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Kogan Blu-ray player review: Kogan Blu-ray player

  • 1
Typical Price: $249.00
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The Good Multi-region for DVD and Blu-ray. Good playback quality.

The Bad No network port. Blu-ray 1.1 only. Region switching is fiddly.

The Bottom Line Kogan's budget-line Blu-ray player has excellent playback, and is even region free. At the same time, it's a player we could only recommend as a stopgap solution for multi-region buyers.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.7 Overall

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Note: when we originally reviewed the Kogan Blu-ray player we were unable to test the multi-region capability; those details and the recent price drop have been added to this updated review.

Design
There's not much to be said about the design of Kogan's Blu-ray player that you can't ascertain from the pictures above. Like many AV components, black abounds, and it's certainly not a petite unit, measuring in at 430x305x60mm. The remote control is a little busy, and has the classic problem of shaping the play, pause and related controls identically; with no backlighting this makes it easy to accidentally tap the wrong command from time to time.

We did notice when installing the Blu-ray player that the casing wasn't particularly strong and had a slight tendency to "bounce" inwards — it's basically a cheap composite plastic. That's not a killer flaw, given that most players will fit into a cabinet, but if you were planning on dumping things on top of it (not a wise idea for any player) it's something worth bearing in mind.

Features
Out of the box, the Kogan Blu-ray player supports the Blu-ray 1.1 profile for playback of standard Blu-ray discs, as well as DVD, CD and MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and AVI files. Audio support extends up to DTS-HD (reliant, of course, on your home theatre set-up).

You're covered on pretty much every front in regards to connection, from composite up to HDMI, although why anyone would connect a Blu-ray player via composite eludes us. You'll only get the full 1080p experience when connecting via HDMI, naturally enough, but a cable is not provided in the box. Kogan does sell them, which is probably why.

One feature that's largely unique amongst Blu-ray players to date that the Kogan offers is region-free playback — and allegedly not just for DVD, which some units do offer. The claim is that it'll handle Blu-ray discs no matter what region they're coded for.

Having given in terms of disc compatibility, though, it seems time to take something away. And that something is the lack of a network port. While it's not mandatory for a pre-Blu-ray 2.0 player to have one, the lack of a port makes it much tougher to apply any firmware upgrades. Kogan's web page for the player does claim that it's firmware upgradeable, but that would presumably have to be by self-burnt CD only.

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