Key Blu-ray features
|3D Blu-ray||No||On-board memory||No|
The BD-C5500 has a basic feature set, but that's the norm for entry-level Blu-ray players. There's no built-in Wi-Fi, although Samsung does offer a Wi-Fi dongle if you want to add wireless connectivity later.
For 2010, Samsung has taken a different approach to streaming media services than its competitors, with Samsung Apps. Likely modelled after the iPhone's App Store, Samsung Apps allows developers to create programs that can be downloaded by compatible Samsung products, enabling owners to add whichever programs they like. To be fair, other manufacturers have added features via firmware updates, but Samsung's platform appears more easily expandable, which means buyers may benefit from additional services added as time goes on. Even if no new services get added to Samsung Apps, the initial selection of streaming media services is excellent.
The BD-C5500 is also DLNA-compliant and capable of streaming video, audio and photo files from a network-connected PC or viewing them from a USB drive. The DLNA compliance is a big step up from the "PC streaming" feature offered last year that was difficult to set up, even for tech enthusiasts; we had no problem streaming files this year. We also had no trouble playing a couple of MKV and DivX HD files off an attached USB drive; a full list of supported formats is available in the manual.
|Dolby TrueHD||Yes||DTS-HD Master Audio||Yes|
|Dolby Digital Plus||Yes||DTS-HD HR||Yes|
Like nearly every Blu-ray player available now, the BD-C5500 offers on-board decoding for both high-resolution Dolby and DTS formats. If you're looking to play back SACDs and DVD-Audios, you'll need to look to Oppo's competing players; Sony's rivalling BDP-S370 also offers SACD playback.
|HDMI version||1.3||Stereo analogy||Yes|
The BD-C5500's A/V output selection is basic, but that's to be expected for an entry-level model. There are no multi-channel analog outputs, although Samsung does offer 7.1 analog outputs on the step-up BD-C6500. Many Blu-ray players also have both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, but it's not a major issue unless you're out of open optical inputs on your A/V receiver.
|Ethernet||Yes||SD card slot||No|
|USB ports||2||RS-232 port||No|
Like virtually every other player, the BD-C5500 also includes an Ethernet port if you prefer the stability of a wired connection. We were happy to note that the BD-C5500's back panel USB port — labelled for the Wi-Fi adapter — can be used for a USB drive if you don't utilise the Wi-Fi adapter. Interestingly, both the step-up BD-C6500 and BD-C6900 are limited to one USB port.