Cambridge Audio 751BD - Video

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Cambridge Audio 751BD
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The 751BD has two HDMI outputs, to run two monitors or a 3D set-up Cambridge say. I used the Output 1 which has a Marvell QDEO video scaler to bring DVD up to Blu-ray resolution. This worked well, our Burosch DVD test discs showed; even if resolution cannot be improved in theory DVDs look better in practice.

The player did a fine job with Blu-ray high definition video, getting through our HQV Blu-ray test disc without displaying any jaggies on the dedicated tests, nor in the video sequences (and film pull downs). There was no motion trailing nor any other visible blemish. Video shot on a Red camera on the Spears & Munsil disc looked stunning, but then it does on most players. My own test sequence in HD video (1440 Mpeg2 from a Canon HV30)) of a Tiger Moth biplane at Duxford airfield showed no blemishes, but contrast was set a little high for effect. The idling propellor produced a smooth blur, as it should (this motion can break up in some players).


Current Blu-ray players usually pass all tests on available test discs and in use picture quality depends mostly upon user adjustment and original video quality rather than the player’s electronics. The 751BD turned in a faultless video performance.

Load times were much like the 650BD, 27 seconds for the Java menu of John Meyer’s ‘Where The Light Is’ and 10 seconds for a normal menu, a relatively fast performance. Recordable BD-Rs and BD-RE’s were read without problem.

Comments (3)
Tannoy Westminister
3Monday, 26 September 2011 16:53
Frank Rodgers
Hi Noel:

Can you help and tell me how to go about getting your April 2006 article on the Tannoy westminister speakers. Thanks.

Frank Rodgers

Hi Frank. You can buy Hi-Fi World April 2006 as a back issue from our on-line magazine reading service, provided by Pagesuite. Press the 'Or Read On-Line' button at top left on our website's front page. NK
Oppo and Cambridge
2Tuesday, 12 July 2011 18:14
Noel Keywood, publisher
Hi Alberto,

I am sorry to disappoint you but I have not heard the analogue output of the Oppo BDP-95 so cannot comment upon its analogue performance. I have measured and carefully listened to the Cambridge 751BD and whilst it is a good analogue player, it isn't the best by any means. That is because Blu-ray players are intended to work with AV receivers via HDMI; their analogue outputs are not a priority.
You would be better advised to buy a modern Onkyo receiver like the TX-NR609 (see our review) and use HDMI connection. If you want the very best from SACD then get a more expensive Onkyo or Marantz receiver, preferably with proper DSD convertors. I compare the 751BD with the 650BD in our forthcoming September 2011 issue.
I hope this helps you.

best regards

Noel Keywood.
Cambridge and Oppo
1Tuesday, 12 July 2011 18:09
Alberto Trujillo
Greetings Mr. Keywood,

I very much enjoy reading your HI-FI World editorials. Earlier in the year I read a review you wrote of the Pioneer BDP-LX53 and you compared it to the Oppo BDP-83 and Cambridge Audio 650BD. I have been researching both of these players to replace my current universal DVD Pioneer player, but my limited technical knowledge of digital to analogue converter chips has left me in a bit of a quandary. I was hoping I could ask for your advice in this regard. I realize that at this point these companies have new players (Oppo BDP-95 and Cambridge Azure 751BD), so I’m wondering if I should choose from the new players instead? Or is the audio performance between the new players and the older players negligible? Is the performance of the Cambridge Azure 751BD worth twice the price of the 650BD? Either way my main question is regarding the difference in audio performance between the Dual ES9018 SABRE 32-bit Reference DACs in the Oppo BDP-95 and the five Wolfson WM8740 24/192kHz DAC’s in the Cambridge 751BD. I see that one is a 32-bit versus a 24-bit. Not knowing enough about the technical difference it would seem that the Oppo DAC would be superior than the Cambridge DAC. Is that reasonable to assume or is that misleading? I prefer the design of the Cambridgeplayers, but I want to buy the player that will create the best audio playback from SACD, Audio-DVD and Blue-ray. I will be using the analog 7.1-channel surround outputs to connect to my Rotel processor. My priority is audio performance over video.
I hope this is not too trivial of a question for you, as I’m at a loss trying to decide which player to choose given the different DAC’s employed.

Thank you very much for your time.

Alberto Trujillo

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