Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD Blu-ray player is a universal soldier


28 Jan 2005
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Cambridge Audio’s debut Blu-ray player could be the all-rounder you’ve been waiting for. It won’t stream YouTube clips in 3D or stream MP3s from your PC, but plays every music and film format to a high standard, bridging hi-fi and home cinema divide.

While Sony and Samsung are locked in an escalating features war, CA has sidestepped it with a deck optimised for performance. It also offers universal support for DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD. These two hi-res formats have gone quiet 
in recent years, but this machine extracts every morsel of data from them. It even arrived with the DVD set to multiregion.

Prioritising pictures and sound is refreshing, but another key feature 
is the multichannel analogue output and on-board audio decoding. 
So if you have a legacy AV receiver predating HDMI v1.3, you can connect the seven analogue connections and hear DTS-HD Master Audio and uncompressed SACD soundtracks 
in all their multichannel glory. It prompted me to reinstate my superb, but technically defunct, Denon AVC-A1. This means foregoing the convenience of video switching and connecting the HDMI lead directly to the TV instead.

The player is reassuringly heavy and it’s clear that build quality is 
a major issue. The low-resonance casing is made of metal with a thick aluminium faceplate and stands on rubber vibration absorbing feet. All this damping means a particularly stable disc mechanism and optimum conditions for playback.

You have options
Key connections are the HDMI v1.3 port and multichannel analogue outputs, but CA has generously included two USB ports. 
You already have 1GB of on-board storage for BD Live content, so that’s two more ways of inputting other media files.

The USBs aren’t limited to certain types of media, like Sony’s USB ports often are, so you can play any music, video, or picture files directly from any USB storage device and not 
just flash drives, but high capacity external hard drives too. Click on the USB input from the onscreen menu and you’ll see the entire playable contents of your storage device.

The user interface has evolved from DVD days into a simple and intuitive series of menu pages. From here, you can let the player know how big your speakers are and how they are set up to optimise the surround sound from the multichannel outputs as well as choosing the output resolution and colour spacing. It’s not as slick as Sony’s GUI, but it’s easier to use than Pioneer’s convoluted menu system and Samsung’s pictorial interface. The remote is rather basic and lacks backlighting.

The OSD will look familiar to those who saw Oppo’s BDP-831 deck (not available in Europe) – as both brands use a Mediatek chipset. That’s not to say that the 650BD is identical to the Oppo player, though, and CA are keen to stress that they have no relation to that brand.

Getting down to spinning a Blu-ray disc is rewarding. Disc loading is pretty quick and picture quality 
is clean and pure. Delving into the menu and optimising the settings to output a 1080p 24 with Deep Colour set to 36bits gives a natural image not enhanced by artificial frame creation and colour boosting.

Watching Into The Wild (BD) reveals the fine detail it’s capable 
of and the lack of unwanted video noise. Concentrate on the pale blue backdrop of the Alaskan sky and you’ll see a clearer and more consistent colour than the grainy image of lesser machines. There’s no judder, smearing during fast motion or sweeping camera pans, either.

Audio quality is excellent. If you’re using the HDMI port, you have on board decoding for the latest audio formats including Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential. The ‘Essential’ tag implies that onboard decoding covers the later versions, while assuming the amp can handle basic DTS 5.1 soundtracks.

If you’re using the multichannel analogue audio outputs with a legacy AV receiver, you can get even better results. The Cambridge player uses eight Crystal 24bit/192kHz DACs to convert these signals to analogue ones and the result is superbly dynamic through a high-end amplifier with outdated format compatibility.

Stepping down to DVD is accompanied by a drop in picture clarity, but the scaling is very good. 
If you have an older HD Ready TV with a native 720-line resolution, you’ll get great results by outputting 720p. Upscaling to 1080p is more demanding, but still better than most DVD players. It also plays US DVDs from the box. It’s just a shame there’s no region hack for Blu-ray… yet.

This machine is at home playing AVC HD, MKV and almost any other video file. Significant though, is its talent for playing audio discs. The designers at CA have come up with 
a finely tuned Blu-ray spinner that also makes a fine CD player. Our lab tests showed very low video jitter readings, which is good news for audio playback through the analogue outputs. The Pure Audio circuit helps maintain that purity. It’s a fast, dynamic sound that’s also open and revealing. Jazz and classical tunes benefit from a realistic tonal balance.

If you have any SACD or DVD-Audio discs, this deck will have you dusting them off and dazzling visitors used to their compressed MP3s.

This machine can make all of 
your discs, from CD, through DVD to Blu-ray, look and sound their best. CA has managed it by streamlining the features and concentrating on build quality. I approve wholeheartedly.

HCC Rating: 4/5

Review: Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD Blu-ray player is a universal soldier | Home Cinema Choice
 
6 Nov 2003
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avforum.no
Da er det tid for å prøve ut noe nytt i hjemmekinoen :D

CAM650BDBK_1.jpg
 

Roger Waters

Super Moderator
Medlem av ledelsen
24 Jan 2007
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Veldig god spiller dette her Flageborg, prøvde den opp mot 650CD spillern og det eneste jeg merket cdspillern var mer detaljert og br hadde mer bass og mindre oppløst. Man får jo med SACD på kjøpet i denne 650 blurayspillern også. Toppers spiller til en nette pris av 3998,- :)
 
6 Nov 2003
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avforum.no
Det skal bli spennende å se hva den kan levere når DVDsamlingen skal testes. Det er ikke aktuelt å legge DVDsamlingen på hylla, tvert i mot, når en ser hva en god Bluray spiller henter fram fra de gamle skivene. Får ikke sjekket om den er sonefri før i morgen.
På demoskivene som vi lager har alltid denne "gamle traveren" fra Oddo levert et ekspsjonelt bra bilde, og tilfeller av lipsyncproblemer har vært fraværende i motsetning til hva som har vært tilfelle på de fleste Bluray spillere.

opdv971h_home.gif
 

skorob

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7 Sep 2003
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BR650 er en knallspiller ja :). Rask er den og ;). Dog, dem kunne latt være å skrive så forbanna mye på frontplata til den.
 

Roger Waters

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24 Jan 2007
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da-ty@online.no skrev:
Får chip som gjør den sonefri på BD også. Skal spore opp hvor.
Da er jo denne en maxmekker så det holder da, har hatt den på hjemmetest en stund men ser frem til å prøve Denon 2011 når den kommer i handel. Quickstart kommer til å bli digg, blir moro å sammenligne disse spillerne med tiden. :)
 

Roger Waters

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Medlem av ledelsen
24 Jan 2007
20.414
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skorob skrev:
BR650 er en knallspiller ja :). Rask er den og ;). Dog, dem kunne latt være å skrive så forbanna mye på frontplata til den.
Må du ikke være så pirkete da Skorob, de fleste har stuet denne nedi en halveis mørk kino så det synes ikke så mye da se. :)
 
16 Sep 2004
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Roger Waters skrev:
Må du ikke være så pirkete da Skorob, de fleste har stuet denne nedi en halveis mørk kino så det synes ikke så mye da se. :)
Er enig at de kunne spart seg all dilldallet på fronten. Spes USB shiten.
 
24 Jun 2010
14.737
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da-ty@online.no skrev:
Utseende. De kunne ha satt den bak eller på siden. Upraktisk men penere

Eller hatt et lite deksel over, slik Oppo gjorde det på bl.a. 980:

DV-980H_FRTRT.jpg


Og gjør på BDP-80 :
Blu-ray-BDP-80_leftangle.jpg
 

hygen

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20 Mai 2005
9.975
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Supertramp skrev:
Og gjør på BDP-80 :

Nå er jo Oppo BDP 80 og Cambridge Azur 650BD nesten identiske spillere så Cambridge valgte vel andre løsninger for utseende på front
 
6 Nov 2003
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avforum.no
Roger Waters skrev:
..blir moro å sammenligne disse spillerne med tiden. :)

Måtte jo selvfølgelig prøve dette også så det ble en liten sjekk i går kveld av oppstartstiden på Cambridge 650BD kontra Denon 2010.
Den ene var raskere enn den andre ut av startblokkene, men filmen avsluttet på samme tid på begge spillerne ;)
 
6 Nov 2003
15.403
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avforum.no
Det ble også tid til å teste litt for å finne forskjeller ved avspilling av både DVD og BD.

Legger ved noen bilder fra avspilling av DVD. Det er benyttet samme *.xmp på alle bildene.



Cambridge 650BD
71444d1287826145-cambridge-audio-azur-650bd-blu-ray-player-universal-soldier-dsc_7644_1024_cambridge_650bd.jpg




Oppo 971H
71445d1287826152-cambridge-audio-azur-650bd-blu-ray-player-universal-soldier-dsc_7646_1024_oppo_971h.jpg




Denon 2010
71446d1287826159-cambridge-audio-azur-650bd-blu-ray-player-universal-soldier-dsc_7648_denon_2010.jpg
 

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hygen

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20 Mai 2005
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Det 650 BD har fått mest kritikk over i tester/benchmark er bildestøy og Jaggies

Ser du noe til det da ?