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Philips BDP3406/F7 WiFi Ready 1080p Blu Ray Player Review

The Philips BDP3406/F7 is a low-spec Blu-ray player for a slightly below average price. As with most current generation players, it offers a variety of streaming media services, and it can be connected to a wireless network using the built-in Wi-Fi. However, the device does suffer from some flaws which put a question mark over its value. Read on to find out more.

Key Specs For The Philips BDP3406/F7

Retail: $129.99
Not 3D Compatible
Wi-Fi? Yes Adapter Included
Online Streaming Services: Netflix
BD Live? Yes
USB? Yes

Philips BDP3406 Wifi Blu Ray Player w Remote
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Philips 1080p Blu Ray Disc DVD Player with Built In WiFi Black BDP3406 F7
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Philips BDP3406/F7 WiFi Ready 1080p Blu Ray Player Review: The Pros

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RRP: The Philips BDP3406/F7 is cheaper than most Blu-ray players. At an RRP of $129.99 it undercuts the competition significantly. This makes it an attractive option for those who don't have much to spend, but still want extra features in the form of Wi-Fi connectivity and online media streaming.

USB 2.0 and DivX Plus HD: The inclusion of USB 2.0 ports will let you watch films in a variety of formats straight from a USB stick. This player also supports DivX Plus HD, the high definition DivX format.

Built-In Wi-Fi: Not all Blu-ray players come with built-in Wi-Fi, which is what makes this feature so attractive on a budget player like the BDP3406/F7. This means that you can get online right out of the box theres no need to use a plug-in dongle. Wi-Fi is a great option if you dont want to have cables all over your living room, and is generally a lot simpler than a wired connection.

Using Wi-Fi youll be able to connect to your DLNA network, which means you can access all of the video, audio and photo media stored on your home computer. In addition, youll be able to access streaming media services such as Netflix, and make use of BD Live features on your Blu-ray discs.

BD Live: With BD Live you can access a host of extra features through your Blu-ray discs, even after discs have been released. The BDP3406/F7 supports these BD Live features: essential for movie buffs!

Video Upscaling: Video upscaling is a technology that allows Blu-ray players to play standard definition DVDs at a better image quality, even on very large screens. This feature is now common in most players, though it's still worth mentioning for a budget player. It means your old DVDs will still look good on a big screen TV.

Energy Star Certified: The Philips BDP3406/F7 is Energy Star certified for its reduced power consumption. Energy Star is a government-backed program which aims to reduce unnecessary power consumption, and is a useful indication of how eco-friendly a product can be to run.
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Fast Boot-Up: Compared to other Blu-ray players on the market, the Philips BDP3406/F7 loads up very quickly, meaning you won't have to wait around for minutes before your disc starts to play.

Philips BDP3406/F7 WiFi Ready 1080p Blu Ray Player Review: The Cons

No 3D: Unfortunately, this Philips player doesnt support 3D movies though it's no surprise given the fact that it was designed as a budget model. If youre a real fan of the 3D experience then youll need to look for another Blu-ray player at a slightly higher cost.

Wi-Fi Signal: This machine seems to suffer from Wi-Fi signal problems. Although youll find it easy enough to connect to a wireless network, dropout is a relatively common problem. This isnt always a big deal, but if the signal drops out half way through streaming from Netflix it can be annoying, interrupting the entertainment and spoiling the immersion.

Remote: The remote on this player feels cheap, and looks it too. The light weight and thin feel of the plastic give the impression that it might not last that long, and you'll need to press the buttons hard to get a response from the machine.

Having difficult buttons also makes the process of entering passwords and movie titles into Netflix a pain. The input system is difficult enough without having to check whether you pressed the button hard enough for it to register!

Speed: Speed is another issue with the BDP3406/F7. If you want to change between a Blu-ray disc and Netflix it can take some time. In fact, this process can keep you waiting for several minutes, which is really unnecessary.

Freezing: Experiences will differ between machines, but freezing is probably the biggest problem for the BDP3406/F7. Should your device freeze, nothing short of a complete reset will fix the issue. This is very frustrating, and shouldnt really happen on any device, however low the price.

No Component Ports: This might seem like a minor criticism to some, but the BDP3406/F7 doesnt have any component ports. Check to make sure you can connect this player to the inputs on your HDTV before you buy.

Is The Philips BDP3406/F7 Worth Buying?

The Philips BDP3406/F7 isnt a terrible machine, but there are some quality control issues that mean you might end up with a faulty device. It also suffers from some design flaws that could easily have been overcome, and the speed isnt great either. However, the price is good, and boot-up times are decent. Overall, you might be better off spending a little extra to get a more reliable device, but if youre willing to take the risk then the price of this device may make it appealing.

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The Perks of Blu Ray and Blu Ray Players
Picture Quality
Superior high def resolution is a huge element of the reason why Blu Ray movies look excellent. This means you'll see a much more detailed picture: much more clearly defined features of people faces, colors of nature, close ups of wrinkles, facial imperfections, etc. The technological distinction is that Blu Ray's maximum resolution is 1920 x 1080 (1080p), while DVD is restricted to 720 x 480 (480p). Further than image resolution, Blu Ray additionally employs much better video-compression methods, producing much more contrast as well as better colors. It truly is the best quality of video you can get inb the market today, with a comparable, if note better than picture that you get at the movies, when the Blu Ray player is used in conjunction with an HDTV.

Audio Quality
Audio quality is also much better. New high-resolution soundtrack formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, are basically the same as the studio master, consequently you will be hearing sounds just as the director and audio editors designed.

Special Features
Blu Ray also has extra unique functions that DVD never did. The most basic innovation is the pop-up menu, allowing one to access the menu features as the movie keeps playing. Also, there is BD-Live, picture-in-picture video commentary, Internet connectivity, including models with built-in Wifi for streaming movies, videos, tv shows and all kinds of media from the Web.

Main Blu Ray Features
While most basic features of Blu Ray Players are the same, there are some specific things to consider when buying a player, especially, Internet connectivity options.

Player Options for Connecting to Internet
There are several options, depending on the player model and brand, for linking up your smart Blu-ray player to the Internet

  • A wired connection using Ethernet cable
  • Built-In Wifi Connection on the Player
  • A wireless connection using a compatible wireless adapter
  • A connection using power line Ethernet adapters
WiFi Built In - Smart Blu Ray Players - Connect to Internet and stream movies, music, TV shows and more with WiFi built in.
WiFi Ready - Means the Wifi is not built in and you will need an adapter of some sort to connect.
BD-Live is a Blu-ray feature that enables you to access content, features and activities via your smart Blu-ray player. On some movies you'll be able to download a variety of up-to-date content (for example, refreshed previews and exclusive special features). There are also a host of next generation possibilities, such as ringtone/wallpaper downloads, peer-to-peer interactions, live events and gaming activities. For example, on the Blu Ray version of Julie & Julia with BD-Live, you can bookmark Julia Child's actual recipes while you watch the movie. At the end of the film, you can e-mail yourself the recipes, pretty cool!
Bonus View
The Bonus View and lets you play back picture-in-picture content, which allows for a second video and audio stream.

Playing DVD's
The transition from DVD to Blu Ray is an easy one since all Blu Ray players play standard DVD discs. Actually, each and every Blu Ray player is also an upconverting DVD player.

Buying Cheap Blu Ray Players

There are some great ways to save money on Blu Ray players and that is by avoiding retail stores and shopping online. Cheap Blu ray players are plentiful and can really be a great alternative to spending too much at the stores. Some of the top brands of Blu Ray players can cost you as much $300, with brands like LG, Sony, Samsung and other industry leaders invemting bigger and better models regularly causing retail prices to skyrocket. Stop wasting your money and buy cheap Blu Ray players here, always bid and buy with confidence, with buyer feedback and ratings for sellers.

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