This Samsung BD-D5300 is effectively a newer version of the Samsung BD-C5500 and has similar styling and has touch sensitive buttons for the basic functions on the front attached to a touch sensitive strip (though this eventually peeled off from my old BD-C5500 thanks to a 6 month old baby!)
The player was incredibly easy to set up - it's basically plug-and-play, but it doesn't come with an HDMI cable so you'll need to get one ready. The menus offer plenty of low-level settings for you to configure such as frames per second and default audio, but I suspect most users will be happy to simply plug it in and accept the default settings. As with the last generation of Samsung players, most settings provide a brief text description of what you are adjusting so that less techie folk can feel fairly confident with what they are seeing.
I don't have a fancy home cinema set up so I can't really comment on how well this performs with full surround sound - but those watching on a 'standard' TV will be pleased with the results. The picture is incredibly clear - as you expect - and movement is good. I noticed that older Samsung players struggled with films which had subtitles, it cause the film to stutter and it was quite noticeable, but there are no issues like that here. Upscaled DVDs are noticeably better than a standard DVD player and the Samsung loads disks very quickly. I also watch films stored on an external hard disk and SD card, by plugging the hard disk or card reader into the USB port on the front I was able to watch video files and view photos taken by my digital camera.
Online content was a novelty a few years ago but is becoming an essential expectation these days and by hooking this up to your Broadband router using an Ethernet cable you can access quite a few online providers via the Samsung Apps option. BBC iPlayer works brilliantly - the interface is the same as my BT Vision box, but the Samsung has the benefit of streaming in both Standard and High Definition and HD. I watched a wildlife documentary and switched between SD and HD, the difference is noticeable and seeing as I don't have Freeview HD or Sky I'll probably purposefully miss some programme snow and catch up with them in High-Def via the BBC iPlayer. There are many more apps providing content too including some free ones such as YouTube (which is a bit fiddly compared to the actual website) and Blinkbox which enables you to watch some films for free or rent premium titles. Other than BBC iPlayer the most important inclusions are LOVEFiLM and Netflix. I'm not a Netflix subscriber but I do use LOVEFiLM - setting it up takes just a few moments and I was able to browse it easily and select films, but it doesn't seem as stable as the Sony LOVEFiLM service and often 'stuck' on the buffering screen and wouldn't advance.
In a nutshell: My previous Samsung player had a couple of issues which seem to have been resolved here along with the expected performance enhancements - disk loading is quicker, it's quieter, and the menus are a bit prettier (though they were pretty before too). This is a perfect purchase for those wanting either wanting just a basic player because it is simple to set-up and use, and is also suitable for anyone wanting to connect online to access more content. BBC iPlayer works incredibly well and is of course free to use. Those wanting 3D may want to pay a bit more for the Samsung BD-D5500
which is the same player as far as I can tell but with 3D capabilities. At less than £100 (at the time of writing this) it's hard to give this anything less than 5 stars.