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Yamaha BDX-610 review

Tom Morgan
1 Feb 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

A reasonable all-round home cinema kit, but it’s overshadowed by cheaper alternatives from Sony and Samsung

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There’s no question that Yamaha knows home cinema audio very well, but it might not be the first company you think of when it comes to buying a Blu-ray player. The BDX-610 combines both audio and video into a single package, with a 5.1 surround sound system and a Blu-ray player capable of 3D playback, DLNA media streaming and internet video.

Yamaha BDX-610

Initial impressions were promising – the glossy black plastic speakers match the brushed metal effect main unit well, and will fit in most rooms easily thanks to their small size. They're only slightly larger than a coffee cup, so you can fit them easily on a bookshelf, or you can wall-mount them if you buy some brackets. The cube-shaped subwoofer is fairly compact, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a place for it. Each speaker connects to the main unit with standard speaker wire – Yamaha includes a spool of cable in the box for you to cut to length, but it may not be long enough for large rooms.

Yamaha BDX-610

Along with its speaker connections, the main unit has analogue, coaxial and digital optical audio inputs, as well as composite and HDMI video outputs. An FM aerial, single Ethernet and phono output for a subwoofer should be enough to connect one or two other devices such as a PS3 or Xbox, but without any HDMI inputs you may not be able to connect some set-top boxes.

Around the front, there’s only a single USB port and an auxiliary 3.5mm input jack. A single-line LCD display lets you know what the player is up to and the buttons below it control basic playback functions, but you’ll need the remote for the more advanced features. This has plenty of buttons and a reasonably sensible layout, but the small text makes it difficult to find certain functions unless you’ve taken the time to learn the layout.

Yamaha BDX-610

Once we’d connected the system to our reference TV, we dove into the menus to try out its media streaming features. Unfortunately, file format support was disappointing – we could only get MP4, AVCHD and XviD files to work, as DivX and MKV videos weren’t recognised. This was the case over a wired network connection from our DLNA-equipped NAS, and directly from a USB memory stick. Annoyingly, the menu system was at times counter-intuitive, with the deceptively simple layout often refusing to obey our commands - there are no prompts to let you know you can’t disable Audio Return Channel when playing video files, for instance.

Yamaha BDX-610

Blu-ray playback was much better, mainly thanks to its speedy loading times. Positional audio was very good, letting us pick out sounds around us clearly and accurately. Unfortunately, general audio quality was only average, considering the price of the package. A lack of very high end detail and general lack of warmth in our audio tracks, combined with a definite lack of bass at the default settings, meant we had to tweak the speaker levels every time we played a different test file.

Considering it costs £500, we were disappointed with the average sound quality of the BDX-610. An awkward interface and limited connectivity makes it less than ideal for owners of multiple AV devices. The Sony BDV-E380 and Samsung HT D5500 both have more connectivity options and cost almost £200 less than the BDX-610.

Details

Price£450
Rating***

Connections

HDMI inputs0
HDMI outputs1
Component inputs0
Component outputs1
Output resolutions480i, 480p, PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets0
SCART socket typeN/A
S-Video input0
S-video output0
Composite inputs0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono inputs2
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF inputs1
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Multi-channel inputno
Speaker configuration5.1
Main unit end speaker connection typespring terminals
Speaker end speaker connection typespring terminals
Other connectionsUSB, Ethernet
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportNone

Playback

Surround sound formatsDolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD HRA, DTS-HD MA
Optical driveyes
Supported playback disc formatsBlu-ray 3D, BD-ROM/-R/RE, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/-R DL/-RW, DVD+R/+R DL/+RW, CD, CD-R/-RW
Audio format supportMP3, WAV, WMA
Video playback formatsAVCHD, MPEG2, MPEG-4, XviD
Image viewing formatsJPEG
RadioFM

Speakers

Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output500W
RMS power centre80W
RMS power front160W
RMS power surround160W
RMS power subwoofer100W
Wall mountableyes
Centre speaker cable lengthN/A
Front speaker cable lengthN/A
Surround speaker cable lengthN/A

General

Extrasremote control
Size433x344x69mmmm
Subwoofer dimensions260x285x270mmmm
Centre speaker dimensions290x100x98mmmm
Front speaker dimensions175x110x89mmmm
Surround speaker dimensions175x110x89mmmm
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on29W

Buying Information

Price£450
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.petertyson.co.uk
Detailswww.yamaha-uk.com