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CNET First Look
Philips BDP5506We wouldn't recommend the Philips BDP5506 over competing Blu-ray players.
-Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and we're gonna take a look at the Philips BDP5506 Blu-ray player, which currently selling for about $165. Philips usually has some pretty unique designs on its products, but this is a generic looking Blu-ray player. The front panel buttons are all touch sensitive. There's a glossy black finish and a USB port on the front. We like the menus or interface, which simple and straightforward, but once you access the streaming media features, it gets more cluttered. The icons are relatively small and there are plenty of pillar services that just kind of get in the way. You will also notice what while there are some important services that we care about like Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora, Philips doesn't have many of the premium content sources that competitors do like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, MLB. TV. On the plus side, the BDP5506 does have built in Wi-Fi, so you don't need Ethernet in your living room to use this friendly services. The standout feature of this player is supposed to be Philips media connect, which allows you to stream whatever is displayed on your laptop directly to the Blu-ray player. It's an interesting idea, but we found it difficult to setup and overall it wasn't that useful especially when competing Blu-ray players have so many streaming media services built right into the player. We also put the player through image quality test and we were surprised to find that the Philips failed quite a few of our basic tests. We saw artifacts and jaggies on standard film based movies like Mission Impossible and Sunshine, and it's the first player we've tested this year to fail this test. The same kind of issue showed up on DVD playback. So, if you care about image quality at all, we go at a different player. Overall, with all of its competitors offering better image quality and more streaming media services, there's just not a good reason to pick the BDP55 over better alternatives. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Philips BDP5506.