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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's good - with the new software. You MUST update it
This machine has been marked down by people frustrated by the slightly dodgy first attempts at software and features appaently not appearing, such as iplayer and lovefilm.
Well, I would like to report that my initial experience of using this machine is very positive.
When you first set it up, make sure you have a decent internet connection - either through wifi...
Published on 10 Aug 2012 by Nicholas J. Henning

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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buggy
On paper this looks superb but it does not function well and many of the features advertised are simply not there.
If power is lost, the recording schedule goes, so don't unplug. I had a problem where a DVD froze up inside it (no message, just black screen for 10 minutes) and the only way to sort it out was to unplug - so back to rescheduling recordings...
Published on 24 April 2012 by Peter


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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's good - with the new software. You MUST update it, 10 Aug 2012
By 
Nicholas J. Henning "Nick H" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
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This machine has been marked down by people frustrated by the slightly dodgy first attempts at software and features appaently not appearing, such as iplayer and lovefilm.
Well, I would like to report that my initial experience of using this machine is very positive.
When you first set it up, make sure you have a decent internet connection - either through wifi or the ethernet wire link. It will check for new firmware during the setup and ask you if you want to update. Say YES!!!!
The latest version at the time of writing is 1.008. It was dowloaded and installed without fuss.
I can report that all of the features now seem to be present. You dowload the apps (including iplayer, lovefilm, facebook, twitter etc. etc.) from the samsung store. They are all present, I think - and they work!

The picture quality using Freeview HD is excellent - it's breathed new life into my ageing Sony X-series TV. The player has the latest HDMI spec but didn't complain at all when faced with the old spec on my TV. And because it's got twin tuners, you can use it as a set-top box and still record a different channel at the same time.

The SD (normal freeview) picture does seem a little noisy, as has been reported before, but not excessivly so - I guess I am used to the more advanced noise reduction options on the X-series. On this box there are no SD picture tuning options. Would be nice to have them, but on a machine that can do so much already, it would probably just confuse matters.

It does score highly for ease of use - while playing with it, I decided that my wifi link wasn't good enough (not the fault of the player, it has to go through two floors and a wall in my house), so I set up a pair of TP-link power line ethernet adapters (30 quid from amazon) and plugged the ethernet cable into the samsung box. It automatically detected the cable and asked me if I wanted to set up a wired internet link. Two button presses later, it was happliy accesssing the internet through the dodgy wiring of of my 150 year old house! Marvellous!

The HDD recording feature works well, even for HD video. Accessing the system via the menu system isn't as slick as, say, the Sony X-bar system. But it is clear and fuss free. It is easy to use.

I havn't tried the wifi direct links or any of the nice tricks for sharing content with your phone yet, but this all looks pretty straight forward.

So, to conclude. Excellent picture quality. Ease of use. Responsive menu system. Excellent connectivity. Loads of facilities to allow you to watch listen to and store video and audio content. It will even rip cd's for you!
It's a good machine! But to get the best out of it, make sure that you give it a good internet connection.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buggy, 24 April 2012
By 
Peter (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
On paper this looks superb but it does not function well and many of the features advertised are simply not there.
If power is lost, the recording schedule goes, so don't unplug. I had a problem where a DVD froze up inside it (no message, just black screen for 10 minutes) and the only way to sort it out was to unplug - so back to rescheduling recordings.
Advertising, even on the box, shows iplayer, lovefilm, google maps and others - none of these were loaded. Samsung said they were still in testing for release at a later date...hmmm
"Remote access from anywhere in the world by smartphone or PC", well, no actually. Doesn't currently exist. Samsung helpdesk knew nothing about it. I wouldn't hold your breath.
"Dual screen viewing through a Samsung smartphone" - did work (if both on the same router) and quite cool really, but then after my Galaxy S2's upgrade to ICS, it stopped working.
Picture in Picture never worked.
Constant error messages that don't really tell you anything and no corresponding explanation in the manual.
Mine recorded ok if I started live ie whilst watching it. But no scheduled recordings worked at all, just an error message saying it failed to record. After calls to the help desk, resets and fumbling around, I sent it back. In my opinion it just does not feel ready for release.
The picture quality was fantastic and it did seem to upscale SD well. Feature-wise, it's currently unmatched, it's just they haven't quite got it sorted out yet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far from being any good - and no rewind live TV function!, 27 Dec 2012
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I've been using Humax PVRs successfully for 10 years but with my wife getting fed up with 3 remotes and, after buying a new Samsung SMART TV, I was looking for an all-in-one solution that would do the telly, Freeview, Recording and Blu-Ray / DVD.

At first I ordered the 1TB version which the blu-ray player did not work so I had to send it back. I reordered the 500GB version instead.

On paper the Samsung does sound brilliant - it has everything i was looking for in a PVR:

1) I could use one remote for the telly, PVR and blu-ray player
2) Can record, pause and rewind up to 2 channels of live TV.

The second point has proved to be a sticking point with the rewind function being "Not Available" unless you are in time slip mode i.e. if you have previously paused a live programme.

This is crazy and is the only PVR I have come across not to rewind live TV. Samsung are crafty because, after re-reading the promotional material, they do not disclose that you can NOR cannot rewind live TV - they simply don't mention rewind. So technically it's not "not fit for purpose".

Next year, I'll be looking for a new solution if another manufacturer releases a PVR/Blu-ray combo and wouldn't recommend this product.
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80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A digital video recorder that doesn't record video. It is digital though..., 29 April 2012
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This is a desperately disappointing product. The feature list promises so much, and fits what I was looking for perfectly, but unfortunately a combination of bug-ridden software, daft and lazy design decisions and a slow and badly thought our interface instead make it next to useless.

There are good points - the image quality both from Blu Ray and freeview HD is superb, and the ability to plug external storage in via USB (and apparently record to, although I have't tried this) makes the rather stingy hard drive size less important. The number of audio and video file formats it's capable of playing is gobsmacking!

However, there are far too many bad points. The main one of these is that the latest firmware from Samsung (which your box will automatically install unless you tell it not to) has broken scheduled recording - the box is simply not capable of recording a program in the future, unless you manually set the start and end times, rather than selecting it from the EPG. This is an issue that appears from various forums to be universal, and although Samsung have said they are working on a fix, they haven't given an ETA. Basically, if you buy this, DO NOT upgrade the firmware from v1003 to v1005 - wait until a new one has been released.

You can find more information and get the latest status from this forum: [...]

The other issues are less severe, but together mean I'll be returning this product even if the recording issue is fixed. First, the support is awful - closed tickets without an answer, a dozen people with the same issue being told a dozen different things - basically the standard from Samsung, from what I've not been told.

There are currently no apps for BBC iPlayer of LoveFilm - they are in development apparently. But again, no ETA, although not Samsung's fault on this occasion.

The list of things the box won't let you do when recording 2 channels is as extensive as it is inexplicable - view the EPA, access settings, use any apps... Not problems I've seen with any other DVRs - its almost as if their developers just couldn't be bothered to make things work and released it anyway.

Rewind live TV simply does not work - so technically its not a freeview + box.

As far as I can tell, the interface for the DVR, the Blu-ray player and the Smart hub were all created by different teams, who never met or saw each other's work, let alone tried to co-ordinate it! And none of them are any good... Buttons do different things, nothing looks the same and generally its quite clear they've never tested any of it with users. And the weird, inconsistent interface leads to unrecoverable mistakes - for example if watching TV that has been paused, simply hitting the guide button to see what else is on etc drops you back into that channel live - there is no way of recovering the gap between where you were and where you are, and no warning. To be fair, designing interfaces is my job, so I am more sensitive than most to this kind of thing - you may not find it quite as annoying. If, like me, you are upgrading from a Humax box though I suspect you'll be equally annoyed, as all the parts of the interface you're used to are different and worse - but seem similar at first!

In fact, bearing in mind it doesn't actually record video, I rather suspect they've never actually tested anything!

Such a great idea. But sadly, really quite an awful product.

It may well get better with revised firmware - it really seems to have been rushed out far too fast. And there is nothing else out there with the same feature list. But for the same price you can get a decent freeview HD box and a Blu-ray player, which is now my plan!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing, 5 Jan 2013
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With lots of features this box appeared quite good value when compared to other similar boxes. Also I have a Samsung TV so made sense to get Samsung Bluray player so that remote controls worked together etc.

I ignored several of the bad reviews associated with this product assuming firmware teething problems that would quickly go away. This turned out to be an error of judgement. I've had the box for several months now and I'm finding firmware v1011 is still plagued with problems and probably slightly worse than v1010 was; the worst problem being the very frequent complete system crashes which always result in loss of current recordings and often all painstakingly entered recording schedules.

When it works it's quite good but it's far too unreliable at the moment. Sorting it out properly is obviously quite low on Samsung's to-do list - Annoying!

Also a suggestion for Samsung: If I have one of these boxes and one or more of your TVs in my house (all being networked), why not let any of my TVs access my recordings from the box so that they can be played back on any TV in my house. Wouldn't that be a handy feature?

Anyway, fingers crossed that v1012 is much better....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nightmare, 20 Oct 2012
By 
Mark Turner (Cambridgeshire England) - See all my reviews
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Ignore my previous review. Utter, utter garbage. Do not buy. Lasted 3 months, totally broken, wont play any discs now and reboots randomly when trying to watch recorded programmes. Vendor and Samsung support experience non-existent - still not repaired and neither show any willingness to provide a repair or replacement - latest suggestion is i travel 50 miles to drop off at a repair shop for 2 months for them to repair it, leaving me with no TV, loss of everything I've recorded and no guarantee that it gets fixed.

300 quid for 3 months, 4 blu ray films, total waste of money - pretty much had it with Samsung, will never darken their doorstp again - small claims court lies in my future I think.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful!, 1 Oct 2012
By 
M. Line (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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i had a 5-yr old Humax which had seen better days so decided to upgrade. There are a few boxes out there which did most things i wanted (my list consisted of; Freeview+ HD twin tuners, a 500G hard drive, blu-ray player, wireless connectivity, a Common interface slot and access to BBCiPlayer, Netflix (and/or Lovefilm), and youtube), but the samsung BD-E8500 was the only one which did them all. I read the terrible recommendations on Amazon but thought - "it's Samsung; surely they will get all this fixed, even on a box as new as this?".

it was very easy to set up and even the wireless connection worked first time. I was soon online and had access to many samsung apps, so i upgraded the software and downloaded the apps for the iplayer, youtube, netflix and lovefilm. the picture from the box itself (via an HDMI lead) was great and the freeview HD channels looked really good. i was able to record programmes without any problems. then things started to go wrong....

first of all, only about 50% of the programmes i recorded showed up on the "recorded results" list, although i quickly found another (though slightly longer) route to all of my programmes. Then on the 2nd day it hung completely, and not even the power button on the remote or the device itself worked so i had to unplug it from the power socket then plug it in again, and i know that this can cause longer-term damage to a hard drive. I started having problems accessing the samsung apps list; almost every time (say, 95% of the times i tried) it would show a "Network_error_11" message, even though there was nothing wrong with the rest of my home network. Also, about 80% of the time i was unable to bring up the BBciPlayer - and would have to try 5 or 6 times each occasion i wanted to use it.

The box would completely hang, and need to be unplugged / plugged in again roughly every other day until i got sick of it and asked Amazon to send a me a replacement, which they did (as usual, very rapidly).

The second box started well; then i again had problems accessing the iPlayer, and had to reboot it about twice a week. the samsung help desk said to ensure i upgraded the firmware and re-set the box to the factory defaults, both of which i did, but the problems continued. then, finally it totally lost access to its hard drive, so i was unable to watch anything i had recorded, couldn't record anything new and couldn't use the Freeview+ functions (pause/rewind tv etc). i rebooted, reset-to-factory, checked the firmware etc, and tried to access the hard drive every day for about 5 days, wih no luck. i called the samsung helpdesk who said i should send it in to be repaired. I told them, as i had only had this one about 3 weeks, and it was already my second one, i would return it to amazon and get a refund. I'm currently trying the LG HR925M...

on the upside the blu-ray player worked a treat on both boxes!

I'm pleased for all the people that have bought this device and had no problems at all as, technically, it's superb, but PLEASE beware if you decide, as i did, to take the plunge with this box anyway - make sure you keep the packaging and receipts!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsung 3D HD Recorder, 31 May 2012
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Brilliant product - works so well with the new 3D HD TV. Compared with TV's and VCR/DVD players of yesteryear these two boxes are so advanced and their User Manuals are so long! Works well with the WII Fit Box, and our old VCR. Connects to the HI FI no problem at all. 3D films are AMAZING! Connects wirelessly to my home hub, and with a wireless keyboard its just like using my laptop but with a huge screen.
Still working throught the manuals - but from one weeks usage of this combo all I can say is '5 stars in all departments'.
Highly recommended !
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID THIS PRODUCT!!!!, 20 Jun 2012
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I had hopes for the product seemed to tick all the boxes i was looking for in a Blu ray player, how very wrong i was.

On the plus side it's easy to set up and the picture quality via the TV is excellent. The machine also looks good, but that's where it ends regarding positives.

Once i had it set up i tried to watch a DVD 3/4 through and it stopped, played no problems on my PC, in fact out of 5 DVD's tried only 1 would play. As for Blu ray, they would only play in in Black and White, fine if you only want to watch the Artist. Called Samsung tech support (at my cost) and was told they knew about this issue and i needed to download the new firmware, this for a new 2012 model, not good enough! It had to wait days for the firmware email after more calls to tech support, only to find it wouldn't download to the machine, saying memory stick contained no data, not true. Arranged a return and and replacement (told i had solo faulty player).Wasted a day waiting in for the collection and replacement, more cost to me. Set up the replacement, Blu ray Black and White, again! Used the same memory stick with Samsung download, this time it worked, so first machine has other faults. Tried to play a Blu ray with the new firmware and now it wouldn't play any disc, period, so arranged another return and refund.

Seriously avoid this product, i had two in about ten days and both were faulty, so their would appear to be a faulty batch or a design fault? Spoke with Samsung 'customer service' to highlight this issue to them and they weren't interested, all they said was that this is an issue for Amazon and when i asked to speak to a manager i was told the customer service managers don't talk to customers, they just watch their staff, what is that about? Was told somebody would call me back, but nothing? So Samsung just don't care, so again i would advise people to avoid this product and Amazon should delist it until the issues with the product are resolved.

There were many other issue with this product, recording TV channels is to fussy, compared to SKY and BT Vision. Forget using this product for the internet, you need to use the remote and it's far to slow, just use your mobile so much faster. I could go on listing the problems with this product, but in by experience the main ones are it's doesn't play DVD and Blu ray discs and as for the claim you can watch BBC iplayer and Lovefilm, not true, as according to Samsung they are awaiting on updated software from both companies.

This product is terrible, AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!! Finally, on the plus side, Amazon have been excellent in relation to their customer service and this issue, Samsung could learn a great deal from Amazon on customer service, like having a customer service department that cares. Finally, i was going to buy the Samsung Smart TV to go with this product as well as the new Samsung mobile phone, but after this experience and their lack of care or interest in their product i will go elsewhere.

Once again, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!! Only wish i could give it minus ratings, it's that bad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Blu Ray Player & Freeview HD Box, 27 Mar 2013
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Purchased this from Warehouse deals as Used Good Condition but it turned up like new, so top marks for that. The Player must be updated ,if not up to date already,with the latest software this will iron out most nasty bugs that were there when the item came out.I did mine when prompted and have had no problems at all.The wi fi works great for smat hub connection and picture quality is excellent on Freeview HD with sharp rich colours .Nice clear epg makes it easy to reserve or record programmes on the 500 gb hard drive and Blu ray playback is also excellent.The receiver is very easy to navigate around with the remote and there are loads of apps on the smart hub inc.. BBC iplayer ,Crackle,You tube,Net Flix to name just a few.All in all this is a great product and, i think, great value. Just dont be put off by the bad reviews as the latest software should sought any probs out
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