Samsung BD-H5900 Blu-ray Disc Player Review

Samsung BD-H5900 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories
Photo © Robert Silva

The Samsung BD-H5900  is a compact, versatile Blu-ray Disc Player that provides 2D and 3D playback of Blu-ray Discs, DVD, and CD, as well 1080p upscaling. The BD-H5900 is also able to stream audio/video content from the internet, as well as content stored on your home network. Keep on reading for all the details.

Samsung BD-H5900 Blu-ray Disc Player Product Features

1. The BD-H5900 features 1080p/60, 1080p/24 resolution output, and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via HDMI 1.4 audio/video output.

2. The BD-H5900 can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD+R/+RW.. DVD-R/-RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/DTS-CD, MKV, AVCHD(v100), JPEG, and MPEG2/4.

3. The BD-H5900 provides Streaming and DVD video upscaling up to 1080p.

4. High definition video outputs include: One HDMI. DVI-HDCP video output compatibility with adapter (3D not accessible using DVI).

5. Standard definition video output: None (no component, S-video, or composite video outputs).

6. On board decoding and Bitstream output for Dolby Digital/TrueHD and DTS Digital/-HD Master Audio audio codecs. Two and Multi-channel PCM output for applicable content and compatible output connection is also provided.

7. Besides audio output via HDMI only one additional audio output option is provided: Digital Coaxial. There are no other audio output options available.

8. Built-in Ethernet, WiFi, and Wi-Fi Direct Connectivity.

9. One USB port for access to digital photo, video, music content via flash drives or other compatible USB storage devices.

10.Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality.

11. A Wireless Infrared Remote Control and full color high definition onscreen GUI (Graphical User Interface) is provided for easy setup and function access.

12. Dimensions (HWD): 1.57 x 14.17 x 7.72-inches

13. Weight: 1.1 lbs.

Additional Capabilities and Notations

The BD-H5900 employs a menu that provides direct access to online audio and video content sources, including Netflix, VUDU, Pandora, and more...

DLNA/Samsung Link - Provides the ability to access digital media files from compatible network connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

NOTE: To comply with current copy-protection regulations, the BD-H5900 is also Cinavia-enabled.

Video Performance

The Samsung BD-H5900 does an excellent job playing Blu-ray Discs, providing a clean source signal to a video display. Also, 1080p upscaled DVD signal output was very good - with minimal upscaling artifacts. In addition, video performance on streaming content looked good with services such as Netflix delivering a DVD quality image (the BD-H5900 does upscale streaming content). However, it is important to note that dues to factors such as such as video compression used by content providers, as well as internet speed, you may see different quality results. For more on this: Internet Speed Requirements for Video Streaming.

To further look at the video performance of the BD-H5900, I also some some standards tests, the results of which can be seen (with explanation) in my illustrated BD-H5900 Video Performance Test Results Profile.

Audio Performance

I terms of audio, the BD-H5900 offers complete onboard decoding, as well as undecoded bitstream output, for compatible home theater receivers. However, the BD-H5900 only provides two audio output options: HDMI (for both audio and video) and digital coaxial.

It is interesting to note neither digital optical and/or analog stereo connections were included - an analog stereo output option would be great for those that prefer traditional analog two-channel CD music listening.

On the other hand, the HDMI connection can supply Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio access via HDMI, and multi-channel PCM.

However, it must be noted that the digital coaxial connection is limited to standard Dolby Digital, DTS, and two-channel PCM formats, which conforms to current industry standards. So, if you want the benefit of the best possible audio from Blu-ray disc playback, the HDMI connection option is preferred, but the digital optical output is provides for those cases where a non-HDMI or non-3D pass-through capable home theater receiver is used (that is if you are using the BD-H5900 with a 3D TV or video projector).

Internet Streaming

Just as with most Blu-ray disc players available these days, the BD-H5900 provides access to internet streaming content. You have the option to connect using either Ethernet or Wifi - both of which I found worked well in my setup. However, if you find that you have trouble streaming using Wifi and you can pin down the cause or a solution (such as moving the player closer to your wireless router, the Ethernet connection option is a more stable option, even though you may have to put up with a long cable run.

Using the oncscreen menu, users can access streaming content from sites such as, Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, YouTube, and a lot more...

Also, the Opera TV Store Apps section provides some additional content offerings - which can be expanded via periodic applicable firmware updates. However, just with all internet streaming devices, keep in mind that while most of the available services can be added to your list free of charge, the actual content provided by some services may require an actual paid subscription.

Video quality varies, but the video processing capability of the BD-H5900 does do a good job of making streaming content look as good as possible, cleaning up artifacts, such as jagged or coarse edges.

In addition to content services, the BD-H5900 also provides access to social media services, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as providing a full Web Browser.

However the Web Browsing downside is that the player did not work well with a standard windows USB plug-in keyboard. This makes web browsing cumbersome as you have to use the onscreen vitural keyboard that only allows one character to be entered in at a time via the BD-H5900's remote control.

Media Player Functions

The BD-H5900 has the ability to play audio, video, and image files stored on USB flash drives or content stored on a DLNA compatible home network (such as PCs and media servers). However, for full functionality, you may have to install Samsung's AllShare (also referred to as Samsung Link) software on your PC.

I found using the media player functions was very easy.  The onscreen control menus load fast and scrolling through the menus and accessing content was fairly intuitive.

However, keep in mind that not all digital media file types are playback compatible - a complete list is provided in the user guide.

Wireless Portable Device Integration

Another great aspect of the BD-H5900 is the ability to access content on portable devices via a connected home network or Wi-Fi Direct. Ideally, the devices should be Samsung AllShare (Samsung Link) compatible, such as the Samsung line of Galaxy Phones, Tablets, and digital cameras.

However, I was able stream audio, video, and still images from an HTC One M8 Smartphone (that I had acquired for another forthcoming review - courtesy of Sprint) easily to the BD-H5900  via my home wifi network for viewing on TV (including the selected phone app playback menu) and listening on my home theater audio system.

What I liked about the BD-H5900:

1. Excellent Blu-ray Disc and DVD playback.

2. Very Good 1080p upscaling.

3. Good selection of Internet streaming content.

4. Fast Blu-ray, DVD, and CD disc loading.

4. Easy to use onscreen menu system.

What I didn't like about the BD-H5900:

1. Limited Audio-only Output options - (no analog, no digital coaxial - digital optical only)

2. Was not able to use a standard external Windows keyword for web browsing or system navigation.

3. Lightweight, flimsy-looking, build quality.

4. Remote Control is not backlit.

Final Take

Although there is limited connectivity options and some slight issues in the video processing department, the Samsung BD-H5900, in addition to spinning discs, is a great source for accessing content from the internet, a PC, USB flash drive, and, in most cases, your smartphone or tablet. All you need, in addition to the player, for a full home theater entertainment experience, is a TV (or video projector), Home Theater Receiver, Speakers/Subwoofer.

For additional perspective on the Samsung BD-H5900, also check out my Product Photos and Video Performance Test Results.

Buy Direct