Philips has quietly been surpassed by many other electronics companies in the Blu ray disc player market. Philips BDP5320 is a minimalist Blu ray disc player that is very affordable and functional. While not as feature packed as other mid range players, it does have essential features and functionality.
The BDP5320 is a Profile 2.0 Blu ray player fully capable of displaying BD-LIVE contents. Improving upon their earlier models, the BDP5320 can natively decodes DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby True HD. While it can decode Dolby True HD, the BDP5320 cannot decode other high definition audio formats. The internet streaming contents are restricted to few streaming services via Netflix and Blockbuster on Demand. The newer Philips model comes with the Net TV access which is similar to internet streaming platform from Sony and Samsung. The inclusion of WiFi adapter was a pleasant surprise. The BDP5320 is capable of playing H.264 and Divx formats as well as the standard Blu ray and DVD formats. Also, it can display JPEG formats and MP3 audio formats.
The overall design is fairly straight forward. You really can’t do too much in either direction. The LCD is located in the middle of the player while the LCD is located on the right side. The playback buttons are located on the left of the player. There is a SD card slot located on the far right side of the player. The BDP5320 comes with basic connectivity. There is the standard 2 channel analog audio output as well as 5.1 channel analog output. Composite and component video output is available as well as digital coaxial out. The standard HDMI and ethernet ports are included as well. The 1 USB port will most likely be occupied by the included Wireless LAN adaptor. Extra USB port would have been nice. The included remote control is a universal remote control capable controlling different home theater devices. With EasyLink, any devices connected via HDMI can be controlled via the included remote control.
As with previous models, Philips BDP5320 is a quick loading player. While not quite as fast as the newest players from Sony and Samsung, it is definitely step above the first and second generation players. The loading time from boot up to viewing a Blu ray movie was anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds depending on the disc. Also, all the BD-LIVE content played without any problems. Spot tested with 3 different Blu ray discs, the player showed no video processing errors in any scenes. Moiré, jaggieness, and motion blur were all absent during the playback. Tested with 2 DVD discs, the player had no problem handling the upscaling. The overall upscaling was on par with most other players in this price range.
I did have few complaints on the audio front. First, the player cannot natively decode DTS Master HD audio. Also, the lack of WMA, AAC, and SACD was disappointing. On the other hand, the overall audio playback was excellent. All the advertised audio decoded without any problems.
The overall performance of the BDP5320 was very adequate. At around $120, the BDP5320 is cheaper than most players. However, with little more money you can purchase far more complete player from Sony, Samsung, or LG. The lack of DTS Master HD audio decoding as well as second USB port was little disappointing. Also, the lack of more internet streaming content holds me back from recommending this player over other players in $150 range. If you need a very basic player for bedroom, this isn’t a bad player. However, if you want more complete player with more features, look for higher end models.
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