Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Photo Profile

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Included Accessories. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Harman Kardon BDP1 is the first Blu-ray Disc Player from Harman Kardon. The BDP1 plays Blu-ray Discs at full 1080p resolution via  HDMI output. This player is also compatible with standard DVDs and most recordable DVD formats, and audio CDs. Both 1080p upscaling for standard DVDs and onboard decoding or undecoded bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD is provided via the HDMI output. The BDP1 adheres to Blu-ray Profile 2.0 specifications, and as an added bonus, the front mounted USB port provides for access to both BD-Live memory expansion and still images, music, and video files stored on USB Flash Drives.

After looking through this photo gallery, also check out my Short and Full Reviews, as well as a sampling of Video Performance Tests.

To start off this photo profile of the Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc player is a look at the overhead front view of the player with the accessories that are included in the box.

Starting on the left is the detachable power cord and wireless backlit remote control, while on the right are set of analog AV cables, an HDMI cable, and the user manual.

The features of the BDP1 include:

1. Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) functionality with 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 Resolution output capability via HDMI 1.3a audio/video output.

2. Playback Compatibility: BD-Video, DVD, AVCHD, CD, CD-R/RW/MP3, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL.

3. 720p, 1080i, 1080p output via HDMI connection (adaptable to DVI- HDCP).

4. DVD 480i to 480p deinterlacing and upscaling to 720p, 1080i, or 1080p via HDMI output.

5. Additional video outputs: Component video (up to 1080i for Blu-ray, 480p for DVD) and Composite (up to 480i only).

6. Onboard decoding and bitstream output provided for all surround sound formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

7. Front mounted USB port for BD-Live memory expansion and digital photo, video, and music content access via flash drives.

8. Backlit Wireless remote control and easy-to-use on-screen menu interface.

9. Ethernet port for internet access via home network for BD-Live access and direct firmware update downloads.

10. Remote IR input/output for combined control with other components.

For a closer look at the front panel of the BDP1, proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a front view of the BDP1. As you can see the front panel is very sparse. On the left side of the front panel are the on/off standby button and the disc loading tray. The center of the front panel is occupied by the LED status display and basic transport controls, while on the far right is a USB port. For a closer look at the controls and USB port, proceed to the next photo...

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Controls and USB Slot

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Controls and USB Slot
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View with Controls and USB Slot. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is an extreme close-up photo of the controls and connections located on the front of the BDP1. As you can see, there are only an eject, play, stop, reverse, forward, and resolution setting buttons. These buttons are also accessible on the provided remote control, as well as all other functions not placed here. It is important to remember not to lose your remote as you cannot access any menu setup functions from the front panel of the BDP1.

The USB port on the far right is provided to allow access to photo, music, and video content stored on flash drives. In addition, the USB port is also used to expand the memory capacity of the BDP1 for accessing BD-Live features that are available on a growing number of Blu-ray Disc releases.res that are available on a growing number of Blu-ray Disc releases.

Proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a look at the rear panel of the Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc player. The connections are clustered on the left side, while on the far right is the fan, the master on/off power switch, and the AC power input (removable power cord provided). The main power switch must be on in order to access the unit on/off function on the front panel or the remote control.

For a detailed close-up look at the video and audio connections of the BDP1 proceed to the next photo in this gallery.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown in this photo is a close-up of the connections on the rear panel of the Harman Kardon BDP1.

Starting on the left are wired remote in/out connections. This is for connecting remote IR sensors/repeaters/blasters to the BDP1. You can also "daisy chain" several compatible components together using these connections for access via one remote sensor.

Moving right are two analog video output options. The yellow connection is the Composite or standard analog video output. The other output shown is Component Video output. This consists of Red, Green, and Blue connectors. These connectors plug into the same type of connectors on a TV, Video Projector, or AV receiver.

If you have an HDTV, don't use the composite video output. Also, although the component video connections can output progressive scan video, they can only output upscaled video for non-commercial homemade DVDs. Only use the component video connections if you do not have a DVI or HDMI input on your TV. If your TV does not have DVI, HDMI, or Component video input connection options, then you will not be able to view video content from Blu-ray Discs in its high definition form. It would not be justified to purchase a Blu-ray Disc player in this case.

Moving to the right of the composite and component video outputs is a set of analog stereo outputs (red and white). Only use this output if your receiver does not have any other type of audio input. It must also be noted that the BDP1 does not have 5.1 or 7.1 channel analog audio outputs.

Moving to the right of the analog AV outputs are both Digital Coaxial and Digital Optical audio outputs for connection to a home theater receiver. However, if you have a home theater receiver with audio access via HDMI, that would be preferred.

Moving to the right is the HDMI connection. HDMI allows you to access the 720p, 1080i, 1080p upscaled images from standard commercial DVDs. The HDMI connection passes both Audio and Video. This means on TVs with HDMI, you only need one cable to pass audio and video to the television, or through an HDMI receiver with both HDMI video and audio accessibility. If your TV has a DVI-HDCP input instead of HDMI, you can use an HDMI to DVI Adapter cable to connect the BDP1 to a DVI-equipped HDTV, however, DVI only passes video, a second connection for audio is needed.

On the far right is the Ethernet (LAN) port. This allows connection to a high-speed internet router for access Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) content associated with some Blu-ray Discs as well as allowing direct download of firmware updates.

Proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View Open

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View Open
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Front View Open. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Pictured on this page is a photo of the inside workings of the BDP1, as seen from the front of the player. As you can see, the majority of the internal space is empty, there is definitely more empty space in the BDP1 that in most other Blu-ray Disc players I have reviewed.

Without getting into technical specifics, on the left side of the photo, is the Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD disc drive, and, behind that, is the Power Supply section (brown board). Just to ​the right of the power supply board is the audio/video processing board.

For a look at the interior as shown from the rear of the BDP1, proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View Open

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View Open
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear View Open. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Pictured on this page is a photo of the inside workings of the BDP1, as seen from the rear of the player. The amount of empty space is even more pronounced in this view than in the previous photo.

Without getting into technical specifics, on the left side of the photo, is the audio/video processing board, while on the right side is the Power Supply section (brown board) and the Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD disc drive. The long cabling between AV and Power Supply board and the front panel are for the indicator lights and controls located on the front panel. Also, the long cable on the far left leading ​from the AV board to the front panel connects the AV board and USB port.

For a look at the remote control provided with the Harman Kardon BDP1, proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Remote Control

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Remote Control
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Remote Control. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Pictured on this page is a close-up view of the wireless remote control for the BDP1.

Starting at the top of ​the remote are separate buttons for "on" and "off", with a Disc Eject button placed in-between. Also in this section, going down the left side (below the "on" button), are Dimmer (the remote is backlit), Disc Menu (for DVDs) and Menu Return, while on the right side are buttons for Status, Pop-up/Title Menu (for Blu-ray), and Find.

Located just below the Eject button are the onscreen menu navigation buttons, and, below that, are the disc transport buttons.

On the bottom half of the remote are less used functions, such as Repeat, Audio, Subtitle, Angle, PIP, PIP Audio (for Blu-ray), and well as the Direct Access chapter keys, and the Backlight on/off button.

Also, it is important to note that since very few functions can be accessed on the Blu-ray Disc player itself, don't lose the remote.

As I have mentioned, the BDP1 remote control has a backlight function, which makes it much easier to use in a darkened room than a non-backlit remote. Check out a photo of the BDP1 remote when the Backlight is activated.

For a look at the onscreen menu functions of the Harman Kardon BDP1, proceed to the next series of photos.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Media Launcher

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Media Launcher
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Media Launcher. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a photo of the starting point of the onscreen Media Launcher menu system after you power up the BDP1 and either insert a disc or USB flash drive.

If you want to play a disc, go to the disc icon.

If you want to access the contents of a USB flash drive, go the USB option.

If you want to perform player setup functions, go to the Setup option.

For some other menu examples, proceed to the next series of photos.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Audio Setup Menu

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Audio Setup Menu
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Audio Setup Menu. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a look at the Audio Setup Menu for the Harman Kardon BDP1.

There are three categories: Digital Output, PCM Downsampling, and Dynamic Range Control.

The Digital output settings allow the user change the digital audio output settings.

The PCM 7.1 setting allows the BDP1 to internally decode all audio formats and output the uncompressed audio signal via HDMI to a compatible home theater receiver.

The Bitstream Native settings send all audio signals undecoded so that they can be decoded by a compatible home theater receiver.

The DTS Transcoded option is used when the user wants access to both the main Blu-ray Disc soundtrack in combination with a supplementary commentary or other type of soundtrack. In this case, whether the originating audio is Dolby Digital-based or DTS-based, the BDP1 combines and converts and combines both the main and secondary soundtracks to standard DTS 5.1.

The PCM Stereo option is used if you have the audio output of the BDP1 connected directly to a TV using only analog stereo connections.

If you are using either Digital Optical or Digital Coaxial audio connections between the BDP1 and a home theater receiver, the PCM Downsampling function is used to match the digital audio bitrate output to the input capabilities of the home theater receiver you are using.

The Dynamic Range Control is used to either widen or narrow the distance between loud and soft passages in a soundtrack. In other words, when activated, loud passages can be made softer, and softer passages ​can be made louder.

Proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Display Menu

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Display Menu
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - Display Menu. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a look at the Display menu for the Harman Kardon BDP1. This menu provides options that determine now your images are displayed on your TV screen.

Depending on the shape of the TV screen you have (or your personal preferences), the Aspect Ratio setting provides several choices as seen here. If you have a 16x9 HDTV, use either the 16x9 Full (all images are either letterboxed or fill the screen - 4x3 images will have shape distortion) or the 16x9 Pillarbox (4x3 images will have bars on the left and right side of the image) options. If you have a TV with a 4x3 aspect ratio, use 4x3 letterbox for correct display of widescreen images. I would avoid using 4x3 Pan/Scan as it will not properly display widescreen images on a 4x3 TV.

The resolution setting allows you set the output resolution to your preference. However, if you are using an HDTV with HDMI, the BDP1 can automatically detect the resolution capability of your TV and adjust accordingly.

Color Space only affects HDMI. The best thing to do is leave in its default position: x.v.Color.

Film Mode allows the user to set the BDP1 for 1080p/24 frame rate output. Your TV must be 1080p/24 compatible to use this setting. For 1080p/24 output set to ON.

The Screen Saver can be activated to prevent "burn-in" effects on TVs that are susceptible.

Proceed to the next photo.

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Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - USB Navigation Menu

Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - USB Navigation Menu
Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc Player - USB Navigation Menu. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

If you insert a USB flash drive into the BDP1, you can access compatible music, pictures, or videos stored on the drive by using this navigation menu provide on the BDP1.

For a complete look at how to navigate the features and onscreen menu functions of the Harman Kardon BDP1, you can download the complete User Manual.

Final Take

The BDP1 provides very good detail and contrast, as well as acceptable black levels with Blu-ray Disc playback. However, there was a slight oversaturation of Blues and Red/Orange when compared to the other Blu-ray Disc players used for reference.

With regards to more technical testing, the BDP1 passed most of the tests on the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD, which measures DVD video performance with regards to video processing and upscaling.

The test results revealed that the BDP1 does good to very good with progressive scan (3:2 pulldown), jaggie elimination (both rotating line and flag waving tests), detail, motion adaptive processing, and moire pattern detection and elimination. One the other hand, the BDP1 did not do well in suppressing video noise and did not process some of the video field/frame cadence tests well.

On the audio side, the BDP1 offers both complete onboard audio decoding and undecoded bitstream output for compatible home theater receivers. However, the lack of 5.1 or 7.1 channel analog audio outputs does limit audio connectivity with non-HDMI equipped home theater receivers.

In terms of audio performance with the available connection options, the BDP1 delivered excellent audio performance on both Blu-ray and DVD soundtracks, and also from audio-only CDs. I noticed no audio artifacts that could be attributed to the BDP1.

Also, the inclusion of a front USB port, Backlit Remote Control, an easy-to-use onscreen menu system, and an easy-to-read and understand user manual are all worthy consumer-friendly features. However, unlike an increasing number of Blu-ray Disc players in its price range, there is no internet audio or video streaming available from services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, or Rhapsody.

Taking all into consideration, I give the Harman Kardon BDP1 Blu-ray Disc player rating of 3.5 Stars out of 5.

For additional perspective on the Harman Kardon BDP1, also check out my Short and Full Reviews, plus some Video Performance Tests.

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