Now I know why people make such a fuss of bluray.
Member Name: broxi3781
Date: 07/08/12, updated on 07/08/12 (222 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent playback of dvd and bluray
Disadvantages: Not multi-region.
We bought a 32 inch Bush 3d tv recently. Of course the whole reason for buying a 3d tv is to watch films in 3d, but this requires a special bluray player. I had assumed any bluray player would work, but I was wrong, it has to be a 3d capable machine. Thankfully I discovered this while my husband was still in the store parking lot after buying the TV he ran back in and asked for the package deal on the TV and 3d bluray together, and Argos agreed to give it to him, even though we had bought the TV separately. I chose this bluray player only because it was 1/2 price when bought with the TV, bringing it down to £49.99. This is currently on special at £89.99 at Argos, and in all honesty, I think it is worth the money. As far as I can tell, this machine is only available at Argos.
The main selling point for this player is of course the 3d capability, and this is the factor that justifies it's high price as well. I did check other sites before buying, and again for this review. The cheapest I can find is £89.99 for any brand, and many are much higher. This does fulfill it's function as a 3d player perfectly, the pictures are stunning, and the pictures from ordinary bluray are also really remarkable. I've always scoffed a bit at the high definition craze. I really can't tell the difference in most cases, but the difference is clear and obvious with this machine. Of course the television is also responsible for the beautiful picture quality, and I have not used this machine on another television to see how it compares to other play back devices in these areas. I have watched bluray through the PlayStation on our main tv which is full hd but not 3d. I wasn't fussed, I never appreciated bluray before we bought this.
I have however watched standard dvd's both on this player and on a small Asda dvd player hooked up to the same television. My sons have a large number of American dvd's from Amazon, and unfortunately this player is not multi-region. According to the Argos website, this supports "Blu-ray, DVD, DVD+R/RW, BD-R/RE, MP4, WMA, JPEG and AVCHD". I'm afraid I do not even know what all of those are. I have used this for standard dvd's, blu ray and 3d bluray, all with excellent results. I did try a region 1 dvd as I have found some players that are not meant to be multi-region will still play these, but this one does not. So I have the small dvd player along side this one. I also insist on operating this player myself, but allow the children to use the Asda player on their own whenever they wish. The picture quality is pretty good with both machines, and I put this down to the TV being absolutely magic, but there is a difference. It seems sharper and clearer with this player, but the most noticeable difference is that this will play disks with minor scratches without skipping that the other player will not.
This dvd player does have a number of special features. In addition to playing bluray and 3d films, it is capable of high definition playback up to 1080p. It has various Dolby digital , Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Dolby Digital Surround and Dolby True sound features. Sound quality will be dependent on speaker quality, and ours is being used with the television speakers. I do not feel that you can full benefit of surround without separate speakers, but I do find the sound quality is very good on this - so far as we have tried it out. This is a bedroom television and I do not feel the need to ever use this at very high volumes.
This also has something called BD- Live 2.0. This allows you to download additional content from selected dvd's - which I understand would be like the extras you often get on dvd. I have not used this feature as I really have no interest in the extras anyway, so I've never bothered to set this up. If you happen to enjoy all the extras though, this device would be well worth considering as the amount of material available seems to be pretty vast. Some of the things you cna do include - getting any recipes form the movie "Do You Have What It Takes" while you watch, play games with Sleeping Beauty, or look up info on actors with IMDB. I believe it is even possible to watch Lovefilm or Netflix films though this, but I have cancelled by subscription for the summer months so, again, I can not try this out yet.
The actual set up of the player was very simple though. You do need a high definition cable. We were lucky enough to have one on hand, but it was just a matter of plugging it in and it was ready to go. I did think looking at this that there would be two drives, one for blu ray and one for dvd but it is only the one drive and it plays both. This is fairly long at 16 1/2 inches by 8 " and I assume the extra space is just for hardware. It is very thin at only 1.5". The player is a very glossy black plastic and matches our television perfectly. It does attract dust, but this is easily wiped away with a dry or damp cloth.
There is a small door on the front of this that opens to reveal a usb port. It has an HDMI port for the high definition cable, and it also has an Ethernet port which I assume would be for an Internet connection. The power consumption of this model is 12.1 watts, but it is still using up almost a full watt when left on standby, so I do turn this off at the mains when not in use.
A remote control is provided. This is very standard and easy to use, but I do feel it is somewhat lacking in range. I am using this in a bed room, and although the TV is on the opposite wall as the bed, it isn't that big a room. Still I have needed to lean forward to use this a few times. The remote requires 2 AAA batteries, and I have put the cheapest ones going in it, so this may be affecting range.
The manufacturer boasts a quick start up time as one of the features of this player, saying it can be ready to play 6 seconds from turning it on. I had never really thought about this before, but I think 6 seconds is a fair estimate. This does fire up immediately, and it seems as though as fast as I can push the buttons on the remote this responds. Other than the soundtrack of the disk being played - this is silent. There is no whirring sound to compete with a film played at a very low volume.
Overall I find this an excellent machine and I am delighted with out purchase. I have not had this long enough to really give a fair assessment of reliability, but I will update this review if any problems ever arise. The only potential problem I could see is that the door mechanism does not look as solid and sturdy as some of our older machines, and I've had my standard speech with my husband about never pushing the door in by hand. Used correctly, I have no reason to think this will last well and continue giving us enjoyment for many years to come.
Summary: Premium quality at a bargain price.