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Onkyo BD-SP807 Blu-ray Player - Onkyo BD-SP807 Blu-ray Player

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The lightweight, ugly remote doesn’t do justice to the player’s classy looks and there’s no backlight, but in its defence the layout is fine and all the buttons are clearly labelled.

In operation, the deck is so laid back you’d think it was made in Jamaica. It takes about 25 seconds to get from standby to the splash-screen, then it took a monumental 90 seconds to reach Spider-Man 3’s main menu. As for Terminator Salvation, it took just under two minutes to load.

Thankfully the BD-SP807 is a lot more lively when it comes to picture performance, and it’s not hard to see why it gets the thumbs up from the bods at THX. We gave it a whirl with Children of Men to check out how it handles the film’s intricate detail and its muted, oppressive colour palette, and it impresses right off the bat, dredging up every last pixel from the disc and throwing it on screen with mesmerising clarity.

The hustle and bustle of the busy London street as Clive Owen leaves the coffee shop is meticulously realised – text on the sides of buildings and buses, the trinkets on the passing rickshaws and rubble strewn across the ground by the bomb blast are all crisp and precise. Yes there’s grain, but by design – it’s there to add to the film’s gritty feel and rightly the Onkyo leaves it well alone.

This excellent detail retrieval is backed up by deep blacks, subtle shadow work and an overall solidity that looks amazing on a largescreen TV or projector – this is as close to 3D as you’re going to get on a 2D player. Colours are utterly believable too, with the deck easily picking out the subtle shading within faces and clothing, plus it renders large swathes of colour without noise and makes detail visible during dark scenes.

As ever, we also gave the Onkyo a whirl with the Silicon Optix Blu-ray disc and it fares well. The Video Resolution Loss test is steady right across the screen (the striped boxes don’t flicker at all) and the jaggies patterns reveal some of the cleanest, sharpest moving diagonal edges we’ve seen. The Film Resolution Loss test suffers from some flickering on the striped boxes in the middle – the same artefact that befell the Denon and Marantz decks we tested a little while ago.

RazorA

March 19, 2010, 1:31 pm

I second that opinion of installed memory. Especially when you are paying a premium price for this product, would it have really cost that much to have 1GB of internal memory?





I for one don't use the BD Live functions on my Blu-ray Player, but that's because I just want the player to play Blu-ray movies really well whilst anything in addition I can just go online and check it out. I think all this BD Live business will go the way that multiple angles on DVD movies ending up going, a novelty that will not be really taken advantage of by the mainstream Studios.

Stewart

March 20, 2010, 12:27 pm

I'd argue that George Lucas is totally overated as far as cinema goes. He stumbled across the early Star Wars hits, totally failed to understand their appeal, as ably demonstrated by the truly appalling prequels, relies on Spielberg for the Indy franchise and makes his money from merchandising (which was what the Star Wars prequels were really about), dodgy TV spin offs and exorbitant THX 'endorsment' licencing fees.





THX brings nothing to the table in the way of technology (unlike Dolby). It's just a self declared set of 'standards' for which you pay handsomely for licensing their logo.





Which brings us around to the Blu-ray player.


I'd like to applaud Onkyo for concentrating on the quality of video and audio reproduction which are by far the most important features to me.


However, do yourself a favour Onkyo - drop the THX badge and spend the money on adding a few extra features or dropping the price of your player.

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