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Thursday, 12 November 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player Review
Right at the core of the $500-600 price point, Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray player enters against some stiff high-end competition.   It’s a sect currently dominated by Oppo’s BDP-83, a jackknife player that does just about anything needed.  Yamaha’s unit, however, is up to task in offering some healthy competition; as a Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player with a mind audio quality, it certainly impresses with its capabilities.  Whether its highly-chiseled sonic class alone justifies the price depends on individual preference and the necessity for media adaptation, but everything the BD-S1065 offers certainly packs a hefty punch underneath the hood.  Out of the Box:At first glance, the size and weight of Yamaha’s S1065 will be a surprise – at least a marginal surprise, as those familiar with the company’s components are accustomed to their girth.  Close to double the height, roughly 4 inches ...
Thursday, 12 November 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
LG BD390 Blu-ray Player Preview
With as much a focus on network and streaming options as on video and audio performance LG’s BD390 Blu-ray Player is loaded to the gills with extras. The BD390 from LG is one of few Blu-ray players to offer a built in WiFi connection.  LG even one ups most other WiFi enabled BD players by offering integrated 802.11n capability, rather than the 802.11g that’s more commonly found in consumer electronics.  Whether connected wirelessly or via the Ethernet port, the BD390 can access a wide variety of net based video streaming sources.  Vudu, YouTube, and Netflix are available right out of the box, though to use Roxio’s CinemaNow service, owners may need to download a firmware update. LG’s BD390 lacks any streaming audio channels, but does have the ability to stream files directly from a PC.  The standard assortment of audio formats ...
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray Player Review
It’s natural to assume that technology-initiator Sony would be a market leader in the player category, though the widespread implementation of the PS3 might be a bit of a shock. For those who weren’t swayed towards using a video game machine as a high-definition unit, Sony also wedged into the mix with their BDP-S350 and S550 models – both of which are excellent players.  Naturally, Sony has followed up their previous line with the S360 and their step-up model reviewed here, the S560.  As with their other players, Sony’s BDP-S560 naturally stand up against the company’s versatile PS3 – now available as a slim, less expensive unit  -- and it does so with admirable quality, though it’s a tug-of-war between the benefits and negatives between the two.At first glance, Sony’s player will look strikingly familiar. It carries the signature dark-blue ...
Monday, 26 October 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Pioneer BDP-09FD Blu-ray Player Preview
The BDP-09FD is Pioneer’s highest offering in its Elite line of Blu-ray players.  Bonus View and (thanks to an April firmware update) BD Live compatible, the BDP-09FD has a wide variety of assets that are certain to attract Blu0-ray fanatics.  The BDP-09FD wasn’t constructed solely to appeal to movie buffs though, it also houses many of the same features as high end CD players. The BDP-09FD features three 16-bit video processors which help to keep the 10809/24 video crisp and smooth.  The dual HDMI 1.3 outputs offer support for 48-bit Deep Color, as well as X.V. color.  The Pioneer Developed 16-bit video processing LSI allows for 15 different video adjustments. Pioneer Elite’s BDP-09FD is capable of decoding Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus right out of the box, and a firmware update will enable DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio ...
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player Review
Pioneer made a nice-sized splash at the 2009 CEDIA conference in Atlanta, touting several high-quality Blu-ray players with a slate of appealing hardware underneath the hood.  One of those players was the BDP-320 (released earlier this year), their second-tier model currently priced at $399.99 list.  With versatility and quality in mind with this 1080p/24, Profile 2.0 machine, it delivers a ravishing high-definition experience – though you’ll likely be waiting for prolonged gaps in between load times for the content to appear.  You’ll discover that it’s a player inadvertently designed for the patient once you’ve grown accustomed to some of its slights, and persistence will eventually pay off once this Pioneer gets on the move. Out of the Box:At first glance, the BDP-320 is a sleek unit with a very appealing aesthetic.  It’s pitch-black with a glossy sheen and somewhat prone ...
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