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Philips BDP7500 Blu-ray Player - Philips BDP7500 Blu-ray Player

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Philips BDP7500 Blu-ray Player

Summary

Our Score:

9

But if you do go online, it’s good to know that you don’t need to leave a USB stick permanently plugged in to store downloads, as there’s 1GB of memory built into the player. That means the USB port on the front panel can be used for the much more interesting task of playing your music, video and photo files. Supported formats include MP3, WMA, DivX Ultra, WMV, XviD and JPEG, and like its predecessors (the BDP3000 and BDP7300) it’ll even play WMVHD files (albeit soundlessly) and AVCHD filmed on hi-def camcorders.

Like most of the latest Blu-ray decks, the BDP7500 can decode Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio soundtracks and send the signals to your amp through the HDMI or multichannel analogue connections. And if your TV supports 1080/24p, the deck will output movies in that format so you can experience movie at their recorded frame rate.

Scouring the menus for more tasty titbits we find features like Philips EasyLink, which theoretically simplifies control of connected Philips Blu-ray decks and TVs by using only one remote. There’s also a range of picture presets (Vivid, Cool, Action, Animation) and a potentially useful Subtitle Shift feature that lets you move subtitles usually placed with in black bars up when they get cut off by 21:9 TVs and projectors.

Controlling the BDP7500 is a generally hassle-free experience, as it retains the user-friendly onscreen menus that so impressed us on the BDP3000 and the BDP7300. Fire up the deck and the main menu offers just three self explanatory options – Play Disc, USB and Settings – and each one is denoted by a large, cartoon-like icon. The Settings menu fills the entire screen, and if you hover on an option for a couple of seconds a dialogue box appears to explain what it means. Great stuff!

The remote is similarly well thought out, boasting an perfectly-placed ring of rubber menu controls, with the disc playback buttons positioned conveniently below. It’s the perfect size too, fitting comfortably in the palm of your hand, but it’s a shame there’s no backlight.

It’s not all fun and games though. Having used the OPPO BDP-831 as a reference deck for some time now, I love the way it lets you superimpose the setup menu over the film as it plays, which means you don’t have to stop the movie and potentially lose your place. The Philips affords you no such luxury, and when playing discs with no resume mode it can get quite annoying when you have to make frequent tweaks. You do, however, get an onscreen display when you hit Info, which shows you the elapsed/remaining running time, title and chapter.

What did impress us about the BDP7500 is how fast it operates. Hit fast forward and it starts scanning straight away; plus, disc loading is super fast – Spider-Man 3 started playing in less than 30 seconds.

Hamish Campbell

January 15, 2010, 1:51 pm

I noticed you mentioned there was no judder originating from the deck.


Now perhaps this is only an issue with, as you say, fast action scenes. But what about judder from those slow panning shots? I had thought this was to do with frame rates between the film and lcd tv's. But am I off the mark here?





On slow pans from my upscaling philips DVD deck I get very noticeable judder on my Sony lcd w5500. I can only remove this by ensuring that the 100Hz function (motionflow in sony talk) is switched on.

PoisonJam

January 15, 2010, 3:28 pm

The Sony BDP-S360 is available around the £100 mark online right now, and was even at £90 in one store. A very tempting alternative if you're on a budget.

Nicholas Name

January 15, 2010, 3:51 pm

I would like the facility to play discs, access internet content and stream media over a home network. This and the LG look tempting, but is one better off with a PS3? (Not sure I share the enthusiasm for the blue light underneath - does it also come with fluffy dice, a body kit and deafenning bangin house music?)

PoisonJam

January 15, 2010, 4:30 pm

@ Nicholas: Well, the PS3 offers extras - for example the built in hard drive and the ability to play games as well as full internet access including the BBC iPlyer app. The Slim is also much quieter than the old PS3. I got my PS3 slim 120GB for £200 but I already have a dedicated BR player so it was purely to play games.





The controller does not make for a good remote so you would probably also have to factor in for the price of the Bluetooth remote (around the £10-£15 mark) and more if you want to use a Logitech Harmony with it...





The picture and sound quality of a dedicated player will be slightly better, though. I guess it depends if you ever want to play games or not and would use the HDD space and full Internet access.

Metalex

January 15, 2010, 5:38 pm

Apparently the PS3 will support Blu-ray 3D, so that is worth bearing in mind if you're considering a Blu-ray player. However, as the PS3 doesn't have an HDMI 1.4 port, I don't know to what extent it will support 3D, but then the manufacturers (and media) aren't being very forthcoming as to whether HDMI 1.4 will be a significant requirement. Does anyone actually know?

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