Of course, most people have tons of existing DVDs that they’ll want to spin on this player and we’re pleased to say it does a great job of boosting them from SD to HD resolution. Taking a look at Apocalypto, it’s really difficult to discern any artefacts among the detail packed rainforest surroundings, while colours look realistic and the breakneck chase scenes are as smoothly tracked as we’ve seen.
These dazzling pictures are backed up by sumptuous sound quality. Sending the digital bit-stream down the HDMI cable to a compatible AV receiver (in this case the Onkyo TX-NR807) offers the cleanest and most convenient way of hearing HD audio, but the deck’s produces equally enthralling results using its own decoders and 7.1-channel analogue outs. Its dynamic rendition of Transformers’ DTS HD Master Audio track really gets the adrenalin pumping – there’s loads of detail bursting from the speakers, channel separation and steering are flawless and bass output is colossal.
The Blu-ray player market seems to be split into two camps – cutting-edge, boundary-pushing decks from the big-name brands, and feature-light performance-driven players from third-party manufacturers. The BD-S1900 is undoubtedly one of the latter, and if you approach it as such then you won’t be disappointed – its picture, sound and build quality is as good as you’d expect for the money, and if you own a Yamaha AV receiver then it makes sense to match it with a similarly stylish Blu-ray player.
But if you want an enticing set of features to go with that impressive performance, then you’re best advised to check out the latest players from Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Sony, which offer better format support, faster disc loading, Wi-Fi support and PC streaming, – and in buying one you’ll save yourself a few quid too.
Score in detail