We were highly impressed by the original BDP7500’s 2D picture quality, so it follows that the Mk II version delivers similarly eye-catching images. As before, there’s bucket-loads of detail in the picture, sumptuous blacks and gorgeous colour reproduction, boosted by the on-board CinemaPerfect HD engine.
What we weren’t prepared for, however, is how good its 3D pictures would be. After hooking the deck up to a Sony 60in LED set, we watched a range of trailers on a Philips 3D demo disc and the BDP7500 displays them with absorbing depth and sizzling sharpness.
With the trailer for Alice In Wonderland, the Philips reproduces the wacky characters, layered objects and densely detailed backgrounds with effortless clarity and tracks movement without judder or motion blur. This crisply focused picture helps your eyes digest the 3D effect and draws you deeper into the picture.
Impressively, there’s very little crosstalk or other artefacts to speak of, a finding backed up by its reproduction of the Golden Gate Bridge scene in Monsters Vs Aliens. Where some 3D systems have reproduced the bridge’s cables and uprights with a clear ghosting effect to the side of the object’s edge, here the lines are cleaner and better defined. There is a faint ghosting effect but it doesn’t disrupt your enjoyment, and probably has more to do with the TV’s 3D processing anyway.
And throughout Monsters Vs Aliens, the picture boasts stunningly crisp detail, smooth movement and the sort of depth and richness that makes 3D so appealing. It loses the wow factor occasionally when there’s too much going on in the foreground – the scientist batting a ball, or the characters thrusting swords towards the camera in the Alice In Wonderland trailer are difficult to process – but on the whole the deck’s 3D performance is excellent. If pushed, we’d say that Panasonic’s DMP-BDT100 edges it on picture quality, but the differences are marginal and largely dependent on what TV you’re using.
Next we ran through the tests on the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray disc, and in terms of video processing the BDP7500 clearly knows its onions. There isn’t a trace of stepping on the Jaggies test, the Film and Video Resolution test cards look clean as a whistle (with only a momentary flicker on the former) while the pan across Raymond James Stadium is smooth and devoid of artefacts.
Movies on DVD look decent enough when upscaled to 1080p, and sonically the Philips doesn’t put a foot wrong through its multichannel analogue outputs. Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio soundtracks are as clear, crisp and expansive as they are when piped to a receiver as a bitstream, while stereo music playback is fuller bodied and more refined than some similarly priced players we’ve auditioned.
The BDP7500 Mk II takes a winning formula and makes it even better by throwing 3D compatibility into the mix. Both its 3D and 2D pictures are excellent, and with the addition of Wi-Fi support plus an impressive range of other features, the BDP7500 is now one of the best Blu-ray players on the market. And that’s before we’ve even mentioned its slick operating system and its external design, which is simply beautiful.
The only things preventing us from holding it in quite the same regard as the LG BD570, Sony BDP-S570 and Samsung BD-C6900 is the lack of built-in Wi-Fi, which means you need to fork out for a costly USB dongle, plus Net TV’s range of services can’t quite match the quality of Sony’s Bravia Internet Video.