers some useful features, the Samsung BD-P3600 shouldn't disappoint.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Samsung BD-P3600 Expert Verdict »

Blu-Ray disc player
440x250x55mm
2.4kg
CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD, CD, BD-R, BD-RE, BD-ROM
Profile 1.1 (Bonus View), Profile 2.0 (BD-Live)
Video D/A Converter: 12bit/148.5MHz
Audio D/A Converter: 24bit/192kHz
Dolby Digital, DTS decoder, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution
Tray Media Load
Search Speed: 16x, 32x, 128x, 2x, 4x, 8x
HDMI: 1.3a
Upscaling up to 1080p
DivX, MPEG-2, AVI, H.264, VC-1, AVCHD
MP3
Ethernet
PC Streaming
Parental Lock
Progressive scanning, cinema mode, JPEG photo playback, video playback from USB devices, BD-Wise, digital audio playback from USB devices, Anynet+, x.v.Colour technology, BD-Java
Infrared remote control
HDMI, component video output, composite video/audio output, SPDIF output, Ethernet, USB, 7.1 channel audio line-out, USB
802.11b Wi-Fi adaptor
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Samsung BD-P3600 is a quirky yet stylish Blu-ray player that exudes a lot of charm. It comes with plenty of high-end features for AV enthusiasts, while remaining simple and user-friendly. On the downside, the Sony PlayStation 3 offers many of the same features and costs the same.

  • Sony BDP-S470 review

    Sony BDP-S470

    The Sony BDP-S470 is a midrange Blu-ray player boasting 3D capabilities and Bravia Internet Video streaming. It slots between the Sony BDP-S370 and Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player in the company's line-up.

  • Samsung BD-P1600 review

    Samsung BD-P1600

    The Samsung BD-P1600 delivers very good-looking Blu-ray playback and adds a host of multimedia goodies previously found only in higher-end Samsung models, including BD-Live and Pandora streaming to your TV and home-theatre sound system.

  • Samsung BD-P1400 review

    Samsung BD-P1400

    A relatively inexpensive Blu-ray Disc player, the Samsung BD-P1400 has performance to match its budget price.

  • Sony BDP-S370 review

    Sony BDP-S370

    The new Sony BDP-S370 is a good Blu-ray Player that packs quite a punch in terms of performance and offered feature set. It's an ideal companion for an HDTV at home.

  • Pioneer BDP430 review

    Pioneer BDP430

    The Pioneer BDP430 is a Blu-ray disc player that can play 3D movies as well as normal 2D content with aplomb, and YouTube access will be offered via a future firmware update.


IDG UK Sites

Very best Black Friday 2014 tech deals UK: Latest bargains on phones, tablets, laptops and more...

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday feeding frenzy infects the UK

IDG UK Sites

VAT MOSS: Will I be affected by the EU VAT changes? Here are the facts for designers and artists

IDG UK Sites

Black Friday 2014 UK: Apple deals, Amazon deals & Black Friday tech offers