|Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Thursday, 12 November 2009|
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Audio and Media:
Pros: Phenomenal A/V Quality, Great Upscaling, PAL-capable, Relatively Quiet
Yamaha comes out of the gate with their BD-S1065, and the results quality-wise are impressive. It delivers an outstanding 1080/24p image, both of demo-worthy and not-so-pristine qualities. However, its sound capacity trumps its strong visual delivery, holding the capacity to decode and bitstream DTS HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD audio to astonishing levels. The company’s legacy of fine audio equipment can certainly be ascertained from giving several Blu-rays a spin, both boisterous and delicate varieties. As a high-definition player itself, it delivers one of the stronger experiences out there, comparable to others in its price range. This great sound quality carries over to a sensational presentation of audio discs, both of Master Audio/5.1 PCM and CD varieties.
It’s also a very strong 1080p DVD upscaling machine, rendering exquisite detail within standard-definition DVDs. DTS tracks in particular work a robust amount of magic through this player, though the other tracks certainly hold their weight as well. PAL signals can also be processed by the S1065, including Region 0 discs and the special features on imported Blu-rays. During movies themselves, the player operates on a very quiet, cool level, only letting out noticeable sounds from the unit upon shifting through menus and first popping in the disc for its initial load-up. Boot-up noises are audible, yet not distracting and certainly not obtrusive during the whisper-quiet playback.
Cons: Competitors, No Wireless, Mediocre Load Times, Heavy/Thick
However, the Yamaha does have a few stipulations to its strengths. First off, the price factor really comes into play here. Ranging in between $500 to $600, it doesn’t offer enough advantages over its competition – namely Oppo’s BDP-83 – to compensate for the elements that it lacks. One of the other things that it lacks that several other lower-priced models carry is an internal wireless device, essentially making the process of getting online to access BD-Live or other online functions a bit more difficult (requiring a permanent Ethernet cable to be run to the system).
Along those same comparative lines, the S1065 also doesn’t have the fastest of load times – in fact, they can be downright sluggish at many points. This issue largely involves booting up BD-Java applications from Blu-ray discs, which can be jerky and slow once they’ve finally been accessed. Finally, and we’re talking on a purely aesthetic level here, this is a hefty, thick player. It’s a quality machine, absolutely, and the weight and height of it (15 pounds and a good inch taller) can attest to the components riding inside, but the bulk isn’t terribly pleasing to the eye.
Yamaha’s foray into Blu-ray technology is largely a successful one with their BD-S1065, though it’s not without hesitations. It provides first-rate Blu-ray and DVD quality, as well as strong audio with Master Audio / CD discs, yet the versatility lacks when compared to that of its primary competitor and falls short with a few avoidable fumbles – namely load times, design aesthetic, and the lack of an internal wireless communicator. The quality’s certainly there in Yamaha’s player to merit timid approval, but it’s missing the added punch that its easier-to-recommend competition offers.