Philips BDP7200 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Philips BDP7200 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Philips' latest Blu-ray player, the BDP7200 ($399), is a Profile 1.1 player that does not offer network connectivity to access BD-Live features. It's a fairly quick player that has multichannel analog audio outputs but not internal high-resolution audio decoding.

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The $399 Philips BDP7200 is a Profile 1.1 player, which means it contains the secondary audio and video decoders needed for picture-in-picture playback. However, it does not support BD-Live Web functionality. The back panel sports the following video outputs: HDMI, component video and composite video. Output resolution options for HDMI are 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60 and 1080p/24. This model does not have a dedicated Source Direct mode; if you enable 1080p/24 in the menu, the player automatically outputs this format with compatible Blu-ray discs, provided your TV accepts 1080p/24. For component video, 1080i is the maximum output resolutionfor Blu-ray and 480p is the maximum output resolution for standard-def DVDs.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find an AV receiver to pair with the BDP7200.

In terms of audio outputs, the BDP7200 offers HDMI, optical and coaxial digital, and two- and 5.1-channel analog audio outputs. You can't bridge the two- and 5.1-channel analog outs to create a 7.1-channel system. The player doesn't have internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoders, but it will pass these formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI. That means you need a receiver with high-resolution audio decoding in order to listen to these formats.

The BDP7200 supports BD, DVD, CD, MP3, WMA (non-DRM) and JPEG playback via the disc drive, and it is a Divx-certified playback device. There is no Ethernet port to access BD-Live Web content or perform quick firmware updates. To update the firmware, you must download the new software from Philips' website and load it onto the player.

Read more about the high points, low points, and a conclusion on Page 2.

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High Points
1080p/24 Blu-ray movies look very good
• The player will pass high-resolution audio over HDMI to a receiver
• It can play picture-in-picture bonus content, such as video commentaries and making-of featurettes
• The player's start-up, load and navigation speeds are quicker than most early-generation Blu-ray players, especially when handling BD-Java interactive menus

Low Points
• When set for 1080p/60 output, the BDP7200's processing is questionable, producing digital artifacts in some Blu-ray content
• It lacks an Ethernet port, so you can't access Web features on Blu-ray discs
• There's no onboard high-resolution audio decoding, so you need a receiver with the proper decoders to enjoy high-resolution formats

Conclusion
The BDP7200 is a solid performer with both Blu-ray and DVD movies, but it's best mated with a TV that accepts 1080p/24 signals over HDMI and a receiver that has high-resolution audio decoding. Operation is generally quick and seamless. If you don't care that much about Web features on Blu-ray discs, the BDP7200 is worth a look.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Find an AV receiver to pair with the BDP7200.

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