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Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?
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Hi all,

I'm debating a CA 651 purchase, but it'd be good to get some feedback from owners.

How do you find the BDP's upscaling with DVDs? Can you comment on WHF's remarks about 3D motion? Unless the BDP's doing something it shouldn't (and this doesn't sound like the case based on what I've read), I can't understand why motion would be a problem.

Many thanks.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

As I understand it, the Marvell upscaler is the same on the 651 and the 751, and it's terrific on the 751.  You may wish to check this assumption though.

I can't speak for 3D motion as haven't seen either in 3D.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Thanks JD. That's my understanding, too.

Since I'll be connecting the BDP using HDMI, the other stuff is less important to me. I have a dedicated CDP in the Teac PD-H600; and while the CA's analogue performance is reportedly very good, I think the 651 will be outmatched. (The Teac is a stunning CDP, though I'd be interested to compare it with the CA.) As for Smart features, apart from BBC iPlayer, I don't use them at all; and my TV fills any possible gaps here.

So the decision really comes down to upscaling abilities, build quality, and slickness of operation.

I still have plenty of DVDs that will perhaps never see a BD release. It'd be great to get the best from them. My Panasonic 120 is serviceable in terms of DVD upscaling, though falls short of reference performance. The Panasonic is flimsy compared with the CA, though boot up and disc loading times are comparable. In operation, the CA has a nicer looking and more intuitive menu system, with the option to tweak all settings during playback. The CA's remote isn't so user friendly, but Panasonic's remote looks tacky and takes a little getting used to. 

While I generally advise people to audition, in my experience, this only gets you so far. Ideally I'd like to try the 651 at home for a week, with the option to return if I don't feel I gain enough to merit the outlay.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Haven't you previously stated a desire to have multi region blu ray playback? If so, do you intend to carry out the mod yourself (and invalidate the warranty)? I would have thought Oppo 103 (or even 93) would make more sense if you still want to play some US locked blu rays.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

I was outbid on a modded Oppo 93 on Ebay last week. Yes, it would be nice to have multi-region Blu-ray playback and stock up on Criterion titles I've been hankering after; but a modded Oppo is beyond my means financially. I regard the CA as an acceptable compromise at the price. I wouldn't modify the CA player if I bought it. 

Maybe a cheaper modded BDP is the answer, but this wouldn't appeal to the AV snob in me. (A degree of self awareness is useful here.) As always, there's an ideal and the reality of what I can afford.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Save up for a bit? There's something quite zen about fighting off the purchasing urge for a while. You can only be a few hundred short. 

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Technically I can afford a modded Oppo now, but that would mean dipping into savings I've already depleted of late.

I think on principle I'm not willing to spend that much on a BDP; and I can't see a modded Oppo dropping in price. (They pretty much hold their original price second-hand.) The CA feels like an acceptable compromise, as it'd be half the price. I'd still gaze longingly at the Criterion Blu-ray catalogue, but I'm used to that now. Stocking up on Criterion titles would also involve considerable, added expense.

In short, I'm a cheapskate (arguably by necessity); and that's unlikely to change in the near future.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Thought I'd give this thread a little bump.

751BD owners' views are also useful, since I'd be using the BDP as a transport and the 651 and 751 are identical in this regard. Both BDPs use the Marvell DE2750 QDEO scaler, so will upscale DVD to precisely the same standard.  

Thanks.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

As a final note, upscaling is great and build quality, in my opinion, is pretty good for the price.  It's not Naim casework, but it's much better than Cambridge cases of old.  Sturdy enough but not battleship.  I've seen people complain about the remote as being 'cheap' but I can't say I find it so.

As for slickness of operation, depends what you mean.  Start up is lightning-fast, but menus are not as good-looking as the Sony I had before, which is the only thing I can compare it to.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

BenLaw wrote:

Haven't you previously stated a desire to have multi region blu ray playback? If so, do you intend to carry out the mod yourself (and invalidate the warranty)? I would have thought Oppo 103 (or even 93) would make more sense if you still want to play some US locked blu rays.

This will not invalidate warranty, as it's a removable mod. Pricey though.

If you speak to Richer Sounds, I'm sure they can make it multiregion for DVDs.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

I thought it was MR for DVDs out of the box, but haven't got a region 1 disc to hand so can't check.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

Thanks both.

I think you're right, John. The 651 is MR for DVDs out of the box. I may consider a mod later, depending on price, mood and circumstances.

By "slick" I mean speed and simplicity of operation. (A utilitarian interface, with a degree of graphical sophistication, if that's not an oxymoron.) Effective but not cheap or garish is another way of putting it.

The upgrade is primarily about upscaling, though, and the 651's Marvell processor is arguably the best around.  

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

John Duncan wrote:

As I understand it, the Marvell upscaler is the same on the 651 and the 751, and it's terrific on the 751.  You may wish to check this assumption though.

I can't speak for 3D motion as haven't seen either in 3D.

Yes, but in almost every review I've read, including WHF's, they've said the picture/motion doesn't quite measure up to the 751. If you're buying new there are better options for 500 quid anyway - like Oppo's new one.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

strapped for cash wrote:

Hi all,

I'm debating a CA 651 purchase, but it'd be good to get some feedback from owners.

How do you find the BDP's upscaling with DVDs? Can you comment on WHF's remarks about 3D motion? Unless the BDP's doing something it shouldn't (and this doesn't sound like the case based on what I've read), I can't understand why motion would be a problem.

Many thanks.

Unless you're getting it at a heavily discounted price, I'd say this player is now past its sell-by date.

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

manicm wrote:

Yes, but in almost every review I've read, including WHF's, they've said the picture/motion doesn't quite measure up to the 751. If you're buying new there are better options for 500 quid anyway - like Oppo's new one.

To my knowledge, only What Hi Fi made this observation about motion. If both players are set up properly, The 651 and 751 should perform identically as Blu-ray transports. The players use different DACs, but this has no bearing on audio or video performance over HDMI.

If I was spending £500, I'd buy the Oppo 103, probably, but I'd be paying far less than full price for the outgoing 651. 

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RE: Any CA 651BD Owners Out There?

strapped for cash - TrustedReviews suggested the same thing but did give it nearly full marks, for audio and video. However you seem to be getting a good deal so go for it then.

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