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

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Yamaha BD-S673 Blu-ray Player

Yamaha BD-S673 Blu-ray Player

Summary

  • Product Name: BD-S673 Blu-ray Player
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: August 06, 2012 16:10
  • MSRP: $329.95 (BD-S673); $229.95 (BD-S473)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

BD-S673

VIDEO / AUDIO PERFORMANCE Media Compatibility DLNA, USB, BD-Video, BD-R/RE (BD-MV), DVD-Video, DVD-R/-RW (DVD-Video, DVD-VR), DVD+R/+RW (Video and VR mode), CD-DA, CD-R/-RW
File Compatibility Video: MKV with H.264, MPEG PS, MPEG TS, MPEG-4, VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV, DivX Plus HD and AVCHD. Audio: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC. Photo: JPEG, GIF and PNG.
Video Output 1 Vp-p/75ohms
Component Video Output Y : 1 Vp-p/75ohms, Pb : 0.7 Vp-p/75ohms, Pr : 0.7 Vp-p/75ohms
Connectivity HDMI Output 1 (480i, 576i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p@24 Hz)
USB Port (Front Panel / Rear Panel) 1 / 1
Digital Audio Output (Optical / Coaxial) 1 / 1
Component Video Output 1
Composite Video Output 1
2-Channel Mixed Audio Output 1
Ethernet 1 (Wi-Fi built-in)
Remote Control Input / Output 1 / 1
GENERAL Standby Power Consumption ≤ 0.5W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 3-3/8” x 10-1/8”
Weight 6.2 lbs.

BD-S473

VIDEO / AUDIO PERFORMANCE Media Compatibility DLNA, USB, BD-Video, BD-R/RE (BD-MV), DVD-Video, DVD-R/-RW (DVD-Video, DVD-VR), DVD+R/+RW (Video and VR mode), CD-DA, CD-R/-RW
File Compatibility Video: MKV with H.264, MPEG PS, MPEG TS, MPEG-4, VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV and AVCHD. Audio: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC. Photo: JPEG, GIF and PNG.
Connectivity HDMI Output 1 (480i, 576i, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p@24 Hz)
USB Port (Front Panel / Rear Panel) 1 / 1
Ethernet 1
GENERAL Standby Power Consumption ≤ 0.5W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 2” x 8”
Weight 4.4 lbs.

One of the trends in home theater lately has been to tailor devices for particular needs. This cuts costs while, at the same time, trims features that certain users may never need. If you are prepared enough and can accurately anticipate your device's environment and use, then you can save quite a bit of money by not over-buying.

Yamaha has released two new Blu-ray players that are targeted towards specific consumers. First, the lower priced Yamaha BD-S47 is a lightweight (4.4lbs) and diminutive (only 2" tall) Blu-ray player is perfect for those that are looking for a bare-bones player with cutting edge features. The BD-S473 supports playback of not only Blu-ray and DVD, but also 3D. BONUSVIEW and BD-Live features are on board as is HD audio, FLAC, and bitstreaming of Linear PCM over HDMI. The BD-S473 is also 1080p/24Hz compatible, x.v. Color and Deep Color compatible, and has a host of streaming features (namely Netflix and YouTube Leanback). When connected to the Internet, you can control your new player with dedicated apps for your iDevice, Android device, or Kindle Fire (yes, it is an Android device but they mentioned it separately). On-screen GUI and DLNA certification is included as is FLAC playback and firmware updates over the Internet.

S473_front     S473_back

There is a USB port both on the front and the rear (right under the USB port) for accessing external storage. The BD-S473 is compatible with most of the main file formats including MKV with H.264, MPEG PS, MPEG TS, MPEG-4, VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV and AVCHD for video and MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV and FLAC. Photo: JPEG, GIF and PNG for audio. Other than the USB and Ethernet ports, the only other connection is HDMI. This should give you some indication of who this player was designed for - someone that had already upgraded their receiver and/or display. For not having any additional outputs (and lacking a few other features), the BD-S473 will only run you $229.95.

The BD-S673 (pictured at the top of this article) costs $100 more than the BD-S473 at $329.95. This player has everything the lower cost BD-S673 has plus a few convenience features that many would be willing to pay for. First and foremost, the BD-S673 has built-in Wi-Fi. This eliminates the need for a physical Ethernet connection for Internet access. While using Netflix and YouTube over Wi-Fi may be problematic (usually not), other features such as the remote control apps, BD-Live, and firmware updates should be just fine. In addition to Netflix and YouTube, the BD-S673 adds Picasa compatibility.

S673_back

The back of the BD-S673 is much busier than the BD-S473. In addition to the Ethernet, USB ports and HDMI output, you'll find both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. For custom installers or power users, the BD-S673 has remote control in and out for integration into a universal remote control system. There are both component and composite video outputs and stereo analogue RCA outputs. The analogue audio outputs can output down-mixed 2 channel output via the internal 192kHz/32-bit DAC. The 6.2lbs BD-S673 stands just under 3.5" tall and more than 2" deeper than the smaller BD-S473.

Conclusion

If you need nothing but an HDMI output on your Blu-ray player and have an Ethernet connection 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 BD-S673. At $229.95 and $329.95 respectively, neither the 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.

For more information, please visit www.yamaha.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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