“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Recent Blu-ray Player Reviews

NeoDigits Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player

NeoDigits Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player

When I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the Helios X5000, I said ‘yes’ out of hand. You can’t be a reviewer and not be interested in reviewing nearly everything that comes across your desk. But honestly, I had no idea what it was. I knew it was a media player but it seemed to be more focused on the video side. They seemed to be pushing their upconverting capabilities and I could find no information on how the unit recorded and played back media. Very confusing. So, when the unit arrived, I hooked it up not really knowing what to expect.

When I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the Helios X5000, I said ‘yes’ out of hand. You can’t be a reviewer and not be interested in reviewing nearly everything that comes across your desk.

— November 27, 2006 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Denon DVD-3930CI DVD Player

Denon DVD-3930CI DVD Player

The DVD-3930CI was another surprising release from Denon. Just as the DVD-3910 seemed to obsolete (in a practical sense) the DVD-5900, the DVD-3930CI takes the spotlight again... almost.

The DVD-3930CI was another surprising release from Denon. Just as the DVD-3910 seemed to obsolete (in a practical sense) the DVD-5900, the DVD-3930CI takes the spotlight again... almost.

— November 02, 2006 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Denon DVD-5910CI DVD Player Review

Denon DVD-5910CI DVD Player Review

While watching old Looney Tunes cartoons as a child, I always recalled Bug Bunny’s nemesis (i.e. Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, etc) say “it has everything but the kitchen sink” seconds before they’d get knocked upside the head with said item. When Denon announced the 1080p upgrade to the DVD-5910 I quickly put us on the list to receive a review sample. I had a mindful eye when the FedEx guy arrived at my front door. Lugging this nearly 50lb box up my flight of steps to the Audioholics Showcase system, I couldn’t help but wonder if Denon did, in fact, ship me the kitchen sink as part of a package deal with this DVD player. Enter the DVD-5910CI – Denon’s latest flagship DVD player packaged in a rugged chassis that would make most receivers envious. Seriously, this DVD player looks out of proportion to all receivers but Denon’s own venerable AVR-5805.

While watching old Looney Tunes cartoons as a child, I always recalled Bug Bunny’s nemesis (i.e. Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, etc) say “it has everything but the kitchen sink” seconds before they’d get

— October 19, 2006 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc Player Review

Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc Player Review

Not a day goes by that I don’t get inundated with emails or news reports of something going on in the new high resolution DVD “format war”. I am determined to avoid the tendency to break into loquacious bouts of opinion regarding the formats and simply stick to reviewing this rather fine looking piece of machinery. Believe me, it’s easier and it makes my job a whole lot more pleasant if we keep the comparisons to their own articles where they belong. With that being said, Samsung is the first product to market for Blu-ray Disc and, as such, carries the burden of taking heat for anything not yet performing up to snuff with respect to the player’s capabilities. As we go through the various functions and utilities of the BD player, you’ll get to experience what I did and perhaps get a glimpse inside what makes this $1000 high resolution player tick.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get inundated with emails or news reports of something going on in the new high resolution DVD “format war”. I am determined to avoid the tendency to break into

— August 27, 2006 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo DV-970HD DVD Player Review

Oppo DV-970HD DVD Player Review

Oppo has seemingly cornered the market on buzz, becoming the “Apple Computer” of rumor and forum discussion. Following the success of their flagship (and still shipping) OPDV971H upconverting DVD player, they naturally felt inclined to release a new upconverting DVD player that also handles SACD – for $50 less. Now, before you fall off your chair and pull out your credit card, realize that this is a different player. Instead of the Faroudja video processing, this new player utilizes a different chipset and scores slightly lower in our video performance testing.

Oppo has seemingly cornered the market on buzz, becoming the “Apple Computer” of rumor and forum discussion. Following the success of their flagship (and still shipping) OPDV971H upconverting DVD

— July 12, 2006 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

NeoDigits Helios HVD2085 DVD Player

NeoDigits Helios HVD2085 DVD Player

I hope it’s never too late to say “I’m sorry”. At least, that’s how I feel about the new Helios HVD2085 DVD player. You see, I really judged this player harshly in its former incarnation under the NeuNeo moniker. Sure, it failed the HQV tests miserably and had a remote control that was designed by Fisher Price, but the fact of the matter is – I did not have the ability to play the unit in conjunction with a 1080p display. This time I do. Using the Westinghouse LVM-42w2 1080p monitor, I connected the reworked Helios DVD player and felt like I was seeing it again – for the first time. Make no mistake, this is pretty much a re-badged NeuNeo HVD2085, but I am seeing the player in a new 1080p-powered light. While it still has its share of drawbacks, there is at least more balance to the unit now.

I hope it’s never too late to say “I’m sorry”. At least, that’s how I feel about the new Helios HVD2085 DVD player. You see, I really judged this player harshly in its former incarnation under the

— May 16, 2006 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo DV971H DVD Player Updates - Remote and Firmware

Oppo DV971H DVD Player Updates - Remote and Firmware

It’s rare that we run into an almost universal consensus among users with respect to the quality of a company’s customer service. Certainly there have been some companies in the past, Axiom Audio for example, that have excelled in this category; but Oppo Digital may perhaps take the cake. Since the introduction of their OPDV971H DVD player last year they have consistently provided excellent quality of service and attention to their customers.

It’s rare that we run into an almost universal consensus among users with respect to the quality of a company’s customer service. Certainly there have been some companies in the past, Axiom Audio for

— February 18, 2006 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

NeuNeo HVD2085 1080p DVD Player Review

NeuNeo HVD2085 1080p DVD Player Review

It was only a matter of time until a company released a fully "unlocked" player that upconverted DVDs to 1080p. Just think of the marketing angles: "Why wait for high definition DVD when you can have it now!" or "Who needs Blu-ray Disc when you can get 1080p from your home movie collection!" What has people so excited about the NeuNeo player (pronounced "New-Neo") is the fact that it outputs 480p/720p/1080i/1080p from its component and HDMI outputs (latest firmware required). How do they do it? Well, I assume they run very quickly from anyone representing the MPAA since this violates the DVD spec. In any case, feel free to get them while they're hot - if 1080p output over component is something you've secretly asked Santa for this year and you don't mind some odd quirks and questionable video performance.

It was only a matter of time until a company released a fully "unlocked" player that upconverted DVDs to 1080p. Just think of the marketing angles: "Why wait for high definition DVD when you can have

— December 18, 2005 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Marantz DV6500 JLTi Mod - Universal DVD Player Review

Marantz DV6500 JLTi Mod - Universal DVD Player Review

Ever wished you could own a truly high end esoteric digital player but your budget is limited to mass market players? Joe Rasmussen from Custom Analogue Audio reckons he has the answer. Using a cheap mass market universal player (the Marantz DV6500, normally retails for A$799 – US$649), Joe has upgraded it with technology from Vacuum State Electronics (Joe is the Australian agent) to create a “state of the art” two-channel universal player called the “JLTi SACD Player” that is being sold by Pymble Hi-Fi in Sydney, Australia, for $2,500 (~US$1,900).

Ever wished you could own a truly high end esoteric digital player but your budget is limited to mass market players? Joe Rasmussen from Custom Analogue Audio reckons he has the answer. Using a cheap

— December 12, 2005 18:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Panasonic DVD-S97 DVD Player Review

Panasonic DVD-S97 DVD Player Review

Panasonic has always made highly regarded DVD-video players, and the DVD-RP82 was widely regarded by many as one of the best DVD players ever made (so much so that when it was discontinued, these players were selling on E-Bay for higher than the original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price!) However, it seems that after the DVD-RP82, Panasonic went down-market and released a set of lackluster models.

Panasonic has always made highly regarded DVD-video players, and the DVD-RP82 was widely regarded by many as one of the best DVD players ever made (so much so that when it was discontinued, these

— December 10, 2005 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Primera Bravo II CD/DVD Duplication System Review

Primera Bravo II CD/DVD Duplication System Review

When we were contacted by Primera to review the Bravo II CD/DVD duplication system we were reticent at first since this doesn't exactly fit within the purview of audio/video products. The more we thought about it, however, the more we realized that a lot of our readers have marketing needs for distributing their products and service brochures. As a result we decided to give it a look and use some of our own internal materials as test fodder.

When we were contacted by Primera to review the Bravo II CD/DVD duplication system we were reticent at first since this doesn't exactly fit within the purview of audio/video products. The more we

— October 16, 2005 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Oppo OPDV971H DVD Player Review

Oppo OPDV971H DVD Player Review

It seems as if everyone is talking about the Oppo (‘oh-poe’) OPDV971H DVD player. The main attraction behind this new player is its DVI output and ability to upconvert DVD source material to both 720p and 1080i (in addition to the expected 480p). It is also HDCP-free, making it a player that is compatible with both HDCP and non-HDCP equipped displays. On board Faroudja DCDi processing (via an FLI-2310 chip) makes for an even more impressive package as the picture coming off of this $199 DVD player can rival other players priced much higher.

It seems as if everyone is talking about the Oppo (‘oh-poe’) OPDV971H DVD player. The main attraction behind this new player is its DVI output and ability to upconvert DVD source material to both

— October 10, 2005 20:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Marantz DV-9500 DVD Player Review

Marantz DV-9500 DVD Player Review

If you’re an audio/video enthusiast then you probably have had an eye out on all the universal players that have been hitting the market over the last couple of years. Although many companies have released various universal players with steady price drops it is nice to know that there are still good high end products to fit the needs of the most discriminating AV enthusiasts. Marantz is one such company that has been in the high end industry since their inception in the 1950’s. The Marantz DV-9500 not only fits into the most premium home theaters but it also has features for those that are building a system one piece at a time. Even for the 2-channel audiophile who isn’t sure about home theater the DV-9500 has excellent stereo formats.

If you’re an audio/video enthusiast then you probably have had an eye out on all the universal players that have been hitting the market over the last couple of years. Although many companies have

— April 18, 2005 00:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews

Denon DVD-2910 DVD Player Review

Denon DVD-2910 DVD Player Review

Denon surprised many of us hard-core videophiles at this year's CES with their top of the line DVD-5910 DVD player. I was happy and excited when I became aware that I was going to review its little cousin the DVD-2910. This is the mid-priced player in their Universal DVD line up for 2005. Denon has proven they can consistently design and build quality DVD players that meet the performance level demanded by the home theater enthusiast. Will the Denon DVD-2910 prove to be another great player? Read on to find out.

Denon surprised many of us hard-core videophiles at this year's CES with their top of the line DVD-5910 DVD player. I was happy and excited when I became aware that I was going to review its little

— March 28, 2005 19:00 in Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD Player Reviews