Blu-ray Players

Yamaha BD-A1010 Aventage Universal 3D Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design of the Yamaha BD-A1010 Aventage Blu-ray Player

This player is priced at $499.95, virtually the same as the Oppo BDP-93. They are both true universal players, marketed as premiere (albeit not boutique) products. A comparison is unavoidable, so right off the bat, the Aventage player has a lot to live up to. Upon opening my Oppo a few months ago, I was very impressed with the high-end packaging design inside the cardboard box. The player was wrapped in a nice black reusable nylon handbag, and the parts (cables, remote, manual, etc.) were packaged separately in nice-looking black boxes. The Oppo also included a 6-foot HDMI cable, which is an incomprehensible rarity (cost for a generic basic 6 ft. HDMI cable is on the order of a few dollars) among Blu-ray players. One might say these niceties were a little over the top, but it really made you feel like you had just purchased a truly high-end product.

This was not so much the case upon opening the Aventage Blu-ray box. It was packaged the same way nearly every other A/V product is packaged: white Styrofoam held a black product wrapped in "foam paper", with the parts wedged into cut-outs in the Styrofoam, and no HDMI cable was included. There really isn't anything wrong with this, and had I not ever owned nor seen an Oppo player I might not have commented on it. But, given this player is priced the same, and offers very similar features and functionality as the Oppo, I was hoping / wondering if Yamaha might have tried to follow suit. That they didn't just means that I'm already thinking, "Okay this thing better perform really well!"

The BD-A1010 itself is nicely designed. It carries the same styling as the Aventage receivers, so that they will match nicely on your component shelf. Currently the Aventage line consists only of receivers and Blu-ray players, I don't know if Yamaha has plans to expand the brand to other products or not. Like the Aventage receivers, the BD-A1010 also seems very well-built: much heftier than most big-brand mass-market Blu-ray players available at big-box stores for anywhere from $60 to $250. It has a sturdy steel cover, and weighs almost as much as my Oppo. Given Yamaha claims to have completely re-designed not only the electronics in their Aventage products, but also the physical chassis to optimize audio performance, it was good to feel a solidly-built product.