Blu-ray Players

Cambridge Azur 650BD Universal Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

On the Bench

The Azur 650BD had solid performance in the Secrets benchmark with a few exceptions. Measurements were taken from the component analog video outputs at 1080i resolution using our Tektronix oscilloscope. The 650BD did well in the core performance section of the benchmark. The 650BD passed the Y/C delay test with both of its luma and Chroma channels in sync with each other. The Azur 650D also passed the 1920x1080 pixel cropping test without lopping off any pixels. Finally, the player did pass a below black signal using either HDMI or component analog video. The white levels measured from the CAV outputs of the Azur 650BD were measured at 99.3 IRE which is within our +/- 2IRE tolerance range for passing our levels test. The frequency response from this player was measured to be smooth with a slight dip in output at the higher frequencies. This made the picture look a bit soft and washed out when viewing the output using CAV cables. The Azur 650BD passed all of the Chroma up sampling error tests and didn't exhibit the CUE issue on any of the test patterns.

Standard DVD Performance

The AZUR 650BD had almost perfect performance in our deinterlacing tests. While the player passed almost all of our film based deinterlacing tests, it exhibited trouble on our 3-2 Cadence mixed flags test and couldn’t display the patterns without artifacts. The player passed our high detail tests with flying colors as it was able to display both the Super Speedway clip as well as the harder Coliseum flyover scene from Gladiator with excellent detail. We would really like to see Cambridge Audio resolve the mixed flag issue with a firmware update because otherwise this player has excellent deinterlacing performance.

On video based material the Azur 650BD also had excellent results. The player is motion adaptive, was able to recover between film and video mode with quick recovery time, and passed our 2-2 zone plate and Natural Splendors video clip tests without break up on the patterns.

HD Video Performance

The Azur 650BD had good results on the HD section of the benchmark. There have been many recent Blu-ray players that can’t perform a proper 1080i/p conversion but the Azur 650BD is not one of them. The player is able to convert both 2:2 and 3:2 cadence material properly without any hiccups. While this player does employ diagonal filtering, and material was jaggie free, the AZUR 650BD is lacking any advanced noise reduction features and so it failed the noise reduction section of the benchmark.

Usability

Usability on the AZUR 650BD was excellent with brisk operation through the menus and good responsiveness from the remote. The only exception to its performance was a slow layer change that clocked in at 1.5 seconds.