Philips has been right at the forefront of the Blu ray competition with its range of players that are a combination of superb specifications and sleek, glamorous designs. Indeed, the BDP5500 lives up to those expectations even if it’s just one step above the entry level 3000 series. As you would expect, the BDP5500 supports 3D playback in addition to a host of other cool features that make it a formidable competitor in the face of strong rivals including Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung, among others. It upscales ordinary DVD to give
Design and Features
As with most Blu ray players from Philips, the BDP5500 has an impressive design but it is still no match for some top of the range decks from Sony and Samsung. However, the BDP5500 competes favorably with its more pricey competitors on the features front.
The player has every core feature of a standard mid-range Blu ray player and more. That said, the BDP5500 still keeps in line with Philip’s simplicity approach when it comes to Blu ray players. One thing you can count on with Philips players is dependability. Predictably, the BDP5500 supports 3D playback, 2D to 3D conversion, Smart TV apps accessed over wireless network via onboard Wi-Fi, Skype, and basic networking to connect a home network.
The player gives utterly impressive picture quality and this goes both for movies and photos from digital storage devices. The player allows for media streaming to a smartphone or tablet using Philip’s SimplyShare feature.
For the connections, the back panel has a USB port, an Ethernet port, a HDMI output port, a SD slot, and coaxial audio/video outputs for video and sound. There’s another USB port on the front right.
The BDP5500 is fairly easy to operate. It takes about two seconds to power up when in Quick Start mode, and between 17 and 40 seconds (on average) to load Blu ray discs. When powered up, you go through the initial setup manually by simply selecting the relevant menu item, such as country, language, as well audio and video settings. Network settings have a separate setup menu but it is fairly easy to follow as well.
The user interface is simple but impressive. Pressing the home button on the remote brings up the main menu screen with a couple of setup options.
On the multimedia menu screen, there are several rows of the different Smart TV apps displayed on a blue background. There are a couple of channels you can access including the big social networks Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, among others.
Where the player lacks in picture quality, it makes up with impeccable sound via HDMI output.
Overall, the Philips BDP5500 offers great value for money. It is affordable and has many practical features that will never keep you bored. It is very straightforward to operate and offers a fairly wide range of Smart TV apps streamed from the Web. And as for aesthetics, the design is just enough to fit into the under $150 price tag.