Blu-ray Players

Yamaha BD-S1065 Blu-ray Player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

Upon un-boxing the BD-S1065, my initial impressions were favorable. The unit weighs 9.9 pounds, which is heavy enough to make it feel like it has solid construction. Yamaha points out that the S1065 is built around the same chassis as their audio-only designs and I noticed very little flex or vibration with the unit. The front faceplate (available in black or titanium) is sleek and uncluttered with just six transport buttons plus a stand-by/power button on the far left side. The drive tray and display are centered on the unit, which helps achieve the more “symmetrical” look that I prefer. The design is a perfect match for the current RX-V line of Yamaha receivers and also matches older Yamaha gear, such as the 4-year-old Yamaha DVD-C750 Universal DVD changer that I own.

Moving around to the back panel, the S1065 sports the following outputs: 7.1 channel analog audio, a separate 2-channel analog audio, optical coaxial, digital coaxial, composite video, S-video, component video, and HDMI. There is also an IR in/out for remote control capability, an Ethernet jack for BD-Live, and a USB input for storing BD-live content or loading firmware updates. If you need RS-232 control capabilities, you will need to step up to Yamaha’s BD-S1900. As the BD-S1065 lacks any internal memory, you must attach a USB thumb drive (2 GB minimum recommended) if you wish to use the BD-Live functionality. I must also commend Yamaha for including a detachable power cord, which makes installing and removing the unit much easier in my opinion.

Internally, there are five separate 2-channel AKM DACS for the 7.1 and 2-channel audio outputs. All processing, scaling, and HDMI-based tasks are handled by the built-in LSI chip, as Yamaha has chosen not to use a third-party scaling/de-interlacing solution. Overall build quality is very good. Even the disc tray opens and closes with a smooth, quiet action.

The included remote control is perfectly functional, but it is not backlit. However, all of the needed buttons are there, including “angle,” “audio,” and “dimmer” buttons to dim the front panel display (3 levels of brightness). The remote seemed to have good range and worked well even from relatively extreme angles. After using the stock remote for a few days, I programmed my Universal Remote Control MX-880 for the Yamaha and continued to enjoy trouble-free response to remote commands.

Feature Set

The BD-S1065 is a fully featured BD-Live (Profile 2.0) compliant player with built-in decoding capabilities for all of the latest lossless surround sound formats, such as Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. However, the BD-S1065 is “DTS-Master Audio Essentials” certified, which means that with regular DVD discs, the player cannot decode DTS 96/24, DTS ES, DTS ES Matrix, or DTS Neo: 6. Considering how few DVDs are encoded with these surround formats, I wouldn’t be too concerned about this as you will still hear the “core” DTS soundtrack. The Yamaha can play many types of discs, including many recordable media except for DVD-RAM. DVD-A and SACD is not supported on this player. There are no capabilities for Netflix or Pandora video streaming either, which is offered more and more on Blu-ray players these days. HDMI CEC control is included to assist in controlling other CEC equipped devices, but it does increase stand-by power consumption if enabled.

The Yamaha can display JPEG images (via CD only, not the USB jack), but cannot play MP3 audio files. The BD-S1065 is one of the relatively few players that can handle AVCHD encoded discs, so I was finally able to watch the HD version of “Star Wars: Episode IV” that I’ve had for a few months now. The player supports x.v.Color and Deep Color, though there is still no content available. Another nice feature is that both the HDMI and component video outputs can be active simultaneously. They can even be set up for different output resolutions (i.e. 1080P via HDMI and 480i for component).