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Haier HEC BDP100 Network Blu-ray Disc Player - Product Review

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Page 2 - Evaluation and Final Take

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Dual View

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Dual View

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Video Performance

The BDP100 provided a well-balanced image with very good detail, color, contrast, and black levels with Blu-ray Disc playback. This was confirmed on several Blu-ray Disc examples. Examples of excellent detail and color reproduction were the Blu-ray Disc of Transporter 3 with the close-ups of Jason Statham and the heavily freckled face of his co-star Natalya Rudakova and the sequins and confetti detail contrasting with on-stage lighting on the Shakira - Oral Fixation Tour disc. In another example of very good color, contrast, and detail is the opening bank robbery scene contrasted with the many night scenes in the The Dark Knight and the colorful production design of the day and night scenes in Red Cliff.

With regards to more technical testing, the BDP100 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 BDP100 does well on most of the film and video cadences tested, including progressive scan (3:2 pulldown), jaggie elimination, detail, motion adaptive processing, and moire pattern detection and elimination. On the other hand, the BDP100 could use some improvement in suppressing background video noise.

Also the BDP100 did not have a problem converting HDMI to DVI. Using the BDP100 with a DVI input on the Westinghouse LVM-37w3, which required the HDMI output of the BDP100 to be converted to DVI to make the connection, there was no problem with recognition. Also, rerunning the HQV tests, no detectable performance difference was detected.

Audio Performance

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Rear Panel Connections

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
On the audio side, the BDP100 offers onboard audio decoding, as well as undecoded bitstream output for compatible home theater receivers.

In terms of audio performance, The BDP100 delivered good audio performance on both Blu-ray and DVD soundtracks When playing standard DVDS, CDs. I noticed no audio artifacts that could be attributed to the BDP100.

The BDP100 produced very good surround imagery and vocal presence in movie soundtracks, such as the opening battle scene in Master and Commander (DVD) which features a very directional surround field filled with cannon fire and wood splintering, as well as the dynamic soundtracks in Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and War of the Worlds (2005) (Blu-ray), and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (DVD).

In terms of standard 2-channel CD playback, Heart's Magic Man, with its distinctive bass slide to the extreme low end was accurate. Also the bass heavy recordings from Sade's Soldier of Love were not lost on the BDP100. The dynamic range and detail in Norah Jones' Don't Know Why, and the depth and soundstaging Joshua Bell's recording of West Side Story Suite were also very good.

The BDP100 demonstrated versatility as both a very good Blu-ray Disc and DVD player and also a CD player.

USB Content Access

In addition, I was also able to not only access video, image, and music files from a flash drive but I was also able to navigate and play music files stored on an iPod (2GB iPod Nano) when connected to the BDP100's USB port. There is no information in user manual regarding iPods, so compatibility with all iPods may not may not be guaranteed.

Connected Menu (Internet Streaming)

Using the oncscreen connected menu, the user can access either Netflix movies (Netflix subscription required) or Pandora Internet Radio. Note: According to Haier, access to CinemaNow content is expected to be available sometime in October 2010.

Playing the available content is easy, but you need a good high-speed internet connection. In my area, my broadband speed is only 1.5mbps which results in some video playback buffering issues, however, audio streams worked just fine.

It must be noted that there is a lot of variation in the video quality of the streamed content, ranging from low-res compressed video that is hard to watch on a large screen to high-def video feeds that look more like DVD quality or slightly better. Even the 1080p content streamed from the internet will not look quite as detailed as 1080p content played directly from a Blu-ray Disc.

What I liked about the BDP100

1. Very good Blu-ray Disc Video Playback and DVD upscaling.

2. Access to Netflix and Pandora online content.

3. USB port for expanding BD-Live memory and/or accessing video, still image, and music files via a flash drive.

4. Very compact size makes its a good candidate for traveling or for use in an outdoor home theater setup.

5. Very affordable price point.

What I didn't like about the BDP100:

1. Slow disc load times.

2. External memory needeed for access to BD-Live functions.

3. No 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio outputs.

4. No WiFi

5. Remote Control not backlit.

Final Take

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Remote Control

Haier HEC BDP100 Blu-ray Disc Player - Remote Control

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Haier HEC BDP100 is a very interesting Blu-ray Disc player. The first thing you notice is how small this player is, less than half the size of a typical home Blu-ray Disc player. However, despite its diminutive size, the BDP100 performs very well as a Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and CD player. Its DVD upscaling capabilities are actually better than some more expensive units.

On the other hand, the BDP100 cuts corners in connectivity (no Component video, Digital Optical, or 5.1/7.1 channel audio output options), as well as offering only limited internet streaming options (just Netflix and Pandora). However, CinemaNow is expected to be available later via a firmware update).

However, despite some connection and feature shortcomings, I must say that really enjoyed using this player, and wanted to make note that its compact size is great for taking to a friend's or relatives house, or even taking Blu-ray entertainment on the road in an RV. In fact, this player may work well as a second Blu-ray Disc player for complementing an outdoor home theater setup for the Summer.

As a final point, I always mention there are idiosyncrasies that can come up with specific disc releases that may affect playback or menu navigation. It is important to check for periodic firmware updates, which can be accessed directly by the player using its Ethernet connection or downloaded on a PC and save to disc or USB flash drive.

For a more detailed look at the Haier HEC BDP100, also check out my Photo Gallery and Video Performance Text Results.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
haier blu-ray player, Member tbrandhub

I recently purchased this player on-line from ABC Warehouse.They had an on-line special and was able to get the player for $29.99!!Player is very straight forward and simple to operate.Very nice picture even with regular dvd's.Has a on-screen menu that is very user freindly.Would totally recommend this to anyone especially for the price!

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