Blu-ray has not changed the way we watch movies at home like DVDs have, but it is certain that they represent the future of home movie viewing. Now, there are 2 types of Blu-ray players in the market these days; Models that cost around the 100 pounds range and those that cost 200 pounds and above. The former models are pretty basic and sell in large numbers. The latter is a segment that most people would not want to buy because there is literally not much difference between them and their cheaper counterparts in terms of features or performance. At last year’s IFA in Berlin, the Philips BDP7500 was one of the very few models that managed to leave a lasting impression. Easily one of the best looking blu ray players in the market, it could set a new bench mark for aesthetics for its segment. Featuring 7.1 channel discreet audio sockets (one of the very few devices to do so), does the device do justice to the rather hefty price tag? Read on to find out.
The Philips BDP7500 Blu-Ray Player looks absolutely stunning and is different from any other player we have seen this year. While it does not deviate from the conventional set top box shape, its curved edges set it apart from the usual dull and boring boxy designs. Also unlike its plastic contemporaries, it is made of 3mm thick of aluminium giving the player a plush look. The mirror fascia and the slim silver highlights add to the style quotient and a raised ‘lip’ at the bottom makes it look a class apart. A blue light placed right under the lip and the rows of touch sensitive illuminated buttons steal the limelight.
Amazing Built Quality:
Not only does the BDP 7500 have an impressive design, it also features build quality that surpasses the cheap plastic models by miles. The case is made up of rigid aluminium and feels rather robust.
The front side has a centrally mounted drive with the Philips logo displayed in silver letters. Right beneath the tray is a bridge where a blue light is present to emphasize the fact that the device is capable of playing ‘Blu-ray’ discs. To the left of the tray is a single dot matrix LED display. While that does not sound really attractive, it looks very pleasing in reality. It does not display much information apart from the play time and the other occasional updates. We loved the fact the display showed what type of digital audio is being played before a movie started. On the right side of the device are the delicious touch sensitive controls. While they are dimmed during normal usage, they glow brightly when touched.
Plasticky Remote Control:
The Remote Control that complements the device is decent but is made of plastic and looks rather cheap when compared to the player itself. But sub standard remotes are rather common these days, so we forgive Philips here. While the layout is pretty logical, clear and responsive, it is not really easy to use. There is a dedicated button for Bonus View material as well as a Home button. Too bad it lacks backlight.
Simple and Animated User Interface:
The BDP7500 Blu Ray Disc Player Features a user friendly experience as good as it was on the BDP3000 and the BDP 7300. The main menu features options like Play Disc, USB and settings. Each of these is denoted by animated icons and makes it look livelier. There are features like the EasyLink which allows control of several blu-ray player decks and TVs using just one remote. There are several picture presets such as Vivid, Action, Animation, and cool that are pretty handy as well. To make things easier for the technologically challenged, hovering over an option for a couple of seconds opens up a dialogue box that explains what it means. But for demanding users, the lack of options to adjust contrast, brightness and other settings would be an issue.
An Assortment of Sockets:
Does Philips deliver in this segment as well as they do in the looks department? Yes, they do. The device includes HDMI, component and composite video outputs, optical/coaxial digital audio, analogue stereo and a set of 7.1 channel analogue outputs. The presence of the latter allows channeling of high resolution audio to an AV receiver without any HDMI inputs. The number of digital audio outputs have been doubled which is something we do not usually see. The HDMI port supports the 1.3 standard enabling it to output the full bit stream of Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio tracks. There is a HDMI cable included as well. There is an in built decoder that allows one to output the sound tracks via multichannel out gibing the full benefit of a blu-ray player audio. There is an Ethernet port on the back as well that allows one to download BD live. Mind you, it does not allow you to access multimedia content over a network. For multimedia purposes, there is a USB port on the front that allows one to play audio, video and other files. However, it is not FAT32 compatible and hence cannot handle files larger than 4 GB.
Sadly, the BDP 7500 lacks Wi-Fi unlike its counterparts such as the LG BD390. The only way to access the Internet is the Ethernet port. While it is not really a big deal, most people would rather want to connect to the BD Live wirelessly.
No Resume Mode:
Most Blu-ray disc players have resume mode that allows one to play the movie from a point where it has been stopped. However, the BDP7500 does not have resume mode making things harder for users who need to tweak often.
Subtitle Shift: Perfect for 21:9
This unique function allows users to adjust a movie’s subtitle positing for better visibility. Using the remote control, users can shift the subtitles either up or down on the screen. This is highly handy because on wide screen displays such as 21:9, the subtitles get cut off and one has to change the display ratio to view them, thereby defeating the purpose of a wide screen. With the Subtle Shift feature, one can retain the display as well as the subtitles on the screen without any issues.
1GB Inbuilt Memory:
Because of the presence of 1GB memory inbuilt in the player, there is no need to leave a USB stick plugged in to the device to store downloads all the time. It also means that the USB port on the front can be used for better tasks such as playing music, video and photo files.
When we started playing a disc on the BDP 7500, we noticed that there was no prompt to adjust the network settings and we were left waiting to access the BD Live content. Even when it did get on to the network, the machine did not seem to access BD Live. It does not have advanced network set up options making diagnosing the problem even tougher. But if interactive online features never really matter to you, it is not a problem. Otherwise, you should avoid this player.
Another test for a Blu-ray player is its ability to play videos downloaded from the Internet. Be it the trailers from the QuickTime site or anything else. Philips BDP7500 Blu Ray DVD Player is capable of playing files of virtually every format. Yes, even the MKV format. We checked out trailers in 1080p on the Apple site without a problem.
The BDP7500 supports MP3, WMA, DivX Ultra, WMV, XviD, JPEG and WMHVD and AVHCD formats. The player is also capable of playing X.264 files but we were unable to play the format.
Picture and Audio Quality:
When connected to a HD TV, the BDP 7500 delivers a brilliant picture quality in standard mode. The content remains true to the encoding on the source disc without any visible deviation in colours. The details are vivid and the edges are sharp and clear. Fine patterns and complex designs are reproduced without any visible pixel crawl. The strong colour saturation ability of the player make things look even more vibrant and fabulous. When we played Up, the blu-ray player demonstrated some incredibly black levels. This amazing performance was not restricted to the blu-ray discs but also television as well. There was no sort of judder and the details were presented incredibly well. Thanks to the presence of 7.1 channel analogue outputs, one can enjoy improved sound quality even if you have an older AV receiver that is not capable of decoding audio codecs. While the player is good acoustically, it has a hint of thin treble and muddy bass when a CD is played.
DVD Upscaling is as brilliant as it was on its predecessor, the BDP 7300. The action scenes in a test DCD were upscaled without any judder and no artefacts at all. The straight and sharp lines, the reduced compression artefacts and the vivid & graduated colour make it worth playing your DVDs on the player.
Speedy Loading Times:
Another benchmark for determining how good a blu-ray player is its disc load speed. The faster the load speed, the better the player is. When we played Vantage point on a couple of blu-ray players, the BDP 7500 managed to take 30 seconds making it one of the fastest blu-ray players in the market. For DVDs, it beats all other competitors. It takes a little under 10 seconds for the movie to start.
The BDP 7500 does not have a fan present inside making it pretty quiet. The only sounds you can hear are the playing of the Blu-ray or DVD disc.
Philips has vowed to be more energy efficient and the BDP 7500 lives up to the promise. The device is very efficient on standby mode burning a meager 0.05W. When used, it consumes 15-20W depending on how demanding the content is. A point to note is that the player consumes the same amount of energy even when it is switched on and not playing anything.
What’s in the box?
The BDP7500 comes packed along with an audio/video cable, User manual, remote control, a Quick start guide, a Product registration card, 2 AAA batteries and a CD-R (User Manual).
The BDP7500 comes with a warranty of one year.
Philips has done a great job once again. The BDP 7500 is a worthy successor to the BDP7300 and the BDP 3000. It has a wonderful user interface, jaw dropping loading speeds, amazing looks and near flawless performance. While it is an awesome bargain for its price, it has competition in the form of LG BD390 which also features Wi-Fi, PC streaming and superior media support. All these for roughly around the same price tag. But if you decide to go in for the BDP 7500, you would not be disappointed.
Check other Philips Blu Ray Player Reviews in this website.
Philips BDP7500 Blu-Ray Player – Technical Specification Table
|Product Type||Blu-Ray Discs Player|
|Dimensions ( H x W x D)||509x285x56mm|
|Form factor||Table top|
|Number of disc trays||One|
|Aspect ratio||21:9, 16:9, 4:3|
|Audio D/A converter||24bit / 192 kHz|
|Built-in audio decoders||Dolby Digital|
|Supported digital video standards||H.264, MPEG-2, DivX, WMV|
|Supported digital audio standards||MP3, WMA|
|Picture enhancement||High Def (720p, 1080i, 1080p), Video upscaling,
|D/A converter||12 bit/150 MHz|
|Playback Media||BD Video, BD-R/RE 2.0, DVD, DVD-Video,
DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, DivX, Video CD, CD,
CD-R/CD-RW, USB flash drive
|Compression formats||H.264, VC-1, MPEG2, DivX Ultra, AVCHD, WMV, XviD|
|Video Enhancement||Deep Color, x.v. Colour, Video Upscaling, Progressive Scan|
|Digital audio format||DTS-HD Master Audio Essential, Dolby True HD,
Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, Dolby Digital
|Connections||HDMI output, Component Video output,
Digital optical out, Digital coaxial out,
Analogue audio 7.1 channel out,
Composite video (CVBS) output,
Analogue audio Left/Right out, Ethernet and USB port
|BD LIVE storage||1GB|
|Accessories included||HDMI cable, Audio/Video cable, User Manual,
Remote Control, Quick start guide,
Product Registration Card, 2 x AAA Batteries