The UD7006 is Marantz’s latest high-end Blu-ray player, joining the value-led UD5005 in its 2011 range. It’s a universal player, allowing you to spin any physical disc format and a healthy range of digital ones too. It’s even equipped for 3D discs (the first Marantz deck to do so), allowing you to add an extra dimension to movies through a compatible telly.
Being a high-end player with a hefty £800 RRP (and £549.95 online price), there’s a distinct emphasis on build quality and design. This is as classy as Blu-ray players get, thanks to the thick brushed aluminium front plate and Marantz’s characteristic curved panels on either side. There’s a fair amount of buttons to play with, which some may perceive as clutter but they’re tidily arranged and let you control disc playback and audio settings while up close. The large display panel dominates, giving out title, chapter and running time.
The UD7006 is also solidly constructed, fashioned from heavyweight materials and fitted with an extra metal plate to quell vibration. The disc tray is coated in a rubbery substance and glides out with a super smooth, silent action. At 109mm high, it’s a huge piece of kit but that’s par for the course for high-end players.
It’s good news around the back too, with a selection of sockets that’ll satisfy most users. There’s only a single 3D-ready HDMI output, but if you’re sizing up a player this pricey there’s a good chance you’ll already own a 3D-capable AV receiver, so a second output isn’t essential. As you’d expect from an audio-centric brand, Marantz has also included a set of 7.1-channel analogue outputs, which allows you to feed decoded HD audio signals to an amp independently from the HDMI output.
You’ll also find component, composite, coaxial digital audio and analogue stereo outputs, as well as an Ethernet port for your networking needs (more on that later). Anyone hoping to integrate this deck into a custom setup is in luck, as there are remote control, flasher in/out and RS-232 ports. There’s no provision for Wi-Fi though, which is a rather disappointing restriction.
On the front panel you’ll find a USB port for playing digital media files from storage devices, and the good news is that the UD7006 boasts 1GB of internal memory for BD Live downloads, so you don’t have to leave your USB stick plugged in. Even cooler is that you can play music from your iPod/Phone/Pad directly through the USB port.