Given Samsung's penchant for shouting "First!" with home entertainment products, it's surprising that it's taken them so long to stick a hard drive and a HDTV tuner inside one of their Blu-ray players to make a one-box shop for your home theatre. Especially considering Panasonic has been doing it for years. But now they have, and it's coming to Australia.
The BD-C8900A and BD-C8800A were both announced over at IFA in Berlin earlier this month, but for once, Australia won't have to wait an age to get their hands on a product. Hitting shelves later this month and costing $899 and $699, respectively, the C8900A and the C8800A feature 1080p 3D Blu-ray playback, will upconvert DVDs and features Samsung's [email protected] online entertainment services, including their App library. Both models have built-in Wi-Fi, DLNA support and offer the ability to rip CDs (but not DVDs or Blu-rays) to the built-in hard drive.
The difference between the two models is hard drive size - the 8900A has 500GB built in, the 8800A only has 250GB, which is apparently enough for 120 hours and 60 hours of HD recording, respectively.
The biggest disappointment with the unit, though, is the inclusion of just one HD tuner, meaning you can't watch one TV program while recording another, which is a pretty major flaw for a PVR device in 2010, especially given the sudden explosion of FTA TV channels offering unique content. Hopefully the next generation will fill this hole...