Cambridge Audio 751BD review

The Cambridge Audio 751BD Blu-ray player is a cut above the budget masses

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Cambridge Audio 751BD
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Cambridge Audio 751BD
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Cambridge Audio 751BD
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Cambridge Audio 751BD

For

  • Luxurious build quality
  • Dreamy picture and sound
  • Supplied Wi-Fi dongle

Against

  • Expensive
  • Paltry web content
  • Wi-Fi not built-in

The Cambridge Audio 751BD Blu-ray player oozes class with its gorgeous build quality and top-drawer performance, but it’ll hit your bank balance hard

The Cambridge Audio 751BD isn't the cheapest Blu-ray player around but it does give you tank-like build quality along with plenty of features, DLNA streaming and it's also supplied with a Wi-Fi dongle.

Cambridge Audio 751BD: Design

The 751BD’s hefty bodywork is your first indication of its upper-class status, putting the hordes of plasticky sub-£200 Blu-ray players, such as the LG BD670, to shame.

The thick brushed aluminium faceplate and all metal casing are sheer luxury, and the whole thing is propped up on dual-layer damped feet to reduce unwanted vibration.

The look is sophisticated and quietly stylish rather than dazzling, with a USB port, busy blue display panel and sturdy buttons.

On the back you’ll find more sockets than your average player, including uncommon connections like an eSata port, multichannel analogue outputs, two HDMI outputs and a second USB port for the supplied Wi-Fi dongle.

All-in-all, this is Blu-ray player craftsmanship of the highest calibre, sure to make enthusiasts go weak at the knees.

Cambridge Audio 751BD: Features

Some high-end decks eschew fancy features for performance – not so the 751BD. It can stream music, video and photos off your home network, and provides access to the Picasa online photo service. That’s a paltry selection of web content compared to the best Blu-ray players around such as the Samsung BD-D6900, but good to see them making some effort.

Elsewhere there’s wide-ranging format support, including MKV, AVI, XviD, AVCHD, but the lack of DivX support galls. You can play SACD and DVD-Audio too, no doubt to the delight of beard stroking audiophiles.

The 751BD’s real advantage is the all-star line-up of internal components, which on paper should ensure the cleanest, sharpest picture and sound performance

Cambridge Audio 751BD: Performance

The Cambridge Audio 751BD handles beautifully, thanks largely to the slick onscreen menu (the same one used by OPPO’s players) which is superimposed over the picture and means you don’t lose your place in the film.

Network content streams like a dream and plays with minimal hesitation. The menus look great too, making it easy to find content.

And with Blu-ray discs, the 751BD is a phenomenal performer, dishing up some of the cleanest, sharpest and most absorbing HD pictures we’ve seen.

It handles both 2D and 3D discs and does so with equal poise. The picture is bold and vibrant, yet nuanced and subtle, leaving no visible colour banding or digital nasties. But it’s with music that the 751BD really soars – you get a polished, open sound with irresistible depth and a lovely purity of tone. It’s a Blu-ray deck worth throwing out your CD player for.

Cambridge Audio 751BD: Verdict

The Cambridge Audio 751BD is a master class in creating a Blu-ray player, boasting a luxurious design both internally and externally. Connections are plentiful, format support is solid and there are some attractive features like a supplied Wi-Fi dongle, DLNA networking and Picasa access.

In the debit column, a wider choice of web content would have brought in line with the bigger brands and it’s mega-expensive, but if you have the dosh you won’t be disappointed.

Cambridge Audio 751BD availability: Out now

Cambridge Audio 751BD price: £800