January 2010 will see Canadian electronics group NAD, more famous for their high-performance, low-aesthetic amplifiers, roll out their Blu Ray player – the T557.
The T557, featured here, plays everything. BD, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW and support for JPEG, GIF, PNG, DivX, AVCHD, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, VC-1, and DivX HD media formats. And that’s official. It can also bitstream and decode all audio formats, which is the NAD forte if you ask me – Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. Plus MP3 and WMA.
Over HDMI v1.3, it can handle 1080p Blu Ray at 60 Hz, and upscale DVDs to 1080p. But all that doesn’t set it apart. What does, is that it , as the company claims,“loads most Blu-ray discs in just a few seconds.” Combine that with an “Instant Open” feature that lets you eject your disc immediately, and last scene memory, and you have a Blu Ray player that’s managed to deal with a major Blu Ray hiccup – loading times and eject times. In addition, it can simultaneously play Standard and High Definition video.
It supports BD-Live 2.0 and playback over USB, and has picture in picture too. This one is a must-have for the audio-connoisseur, coming as it does from the NAD stable. And I mean that in more ways than one, because good looks are not one of its best qualities – the player reminds me of an amp, especially the kind NAD make. It will be available in 2″finishes” though – the default black, and a metallic grey. Price quoted at $599.