Yamaha BD-S671 review: Well built, with basic features
The Yamaha BD-S671 is a very well built Blu-ray player with a basic feature-set. It doesn't have the diverse range of Internet and video-on-demand gubbins that you can find in Blu-ray player from LG, Sony or Samsung (and Panasonic, to an extent), but it has some network capabilities and we can't fault its Blu-ray or DVD picture quality as well as its interface or design.
Yamaha BD-S671: Design, connectivity and setup
The Yamaha BD-S671 is designed to look good alongside the company's hi-fi receivers. It's very solidly built and doesn't have any gaudy design cues — its two-tone brushed metal and plastic face is complemented by four very sturdy-looking milled aluminium feet. Unlike a lot of players currently on the market, the BD-S671 doesn't shy away from putting several buttons on its front — there are easily visible and accessible play, pause, stop, fast forward, rewind, eject and power buttons on the Yamaha BD-S671's front.
Around the back of the device, a small range of audio, video and multimedia ports can be found. There's HDMI — our choice for its Full HD video playback and audio support, obviously — as well as composite and component video. Both coaxial and optical digital audio outputs are available to directly connect an A/V receiver. There's also an Ethernet port for DLNA media sharing of video, audio and picture files — that same content can also be played directly from the Yamaha BD-S671's rear USB 2.0 port.
You can control the Yamaha BD-S671 with an iPhone app — convenient if you lose your remote control. The Yamaha AV Controller app is a free download from the App Store, and its most useful feature is the ability to scroll through your PC or Mac's shared media library, select a movie and play it on your TV via the BD-S671.
Yamaha BD-S671: Performance
The Yamaha BD-S671 starts up reasonably quickly, hitting the main menu of our test Terminator: Salvation and The Dark Knight Blu-ray discs in under 30 seconds. DVD movies start in under 10 seconds — understandable due to their simpler nature. The interface of the Yamaha BD-S671 is clean and easy to navigate using the bundled remote control, which itself is clearly laid out.
The Yamaha BD-S671 is able to display all the detail available in 1080p Full HD Blu-ray movies. While there is really only a small amount of difference in the image quality of most Blu-ray players on the market — most use the same components, AV processing and output stages — it comes down to players' differing abilities to upscale DVD video to choose between them. The Yamaha BD-S671 does a good job; its upscaling tends to be sharp but without introducing any jagginess or blocky artefacts.
Yamaha BD-S671: Conclusion
The Yamaha BD-S671 is expensive, more so than the top-specced Sony BDP-S580. It's likely to appeal most to those who already have Yamaha hi-fi equipment or who like the brand. Its interface and picture quality are good and the iPhone app control is a nifty extra. Anyone looking for Internet-enabled video on demand should look elsewhere, though.