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Onkyo DV-BD507 Blu-ray Player


It wasn’t but about 18 months ago that Blu-ray players were still considered high end devices, selling mostly to enthusiasts, videophiles, and the like. Recently, the market for these players has really taken off, mostly due to the big box retailers dropping prices to DVD player levels. The fact that one can walk into a Wal-Mart and purchase a Blu-ray player for under $150 makes it somewhat of a commodity item at this point. Why not own one? Blu-ray discs are indeed more expensive (sometimes prohibitively so), but on the rental front, you can get them from Blockbuster or Netflix on the cheap, and enjoy your films in much higher quality.


Sony BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

Sony BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray PlayerThe Sony ES line has always represented the very best of what Sony has to offer.  The ES stands for Sony’s Elevated Standard and the BDP-S5000ES is Sony’s premier Blu-ray/DVD player, offering a host of features targeted at the audiophile and videophile who is looking for the very best.


Denon DVD-1800BD Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

Denon DVD 1800bd Blu-ray PlayerThe Denon DVD-1800BD is Denon’s newest and least expensive Blu-ray player. For the $599 MSRP you get a Bonus View (profile 1.1) compliant player with HDMI 1.3a and component video outputs, bit-streaming (not decoding) of all the latest lossless surround formats, a front panel SD card memory slot for the playback of MP3 and JPG files, and full Divx and Windows Media™ Audio playback support.


NAD T587 Blu-ray Disc Player - Benchmark

NAD T586 Blue-ray Disc PlayerThe NAD T587 represents NAD’s first foray into the Blu-ray arena. NAD started big by building the T587 to the Blu-ray Profile 2.0 spec. The T587 can also handle CD and DVD discs among other formats such as DiVX. It is not a universal player and will not spin DVD Audio or SACD discs. Its circuitry is based on the Broadcom decoder. A nice touch is that the player comes with auxiliary feet that closely resemble Vibrapods.  This player is reviewed as one of the Imagine Affordable System components.


Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-ray PlayerThe Pioneer BDP-51FD is currently the only non-Elite Blu-ray player that Pioneer offers, but it is far from a budget model. Pioneer has a well deserved reputation for offering high quality DVD players in the past and is certainly trying to continue that tradition with their Blu-ray lineup, even if it means that their lowest end player is priced above that of other manufacturer's models. However, since the release of the BDP-51FD, complaints about its performance has led to multiple firmware updates being released as Pioneer tries to maintain its position as a purveyor of high end electronics. This review examines the player with the latest firmware update applied.


OPPO BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

oppo-bdp-83-blu-ray-player-teaser There has been a lot of anticipation for OPPO Digital's brand new BDP-83 Blu-ray player. This is in part because OPPO has had an excellent track record for producing top notch affordable DVD players, such as the DV-983H (one of the only players in Secrets's history to score a perfect 100 on Secret's rigorous DVD Benchmark) and in part because the BDP-83 is the first Blu-ray player to hit the market offering the features to make it a truly all-in-one solution media solution for high definition playback. These include the ability to handle SACDs as a bitstream or PCM, and the ability to play DVD-Audio discs. The BDP-83 also decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio internally, giving you the option of using the 7.1 analog pre-outs on the rear panel if you have an older receiver, or use the HDMI output to deliver these high resolution movie soundtracks to your receiver in digital form.


Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

yamaha-bd-s2900header.jpgIt has been some time since Yamaha manufactured a hi-def disc player, either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.  Instead Yamaha has been offering upscaling DVD players such as the S1700 and the S2700.  Now that the format war is over and Blu-ray is the declared winner, this is no longer true.  Yamaha has created the BD-S2900, their first Blu-ray player.


Pioneer BDP-09FD Elite Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

Pioneer BDP 09FD Elite Blu-ray PlayerMany people have been waiting for Blu-ray players to hit the magic price point of $200, where people think mass adoption will start to take place and it will slowly overtake DVD as the dominant home video format. However, there’s also another range of players that are starting to come out now, those of reference quality designs with virtually no expense spared. The BDP-09FD from Pioneer is their entry into that arena.

(Check out the video tour of the player's features at the bottom of Page 2.)