The T 557 is NAD's third Blu-ray player. With an MSRP of $599, it's currently the least expensive model in NAD's lineup, costing about $400 less than the step-up T 577. We have not performed a hands-on review of the T 557, but here is an overview of the player's features. This Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player supports BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality, and it offers both onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks. The T 557 does not support any type of video-on-demand streaming or download service, such as those offered by Netflix, Amazon, and CinemaNow.
In terms of video connections, the T 557 offers HDMI, component video, and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. The menu includes a number of picture adjustments: contrast, brightness, sharpness, saturation, black level, block and mosquito noise reduction, dynamic contrast, and adjustment of all six color points. Audio outputs include HDMI, optical and coaxial digital, and stereo analog. As I mentioned, the T 557 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 T 557's disc drive supports the following formats: BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, MP3, WMA, and JPEG. The back panel features an Ethernet port for BD-Live Web features; the player doesn't include a wireless network connection option. The T 557 lacks 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. This port also supports playback of Divx, JPEG, PNG, MP3, and WMA files. Finally, the T 557 offers an IR input for more advanced control.
The step-up T 577 Blu-ray player adds 7.1-channel analog audio outputs, WiFi connectivity, and onboard memory.
Read about the high points and the low points of the NAD T 557 on Page 2.