That $US1,200 Blu-ray player from Yamaha that Mark wrote off back in August is being released in Australia, and the sad news is that it still has all the same issues – a rather high price tag (the Aussie version will cost you $1,499), no inbuilt HD audio decoding (you’ll still need a receiver to do that), and no support for the latest BD Profile 2.0 (it supports BD Profile 1.1).
So why would you buy the Yamaha Blu-ray player then? They asked themselves the very same question, and their response came down to three things: The Yamaha brand name, which offers a two year factory warranty on their products and premium customer support; the fact that you can output across multiple outputs (HDMI, component, composite) simultaneously; and the fact that at the moment, this Yamaha is the only Blu-ray player with an RS-232 interface for custom installations.
From our point of view, only the last one holds any sort of appeal – if you’re aiming for a high-end AV setup with some form of home automation, the RS-232 interface is not just important, but imperative.
Yet, we’d still recommend you wait – in 12 months time when every Blu-ray movie has some form of BD-Live component, you’ll be kicking yourself for not holding out for their next generation player, regardless of how many features you can control from your fancy Crestron controller…