Blu-ray Players

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Steve May  |  May 25, 2015  |  0 comments

Regulars will know that insubstantial Blu-ray players are a bête noire of mine. Cheapo decks destined to become arthritic after a year or so give physical disc formats a bad name. I prefer beautifully built players, engineered to squeeze the last ounce of performance from a platter and engender pride of ownership.

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Return of the King The first universal 3D Blu-ray player from Cambridge Audio is something very precious indeed, says Steve May

If I were building a Blu-ray player, I suspect it would look a lot like Cambridge Audio’s Azur 751BD. It would be 3D compatible (just in case), offer network media streaming for sound and vision (because frankly that’s essential) and it would be compatible with my treasured, but sadly not growing, collection of DVD-Audio and SACDs.

Steve May  |  Dec 07, 2015  |  0 comments

With its Union flag branding and prim brushed fascia there’s something of the Last Night of the Proms about Cambridge Audio’s top-ranking CXU Blu-ray player. The Great British Sound branding reflects the company's UK research and design operation, but is indicative of a lofty approach to audio that explains why you won’t see much change out of a grand.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Packing 3D punch Adrian Justins is impressed by Denon’s debut 3D BD player, despite his misgivings about its sonic and handling limitations

Denon’s first 3D deck looks like it could be a decent proposition for anyone with a cutting-edge 3D-capable AVR to take care of the sonic side of things.

Ed Selley  |  Sep 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Audio-licious HD With its lofty price tag, Denon's DBP-2012UD will have to do a lot to lure Danny Philips away from the budget end of the Blu-ray market – and YouTube access isn’t what he had in mind

The DBP-2012UD is built like Vin Diesel and boasts high-grade internal electronics that aim to deliver superior performance to the masses. The £750 price tag is as hefty as the player itself, but will be viewed as peace of mind for any AV enthusiast looking for a machine to satisfy their videophile aspirations.

Steve May  |  Sep 09, 2012  |  0 comments

When Imerge launched its first audio server in the 1990s it altered how people thought about music in a way that has proved to be astonishingly prescient. Today, with the flagship MS1-3D, the brand has 3D Blu-ray in it sights.

Ed Selley  |  Aug 25, 2011  |  0 comments
True Blu server Kaleidescape’s market-leading networked playback system now embraces hi-def discs to great effect, as Martin Pipe discovers

In previous reviews, I have extolled the virtues of the impressive Kaleidescape networked AV system. Although highly expensive and intended for professional installation (bar the one-box Mini, since renamed the Cinema One), there’s nothing to beat its smoothly presented and intuitive method of selecting DVDs and CDs for playback. And now Kaleidescape has added Blu-ray to the mix...

Ed Selley  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
3D is just the start For a Smart Blu-ray player the LG BD670 is decidedly scruffy, but, says Steve May, beneath its lacklustre facade lies a feast of functionality

JG is currently embroiled in a Smart TV war with rival Samsung for dominance of the net-connected landscape. In both TV and Blu-ray, the pair are going head to head with similarly monikered portals (Smart TV and Smart Hub) stuffed with comparable apps and streaming video content.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 23, 2013  |  0 comments

LG's net-connected BD deck arrived too late to challenge its Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer rivals in our recent budget Blu-ray player roundup, but it's safe to say it would have slotted in comfortably with the rest of them – like its £150 shelf-mates, it's a pleasing slab of silicon without offering true levels of awesomeness.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Close, but no cigar LG serves up its debut 3D Blu-ray player, but John Archer finds the results rather mixed and wonders how it will fare in a competitive market

For a brand that’s been aggressively at the forefront of 3D technology, and which has recently signed a much-trumpeted ‘preferred TV partner’ 3D deal with Sky, LG has been somewhat tardy with letting us have a look at its debut 3D Blu-ray player.

Steve May  |  Dec 13, 2011  |  0 comments
Musical maverick Not just another cookie cutter disc spinner, Marantz’s new Universal Blu-ray deck has a mind of its own. Steve May explains

Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Armchair theatre Looking for an old-school disc spinner built for high-end AV? Steve May thinks Onkyo has it nailed with this offering

This THX-certified player has purpose. Designed from the rivets up to be nothing less than a bad-ass home theatre disc spinner, it’s the designated driver for the brand’s current line up of THX AV receivers and pre/power PR-SC5508/PA-MC5500 combo.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012  |  0 comments
AV austerity Lacking in features you might expect, Onkyo’s first 3D Blu-ray player appears outgunned on every flank, says Steve May

Onkyo has carved itself a formidable niche in the lower-to-midrange AV receiver market by following a Tesco-like philosophy: piling features high and keeping prices low. But that’s not the route it’s taken with disc players. Here the company has played a purist card, which is admirable yet fraught with commercial peril.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  0 comments

The Blu-ray player industry has reached a bit of a standstill. While we wait for a new 4K-enabled standard to surface, there doesn't seem much to be done in the way of improving upon current players. An indication of this is Sony and Panasonic's decision to continue the range-topping decks from 2012 into 2013. Tweaks to BD spinners in the last year have invariably been either linked to Smart features and media streaming, or audiophile upgrades designed to get the most from music material. With the BDP-103D, however, Oppo has done something a little different – it's integrated Darbee Visual Presence technology.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 03, 2012  |  0 comments

We've had to wait two years for Oppo to launch a new Blu-ray player. For some home cinema fans, that's at least 12 months too long – the brand has earned a reputation for unleashing decks (going back to the days of DVD) that mix high performance with advanced features and show the mass market global giants how it should be done.

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