Yamaha Aventage BD-A1010 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Yamaha Aventage BD-A1010 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Yamaha offers competition in the universal player market by adding the BD-A1010 3D Blu-ray player to the company's offerings. But how does the Yamaha BD-A1010 stack up against its competition? Adrienne Maxwell investigates.

Yamaha_BD-A1010_3D_Blu-ray_player_front.jpgThe BD-A1010 is the follow-up to Yamaha's BD-A1000 3D Blu-ray player, which the company released earlier this year. The new model shares a lot of the same features as its predecessor but comes in at a lower MSRP of $499.95. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-A1010, but here is a more comprehensive look at its features. Like the A1000, the BD-A1010 is a universal disc player that supports SACD and DVD-Audio playback, and it includes Yamaha's Web platform, which offers access to Netflix, Blockbuster OnDemand, FilmFresh, and YouTube Leanback. You can also stream media content from a connected PC or DLNA-compliant server. The BD-A1010 is designed to visually complement Yamaha's Aventage receiver line, and it's compatible with the SCENE function on certain Yamaha receivers: Press the SCENE BD/DVD button on the receiver's remote, and the system will automatically turn on the BD-A1010 and start disc playback. Yamaha now offers a remote control app for iPhone users, with an Android app also available.

Additional Resource
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews by Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find an LED HDTV or Plasma HDTV to pair with the BD-A1010.
• Explore receiver options in our AV Receiver Review section.

The BD-A1010 sports a single HDMI output, as well as component (SD only) and composite video outputs. The setup menu offers four picture modes, including a custom mode with adjustments for brightness, saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness, and CTI. You can also engage lip sync, auto contrast, and noise reduction, and you can adjust the brightness, saturation, and hue of all six color points. On the audio side, the back panel has the full complement of connections: In addition to HDMI, you get coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, as well as 7.1-channel and stereo analog audio outputs. The BD-A1010 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. You can adjust the speaker size, level, and distance for the analog audio outputs. A Pure Direct mode shuts down unneeded video circuitry to achieve higher-quality audio performance.

As a universal disc player, the BD-A1010 supports a wide variety of formats: BD, DVD-Video, SACD, DVD-Audio, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx Plus HD, Xvid, MOV, WMV, WMA, AAC, MP3, and JPEG. You can add the player to your home network using the back-panel Ethernet port; surprisingly for the price, this player does not include integrated WiFi or an add-on USB WiFi dongle. The BD-A1010 lacks internal memory to store BD-Live features; dual USB ports (one on the front, one on the back) have been provided for this purpose. These ports also support media playback. The BD-A1010 offers RS-232 and a remote input and output for integration into an advanced control system.

Read about the high points and low points of the BD-A1010 on Page 2.Yamaha_BD-A1010_3D_Blu-ray_player_back.jpgHigh Points
• The BD-A1010 supports 3D playback, as well as SACD and DVD-Audio.
• It supports BD-Live and BonusView/PIP.
• It features internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio, plus multichannel analog audio outputs.
• You can access Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube, and content stored on a DLNA media server.
• The back panel has RS-232 and remote input/output.
• The setup menu includes advanced picture adjustments.
• An iPhone control app is available.



Low Points
• This model does not include dual HDMI outputs to send separate signals to your 3DTV and A/V receiver.
• The player doesn't come with integrated WiFi or a USB WiFi adapter.
• The Web platform isn't as robust or customizable as you'll find elsewhere.
• The BD-A1010 doesn't offer 2D-to-3D conversion or any advanced 3D image adjustments.
• The player lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content.

Competition and Comparison
The "universal disc player" genre isn't
as crowded as the general Blu-ray category; only a few companies
(including Yamaha, OPPO Digital, Cambridge Audio, Denon, and Marantz)
offer these step-up players. You can compare the Yamaha BD-A1010 with
its competition by reading the reviews for the OPPO Digital BDP-93,
Denon DBP-1611UD,
and Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD.
Learn more about 3D-capable Blu-ray Players by visiting our Blu-ray
Players section
.

Conclusion
Given
the BD-A1010's MSRP of $499.95, it's impossible not to compare it with
OPPO Digital's BDP-93
.
The two players are similar in disc/format compatibility and Web
offerings, and both have multichannel analog audio outputs and RS-232
control. This model does not offer the dual HDMI outputs or eSATA port
found on the BDP-93, nor do you get the supplied WiFi dongle that OPPO
Digital provides. The dual HDMI outputs are only desirable if you're
trying to mate the player with an older, non-3D-capable A/V receiver
(and again, multichannel analog outs are available). The absence of WiFi
is a big disappointment at this price point; but, if you have no need
for a wireless connection, then I guess you won't miss it. In other
respects, the BD-A1010 is a fully featured player that's a logical
companion piece to a Yamaha receiver. Its street price dips notably
lower than the BDP-93's; at less than $400 street, the Yamaha BD-A1010
is one of the best deals in town for a universal player.

Additional Resource
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews by Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find an LED HDTV or Plasma HDTV to pair with the BD-A1010.
• Explore receiver options in our AV Receiver Review section.

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