PAL and NTSC Progressive Scan, Meridian Lossless Packing to deliver 24-bit/96kHz multi-channel DVD-Audio and 24-bit/192kHz stereo DVD-Audio, built in 5.1 decoder, DVD-Audio, component video, RGB on Scart, composite/S-Video, downmix stereo out, Crystal CS4360 24-bit/192kHz multi-DAC, six 12-bit/54MHz video DACs, low-resonance and acoustically damped chassis, all-metal casework with a solid aluminium front panel, slim-line Azur remote control with aluminium top panel
This is a great dvd&cd player. I'm very impressed. Sounds and works and looks so much better than my old sony cdp-235 changer. The picture looks awesome, but I haven't had much time to compare it to other dvd players, i dont watch many movies. I mostly listen to cds on it and the sound is amazing. Great player for the price, better than anything esle under $1000. (I would love to own a accuphase dp 100 cdp &101 dac, will never have the money.)
I must say I wished I would have paid more attention to negative reviews.
I am on my 2nd Cambridge Audio 540D.The 1st blew a bass driver in my Montor Audio GR-20's. Audio Advisor sent me anothe unit as it was within their 30 day trial period.
This unit, whenever stopping, playing, chapter skipping etc, on some movies would cause a very loud pop in speakers.
The second 540D played flawlessly for the 1st 3 months. After that it started popping again durring chapter changes.
I called Audio Advisor and they informed me to contact Audio Plus , they are the North American Dist. Audio Plus advised me to send in unit for waranty work. They also mentioned they have never heard of this problem before.
I sent the unit back. I recieved an E mail statting they found no problems with unit.They went on to say it could be a compatibility issue with my Harmon Kardon 635 reciever.
( W H A T !!!!!!!)
After replacing 2 bass driver that this CA 540D destroyed, I'm here to let everyone know, since they don't tell you, that if you own a HK reciever you may exsperence compatibility issues with Cambridge Audio products. For that matter anything Audio Plus carries may have those " compatability" isues.
Although I paid $349 for the 540D origionaly I have had to spend another $240 for replacement drivers in my speakers, plus a few bucks to send it to Audio Plus.
Oh yes, Audio Plus advised me to hook the CA 540D to another reciever brand to see if problem persists. (I will be asking them to send me a couple speakers to exsperiment with. ) I cant afford no new speakers till after Christmas.
Oh yes and please read all the other reviews on this unit, good or bad.
I have owned the Cambridge Audio 540D for over 2 years and all I can say is that I have had none of the problems that anyone here has reported and it is a flawless performer in my opinion
Some reviewers have stated that piture quality on HDMI players is better but I cannot fault my picture quality, there is nothing that I can nit-pick or notice that looks out of place or looks irregular (I have an Infocus 5700 Projector on a 7 foot screen and sit 8 foot away so I can just see the pixels, no problems whatsoever)
The CD Audio is brilliant, I had this attached a ROTEL 1066 and TagMcLaren 250Rx3 amplifier (which I have sold and am very sorry that I did) and all my music came to life and had my girlfriend begging to listen to more Dave Matthews over and over again!
This is the budget player of choice for me - I can hardly even say it is a budget player because it performs like a champ!
I've had SOO many DVD players. Started with Sony, moved to Pioneer Elite, migrated back to Sony again until I fell upon the Marantz DV-18Mk2. The Marantz in late 1997 was THE BEST DVD player for $1000! I was impressed with the Marantz in all conditions, especially with my old Sony XBR CRT 36inch monitor!
Recently I got into video Projectors and DLP technology. The Marantz was just not keeping up. The interlaced component video output and chip set were old for the time. I finally decided to "bite the bullet" and get a NEW DVD player.
What I was looking for in a player was one that was unique, had a great chip set, good D/A converters + I needed Multi-Region decoding! So instead of buying 2 machines, one HIGH-END unit and one cheap POS for Multi-region, I decided to get the 540D. I know it does not have THE BEST MPEG motion decoder. I know it has a plain and simple mechanic block, but in reality does my $1400 doller projector need a better source?
The 540D is an impressive little unit. Made entirely over-seas, the little unit immediatly pleases me with the $349 retail price tag and kool box! The packaging is great for such a cheap unit and the initial setup was simple and the unit just works out of the box!
- Positive Features:
The immediate feature set is astounding! On-Remote Progressive/Interlaced switch. On-Remote PAL/NTSC switch. I can watch NTSC Disks in PAL 25fps in Progressive scan! I can also watch Region 2 DVD's in NTSC upconversion from 25fps! So the unit is pretty darn kool! I also love how FAST the unit is, chapter searches and scans are VERY fast and super clean. Very huge difference over any DVD player I've ever used.
The picture quality is BETTER, but not THE BEST. I've used tru High Def sources on my Projector before and this DVD player lacks some of the luster of a TRU HD source because of course its 480p and not 720p or 1080p. BUT on DVD's like "The Incrediables" the picture quality really shows out. Rich deep blacks, correct colors and NO interlacing lines! Motion is extremely smooth and I've yet to see ANY artifacts after watching 200+ movies since I've owned it. I'd rate the picture quality 1 - 100 at around 75, which is VERY good for a $349 unit!
The Analog audio quality is very good. They are using excellent 192/24bit D/A converters on the audio side. You can't get a better CD player under $349 then what this unit does! Of course the Dolby Digital and DTS audio is perfectly fine. I've not heard any issues.
- Daily Use
The player does not allow you to bypass any initial dvd menu's like my Marantz did. You have to hit the next chapter button a bunch to get into the main menu on most disks. This is a bit annoying since my marantz would skip past all of Hardware locked sections of ANY DVD! The other annoying thing is the remote control. It feels good in you hand, the buttons are in ok position, BUT you can't use the dam thing when its dark! Every button has the same feel, same look, so unless you memorize where the buttons are in relationship too each other, your kinda screwed. Also, the IR system they are using is bogus. New batteries and all, the remote needs to be directly pointed at the DVD player for it to work. This is a problem when the DVD player is behind you! My theory is simple though, the $3000 Denon DVD Player with all the bells and whistles does not do multi-region decoding OR PAL/NTSC! So, I can deal with some minor issues with such a cheap unit. The DVD player menu's are fine, easy to get around, nothing really there to select. The DVD player automatically does 99% of what you need to do and everything else is on the remote control as a button. Its fantastic to not use the DVD players system menu to select PAL/NTSC!
- Final Thoughts
For $349, go get one NOW! Don't think, don't call anybody, just go get one! I have been 100% happy with this player, even despite its issues, its performance is excellent for a budget! If this unit were available at Best Buy, it would sell 1000's a month and nobody would complain! Because its a HIGH-END unit, there are complaints. Sure the early units had problems, but my unit has served me for almost a year and I love it!
BUT: If somebody were to come out with a Multi-Region DVD player for around $1000 that had EVERYTHING the 540D has + a 90%+ picture quality and better audio quality, I'd jump the boat and get one. Sadly, nobody make such unit. You have to spend OVER $2000 to get such a great unit!