So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P (Profile 2.0)
An ultra-affordable Kogan Blu-ray player with an Ethernet port for BD Live downloads
- Impressive picture quality, attractive interface, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD support, now with Profile 2.0
- Build quality looks a bit on the cheap side -- but that's to be expected
The Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P (Profile 2.0) is not only cheaper than its predecessor, it's also more impressive. If you're looking to upgrade to HD on a budget, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P (Profile 2.0) is an excellent choice.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Kogan seems to love slashing the price of its products. When the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P first appeared, it cost just $299. Within a few months, this was reduced by a further 50 bucks. Recently, the price tag dropped again to just $199, making it one of the cheapest Blu-ray players on the market.
In addition to the price drop, Kogan has also added some new features to its Blu-ray player — namely a USB input for viewing PC media and an Ethernet port for BD Live downloads. In other words, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P is able to compete with the latest batch of Profile 2.0 BD models, despite being significantly cheaper. There really isn’t much it skimps out on.
Kogan Blu-ray Player A/V connections
Like its identically named predecessor, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P offers plenty of connectivity for audio/videophiles. Along the back you’ll find 7.1ch analog audio, coaxial and optical outputs, along with component video, HDMI, S-Video and composite AV. All the top-level audio formats can be decoded, from regular Dolby Digital all the way up to DTS-HD.
This time around, Kogan has included a USB port for viewing movie files, photos and music. AVI, AC3, MP3, AAC, JPEG, BMP and GIF files are all supported -- we even got it to play DivX files without a hitch, which is a huge plus. If you regularly download videos and would prefer to watch them from the comfort of your living room, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P is a good, affordable choice.
Kogan Blu-ray Player USB port
When it comes to design, the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P is unlikely to win any fashion awards, but it won't send you screaming from the living room either. It’s a big, bulky device; measuring 305x430x60mm and weighing a hefty 4.1kg. By contrast, the Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-ray player is over 50mm thinner — but it’s also twice as expensive.
The player’s control buttons are integrated into the fascia, while a simple LCD gives information about the disc currently playing. We weren’t fans of the cheap metal top, but this will most likely be hidden from view in your home theatre rack. Subtle blue indicator lights let you know when the device is switched on, but otherwise the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P is free of adornment. For a budget model, we suppose it doesn’t look too bad.
We were more impressed with the Kogan’s excellent menu interface: it’s responsive, user-friendly and surprisingly attractive. The included remote control is also of superior quality. It even has glow-in-the-dark playback buttons, although you'll need to hold the remote directly under a light beforehand.
To test the Kogan Blu-ray Player, we watched the Blu-ray version of the Jack Black comedy Year One on a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV over HDMI. We didn’t experience any issues with the movie, which exhibited suburb image quality throughout. Colour balance was flawless and we didn’t notice any jaggedness or image tearing. Indeed, the average viewer would be hard pressed telling the difference between this and an upscale Sony or Panasonic Blu-ray player. Both 24 and 60 frame playback modes are supported, so you can select from either smooth or film-like playback.
Standard-definition DVD playback was equally solid, with 1080p upscaling providing crisp images. Even more impressive, the Kogan features region-free DVD playback, which means you can purchase your movies from pretty much anywhere in the world.
On the downside, we did notice quite a bit of noise during playback; especially while the discs were loading. This is rather surprising, as the previous version of the Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P was one of the quieter models we’d tested. We suspect this may have been an isolated manufacturing glitch. Either that or the journalist who tested it before us wasn’t appropriately gentle.
The Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P took a little over a minute to load our copy of Year One. This is pretty average for an entry-level Blu-ray player, although we have seen faster results in the past.
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