When budget makers start making their way into a new technology, you can be sure that it has reached something of a tipping point, as more options start appearing outside the normal established brands. Logik falls distinctly into this category, offering a well-specced player at a price that cuts under it's rivals - on the high street at least. But do you have to make sacrifices to go Blu on a budget?
Simplicity rules with the LBD1000 and the design is no exception. The drive bay is to the left, and features a blue backlit Blu-ray logo, which is discreet enough to not be a distraction whilst watching. Moving across to the right you'll find a relatively large LCD display and finally the round controller, giving you play/pause, back, forward and stop. A flap on the far right drops down to reveal a USB slot, which the manual refers to as reserved for future BD-Live use.
The unit itself is fairly typical in its measurements, 42 x 31 x 5cm. The front features a silver strip across the top, whilst the front curves out towards the bottom to give it some degree of interest, but there is no logo marking on the front, only the model number on the top right corner. Otherwise the unit is black, with that front curved styling giving off quite a sheen.
Around the back things get a little more exciting, as you'll find the all important HDMI connection as you'd expect, but you also get an Ethernet connection (again listed as for future BD-Live features). The LBD1000 also features Component and Composite video connections, digital coaxial and optical connections for your audio, as well as the full 7.1 analogue audio outputs.
This range of connections will allow just about anyone to connect to just about anything, so if you have an older TV or surround sound system, you can still connect, even if you don't benefit from all the features. Equally, the inclusion of a 7.1 decoder will catch the attention of those with a stand-alone amplified speaker system, as this too could negate the need for an AV receiver in a simple setup.
The remote control suffers from the normal budget affliction - it feels cheap in the hand, but is fairly typical for this type of budget player. Controls are relatively well laid out and it is also reasonably responsive.
The drive bay itself has a bit of a clatter to it, and on loading a disc there is some chirping and spinning up before things get going. We did find it to have something of an irritating boot cycle which figured out what type of connection was being used. Whilst it is doing this you can't do anything else - a small point, but it means you have a minute or so of waiting before you can even load the disc.
After that it doesn't take too long to get going. We hooked up the LBD1000 to a 40-inch Samsung LCD display via HDMI, with the LBD1000 detecting the connection with no issues. Picture quality is surprisingly good and we had no problems with playback of Blu-ray Discs. We did notice some judder in high-contrast scenes, but otherwise there was little to complain about.
There is a slight purr to the machine as it plays back discs - usually this is not noticeable alongside the soundtrack to your film, however it did become noticeable in quiet scenes.
DVD playback is also pretty good, with the often touted upscaling causing no issues either. It is not the best upscaling we've seen from DVD, but equally, it was perfectly respectable and comparable with other lower priced Blu-ray players.
When it comes to audio you'll find support for Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, so obviously lacks some of the more comprehensive technologies, but at this price, it is nice to have the connections for surround sound included.
So far we have mentioned several features - the USB slot and Ethernet connection - that hint to this being a Profile 2 capable player. The box too boasts that it is possible to upgrade the player to Profile 2 with a software CD. However, this CD is not provided and if user experiences are anything to go by, it seems impossible to locate this upgrade. We have contacted Currys to ask for more details and will update this review if we find anything out.
We were also disappointed to find only a Composite cable in the box, so you'll need to supply your own HDMI cable to really get going.
Overall the LBD1000 is a simple and affordable player, which performs well, and we experienced no problems with playback in terms of video or sound over a number of different discs, both Blu-ray and DVD.
On paper this looks like one of the cheapest Blu-ray players on the market, but with the Profile 2.0 upgrade seemingly not forthcoming, it does throw up something of a problem. This player, at £129.99, comes in not much cheaper than some offers available on the high street or online for players from more established brands, such as Samsung's popular BD-1500.
A well connected player with audio options that might appeal to some, it is unfortunately hamstrung by not being able to deliver its upgrade promise.
Thank you to Currys.co.uk for the loan of this player.