Yamaha BD-S673 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Yamaha BD-S673 3D Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Yamaha's BD-S673 Blu-ray players carries a pretty hefty price tag for a Blu-ray player. Alex Lezcano spends some time with the Blu-ray player to see if the performance and features justify the price.

Yamaha-BD-S673-Blu-ray-review-small.jpgI've had the pleasure of reviewing two of the three Blu-ray players in Yamaha's current stable. The first one, the BD-S473, was a decent performer, but there are certainly other players that offer more features for less money. Let's see how Yamaha's step-up model, the $329.95 BD-S673, competes with the likes of Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and Oppo. Like the BD-S473, the BD-S673 is a 3D-capable Blu-ray player with BD-Live support and internal Dolby TrueHD (7.1) and DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1) decoding. You can access Netflix, YouTube, and Picasa, as well as stream media from DLNA-certified devices. This player adds the built-in WiFi that's missing from the BD-S473 and uses a better 192kHz/32-bit audio DAC. The BD-S673 supports playback of many file formats, such as DIVX+ HD, AVCHD, MKV, WMV, AVI, VOB, MP4, JPEG (HD), MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, and FLAC, making it a decent addition to your living room if you plan to use the player for more than just Blu-ray and DVD discs. If you are interested in SACDs or DVD-Audio discs, however, you will have to go further up the line to the BD-A1020 ($449.95). The BD-S673 does not offer Ultra HD/4K upscaling.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's writers.
• Explore more reviews in our HDTV Review section.

Yamaha's Blu-ray players are designed to match the aesthetic of Yamaha's A/V receivers. Whereas the BD-S473 has a pretty small form, the BD-S673 is more traditional in size, almost double the height of the BD-S473. It measures 17.13 inches wide by almost 3.5 inches tall by 10.13 inches deep and weighs six pounds. The pop-out disc tray is located front and center on the fascia. The faceplate has a front-panel display, a USB connector, and buttons for power, eject, play, pause, stop, and search/skip. The back of the player has a lot more A/V connection options than the BD-S473, which only offers HDMI output. This player adds component and composite video outputs, coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, and stereo analog outputs. These options are nice if you own an older receiver or TV (due to the Analog Sunset, the component video port cannot output HD).

The BD-S673's front tray loader comes out pretty fast, and load times are on par with other Blu-ray players. Setup was quite simple. I was able to connect to my WiFi without a problem, and using the network features was easy. The remote control that comes with the BD-S673 is larger than that of the BD-S473 and has a good radius and range of distance. I enjoyed using Yamaha's AV Controller app for iOS on my iPad mini (Android and Kindle Fire versions are also available); it is a fun tool to have around the house. You do not have to be in the same room as the player for the controller to work so, when listening to music, I could adjust volume, skip to the next song, or pause from anywhere in the house. Again, I wish the app had a virtual keyboard to make it easier to input text within Netflix, YouTube, and Picasa.

I enjoyed watching The Avengers (Marvel Studios/Disney) and The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros.) on Blu-ray through the BD-S673. The video quality of Blu-ray material was excellent, and the DTS-HD MA sound was good. SD video performance was much better here than it was on the BD-S473. In my tests of standard-definition DVDs, I saw no obvious artifacts. If you're looking for good up-conversion, I would say this player is more than up to the task.

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

Yamaha-BD-S673-Blu-ray-review-small.jpgHigh Points

  • The Yamaha BD-S673 performs at a high level.
  • The player supports 3D playback.
  • The BD-S673 is DLNA-certified and compatible with many media formats, including FLAC.
  • Aesthetically, the Blu-ray player blends in nicely and doesn't stand out.
  • Once again, I enjoyed Yamaha's AV controller app for iOS. It's a simple yet effective remote control that just works, but I wish it had a better way to input text.
  • The player has analog A/V outputs and dedicated digital audio outs, so connecting legacy equipment can be done. It also has a control input and output.
  • The BD-S673 has built-in wireless connectivity.

Low Points

  • The BD-S673 lacks Ultra HD upscaling, which can be found in other players in this price range.
  • The BD-S673 does not have dual HDMI outputs to send signals to both your 3D TV and receiver, but this may not be important to some.
  • Aside from Netflix, YouTube, and Picasa, Yamaha's web features are lacking.
  • It would be nice if the built-in DAC supported ALAC and AIFF files.

Comparison and Competition
Compare the Yamaha BD-S673 to its competition by reading our reviews of the Oppo BDP-103, the Sony BDP-S790, and the Samsung BD-E6500. Learn more about 3D Blu-ray players by visiting our Blu-ray Players section.

Conclusion
Yamaha's BD-S673 offers good build quality, good A/V performance, and the major features that many people look for, like built-in WiFi, DLNA support, 3D playback, good file compatibility, and a nice iOS control app. I really enjoyed using the player for both Blu-ray discs and CDs. There are lower-priced players that offer the same amount of features, if not more, but the BD-S673 makes a logical companion (both in form and function) for a Yamaha receiver.

Additional Resources

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