Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Published on 03 September 2009
Specifications : NAD T587 Blu-ray Player
- Design: Profile 2.0 Blu-ray Disc Player (BD Live with User-supplied Memory Stick)
- Supported Formats: Blu-ray Discs (BD), BD-R/RE, DiVX, MP3, WMA, Photo Files, DVD Video, DVD±R, DVD±RW, Audio CD, CD-R/-RW, AVCHD
- Supported Audio: Linear PCM (uncompressed) via HDMI, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD/MA, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus (via HDMI, Optical or Coax), DTS (via HDMI, Optical or Coax), Analog 2 channel downmix
- Supported Video Resolutions: Up to 1080p/24 over HDMI, upscales DVD to 1080p over HDMI, and up to 1080i over component
- Dimensions: 2.4" H x 17.1" W x 11" D
- Weight: 7.7 Pounds
- MSRP: $1,499 USA
- NAD Electronics
The 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. (Click on the rating box to enlarge it.)
The T587 has a fairly typical suite of inputs and outputs with HDMI, component video, composite video, two-channel analog audio, LAN, coax and optical digital outs. There are no multi-channel analog audio outs. The T587 does sport a front USB input where the user can attach a jump drive or an MP3 player.
Typical, too, for an NAD product is its understated styling and solid build quality. NAD bills the T587 as having fast load times and I can attest that it was among the fastest stand-alone players I have used. Besides a minor glitch when I first powered on the T587, it never hung up or died during the whole review period and I watched scores of Blu-rays and DVDs.
The T587's remote is a somewhat rudimentary control interface that is not backlit. It's essentially the exact same remote that comes with the NAD T747 receiver. I had to look at them both for a few seconds before I could identify any obvious differences. The most obvious difference is that the receiver's remote has a volume up/down button, but the two remotes are easy to confuse. This wasn't a big issue as the receiver's remote was a "universal" design which could be programmed to control other NAD products. I wound up using the receiver's remote 99% of the time while the T587's remote stayed in the cabinet waiting on deck to be called up if I wanted to tweak the output resolution or audio output mode. All in all, the remote is solid and easy to use in the dark courtesy of the varying button sizes and shapes, the logical button layout and generous button spacing. The T587 boasts a responsive and slick menu system that loads quickly.
I'm not sure if this player loads faster than a Sony PS3, but if it doesn't, then any differences in load times are basically insignificant. That's high praise, indeed. To be fair, the NAD T587 hung up the first time I turned it on. After rebooting it, I never experienced a single glitch in screening scores of movies. That's high praise, too. I had hopes that the player's USB input would be a decent iPod control interface, but it was not. No cover art or track names were displayed. So you will need to invest in the optional NAD iPod dock if you want to get the most out of your iPod experience with the NAD system.
The images produced by the T587 Blu-ray player looked about like any other player when viewed on my 50" Pioneer Kuro monitor at a seating distance of about 9'. On the other hand, I have never seen my Panasonic LCD front projector look better when fed a 1080p/24 Hz signal from the T587. (I have a 1.1 gain 100" diagonal 16:9 screen that is also about 9' from the main seating position.)
One thing that made this player's picture so good was its ability to render the finest details. This detail was rarely etched or enhanced looking. It was generally smooth and natural in appearance. A good example of this was the exemplary texture and detail I saw in the Doubt Blu-ray. You could see this detail in the bricks on the front of the church during the opening credits. This disc is packed with video and audio nuances that were delicately communicated by the T587. I particularly liked the color reproduction I saw. There is a scene also near the beginning of the film where a group of kids are lined up in front of the school. One of the girls is wearing a red jacket. This was a highly saturated red which looked realistic through the T587. Elsewhere, Doubt didn't test the color gamut very much but the colors (such as skin tones) were natural and convincing. The motion of the falling leaves and snow was extremely smooth and free of judder. This is a very compelling film about a disturbing subject matter and the T587 really brought me into the experience.
Australia is a bold production that's a little pretentious. The movie is filled with lots of bright scenes of the savanna. These scenes came through to the screen brilliantly. This was the best I have seen my projector look. The detail in the image was once again smooth and detailed. The motion was amazingly smooth as well. The shadow detail and the layering of grays were generally very good in the night scenes. I may be a little naïve, but I was genuinely surprised when Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman "hooked up" in this story. In their first kiss scene, the deep blacks crushed. I'm not sure why this happened. It could have been the PJ, it could have been the receiver or it could have been the T587. I didn't experience this problem with any other films through this system.
On The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the picture was a little soft throughout and the colors were muted. Some of this may be due to the heavy CGI effects in this movie. I didn't see this film in the theaters so I am going to assume that this was a style choice by the director to elicit a melancholy mood from the audience.
I found the picture and sound on Taken to have fine impact all around. No hype, just a clean picture and sound. The picture was punchy and sharp on The International... it really blew me away. I was concerned that the punchy and sharp picture may have gone a little too far on Frozen River which looked like video to me. Then I checked into it and guess what? Frozen River was shot on video. My bad.
The T587 struggled with concert videos that were shot at 30 frames per second versus 60 fields per second. This is a common issue with many deinterlacing solutions. When I set the NAD T587 player and the NAD T747 receiver to 1080i output and passed the signal to my Pioneer display, then the picture fell into place nicely. I did wonder what a casual user would do or think about all the video artifacts that otherwise ensued.
Do you have a library of standard DVD's? Well then you can rest assured that the T587 will do a fine job up-converting them. At 1080p/24, the DVD of Monsters, Inc. really popped off the screen. It was a near HD-like performance. Subjectively, it seemed as if the T587 was able to correctly reconstruct the 24 fps cadence as I didn't see any obvious motion issues with the picture. Other DVD's didn't look quite as good as Monsters, Inc. On other DVD's, the T587 generally performed about on a par with my defunct HDDVD player which has always been a very solid up-converting performer.
On the Bench
Measurements were taken with our Tektronix Oscilloscope from the component analog video outputs at 1080i resolution. The player passed our tests for Y/C delay issue and the image is in alignment in regards to its luma and chroma channels. The player measured a very respectable 98.9 IRE giving it a passing score for our levels test. While the NAD T587 is able to display blacker than black content, the T587's frequency response curve was measured to have a steady decline into the highest frequencies resulting in an image that is slightly lackluster in fine details. This player also had issues on some of our Chroma Upsampling Error tests, and it couldn't pass our 2:2 cadence test as well as the more difficult ICP test.
In our HD section of the Benchmark, the NAD T587 had below average performance. The player failed both of our tests for proper 1080i/p conversion using 2:2 and 3:2 cadences which means that there will be some material out there that will be displayed with a loss in resolution during playback. The NAD T587 had only average image quality with slight loss of resolution in the highest frequencies of the luma and chroma channels.
The player did pass our test for image cropping so it does produce a full image without clipping any pixels. The NAD T587 passed our test for banding but didn't do quite as well with our noise reduction tests as it doesn't employ any kind of advanced noise reduction techniques. Another issue I found was that the T587 couldn't properly display any of the material in our diagonal filtering tests and therefore the player will have jaggies or stair stepping on diagonal lines.
Standard DVD Performance
The NAD T857 had pretty good performance in our standard DVD deinterlacing tests passing all of our film-based high resolution detail tests, locking onto the cadences right away and holding them for the duration of the tests. On video based material, the T587 didn't fare as well. While the T587 did pass our motion adaptive tests, it failed our diagonal filtering tests and also failed our 2:2 Cadence, film flags test with obvious jaggies in real world material. The player passed our high detail test using our Super Speedway pattern but exhibited much more difficulty in the more difficult coliseum pan over screen from Gladiator. The player couldn't lock onto the pattern and resolution loss and moiré was evident.On the usability portion of the benchmark the NAD T587 did well, with a quick layer change clocking in at under a second and rather quick overall response during general playback.