After great joy, however, comes great despair (sort of), with news that the NX-BD3 is Profile 1.1, which means it supports BonusView but not BD Live. We’re waiting to hear whether it can be upgraded, but if not this represents a real missed opportunity, given that its Ethernet port and SD card slot mean it’s ready-made for BD Live.
The other thing that makes no sense is the lack of any HD audio decoding whatsoever. One of the main attractions of Blu-ray is the lossless sound quality offered by Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, but the BD3 is limited to Dolby Digital and DTS, which is another missed opportunity.
These niggles aside, the rest of the feature list is generous, and includes 1080p/1080i/720p DVD upscaling, MP3, WMA, WAV, DivX and AVCHD playback and K2 technology, which aims to boost CDs to DVD-Audio quality and compressed audio files to CD quality. In addition there’s a bevy of sound modes and adjustments.
Setup is simple. The speakers plug into the back of the sub, using separate plugs for the front and surround sections of each speaker, while the main unit is hooked up to the sub using a single cable. Both the sub and main unit need to be plugged into the mains, which increases the power needed to run this system.
It’s not the slickest or quickest home cinema system we’ve encountered, as there are long pauses when you switch between sources, and takes its time starting disc playback from the stop position. But the smart, attractive onscreen menu layout makes it easy to work with, presenting each group of options in the setup menu with a logo that can be identified at a glance, and arranging content found on networked devices in a logical folder-based format. There’s also a handy onscreen banner during playback that shows you the current playback position, the selected audio track, elapsed time and title/chapter info.
The remote sensibly hides many of the lesser-used buttons under a sliding flap at the bottom, which helps keep the top section uncluttered. But all of the buttons are on the small side, making it fairly fiddly to execute certain functions, while the row of three Volume controls is potentially confusing.
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