Feeds
90%
Cambridge Audio Azur650BD Blu-ray player

Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD

The Blu-ray player for audiophiles?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Review Blu-ray players are becoming increasingly cheap, but many of them still lack features found in modestly priced DVD players. If, like me, you invested in ‘high definition’ audio formats, such as HDCD, Super Audio CD (SACD) or DVD Audio, then it’s frustrating to find that, unless you spend several thousand pounds, you’ll still need to keep your old player for those formats. However, Cambridge Audio’s Azur 650BD player may well be the answer.

Cambridge Audio Azur650BD Blu-ray player

Multi-media player: Cambridge Audio's Azur 650BD

While by no means the cheapest Blu-ray player I’ve seen, the Azur 650BD is one of the most solidly built, and well-connected, with an impressive array of format support. The unit is a standard hi-fi component width, with a thick metal front panel and feels very sturdy. The front sports a VFD display – which can be dimmed, thankfully – five transport buttons, power and a rubber bung that’ll soon be lost, covering a USB port.

On the rear there’s another USB port, and enough socketry to cover almost every eventuality. Besides the expected HDMI and Ethernet, there’s an additional USB port, component, composite and S-Video outputs, optical and coaxial digital audio and 7.1 analogue audio. All that’s really missing is a dedicated stereo audio output.

The remote feels substantial, and sits in the hand well, though it’s not backlit. Despite the presence of some buttons for AV source and volume, those only work with other Cambridge Audio equipment, rather than being universally programmable.

Setting up is straightforward. I tested the 650BD first with an HDMI connection to a Panasonic TV, and optical digital audio to the surround system. When you power up for the first time, there’s a wizard that helps set the main options such as screen type – including allowing 4:3 material to be shown with black side bars – so you don’t have to dive too much into the menus to get going.

Cambridge Audio Azur650BD Blu-ray player

Just about all the connections you’re likely to need, for audio and video

Blu-ray playback is good, nicely detailed, and DVDs upscale well too. For tweakers, there’s a picture settings menu that allows you to adjust hue, saturation, brightness and contrast.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.