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By Mike Joubert 17 November 2009

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Considering the current asking price for both Blu-ray players and Blu-ray disks, it’s not surprising that Blu-ray hasn’t been readily embraced in homes the world over. The Philips BDP3000 Blu-ray player drops below the important R2000 barrier, and could signal a similar drop in price from other manufacturers.

Build quality

For the majority of consumers R2000 is no small fee however, so a certain standard of quality from such a player, even though it’s an entry level machine, is expected. Fortunately Philips don’t disappoint. We found the BDP3000 smart in both design and functionality. The slick black look of the BDP3000 fits in perfectly with the latest HDTV designs and we can’t fault Philips for their minimalist front panel design. The loading of Blu-ray disks is quick enough and operation through the easy-to-navigate menu structure is a breeze with the very likeable remote.

Connectivity

As with most Blu-ray players, the BDP3000 comes standard with a single HDMI out port. While it also has an Ethernet port to connect to the net to download extra content for BD Live enabled movies, the problem is that you don’t have the memory on the Philips to host it. To work around this you need to insert a 1 GB or larger USB flash disk in the provided port at the back. This would have been the perfect excuse to enable DivX or MP3 playback, but unfortunately you need to cut a DVD if you want to play these files.

You can of course still view conventional DVDs on the Blu-ray player, with the added benefit that the Philips upscales DVD content, although the upscaled versions are definitely not as good as the genuine article. Although the Philips doesn’t include the myriad of sound input options that other, higher priced players do, it can still deal with Dolby TrueHD for high fidelity 7.1 surround sound.

Final word

At R1999 the stylish and competent Philips BDP3000 can make Blu-ray video more accessible for many people this Christmas; it’s just a shame about the price of Blu-ray disks. 

PROS
Sleek looks and full compliment of connectivity options.
CONS
No DivX or MP3 playback via USB.
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