Review: Samsung BD-D6700 3D Blu-ray Player Page 4

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PERFORMANCE (CONTINUED)

Switching to real content, the player almost perfectly mirrored its performance in the synthetic tests. With the DVD of Gladiator, a flyover at the end of chapter 12 showed minimal jaggies on the many diagonal rooftops of Rome, but there was noticeable noise in the fine detail. With chapter 2 of The Fifth Element Superbit DVD, there were some jaggies on a diagonal railing and decent, though not great, sharpness in faces and the textures of stone. The player’s User picture setting allows for some image adjustments. A Noise Reduction setting did an admirable job of reducing picture noise, with a minimal effect on the overall sharpness. I actually preferred the look of DVDs with this set to +10, as the image appeared more realistic. I definitely recommend checking it out to see if you feel the same. The Sharpness control, on the other hand, added a highly unpleasant, edgy, plasticky look to the image, so I immediately backed it off.

With native 3D content on Blu-ray, like How to Train Your Dragon and Avatar, the Samsung’s image quality was excellent. It delivers everything you’d expect from Blu-ray.

One of the BD-D6700’s most notable features is its 2D-to-3D conversion, which works with DVD, Blu-ray, and even streamed content. Surprisingly, it works pretty well. It’s trippy to watch old movies that you’ve seen countless times, except now in 3D. Keep in mind that the upconverted 3D image only has depth; nothing will jump out at you. (This is a limit with all 2D-to-3D conversion, not just this player.)

If you’re really into 3D, I’d say the 2D-to-3D effect is well worth the player upgrade (presuming your 3D TV doesn’t do this type of conversion already). The feature’s default setting is 5 (out of 10). At this level, the effect is quite decent, though perhaps a little milder than what you’d see with real 3D movies on disc. There’s also some mild crosstalk, and it only gets worse as you increase the setting. Dropping it down to 4 will get rid of most of the crosstalk, but it also makes the 3D effect really mild.

With DVD and Netflix, the player’s faux-3D output is only 720p, but with Blu-ray, it maintains 1080p resolution. According to Samsung, scaling video to 1080p and converting 2D to 3D is too much for the current generation of processors.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re looking to become 3D-enabled, the BD-D6700’s capabilities and features make it a fantastic place to start looking. It offers fast operation and extensive Internet-streaming options, and its 2D-to-3D conversion works surprisingly well. The scaling and deinterlacing isn’t as good as on some other players, but it’s by no means bad. All in all, this Samsung is an above-average player at an above-average price.

And it sure is darn attractive.

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