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Recent Blu-ray Player Reviews

Parasound Halo CD 1 Holm-Designed CD Player Preview

Parasound Halo CD 1 Holm-Designed CD Player Preview

Parasound introduced the Parasound Halo CD 1, a high-end CD player that uses new CD playback and processing technology that is the result of a collaboration between Parasound and Holm Acoustics in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Parasound CD 1 uses a new method for playing CDs that is based on using a CD ROM drive instead of a conventional CD drive and a Linux-based computer to read and process the CD data. The CD ROM drive in the CD 1 runs at 4 times the speed of a conventional CD player drive in order to accumulate a vast amount of data. An on-board Intel ITX computer, running the Linux operating system kernel and Holm's proprietary software dramatically improves the reading of CD disc data. It analyzes CD data and reads every part of a CD as many times as are needed to significantly reduce errors and, accordingly, the negative effects of error concealment. The result is a nearly bit-perfect data stream.

Parasound introduced the Parasound Halo CD 1, a high-end CD player that uses new CD playback and processing technology that is the result of a collaboration between Parasound and Holm Acoustics.

— January 08, 2013 10:20 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Panasonic DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230 3D Blu-ray Disc Players

Panasonic DMP-BDT330 and DMP-BDT230 3D Blu-ray Disc Players

At CES Panasonic introduced two new 3D Blu-ray Disc Players, the DMP-BDT330, DMP-BDT230. Panasonic is also continuing to manufacture its 3D 2012 models (the DMP-BDT500 and DMP-BBT01). All four of these players include Panasonic’s proprietary IPTV platform, VIERA Connect1 that offers streaming services such as Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube.

At CES Panasonic introduced two new 3D Blu-ray Disc Players, the DMP-BDT330, DMP-BDT230. Panasonic is also continuing to manufacture its 3D 2012 models (the DMP-BDT500 and DMP-BBT01).

— January 07, 2013 22:15 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo BDP-103 Universal 3D 4K Blu-ray Player Review

Oppo BDP-103 Universal 3D 4K Blu-ray Player Review

The Oppo BDP-103 has hit another one out of the park. It may not be light years ahead of the BDP-93, but it is ready for 4K conversion and the Marvell Qdeo processing is one of the best systems on the market in our testing. The player has some other whiz-bang features like 2D-to-3D conversion but overall you want to buy this if you've been out of the market for a while or are looking for a flagship Blu-ray player. If you've already got a BDP-93 - congratulations you've made a fine choice and there's little reason to upgrade just yet.

The Oppo BDP-103 has hit another one out of the park. It may not be light years ahead of the BDP-93, but it is ready for 4K conversion and the Marvell Qdeo processing is impressive.

— December 05, 2012 21:40 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo BDP-103 & BDP-105 Blu-ray Q&A Interview

Oppo BDP-103 & BDP-105 Blu-ray Q&A Interview

Anytime Oppo releases a new product it creates quite a buzz on the internet almost akin to Apple or Samsung releasing a new smartphone product. One difference however is that when Oppo releases new products, the changes are typically quite substantial rather than incremental. The BDP-93/95 Blu-ray players were prime examples of this and their newest BDP-103 and BDP-105 players seem to be following in their distinguished predecessors footsteps. We sat down with Nathaniel Plain of Oppo Digital to explore these new players and dig deeper into what makes them a truly next generation Blu-ray platform. If you've got a question about these new players, this article likely will address them. If not, submit the questions in our support forum thread for this article and they will surely be answered by someone at Oppo.

This is a detailed interview with Oppo about their new BDP-103 & BDP-105 Blu-ray players. Features, function and performance is discussed as well as improvements made over past designs.

— September 24, 2012 22:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo BDP-103 and BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray Players Preview

Oppo BDP-103 and BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray Players Preview

Oppo has managed to keep the new BDP-103 at the same $499 price point as the older BDP-93. That's a pretty amazing feat considering all the video features. With dual HDMI inputs and three USB inputs, the Marvell Qdeo 4K upscaling and 2D to 3D conversion is going to get a lot of use. With the BDP-105, Oppo had to increase their asking price to an estimated $1199 ($200 more than the BDP-95). With the ability to be used as a USB DAC, a dedicated headphone amp, and upgraded audio components, the BDP-105 should be just as popular with the audiophile crowd as the previous model.

The Oppo BDP-103 features 2D-to-3D conversion, 4K upscaling, dual HDMI inputs, three USB ports, MHL support, and full Netflix (1080p and 5.1 audio) streaming. The BDP-105 adds a USB DAC and more.

— September 19, 2012 06:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD Universal Blu-ray Player Preview

Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD Universal Blu-ray Player Preview

We got to check out Pioneer's newest Elite BDP-62FD flagship Blu-ray player. It's a universal player, so it's going to play Blu-ray, SACD, DVD-Audio... maybe even those silver coasters your grandma has around her house... anything you can stick into it - almost (don't tell that to your kids). It runs on the Marvell Qdeo video processor and has internet streaming functionality so it will do Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, even Picasa if you're photo fanatic... It will also stream just about any video source from a networked computer, including MOV, DiVX, AVI, etc. via DLNA. They are directly taking on Oppo's BDP-93 with this player and they are doing so by making their player $100 less.

We got to check out Pioneer's newest Elite BDP-62FD flagship Blu-ray player. It's a universal player, so it's going to play Blu-ray, SACD, DVD-Audio and more.

— September 10, 2012 06:30 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Yamaha BD-A1020 Universal Blu-ray Player Preview

Yamaha BD-A1020 Universal Blu-ray Player Preview

This year Yamaha is touting their new Aventage BD-A1020 Blu-ray player which is an upgrade from their BD-A1010. The main new feature is WiFi integration so you can access all the new network apps like Netflix, Hulu, even Picasa so those of you putting photos online can access them via this player. Of course it is a universal player so you've got the ability to utilize SACD, DVD-Audio and more in addition to Blu-ray - basically, if you can fit it into this player it will probably play it. Two USB inputs are there, one on front and one on back. The new player works with Yamaha's AV Controller app which is now available for iOS, Android and even the Kindle.

This year Yamaha is touting their new Aventage BD-A1020 Blu-ray player which is an upgrade from their BD-A1010. The main new feature is WiFi integration so you can access all the new network apps.

— September 07, 2012 07:35 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Yamaha BD-S673 & BD-S473 Blu-ray Players Preview

Yamaha BD-S673 & BD-S473 Blu-ray Players Preview

If you need nothing but a HDMI output on your Blu-ray player and have an Ethernet wire available, the Yamaha BD-S473 will likely meet your requirements. But, if you need legacy video and audio outputs, a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet, and care about Picasa streaming, you'll have to spend $100 more for the Yamaha BD-S673. At $229.95 and $329.95 respectively, neither the Yamaha BD-S473 nor the BD-S673 will break the bank. Supporting smartphone/tablet app control, DLNA certification, 3D, and Netflix and YouTube streaming, they definitely check all the right boxes. If you can properly anticipate your needs (and don't mind crawling around your attic to run an Ethernet cable), you can save yourself some dough.

At $229.95 and $329.95 respectively, neither the Yamaha BD-S473 nor the BD-S673 will break the bank. Sporting smartphone/tablet app control, DLNA certification, 3D, and Netflix and YouTube streaming.

— August 06, 2012 16:10 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Denon DBT-1713UD Universal Audio/Video Player Preview

Denon DBT-1713UD Universal Audio/Video Player Preview

The Denon DBT-1713UD has just about everything you'd want in a Universal Player. It can play just about every 5" disc format on the market (and some that have all but died out). The USB port allows direct streaming of most of the popular video, image, and music formats. DNLA 1.5 certification allows access to networked content and just about all the popular video streaming sources are not only available, but have their own button on the remote. While $500 isn't cheap for a Blu-ray player, it isn't bad considering all the features you are getting. We expect this player to do pretty well...especially with Denon fans.

The Denon DBT-1713UD has just about everything you'd want in a Universal Player. While $500 isn't cheap for a Blu-ray player, it isn't bad considering all the features you are getting.

— June 03, 2012 20:50 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable Preview

Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB Professional DJ Turntable Preview

Turntables have transformed from pieces of audio gear to listening room bling. Luckily, some companies are still making turntables for those that actually use them. The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB has just about everything you'd want in a turntable - integrated preamp, a high-torque multi-pole direct drive motor, a stroboscopic platter with a speed accuracy indicator, and much more. Plus, you can connect it to your computer and transform your vinyl into bits. Built with the DJ in mind, the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB is so tough it may be the last turntable you buy...unless you win the lottery.

The Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB has just about everything you'd want in a turntable - integrated preamp, a high-torque multi-pole direct drive motor, USB connection to your computer and much more.

— January 26, 2012 21:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Samsung BD-E6500 Blu-ray with Dual HDMI Inputs and WiFi Preview

Samsung BD-E6500 Blu-ray with Dual HDMI Inputs and WiFi Preview

While we don't think the Samsung BD-E6500 will be the next Audiophile Blu-ray player, it very well may be our next Blu-ray player. The new Samsung includes dual HDMI inputs for connecting two different pieces of gear to it, and then running a single HDMI cable to your receiver/display. The BD-E6500 has Wi-Fi connectivity for streaming from DNLA devices and access to Samsung's Smart Hub. Most interestingly (though you may never use it), you can register (for a fee) your DVDs on UltraViolet from the player. The only thing we don't know about the player and the UltraViolet service? Price.

While we don't think the Samsung BD-E6500 will be the next Audiophile Blu-ray player, it very well may be our next Blu-ray player. We just wish they are released a price.

— January 26, 2012 04:30 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Panasonic 32bit 3D Blu-ray Players - When 24bit Just Isn't Enough

Panasonic 32bit 3D Blu-ray Players - When 24bit Just Isn't Enough

Panasonic put out six (6) new Blu-ray players at this year's CES 2012. They include four 3D models (DMP-BBT01, DMP-BDT500, DMP-BDT320, DMP-BDT220) and and two networking 2D models (the DMP-BD87 and the DMP-BD77). All four of the 3D models include Panasonic’s proprietary IPTV platform, VIERA Connect, while the 2D models feature IP VOD, a service that is different, but still offers a limited, though targeted, selection of such sites as Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube. What got us, though was the fact that three of these players feature 192kHz/32bit Audio DACs (not available on the DMP-BBT01). On top of that, the BDT500 includes high grade audio parts – gold plated terminals, high grade electric capacitor, better insulators...

Panasonic put out six (6) new Blu-ray players at this year's CES 2012. They include four 3D models (DMP-BBT01, DMP-BDT500, DMP-BDT320, DMP-BDT220) and and two networking 2D models.

— January 11, 2012 16:24 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

SONY BDP-S780 3D Network Blu-ray Player Review

SONY BDP-S780 3D Network Blu-ray Player Review

Sony offers some of the best value in Blu-Ray players today. After going through all the features and setup options this Blu-ray player offers and really diving into the network functions, I can say that the Sony BDP-S780 3D networking Blu-ray player would be a great addition to any home theater or video system that is in need for an upgrade to the latest in today’s tech. This model is their company flagship and comes packed with the most features for their line. We found the DBP-S780 to be among the fastest players out there to boot up and play a Blu-ray disc. Bottom line the BDP-S780 meets just about every requirement for a great Blu-Ray player today and won’t disappoint even the most feature hungry user.

The Sony BDP-S780 is one of the best values in 3D networking Blu-ray players today. It loads movies quickly and offers a host of networking options with a great HD picture quality.

Adam Liebling — November 06, 2011 21:11 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo Pandora Firmware Upgrade for BDP-93/BDP-95 Blu-ray Players

Oppo Pandora Firmware Upgrade for BDP-93/BDP-95 Blu-ray Players

There are few A/V products these days that I really get excited about. When Oppo released the BDP-95, we were pretty eager to get our hands on one. From its benchmark performance to flawless operation, the BDP-95 left us wanting very little. But, of course, I particularly like the ability to stream music sources such as Pandora to my family room system. At the time, Oppo didn't support this feature, until now.... We are happy to see that Oppo is vigorously supporting their products with routine firmware upgrades. Pandora support is icing on the cake for us. We look forward to seeing what else Oppo has in store for future upgrades. In the meantime, we’re loving it as is!

Oppo recent firmware update supports Pandora streaming music services. We test and report on its success in this editorial.

— October 13, 2011 12:30 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews