Harman Kardon has finally entered the Blu-ray player market with the release of the BDP 1. We have not performed a hands-on review of this player, but here is an overview of its features. This is a Profile 2.0 player, which means it supports BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality. It also features bitstream output and onboard decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. This model does not support any type of video-on-demand streaming or download service, such as those offered by Netflix, Amazon, and CinemaNow.
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In terms of video connections, the BDP 1 offers HDMI, component video, and composite video outputs. This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. The setup menu does not include any advanced picture adjustments, such as preset picture modes or noise reduction. Audio outputs include HDMI, optical and coaxial digital, and stereo analog audio. As I mentioned, the BDP 1 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.
The BDP 1's disc drive supports BD, DVD, CD audio, MP3, WMA, and JPEG playback. The back panel offers an Ethernet port for BD-Live features and firmware updates; the player doesn't include a wireless network connection option. The BDP 1 has no internal memory, so the addition of an external storage device is required to download BD-Live features; a front-panel USB port is provided for this purpose. The USB port also supports playback of JPEG and MP3 files. Lastly, the BDP 1 has IR in/out jacks for integration into an advanced control system.
Read about the high points and the low points of the BDP 1 on Page 2.