The previous model to the HT-D5500 was an extremely popular system. In typical Samsung style they managed to hit the sweet spot of features and looks, and all at a price that people were prepared to pay. And that’s no mean feat when it occupies one of the most competitive sections on the home cinema system market.
This latest HT-D5500 model is not dramatically different to the previous model in terms of looks, with the glossy sleek black styling and almost identical speakers being carried over. There are subtle differences but not enough to make you sit up – and it wouldn’t make much sense to upgrade on looks alone. The speaker sizes remain on the compact side at 90mm wide, with the fronts being 207mm high, and the rears at 141mm high. The subwoofer has seen an upgrade though and is now bigger at 200mm wide by 390mm high, and altogether, the system will pump out an impressive 1000W.
The front panel of the main unit is adorned with lovely blue led lighting when in operation, and a fold down flap at the bottom right where the connections for the front USB and auto scound calibration microphone plug in.
Welcome to the Smart Hub
Where the HT-D5500 really packs some punches though is in the features it boasts. Gone is Samsung’s somewhat hit and miss Internet@TV service and in its place is the much nicer SmartHub. This has the BBC iPlayer service as well as LoveFilm movie streaming (for subscribers) and some games and puzzles for the kids, as well as the usual suspects like Facebook, Picasa and YouTube. If other peoples content doesn’t float your boat, then you’ll be pleased to hear that this latest system is DLNA certified so you can access your own stuff as well. Of course if you can’t connect a network cable to this system you’ll need the optional wireless dongle, which is an added expense.
Films in 3D, even the 2D ones…
The biggest upgrade on this model is the addition of 3D Blu-ray capability, and Samsung have really made the most of this feature. As well as being able to view standard 3D Blu-ray movies, the HT-D5500 also makes the most of the sound with the 3D Sound Plus feature promising to bring a new level of depth and immersiveness to your viewing. If your collection of 3D Blu-ray discs is lacking in numbers, you’ll also be pleased to hear that the built in 3D Converter will have you enjoying your standard 2D discs in the extra dimension too. If you have a 3D television these features will be very welcome indeed.
What to consider…
The Samsung has got a couple of features missing that many buyers may be looking for – built in Wi-Fi and wireless speakers. Both are available as an upgrade by purchasing the Samsung WIS09ABGN Wireless Adaptor and the SWA-5000 Wireless speaker adapter but you need to factor in about another £150 for them.
Why you should buy the Sony BDV-E380
The previous model arrived just after 3D was being seen on systems from other brands. Samsung have now corrected that omission and the HT-D5500 also gains more performance and more features too. As we’ve seen so many times before, they really know how to put a desirable system together with the looks, features and price all going together to make what will surely be another direct hit for Samsung.
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