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Samsung BD-F5900 Netflix and Network Performance

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BD_f5900_netflixI used the Samsung BD-F5900 for two main things - Blu-ray/DVD playback and Netflix. While it is 3D capable, my projector is not. With 3D on the way out anyhow, I don't see this as much of an issue. With nearly every product on the market these days coming with Netflix, it begs the question - is there a difference in performance? I have a couple of ways to get Netflix into my home theater but I tend to favor using my PS3. The PS3 has been such a multi-use device in my home, that it is normally one of the first things I set up (I've done a lot of moving recently). Between games for the kids, movies for me, Netflix for everyone, and a few other services, it is much easier than setting up many other boxes (which is what it would take to do everything the PS3 does). That said, I've not always been happy with the performance of the PS3.

To start with, the PS3 has what I'd classify as mediocre DVD playback ability. It's fine for the kids, but for me, I'm looking for something that doesn't have the occasional Moiré problem. My Denon DVD-3910 is my go-to unit for DVD playback for that reason alone. But, again, I just set up my home theater and the Denon is still in the box and the PS3 is around. So I've been using that.

BD_f5900_netflix_menu

I have every intention of running an Ethernet cable to my home theater. Every intention, but little motivation. I thought that I'd start streaming Netflix on the PS3 and get irritated by the stops and starts or the lack of 5.1 surround or HD, but that hasn't been the case. With a wireless connection and my up to 60 mbps Internet speeds, I've had little problems routinely getting the highest quality that Netflix provides with my PS3. This has stalled, somewhat, my intention of running around my attic in Florida in August to run a cable. Once I start online gaming again, you can bet I'll be up there with that cable.

Entering my account information into the Samsung BD-F5900, I had no problems connecting to my account. Immediately, however, I found some issues. Netflix, through the Samsung BD-F5900 stalled quite a few times. After two or three stalls, it would usually settle in and not have many more problems, but the PS3 never stalled (unless it was Friday night or something). I cannot definitively say why the Samsung stalled but my sense was that it would happen when it would switch from a SD to a HD stream. Not every time, but often.

The interface for the Samsung is remarkably similar to the PS3 so, if you are familiar with one, you'll have few problems with the other. It is extremely hard to compare two different Netflix streams. I flipped between the PS3 and the Samsung BD-F5900 streaming the same content as quickly as I could. I did these tests at around 10am on a Tuesday to eliminate any possible bandwidth problems from Netflix's end. What I found was that, overall, the Samsung BD-F5900 would give me slightly slower, and generally less consistent speeds than the PS3. After watching half an episode of Good Cops on the Samsung BD-F5900 and the other half on the PS3, it was clear that the PS3 was giving me higher (between 1080HD and 720HD) resolution than the Samsung BD-F5900 (rarely topped 480SD). Add to this the occasional stutter and the Samsung BD-F5900 quickly took a backseat in the Netflix department.

BD_f5900_netflix_samsung

Netflix stream on the Samsung BD-F5900 - maxed out at 480p

The one thing I will add, however, is that my Netflix issues may be related more to the Samsung's antenna than anything else. While my PS3 enjoyed a fairly robust signal, the Samsung BD-F5900, just inches away, had between one and two bars on the Network Status menu. If you have a wired connection, or think that your router is close enough to overcome these obstacles, you may not have the same issues I did.

BD_f5900_netflix_PS3

Netflix stream on the PS3 - maxed out at 1080p

In addition, sometimes when I'd lose connection to the Internet, I'd have to turn off and turn back on the Samsung BD-F5900 to get it to reconnect. Even though the Network Status showed that my home network was in range, it refused to connect until I restarted the machine. This is something I never had to do with my PS3

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

tyhjaarpa posts on September 02, 2015 00:11
sm31, post: 1094797, member: 38630
Brought back from the dead… But I feel compelled to respond to the “imperfect” disc comment.

I have been tempted to frisbee this POS down the street so many times. If atoms on the disc surface aren't aligned perfectly (much less a slight fingerprint or hairline scratch) the thing jags & skips at least once on every disc played.

In fact, other than the whopping 15 seconds I save when loading discs, I hate just about every aspect of this player… with the weird surface pressure type buttons running a close second to the disc sensitivity.

I'm shopping for a replacement for this piece of crap as soon as I finish this post.
If it is still under warranty I would try contacting Samsung fisrt.. Shouldn't skip that easily.
sm31 posts on August 31, 2015 22:14
Brought back from the dead… But I feel compelled to respond to the “imperfect” disc comment.

I have been tempted to frisbee this POS down the street so many times. If atoms on the disc surface aren't aligned perfectly (much less a slight fingerprint or hairline scratch) the thing jags & skips at least once on every disc played.

In fact, other than the whopping 15 seconds I save when loading discs, I hate just about every aspect of this player… with the weird surface pressure type buttons running a close second to the disc sensitivity.

I'm shopping for a replacement for this piece of crap as soon as I finish this post.
fmw posts on August 16, 2013 10:21
Thanks for the review. I'm a BD-F5900 owner. Choosing it was a roundabout process. I needed a narrow profile BD player for my bedroom to fit in the furniture and I bought the BD-5100 to handle that. Interestingly, when I got smudged or scratched BD's from Netflix, My Panasonic 220 in the home theater would fall to its knees in a heap of misery. Strangely, I could take most of those discs and play them without an issue on the $69 5100 upstairs. I finally got tired of the Panasonic's fussiness about what it was served and bought the BD-F5900 to replace it, hoping it would save me having to watch so many BD's in the bedroom that I would rather watch downstairs. The 5900 has acquitted itself well.

I don't use the Samsung remote. My Harmony One is backlit. I like the large timer display because it is easy to read. I don't notice it because the unit is near the floor on the bottom shelf of the audio furniture. I have yet to use the manual control circle. It is boots twice as fast as the Panasonic and I appreciate that.

I have only two problems with it. The first is that it won't accept a wireless keyboard for use with the browser so I don't use the browser. The second is that I'm unable to download any of the apps in the Samsung app store. I'm not much of a streamer so that isn't huge for me. There is a real computer only two rooms away so I can live without the player's browser.

And best of all, it isn't brought to its knees by imperfect Netflix Blu-Ray discs. I certainly recommend it.
smurphy522 posts on August 16, 2013 08:46
Of note to Amazon Prime and Instant Video users this device is listed on Amazon's website as one of Samsung's two BD players that will stream/run this service. Link to all Amazon compatible devices here. It is odd that Samsung does not list a full complement of all the streaming services available on their players. LG and some other popular brands do not either.


I would suggest to future reviewers that when possible all streaming services be listed. Although in many of the Sony BD player's case that may be a page of details.
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