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Philips BDP3000

Philips BDP3000 Blu-ray disc player

1080p viewing for the masses, apparently

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Review Many people enjoying Blu-ray movies do so using a Sony PlayStation 3, while the rest of us will opt for a dedicated Blu-ray player. For the latter, Philips is touting its BDP3000 as a budget player and, while certainly not the cheapest, it does offer 1080p playback, the optimal Blu-ray format.

Philips BDP3000

Philips' BDP3000: the shiny black fascia affords the minimum of buttons and distracting lights.

Presented in a 6cm-high box with a tastefully unfussy, shiny black fascia, the Philips BDP3000 is a straight replacement for a DVD player. That is, it plays all your DVD Region 2 discs as well as high definition Blu-ray Region B titles, along with DivX movies saved to CD and DVD media, including home-recorded discs.

Additionally, the device has been designed to play media on CD Audio discs, MP3 and WMA CDs, and just about any disc that contains JPG images. Apart from a simple status window, the front of the unit is as featureless as you can get, providing just four buttons: Power, Eject, Play and Pause. It uses a tray-loading mechanism that is quiet and feels strong enough to resist clumsy treatment.

The case is about a foot deep and a 435mm wide. We think that is quite big – the width is only 6.5cm short of half a metre – but the size and sturdy metal casing should make it well-suited to stacking with other devices under your TV.

A useful choice of ports are provided around the back. The most universal of these is an HDMI output socket to allow anyone to plug the player into their HD-Ready TV. Home cinema buffs with legacy equipment can also make use of a composite video port along with stereo audio RCA ports. A digital coaxial socket is included with support for Dolby 7.1 surround, and a set of component-out ports are provided for those with high-definition displays that support them.

Philips BDP3000

The USB port allows storage of BD-Live content to a flash drive but not other media file playback

Some Blu-ray titles include a BD-Live feature that allows you to access and download online content while the disc is inserted. To this end, Philips has included an Ethernet port to allow you to connect the BDP3000 to your home broadband router. Philips does not give any technical information about its Ethernet connectivity but it appears to be a 10/100BaseTx port.

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