Yamaha BD-S473 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

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Yamaha BD-S473 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

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Yamaha-BD-S473-Blu-ray-player-review-small.jpgYamaha introduced three new Blu-ray players last year (all of which are still current), with the BD-S473 being the least expensive at $229.95. All of the new Yamaha Blu-ray players are up to date technology-wise, yet the BD-S473 takes a more minimalist approach in terms of features. The BD-S473 is 3D-capable and offers access to Netflix and YouTube, but it lacks the wireless network connectivity that you get in the other two players in the lineup, the BD-S673 ($329.95) and BD-A1020 ($449.95). Yamaha's Blu-ray players are DLNA-certified, and the BD-S473 supports playback of many media formats, including AVCHD, MKV, WMV, AVI, MP4, JPEG (HD), MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, FLAC and more. If you have SACDs or DVD-Audio discs in your library, you will be disappointed, because the BD-S473 does not support these formats; for that, you have to move up to the BD-A1020 universal disc player at almost double the cost.

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The BD-S473 is designed to match Yamaha's new line of AV receivers in its appearance. It weighs a hair under 4.5 pounds and measures 17.13 inches wide by two inches tall by eight inches deep, making it a pretty small player - especially when compared with players from Oppo, Cambridge and even the other Yamaha models. The BD-S473's pop-out disc tray is located on the left-hand side of the player, and part of the fascia moves out and down to allow the disc tray to come out. The front faceplate contains a power button, an eject button, a USB connector, a front-panel display and buttons for play, pause and stop. The back has a power cable, one HDMI output, a second USB connector, and a network terminal for an Ethernet cable. It lacks the dual HDMI outputs you'll find in some 3D players, as well as analog outputs and a dedicated digital audio output. The player has internal Dolby TrueHD (7.1) and DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1) decoding.

The player's disc tray is fairly quiet when loading or ejecting discs and is quite fast in doing so. In terms of overall playback, everything went well and without a hitch. Setup was easy, and I encountered no stuttering or other issues during disc playback. Blu-ray video and audio quality was great; however, with SD DVDs, the picture quality was just okay. DVDs lacked a bit of detail, and I did notice jaggies and other artifacts while watching Gladiator (DreamWorks) and Lord of the Rings (New Line). I connected to the Web via Ethernet, and getting on to YouTube and Netflix was a cinch, proving to be a fast and fairly intuitive process. I wish the remote control had the alphabet attached to the numbers on the keypad to make searching more convenient via YouTube.

The BD-S473 is compatible with Yamaha's SCENE mode with HDMI CEC, which is available on most of the company's AV receivers. SCENE will automatically power on the BD-S473 to play back content by pressing a single button on the receiver. This is a rather convenient feature if you're looking for press-and-play simplicity. The player also works with Yamaha's AV Controller app for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire.

Read about the high points and low points of the Yamaha BD-S473 on Page 2.
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