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Harman Kardon releases its first Blu-ray player

Harmon Kardon is releasing its first Blu-ray player, the BDP 1, but its relatively high price and lack of advanced features keep it a step behind the competition.

Editors' note: This blog originally speculated that the Harman Kardon BDP 1 may not have onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio, due to the original spec sheet that was released. Since publication, Harman Kardon has confirmed that the BDP 1 can, in fact, decode DTS-HD Master Audio.

Harman Kardon has long been a respected brand for AV receivers, but the company hasn't stepped into Blu-ray until now. The BDP 1 ($500 list price) is Harman Kardon's first Blu-ray player, and it has a basic feature set, eschewing the streaming media services that are becoming common on other players.

It's Profile 2.0 compliant, so it can take advantage of BD-Live features on some Blu-ray movies, and it also has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Although the BDP 1 covers the Blu-ray basics, it's going to have an uphill battle against the competition at the $500 price point. For example, the LG BD390 is available for $400 and offers all the same functionality, plus Netflix streaming, YouTube access, built-in 802.11N Wi-Fi, 7.1 analog audio outputs, 1GB onboard storage, and extensive file format support. Unless you gotta have the Harman Kardon styling, we can't see too many reasons to go with the BDP 1 over the alternative options.