Blu-Ray player with 7 channel-out needed (maybe)


Established Member
Advice needed please. Current DVD player (Arcam 139) is broken – won't play DVDs. I have a PS3 so got some BRDs to try out. Now I am grumpy because I feel I'm missing out on the HD Audio. Processor is an Arcam AV8, so should I be lookingfor a Blu-Ray player with-built in decoder and analogue output? Any recommendations for something sensiblypriced? The Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD can be had for £350 these days – would that be a good idea or is there something newer/better/cheaper? I'm not bothered about smart-related stuff as Ihave a media PC plugged into the TV.

Alternatively, do I think about replacing the AV8 withsomething that supports HDMI so I have a wider choice of players? There is no specific budget, other than ascheap as possible to get the job done.

Or is HD audio not worth bothering about?
Last edited:


Standard Member
CA 651BD is a fantastic choice in your case.
For its price of 350 pounds it can play almost everything: BD, DVD-V, DVD-A, CD, SACD, Hi-Res (FLAC & WAV up to 24/192, APE up to 24/96), BDMV folders, mkv up to profile '5.0 High' and so on.
Besides, it plays iso images of BD, BD3D, DVD-V, DVD-A on firmware from Sept'11. Even if the firmware version of the player is newer than 11-0923, you can still revert back to it (whereas competitors like OPPO-93/103 do not allow to revert back).
Of course, if you upgrade your processor to smth with HDMI input and better DAC, your choice will be much wider, but no real competitors still, even when player is used as transport to decode signal & pass it to A/V processor via HDMI.
And it does not have Cinavia protection.


Distinguished Member
FWIW I have an AV9 and was using a basic Sony plalyer via coax when I first had the AV9. On BluRays you still get a better than DVD quality since the player outputs 1.5Mbps signal if you use 'DTS Core' (which is what you get when playing a DTS MA soundtrack via coax). It sounded pretty damn good to me and it was only that I bought the Oppo BDP 93 later on and went over to using it's analogue outputs for a more subtle improvement in the sound quality.

Don't feel too hard done by if 'only' using DTS core @ 1.5Mbps since chances are it's still better via your AV8 (and poweramps) than a budget, but new, HDMI equiped receiver. I went from a Denon 2808 to the AV9 and despite 'losing' HD sound decoding overall it sounded better anyway. ;)


Established Member
Thanks for the replies, they are interesting reading.

Mercifully, nobody has said “chuck out your AV8 since it is a pile of obsolete old rubbish”. That road sounds expensive, and besides, I rather like the AV8. There is a Cairn Boost phono stage and Gyrodec SE plugged into it.

I am drawn to the CA Azure, since it plays SACD (of which I have a couple)

Now I am pondering moving from 5.1 to 7.1. If I get the CA it has the outputs, the AV8 has the inputs, and I have enough speakers around to do this. The system would be:

CA 651BD Source
AV8 Processor
Audiolab 8200 7 channel power amp
Tannoy 638 stereo speakers (from the ‘90s, floorstanding, 8 inch dual concentric treble/mid and 8 inch bass)
Tannoy Revolution Signature 6 LCR centre
Tannoy 622 profile surround
Tannoy 607 IIs for the rears (they are doing nothing atm)
Rel Q100 sub

I know all this stuff will work together but am aware that 20 years separate the oldest and the newest, but do I have any howlers here?

I was already thinking about replacing the 638s with something newer, but that will cost lots of money to get something better, and the DVD player needs sorting now.

@KelvinS1965, good to know that the AV9 sounds better than the Denon, and that the Sony with coax was close to the Oppo. Do you regret spending £££ on the Oppo over a much cheaper Sony that you were happy with? The price difference can buy a lot of stuff.


Distinguished Member
No, I don't regret the Oppo since it does sound better (it's just that the difference isn't as huge as some would have you believe) and plays SACDs/DVD-Audio discs. However, it has many other useful features such as the subtitle shift (I use an A Lens so they can get cut off if in the black bars) also it's a 'source direct' player which means my Lumagen video processor gets the correct signal from each disc type which allows it to do the upscaling and deinterlacing (better than any player including the Oppo).

Maybe your requirements are different to mine, plus seeing your list above I'm not sure how close the centre speaker is in terms of timbre matching to your mains. Since we can't use any EQ on our AV8/9 then having a good match from the outset is even more important. The REL100 might be a bit small too, but I don't know if you have neighbours to consider? Pricewise you'd probably get much better value if you considered a BK sub:

Sub Woofers - Sub Bass - Subwoofer


Prominent Member
The CA651 is a fine player but for CDs I prefer the DV139.

Has the drive totally stopped working? Its a Sanyo mechanism and I think less than £20 as a part.


Established Member
The CA651 is a fine player but for CDs I prefer the DV139.

Has the drive totally stopped working? Its a Sanyo mechanism and I think less than £20 as a part.

Thanks for that. CDs have all been ripped and are being played from NAS. The DV139 will still play CDs but not DVDs. I've tried cleaning the heads but no difference. I am still tempted by the CA651 since RS will soon sell out, and if I can fix the DV139 for £20 I might even be able to sell it and make money.

The latest video from AVForums

⭐ Philips OLED908 TV & Musical Fidelity A1 amp reviews + a look at two home cinema speaker packages
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom