Portable Alphabet Soup

What is it about technology products and acronyms? It’s bad enough that products have deadpan model numbers; can you tell what the new Samsung product does if all you know is the “BD-C8000” model number? I know that I can’t guess. Let me tell you what it is: a 3D BD HD player with WiFi, DLNA, and HDMI 1.4 support. If that makes your heart beat faster, you might be wearing a beanie with a propellor on top.

For the rest of you, let me explain what that means. The “BD” stands for Blu-ray disc, so this player can play HDTV discs in 1080p high definition (the HD part, but you probably knew that). And the 3D means that it can do so in stereoscopic splendor. WiFi is the familiar wireless network connection. (It supports 802.11b/g/n, but only /n is recommended for video streaming.) DLNA lets you play media files that you have stored on your network, and HDMI 1.4 is the latest version of the high-speed serial connection which includes support for 3DTV. Oh, and this is a portable device that will play for up to three hours on a single charge, according to Samsung.

It sounds like an appealing device. You get support for streaming Internet features including Netflix and other services, which is cool. And it’s available now for $499. It loses a little luster as you look closer, however. The 10.3″ “high resolution” screen is not capable of displaying HD images; according to the owner’s manual it only has 1024 by 600 pixels, so to see all the Blu-ray detail, you’ll have to connect it to an HDTV. And you’ll only be able to see the 3D images on a 3D-capably HDTV; the portable display is only 2D.

So it’s more than a string of letters and numbers, but a little less than a portable HDTV experience. However, if you’ve started your collection of Blu-ray titles and want to be able to enjoy them when you’re traveling, this could be just what you need.