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Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD

Universal 3D Blu-ray player

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD

by Marshall Chase
Cambridge Audio

Blu-ray Disc players — the ultimate picture and sound

Blu-ray players deliver a better picture to your HDTV than any other available source. In fact, Blu-ray's 1080p picture is a perfect match for the 1080p screens found on most current TVs. Blu-ray movies also offer the most precise and realistic surround sound you can get. These players do a terrific job with standard DVDs, too — you'll see a cleaner, clearer picture with every disc in your collection. Many Blu-ray players can connect to the Internet for watching online movies from Netflix® and other video services.

3D TV Learn more

Finally — a player that music and movie fans will applaud equally

The versatile Cambridge Audio 651BD can play just about every disc format on the market. Enjoy a gorgeous picture and thrilling surround sound from high-definition Blu-ray discs — plus watch the latest movies in 3D on your 3D TV. This player also does a superb job upconverting your standard DVDs to near-HD picture quality. And music lovers can explore the nuanced sonic richness of stereo and multichannel SACDs, and hear new depth and detail in regular CDs.

Dynamic sound and amazing high-def images

Blu-ray delivers immersive surround sound in addition to an outstanding picture, and the 651BD makes it easy to enjoy them equally. Just make a one-cable HDMI connection between this player and your receiver to hear compelling sound from Blu-ray movies with Dolby® TrueHD or DTS-HD™ Master Audio soundtracks — the most realistic surround sound ever heard in home theaters. There's even a tandem HDMI output to run to a second HDTV or video projector.

Built from the ground up for great performance

With the 651BD Cambridge Audio's UK design team has put together a component that will "wow" you. It's 24-bit/192kHz Cirrus-Logic digital-to-analog converters (DAC) deliver superior audio performance. Not only will you enjoy fantastic dynamics for movies, but your SACD and DVD-Audio discs will also feel right at home. Front- and back- panel USB ports as well as an eSata input deliver plenty of options for digital file playback. And when it's time for music alone, the 651BD offers a Pure Audio mode that turns off video processing to devote all resources to your tunes.

Picture quality? Our advice is simply to fasten your seat belt before pressing "play". Even your standard DVDs will get a breath of fresh air via the 651BD's Marvell Qdeo™ processor, making standard-def video virtually indistinguishable from HD-native films.

Solid Cambridge Audio design backed by a 2-year warranty

Vibration and noise can limit your Blu-ray player's performance, so Cambridge Audio engineered the 651BD to combat their negative effects. It sports a rigid chassis with a clean internal layout that isolates critical circuits to minimize noise. You can count on top-quality picture and sound with every disc you play, for years to come.

Key Features:

  • plays standard and 3D Blu-ray discs, SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, DVDs, and CDs
  • front- and rear- panel USB ports play MP3 and WMA audio files
  • eSATA port for connecting an external hard drive
  • 7.1-channel preamp output for connection to a compatible non-HDMI receiver or amplifier
  • remote control
  • plays Region A Blu-ray discs and Region 1 DVDs
Technical Specs:
  • selectable video output resolution up to 1080p (via HDMI output only)
  • selectable 720p/1080i/1080p video upconversion for DVD via HDMI
  • HDMI version 1.4a for 3D video, Deep Color, x.v.Color, High-Bit-Rate Audio, and HDMI-CEC control
  • 148.5MHz/12-bit video digital-to-analog converter
  • 192kHz/24-bit audio digital-to-analog converters for all channels
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • video outputs include composite video, component and 2 HDMI
  • analog component video output resolution may be limited when viewing copy-protected discs
  • audio outputs include stereo, multichannel, optical and coaxial digital
  • Ethernet port for downloading BD-Live bonus material
  • RS-232 port for connection to an external control system
  • IR input for remote repeater systems
  • detachable power cord
  • 16-15/16"W x 3-7/16"H x 14-1/4"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Surround Sound Decoding
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Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby TrueHD
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio
3D Capable
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Yes
Internet Movie Streaming
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N/A
DLNA Certified
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No
Smartphone App Control
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No
DVD Video Upconversion
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720p, 1080i, 1080p
Multibrand Remote
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No
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Compatibility
CD-R Capable
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Yes
CD-R/W Capable
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Yes
MP3 Playback
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Yes
WMA Playback
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Yes
SACD Playback
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Stereo
Multi-channel
DVD-Audio Playback
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Yes
Outputs
Digital Optical Output
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1
Digital Coaxial Output
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1
HDMI Outputs
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2
HDMI Version
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1.4a
Ethernet Ports
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Yes
Analog Audio Outputs
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7.1ch
1080p Video Output
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Yes
Component Video Outputs
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1
RS-232C Port
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Yes
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single disc Blu-ray player
  • Remote control (RC-651/751BD)
  • 59" AC power cord
  • Three "AAA" batteries
  • Software Restore Blu-ray disc
  • User's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Disc Compatibility
Video Features
Audio Features
USB/Internet Functions
Convenience Features
Remote Control

Disc Compatibility

Disc Compatibility: The Cambridge Audio 651BD Blu-ray disc player is compatible with many disc types:

Disc Type Disc Description
Blu-ray BD, BD-3D, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE
DVD DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-Audio
CD CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, HDCD, SACD

Note: This unit supports the playback of both NTSC & PAL encoded discs.

Blu-ray Disc Overview: Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a new high-definition disc format designed to take advantage of today's high quality HDTVs. The resolution is up to 1920 x 1080 (1080p) and the data transfer rate is up to 54 mbps. Blu-ray Disc discs and players offer several advantages over the standard DVD format:

  • Better Picture Quality: Blu-ray Disc is a true high-definition format offering video at 720p, 1080i, or 1080p resolution. While standard DVDs look very good on an HDTV, they don't provide a high-definition signal (not even when you use an up-converting DVD player). Blu-ray Disc delivers an extraordinarily sharp, clean, detailed picture, with deeper, richer colors.
  • Better Sound Quality: In addition to the same multi-channel sound formats you're accustomed to with DVD (Dolby Digital and DTS), Blu-ray Disc offers Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, and uncompressed 7.1 channel PCM.
  • Greater Storage Capacity: What makes Blu-ray Disc's superior picture and sound possible is the much higher storage capacity of Blu-ray Disc discs. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25 gigabytes of data, over five times the amount a standard DVD can hold. Dual-layer Blu-ray Discs hold 50 gigabytes, which equates to nine hours of High Definition or 23 hours of Standard Definition video, plus high-resolution multi-channel audio and the added features and material that require multiple discs with standard DVD.
  • Backward Compatible: To ensure backward-compatibility with your existing library of discs, Blu-ray Disc players use a dual-laser mechanism: a blue laser for playing high-definition Blu-ray Discs, and a conventional red laser for playing DVDs and audio CDs.

Note: Like DVD, BD uses region codes. The region code on your disc must match the region code on your player, otherwise the disc will not play. The 651BD is Blu-ray region A and DVD region 1. Blu-ray Disc uses the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) to prevent unauthorized recording of copyrighted

Firmware Updates: As Blu-Ray technology continues to evolve, new disc types with enhanced functionality will become available. In order for you to enjoy this new functionality, you will likely be required to update the firmware in your player. These firmware updates will become available for downloading from the Internet, via the player's Ethernet port.

Note: The tested Blu-ray player contained firmware version 751BDCU-10-0721 and required an immediate firmware version update (as of 7/12/2012). Visit Cambridge Audio's Support Site for the latest firmware updates.

AVCHD Playback: The 651BD will play home videos recorded in AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), a high definition digital video camera format used to record in high definition or standard definition on DVD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW discs. AVCHD can also be played from a USB flash memory device connected to the front panel port.

SACD: Super Audio CD use a technology called Direct Stream Digital (DSD) to convert music into a digital signal that can be stored on a disc. Compared to the traditional PCM method (the technology used for CD), DSD offers a much higher resolution by following more closely the original waveform of music. With a frequency response of over 100kHz and a dynamic range over 120dB across the audible frequency range - some 64 times higher resolution then CD - Super Audio CD offers music reproduction that reveals details you just cannot hear on a normal CD.

DVD Audio: DVD Audio is a digital audio format that delivers high-fidelity audio content on a DVD disc. DVD-Audio supports bit depths up to 24-bit and sample rates up to 192 kHz, while CD audio is only 16-bit, 44.1 kHz. Compared to CD audio discs, DVD Audio offers considerable more music storage, higher audio quality, and additional audio channels for surround sound. DVD-Audio offers many possible configurations of audio channels (up to 5.1-channel surround sound).

HDCD: HDCD is a variation of the existing CD standard. By extending the information stored in the CD signal by 4-bits (CDs are based on 16-bit audio technology) to 20-bits, HDCD can extend the sonic capacity of current CD technology to new standards.

Kodak Picture CD: This unit can also play JPEG files stored on a Kodak Picture CD; you can enjoy pictures on the television by playing back the CD.

MP3/WMA Playback: The Cambridge Audio Blu-ray player will play MP3/WMA audio files written to CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, and DVD+R/RW discs.

Video Features

Video Outputs: The Cambridge Audio 651BD is equipped with the following high-definition and standard definition video outputs.

  • Dual HDMI 1.4a Outputs: With twin HDMI outputs, the 651BD can deliver the same video signal to two display simultaneously. Both HDMI outputs are fully compatible with the HDMI 1.4 standard for 3D, Deep Color, &  xvYCC support. The HDMI outputs support 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p.
  • Component Video Output: The 651BD features one component video output, capable of passing a progressive scan signal or an interlaced video signal. The component video output supports 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i.
  • Composite Video Output: The Blu-ray disc player features one Composite video output that supports 480i.

1080p/24Hz Compatible: Movies are typically recorded on film with a frame rate of 24 frames per second. When a movie is transferred to Blu-ray Disc at 24 frames-per-second ,the 651BD will output that signal to the TV (if the TV will accept the 1080p/24 format) with no need for conversion.

Marvell QDEO Video Scaler: The primary HDMI output also features a high quality Marvell QDEO video scaler (DE2750) with motion adaptive noise reduction for quiet and natural video, free from noise and artifacts. As well as stunning performance with Blu-ray discs, the 651BD delivers unbeatable picture quality from existing DVDs, which can be up-scaled to 1080p resolution.

Note: Video up-conversion over the component output is only available for unencrypted discs such as home video and consumer-created contents. Most commercially pressed DVD discs are CSS-encrypted and will be limited to 480i/480p resolution. This restriction applies to the component output only. The HDMI output is protected with HDCP and has no such restriction.

Source Direct: The 651BD supports a special "Source Direct" output resolution on its HDMI output. This resolution is recommended for use with external video processors or high-end TVs with high quality scalers. In "Source Direct" mode, the player works as a "transport". It decodes video from the discs and then sends the raw video signal in its native resolution and format, without extra processing, to the external video processor or TV. The actual output resolution thus varies by content.

Content Output Resolution
NTSC DVD 480i
Blu-ray Movies 1080p/24Hz
Blu-ray TV Shows & Concerts 1080i
SACD or DVD-Audio 1080i

3D-Ready: The Cambridge Audio 651BD lets you enjoy 3D Blu-ray disc movies in full HD 1080p. 3D viewing requires compatible 3D content, 3D-ready HDTV, 3D emitter & glasses, and a high-speed HDMI cable (supporting at least 10.2 Gbps) connection. The Blu-ray player offer three 3D video output  modes.

  • Auto: Outputs 3D if supported both by the disc content and the display. The player automatically checks for the existence of 3D content on the disc and the 3D compatibility of the TV or projector. If both are qualified, the player sends 3D video from its HDMI output terminals, otherwise only 2D video is sent out.  3D-compatible glasses are required with your 3D TV.
  • Forced: Always outputs 3D video format for 3D Blu-ray discs. You might experience a black screen (no video output) if your TV is not 3D compatible.
  • Off: Always outputs 2D video format, even when 3D video exists on the disc. This can guarantee the video quality in case that your TV is not 3D compatible, or some necessary part (such as the 3D glasses) is missing.

Note: You can also set the diagonal screen size of your HDTV.

Deep Color: The HDMI output supports Deep Color, increasing the number of bits available for transmission, meaning more colors. This results in much greater color fidelity, smooth tonal transitions, and ultra-fine gradations between colors. It also enables many times more shades of gray, for higher contrast ratio.

xvYCC: xvYCC color space reproduces a greater range of color than before, showing almost all of the colors that the human eye can detect.

Aspect Ratio: Use this setting to select the screen format to fit your TV screen.

  • 16:9 Wide/Auto: 16:9 (widescreen) as well as 4:3 sources will be displayed in their native aspect ratio. Please note that in this mode 4:3 sources will be displayed with black borders on both sides to maintain the correct 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • 16:9 Wide: Select this screen when connected to a 16:9 widescreen TV set. The full picture will now normally be displayed with no picture cropping (unless the movie itself has black bars recorded into the video).
  • 4:3 Letter Box: You can select this screen when connected to a 4:3 TV set. The full widescreen picture is displayed on the screen with black strips on the top and bottom of the screen
  • 4:3 Pan & Scan: You can select this screen when connected to a 4:3 TV set. The widescreen picture will display on the full screen, but some parts of the video picture will be cut off automatically.

Picture Adjustment: You can adjust the player's picture control parameters and save up to three custom picture modes. You can adjust the following.

  • Brightness: Adjusts the brightness (black level) of the video output.
  • Contrast: Adjusts the contrast (white level ) of the video output.
  • Hue: Adjusts the hue (tint) of the video output.
  • Saturation: Adjust the saturation (color intensity level) of the video output.
  • Sharpness: Sets the images sharpness (Detail/Edge Enhancement) of the video output.
  • Noise Reduction: Applies video noise reduction processing to video output.
  • Color Enhancement: Enhances certain colors in the spectrum of the HDMI 1 video output.
  • Contrast Enhancement: Expands the details in the shadows on the HDMI 1video output.

Audio Features

24-bit/192kHz Cirrus Logic 8-Channel Audio DAC: A 24-bit/192kHz Cirrus Logic 8-channel audio DAC (CS4382A) and incredible attention to the design of audio circuits, ensure this Blu-ray player sounds truly amazing whether playing movies or music.

Digital Audio Formats: The latest surround-sound formats are supported including decoding of Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio in Stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 variants. In particular support for the true lossless Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio formats provides unprecedented audio fidelity from Blu-ray discs

Source Format HDMI Output Coaxial/Optical Output Analog
Bitstream LPCM Bitstream LPCM 2ch, 5.1ch, 7.1ch
LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 2ch
LPCM 5.1ch LPCM 5.1ch LPCM 5.1ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 5.1ch
LPCM 7.1ch LPCM 7.1ch LPCM 7.1ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 7.1ch
Dolby Digital Dolby Digital LPCM 5.1ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch 5.1ch
Dolby Digital Plus Dolby Digital Plus LPCM 7.1ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch up to 7.1ch
Dolby True HD Dolby True HD LPCM 7.1ch (24-bit/192kHz) Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch up to 7.1ch
DTS DTS LPCM up to 7.1ch DTS LPCM 2ch up to 7.1ch
DTS HD High Resolution DTS HD High Resolution LPCM up to 7.1ch DTS (core) LPCM 2ch up to 7.1ch
DTS HD Master Audio DTS HD Master Audio LPCM 7.1ch (24-bit/96kHz)
LPCM 2ch (24-bit/192kHz)
DTS (core) LPCM 2ch up to 7.1ch

Pure Audio Mode: You can enjoy higher quality audio by turning off the video processing and output. The Pure Audio mode reduces any potential interference between the video and audio signals

Audio Outputs: The Cambridge Audio 651BD is equipped with the following analog and digital audio outputs.

  • Analog Multi-Channel Audio Outputs: The 651BD offers a built-in Dolby Digital /DTS decoder with multi-channel analog outputs (7.1ch). In addition to the 7.1-channel analog outputs, the unit features a stereo audio output for connecting to a stereo analog input on a TV or receiver. Even when the source audio is multi-channel (Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-Audio, SACD), these jacks will output a downmixed 2-channel signal.
  • Digital Audio Output: This unit features a coaxial (RCA) and optical (toslink) digital audio output connection. The coaxial or optical digital audio output can be connected to an A/V receiver, amplifier, surround decoder (Dolby Digital, DTS), or other component. The digital audio outputs support transfer of Dolby Digital and/or DTS sound tracks, or down-mix surround bitstreams to 2-channel PCM audio.

Speaker Management: In the Speaker Management menu you can configure speaker settings such as down-mix mode, number of speakers, their distance, size, trim level, and crossover frequency.

  • Configuration: Choose from Down Mix (converts multi-channel audio to a lesser number of channels), LT/RT (the center and surround channels are decoded and then matrix encoded into the two front channels), Stereo (down-mixes multi-channel audio to 2-channel stereo), 5.1ch (enables 5.1ch decoded audio output), or 7.1ch (enables 7.1ch decoded audio output). 
  • Size: The speaker size parameter sets bass filter control for the speakers. Choose Large or Small for your speakers and On or Off for your powered subwoofer.
  • Crossover: When the speaker size is set to "Small", bass frequencies are not passed to the speakers to reduce possible distortion: bass frequencies will instead be redirected to the subwoofer. The available options are 40, 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 150, 200, and 250Hz.
  • Distance: The speaker distance parameters sets delay control for the corresponding audio channel. This delay is used to compensate for the audio propagation time difference caused by the placements of speakers of different distances from the listening position.
  • Trim: The speaker trim level parameters sets the volume of each individual channel. For most accurate results, it is recommended that you use test tones from a calibration disc, such as Digital Video Essentials HD Basics, and a SPL (Sound Pressure Level) meter. The trim level can be set to +/- 10dB in 0.5dB increments.

Dynamic Range Control (DRC): DRC can smooth out the sonic peaks and valleys common with wide-range digital audio. Enabling DRC may make low level audio more audible during low-level listening. Turning off DRC restores the sonic energy present in the original recording.

USB/Internet Functions

Ethernet (LAN) Port: The Cambridge Audio 651BD is fitted with a rear-panel R-J45 Ethernet port (10BASE-T/100BASE-TX) to connect to your home's network Broadband router/modem and the Internet. Connecting the player to the Internet will allow the player to access Bonus View & BD-Live Content, as well as obtain firmware updates.

Dual USB Ports: The Cambridge Audio 651BD is equipped with dual USB type-A ports (1 front/1 rear). Both USB ports support playback of audio (MP3/WMA), video (MPEG/), and photo (JPEG) files stored on a USB mass storage class device (such as a USB thumbdrive, portable HDD, and card reader). Supported USB devices must be formatted with FAT32 (File Allocation Table) or NTFS (new Technology File System).

E-Sata Port: The 651BD features a rear-panel E-sata port which allows you to insert an e-Sata drive loaded with digital music, movies and, photo files. To use the e-Sata port, an external power supply is needed to power up the e-Sata drive.

1GB Internal Memory: The Blu-ray player features a 1GB internal memory for store of Bonus View and BD-Live content.

Bonus View: The Bonus View feature provides picture-in-picture capability with select Blu-ray Disc titles. You can view additional content (such as director/actor commentary) in a small display window while the movie is playing. The necessary 1GB memory is built-in; more memory can be added via the front panel USB port.

BD-Live Ready: BD-Live technology allows you to download and stream bonus content such as additional scenes, shorts, trailers, movie-based games, and more using a broadband internet connection. The Cambridge Audio Blu-ray player features an Ethernet port to connect to the internet via your home network. The necessary 1GB memory is built-in; more memory can be added via the front panel USB port.

Convenience Features

Start Up/Play Back Time: The Cambridge Audio Blu-ray player has a start-up time of approximately 5.8 seconds. It takes approximately 37.1 seconds for a Blu-ray disc to begin playback.

Note: The Start Up/Play Back Time tests were started with the Blu-ray player initially turned off & in standby mode. The Start Up Time test was stopped when the player's Screen Saver appeared. The Play Back Time test was stopped when the Blu-ray disc began playback.

Acoustically Damped Chassis: Aesthetics and premium build quality are further strengths and Cambridge Audio's trademark wrap-around casework houses the 651BD's proprietary engineering within a low resonance, acoustically damped chassis.

On-Screen Display (OSD): The Cambridge Audio Blu-ray disc player incorporates an on-screen display menu system which makes various operations and menu selections visible on your connected television set. To view the OSD, you will need can connect either the HDMI, component, or composite video output to your television. 

Easy Setup Wizard: When the player is turned on for the first time, an Easy Setup Wizard screen will appear. This is a series of guided instructions designed to configure the basic settings for the unit.

Multi-Disc Resume: The player automatically remembers the current position for a disc when playback is interrupted. Operations such as Open/Eject or turning Power off will cause the player to save the current playing position for that disc. The position is memorized even after turning off the unit or changing the disc. When the next time the same disc is played back, the player will recognize the saved playing position. Playback will automatically resume from this saved position. However if you wish to cancel the automatic resume and start playback from the beginning, you may press the STOP button when prompted. The player can remember playback position for up to five discs. When the sixth disc is memorized, the oldest one is replaced.

Note: Some Blu-ray discs do not support resuming and will always play from the beginning.

Parental Controls: Some movies contain scenes that may not be suitable for children to view. Many of these discs contain parental control information that applies to the complete disc or to certain scenes on the disc. Movies and scenes are rated depending on the country. Some discs offer more suitable scenes as an alternative. Parental Control allows you to set a rating limit (DVD: Kid/G/PG/PG-13/PGR/R/NC17/Adult/Off, BD: 1-12), preventing your children from viewing inappropriate material. Playback will stop if the ratings exceed the levels you set, and it will require your to enter a 4-digit password before the disc will play back.

Remote Control

IR Remote Control: The Cambridge Audio 651BD includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the Blu-ray player. The remote can also be used to control basic functions (Power/Source/Volume) of a Cambridge Audio azur amplifier or AV receiver.

HDMI Control: When a TV supporting HDMI control is connected to the 651BD via an HDMI cable, it is possible to use the television's remote control to perform such operations as: power on/off, function switching, and volume adjustment.

IR Emitter In: The Blu-ray player's 3.5mm IR emitter input allows modulated IR commands from multi-room systems or IR repeater systems to be received by the 651BD.

RS232 Port: The player's RS232 port is used for control of the 651BD in custom install situations from an external controller. A full protocol is available for the 651 BD on Cambridge Audio's website.

 
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Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Cambridge Azur 641bd

Written By bill w., Lucama. nc on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
i've owned a lot of stereo quipment in my time....from the economical to the middle end. this is the first piece of Hi-end device i've ever owned. i'm really impresssed. just taking it out of the box made me smile, it weighed twice amuch other machines i have purchased. there are controls on the front and the remote is a pleasure to use, so far this machine hase worked flawless and has played all dvds as well as blu-ray....i love it
Pros:
easy simple controls. easy set up. excellent play back of all dvd and blu-ray
Cons:
none
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
3 out of 5

Great Blu ray player

Written By Davep100, North, SC on Saturday, March 22, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
To start off with I give this 5 stars as a blu ray player. I give it a 1 star as a CD player. This player is unmatched when it comes to picture and sound quality for both blu ray and DVD playback. But if you want to play CD's it has problems. It will play CD's through the HDMI cable to your receiver as long as you keep your TV on. Once you turn off the TV it will skip. Tried to play music through the Opti-cable. Works a little better but will still skip some. Crutchfield opened another player and tested it to play CD's and then sent it to me. I played a few CD's through it and played flawlessly. I put in a Blu ray movie and it played great. I then put a CD back in and it started skipping again. After playing a Blu ray disc it seems to do something with the firmware to this player that makes CD playback skip. I sent the second player back and kept my original player. Then I bought a stand alone CD player to play my CD's.(NAD 546) and not a skip to be heard. So once again great blu ray player if that is what you are going to use it for.
Pros:
Everything when it comes to Blu Ray and DVD.
Cons:
Not a good CD player
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5 out of 5

Cut above the rest!

Written By Mixcom, Bergen, New Jersey on Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
So, why would you spend $800 on a Blu-Ray player when you can find "Black Friday" sales with numerous models low as $35 bucks? The answer..would you prefer Grandma's 19 inch Black & White TV over a 50 inch LCD? Yeah the Cambridge Azur 651 is that good. I LOVE music, maybe more than movies. Listening to an SACD of Herbie Hancock's "Head Hunters" brought out details I'd never heard before. Highs, lows, cymbals, synthesizers... To hear the separation, warmness of the tracks and color went far beyond what I'd heard before from the Universal players I've had. Video is crisp, colorful without exaggeration and realistic. This is simply about build quality. The player loads lightening fast, offers all the options I need and is heavy! Cambridge put a lot of work into this player. This was my Christmas gift to myself and I'm completely happy! Oh; I use this player with a pair of Bowers & Wilkins Towers/Center/Sub, and a Anthem MRX Receiver.
Pros:
Fast load and play, Audio only mode that cuts video and puts everything into audio processing. Great picture. Heavy, solid build quality. SACD compatible.
Cons:
None I've run across as of yet!
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5 out of 5

the best ever

Written By Bobby, Dallas TX on Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Up-graded from a Sony. There is absolutely no comparison. The CAMBRIDGE is soooooo much better.

I have the AZUR 651 paired with a CAMBRIDGE 351R receiver. (also from Crutchfield) They work flawlessly together. Speakers: KLIPSH W-ICON 5.1 with an 8 inch HTD sub that is independently powered by a 100w B$O amp.

Everything is perfect and I would recommend this entire system.
Pros:
for the money spent this is a great system.
Cons:
NONE
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Very Satisfied.

Written By Mike D, Carrollton GA on Thursday, August 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I wanted a blu-ray player that also played SACD. My previous DVD player was a typical $100 machine that did not fit with my higher end components. I was wondering what more could a more expensive player give me and I was a little bit skeptical. When the 651BD arrived I knew it was something special. The care taken to package the player was a nice touch. When I removed it from the box, I was instantly impressed. This is a beautiful well built machine. Installation went well and when I pushed the open button, the tray motored out smooth and quiet and it closed with power and precision. I was blown away with how quickly it started playing a blu-ray movie. The setup menus are simple and easy to understand and the picture and sound were breathtaking. The controls were fast with no hesitation, again, impressive. After setting up the SACD audio to work through the 5.1 inputs of my receiver, I put in my Pink Floyd - Dark Side SACD disc. Wow, The audio on this player is phenomenal and I can't imagine anything sounding better. I thought that since the 651BD's audio is downgraded from the 751BDs' that I might be getting second rate sound quality. WRONG! This thing rocks! The music is as close to perfect as I would ever need. I thought the remote was nice. The button layout is simple, and I had no problem using it without a back-light and the popular buttons were easy to memorize. Rarely does a product exceed my expectations, but this purchase was worth every penny, nice!
Pros:
Build quality, Blu-ray speed, top rate SACD audio, 7.1 RCA outputs, and two HDMI outputs.
Cons:
Makes me want to spend even more for the 651 receiver.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

So far, very good.

Written By Dave, Staunton, VA on Monday, May 20, 2013
 
I bought this about three weeks ago to replace my Oppo BDP83 that died. Set up was very similar to the Oppo, pretty straightforward; the manual does a good job of telling you what to do. One big advantage this player has is that there are analog outputs for both the audio and video along with the usual HDMI outputs. This is one of the reasons I chose this player (I have an analog only Parasound Halo P7 processor).

The audio and video quality are excellent. My wife and I both feel that the audio, in particular, is clearer than it was with the Oppo.
Pros:
Excellent audio and video.
Cons:
No back-lighting on the remote control, which makes it difficult to use in the dark. Hard to believe such a nice player would lack this feature on its remote.
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5 out of 5

Cambridge Azur 651BD

Written By Matt, Greenwood, IN on Friday, June 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have had my 651BD for a week now and I must say that I love its picture and sound. I have paired it with my Cambridge Audio 650R receiver and hooked to my 73" Mitsubishi DLP WD737340 using Audio Quest Cinnamon HDMI cables along with my Cerwin Vega E 715, XLS 6C, and Bose 301 speakers and I used Audio Quest G2 speaker cable to connect them for the most wonderful sound and picture quality. I am completely happy with the Azur 651BD and I would definately recommend this to anyone looking for a quality blue ray player. It has great picture and sound qualty for both your blue rays aa well as your CD's.
Pros:
Great quality in a well designed unit. A wonderful addition to any system.
Cons:
Buttons are NOT back lite.
3 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Cambridge 651

Written By Jim F, Silver Spring MD on Monday, April 30, 2012
 
First let me say the audio quality that comes out of this unit is fabulous. I watched Lord of the Rings, Return of the King again on the 651 and heard sounds I have never heard before, as well as music with much greater depth and fidelity. The PQ is also excellent. I also have an Oppo 93 and the PQ is equal to that, not surprising since they share a great deal of DNA. They are quite similar in chip sets. Extremely well build, not like the toy players coming out now. Classy front build. All in all I am very happy. I was going to buy the Denon 2012 but read some mixed reviews on it and decided to go for the Cambridge. I believe the 751 has the same PQ but just more audio options. Well build and fantastic sound. PQ is excellent.
Pros:
Audio, picture qualities and very well built.
15 out of 15 people found this helpful
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