Cambridge Audio launches its first Blu-ray universal player – and matching receiver

11 Sep 2009

Cambridge Audio 650BD
Cambridge Audio 650BD

Cambridge Audio today officially launches its much-anticipated universal Blu-ray player, the BD650, at the CEDIA Show in Atlanta, USA. We first saw a prototype at the CES Show in Las Vegas back in January, but the model name, price and spec have changed slightly since then.

Selling for $779 in the US, the 650BD will handle Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-Audio, SACD and HDCD discs. It supports all the latest high-definition audio formats, and uses 24/192kHz DACs.

There's onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio in stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 variants.

Power-up and loading speeds, long a bugbear of Blu-ray players, are claimed to be "among the most impressive of any Blu-ray player currently available".

It's Profile 2.0 as standard, upscales standard-definition sources such as DVD to 1080p and has dual USB ports so users can enjoy music, photos and videos transferred from their computers.

If you have a collection of multichannel SACD or DVD-Audio music discs, their high-resolution audio can be outputted via HDMI or the 7.1 analogue connections.

A Set-Up Wizard is designed to make calibration easier, and the player has redesigned wraparound casework and a thicker front panel to match the new Azur 650R multichannel receiver. Energy consumption in standby is said to be less than 1W.

Azur 650R multichannel receiver
Also launched in Atlanta today is the Cambridge Audio Azur 650R multichannel receiver.

Selling for $1799 in the US (UK price tbc), the 650R decodes all the latest high-definition audio codecs and delivers 7 x 100W of power.

It features HDMI 1.3c connectivity, uses a new Cirrus Logic/Crystal CS49700 chipset with twin-core, 32-bit DSPs, and even supports Lossless Dolby TrueHD.

DTS speaker re-mapping allows the playback of DTS-HD High Resolution or Master Audio formats with encoded height information on standard 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 speaker set-ups.

There's video upconversion to HDMI, too, and the 650R is the first model to feature Cambridge Audio's Mic Controlled Auto Set-Up (CAMCAS).

Adjustable lip-sync delay, an FM/AM tuner with RDS and a pure analogue Stereo Direct mode for music playback are also included. Like the BD650, it comes equipped with a 'Navigator-style' Azur remote control.

Naturally we'll be pestering Cambridge Audio to get our hands on these two new models as soon as they arrive in the UK.

For more pictures of both models, see our special blog




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Still no review of the BDP-831 though? Why the delay? Or have I missed it?

How does this player output SACD audio over HDMI? Does the HDMI spec allow for DSD, or does the player convert it to LPCM first?

Sounds like an impressive player though.

Audio Partnership has already confirmed that while the Oppo and CA players do share some basic components, the Cambridge is of an otherwise in-house design.

But thanks for your first-ever post promoting the zone-free BD-83, Henry...

Open up the case of a 650BD, and you'll find it is basically an Oppo BDP-83 with some components (e.g. electrolytic capacitors) slightly higher-specced.  Oh, and of course, a different case.

Save your money, and get yourself a BD Zone-free BDP-83 for less money Smile

Excellent news for those of us for whom DVD-A and SACD are still important ...but given quite a few recently released receivers cater for multi channel audio discs why almost no releases in that format?

I heard somewhere the BD player is based on the same MediaTek chipset as the Oppo... Should be interesting. Very much looking forward to this, want those multi-channel analogue outs.

No immediate plans for a new DACMagic, so we understand

With all these new CA products, I wonder if there will be a new DACMagic any time soon?