equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Tom Volotta
Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray Player
Released in the Fall 2008, Sony’s third generation BDP-S350 Blu-ray player offers consumers Profile 2.0, BD-Live interactive features along with improved performance all around without having to pay the premium early adopters did for the first and second-generation players, or to buy a Playstation 3.  Still considered the optimum target platform for Blu-ray Java and BD-Live content because of its processing power, the PS3 was a difficult notion for many to grasp since it was primarily known as a game machine.  For customers looking for the most powerful Blu-ray player, most sales people in big box stores weren’t much help in sorting out Profile 1.0, Profile 1.1 or Profile 2 features and benefits.  Either they didn’t know one from the other or they were pushing the higher priced, typically inferior standalone Blu-ray players over the cheaper, higher performing PS3.The BDP-S350 ...
Sunday, 01 February 2009 ,  Written by Donald Tibbs
Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray Player
With an MSRP upwards of $1,199.99, the Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray player entered the already crowded Blu-ray player market that seems currently divided between high-priced elite models and surprisingly inexpensive entry level models. However, with so many of the more inexpensive models (even below $300) delivering a close-to-complete assortment of features, is the Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray player worth its hefty price tag?The Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray player features top-of-the-line video processing with Chroma Upsampling. As a result, you will experience precise pixel detection and 16-step motion video detection, accommodating the 1080p output from Blu-ray discs as well as 1080p output for DVDs, photos, and even personal video data. The Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray player incorporates HD formats, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio; but has no internal Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio decoders. These ...
Monday, 26 January 2009 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
LG BD-300 Blu-ray Player
The BasicsThis Blu-Ray player is somewhat of a letdown, both in sound and video quality as well as its feature-set.  It retails at a suggested price of just under $400, but offers few frills or even many standard features in mid-priced Blu-Ray players of its class.  It is a Profile 2.0 player, so it is capable of accessing BD-Live content, as well as playing BonusView video.The video and audio outputs on this device are designed for current technology, but they offer nothing to owners of older AV receivers.  The BD-300 features HDMI, component video, digital optical and digital coaxial outputs, but there are no analog inputs whatsoever.  This player is coupled with the Netflix “Watch Now” program, meaning that Netflix subscribers can play Netflix films on their television sets as opposed to the videos being locked on their PCs. When ...
Saturday, 01 November 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player
Introduction With Profile 2.0 players like the $400 Sony PlayStation3 and the $600 Panasonic DMP-BD50 now on the market, one might think that all other manufacturers would feel compelled to only release players that rivaled those two models in terms of functionality. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even at the recent CEDIA show, manufacturers were displaying soon-to-be-released Blu-ray models that are only Profile 1.1. It seems counter-productive to me, but then again, so have a lot of the decisions related to Blu-ray since it’s release. A couple of manufacturers – namely, Samsung and Sony – chose to bridge the gap between Profiles 1.1 and 2.0 by offering models that were originally designated as “BD-Live-ready.” These players were Profile 1.1 upon their release, meaning they contained the needed audio and video decoders to display picture-in-picture (or BonusView) content but lacked BD-Live Web ...
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray Player
Introduction For those of you who have waited to take the Blu-ray plunge until you could buy a dedicated player that does everything the Blu-ray format is capable of – and does it right out of the box -- your wait is over. Panasonic’s DMP-BD50 ($599.95) is the first standalone Profile 2.0 player, meaning it has the necessary audio and video decoders to play picture-in-picture content, and it supports BD-Live Web features that, while scarce at the moment, should appear on more and more discs over the next year. This model also has the audio bases covered, offering both internal decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Of course, thanks to recent firmware updates, Sony’s PlayStation3 has had the same features for a few months now, but that machine is a gaming console first, a Blu-ray player ...
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