The BDP7300 does, however, support DivX (including Ultra and VOD), MP3, WMA, AVCHD (from DVD) and JPEG, displaying the latter in crisp hi-def resolution, but it won’t play DivX HD. As for disc formats, it’s compatible with DVD (which it upscales to 1080p), DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, CD-R/-RW and BD-R/-RE.
Elsewhere you’ll find Blu-ray staples like 1080/24p output (selectable in the setup menu), Deep Color and x.v.Colour support, Dolby TrueHD/DTS HD MA bitstream output and the EasyLink HDMI CEC feature.
The wonderful operating system puts simplicity high on the agenda. Boot up the player and the first thing you see is a stripped-down menu sporting just three options – Play Disc, USB and Settings – and each one is accompanied by a huge icon.
Choose Settings and you’re confronted by a refreshingly stylish and responsive setup menu that takes up the entire screen and is laid out in a logical manner. A similar design is used for the USB playback menu, which helpfully separates content into music, video and pictures.
There are some other nice touches, such as the large playback symbols that appear in the middle of the screen when you press a button and then fade; a dialogue box that advises when a Blu-ray disc doesn’t support the resume function; and dialogue boxes that describe what each option does when you highlight them in the setup menu.
Much of the credit for the player’s innate ease-of-use should go to the remote, which boasts convenient button placement and a pleasing lack of clutter. The circle of rubbery menu control keys is nice and responsive, while the much-used Home menu button is easy to spot. You can also toggle through the HDMI output resolution or access BonusView content using the dedicated buttons at the top.
Philips says fast disc loading is one the of the BDP7300’s key features, and they’re not kidding. We put it to the test with ”Spider-Man 3” and it reached the Sony Pictures logo 34 seconds after hitting the Close button, which is on a par with speed demons like the Samsung BD-P3600 and LG BD370. With the disc already loaded, it takes 16 seconds to get there from the Home menu. Although there’s still some way to go before we get DVD load speeds, we can definitely put up with this sort of wait.
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