That’s about it for features (apart from the usual useless stuff like Deep Colour and HDMI CEC), but in terms of operation, Yamaha has made the BD-S667 very easy to use. When you first power it up, you’re escorted through the main settings – onscreen language, aspect ratio and resolution – which saves you having to set them manually later.
Interestingly, the Home menu – which is superimposed over a crisp HD image of a grand piano – uses the same design as the Toshiba BDX2100, using full colour graphics, eye-catching icons and sharp fonts. It’s slick, sensibly arranged and responds sharply to infrared commands.
But the Yamaha lacks the extra ‘Motion Video Processing’ menu found on the Tosh, which includes presets, noise reduction and detailed colour adjustments. Instead you’re restricted to a more simple Video Processing menu where you can adjust the basic picture parameters – brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and sharpness.
Looking for network content is simple enough – your connected DLNA devices appear in the main menu on the left, allowing you to search through the folder tree until you find the required files. When a song is playing, the screen is black with all the file details plonked right in the middle. The same method is used to play back content from USB drives. It’s not the most fun or innovative system you’ll ever see but it’s functional and easy to follow. More importantly, every file we tried streamed smoothly to the player without any problems.
The remote also poses few problems. Different groups of buttons are given different colours (white for playback, grey for menu control) which makes it easy to find the one you want. Labelling is clear and frequently used keys like Home, pop-up menu and Top Menu are dotted sensibly around the direction keys.
Blu-ray disc loading is relatively slow, but it’s a vast improvement on the BD-S1900. ”Terminator Salvation” started playing exactly one minute after pressing close on the tray, whereas the S1900 took closer to two minutes. That’s not bad, but sluggish compared to players from the likes of LG and Samsung.