Blu-ray Players

Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray Player - Benchmark

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

The BD-S2900 takes about 30 seconds to power on and initiate. It has very fast load times that are on par with the Sony Playstation 3.  I loaded up the movies 300 and Pan’s Labyrinth in about 30 seconds and even Pixar’s Ratatouille, a Java based title, loaded up in under a minute.  Commands from the remote operated briskly and the player feels responsive.  Chapter skips, on the other hand, were a tad sluggish. Search had five settings that operated with average performance.  They weren’t too choppy but I wouldn’t call them smooth either.  The BD-S2900 clocked in at a slow 1.5 seconds on our layer change test which gives it a borderline score for the test.  The menu system is very pleasant because of clear organization and easy access to common settings.  I really liked the layout and it was intuitive to find what I needed and jump around through all the settings.  Yamaha has also included a very thorough manual with this player.

Video

The BD-S2900 is a HDMI 1.3 player with 12 bit Deep Color support giving it the possibility to display 68.7 billion possible colors.  The BD-S2900 didn’t clip any pixels at its highest resolution and also showed no banding effects in our test for banding. The player does do proper i/p conversion in both 2:3 and 2:2 cadences however the time it took to lock onto the 2:2 patterns was a tad slow.  I also tested the player for both noise reduction and diagonal filtering and in both cases it showed processing was in effect and the imagery was thus enhanced.  For real world material, I used the BD-S2900 to catch up on the Blu-ray release of Heroes Season 2, a favorite television series of mine that is presented in dts-HD Master Audio.  As soon as I loaded up the first chapter I felt that the picture quality was stunning with rich shadows, highlights, and deep colors.  I did an A/B comparison between my Sony Playstation 3 and the Yamaha player to see if I could tell any difference in picture quality.  I felt that the Yamaha had a deeper, richer presentation and one that was cleaner than the Playstation 3: When I switched to the Playstation, I could easily discern a little more noise in the image.  Obviously the BD-S2900’s noise reduction, video processing, and core video performance were all contributing to an exquisite Blu-ray image.

Audio

The BD-S2900 can output all of the latest HD codecs in bitstream output over HDMI and down converts these formats to 5.1 channel when output as PCM.  The player features 5.1 analog outputs and those are all supported by 24-bit/192 kHz DACs.   While outputting in PCM, the menu system has simple settings for speaker size (Small, or Large) as well as delay settings for each speaker.  While I had the Yamaha BD-S2900 hooked up through my Integra 9.8 DTC processor all of the audio presentation of the lossless HD formats was flawless with no synching issues or any other noticeable glitches.  I really favor the combination of a player that outputs HD sound codecs in bitstream format with a qualified AV processor, because the sound quality becomes second to none.