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Onkyo BD-SP809 review

Top selling AV receiver brand Onkyo puts the case for feature-light Blu-ray players

If you're looking for an old-school Blu-ray player, presumably to partner an old school Onkyo AV receiver with matching THX passport, the Onkyo BD-SP809 is worthy of investigation.

Its video performance is polished, both with HD Blu-rays and standard-definition DVDs, while the sensible provision of an HDMI Sub output for hi-res multichannel audio makes it a good fit for those who don't feel a need to update their much-loved AVR simply because its lacks HDMI 1.4 compatibility.

As a 3D disc spinner, the Onkyo BD-SP809 also gets the thumbs up. Frankly, assessing absolute detail with 3D discs is impossible, because there's not a single 3D TV that doesn't compromise the outpourings of a player to one extent or another.

Suffice to say the deck didn't exhibit any incompatibilities with the 3D fare we threw at it.

We liked:

Solid build and the high-quality Qdeo video processor make this Blu-ray player a perfect match for a top-end flatscreen display or projector. The provision of secondary HDMI output for lossless audio is also good news for owners of pre-HDMI v1.4 AV receivers

We disliked:

Third-rate file support from USB and across a LAN make this deck a non-starter for local and LAN play. Couple this with the lack of an online content portal and you have a player that appears defiantly retro. The user interface is also dull, and the remote zapper is unrepentantly budget

Final verdict:

Despite a good visual performance, the Onkyo BD-SP809 isn't a convincing mid-range audiophile option.

All of this leads us to conclude that this is basically a Blu-ray player created for the Onkyo hardcore. The rest of us will find better equipped models elsewhere.

While we can't knock its picture performance, Onkyo's BD-SP809 is a Blu-ray player that's run out of time. Rival mid-range audiophile options, particularly the Cambridge Azur 651, are a much more inviting prospect. It's only worth considering if you want to complete an all-Onkyo equipment stack.

Also consider

Quite apart from the SACD snub, the Sony BDP-S470, Sony BDP-480, Sony BDP-490 and the new Panasonic DMP-BDT320 can show it a clean pair of heels when it comes to physical discs and audio file replay. And those models outgun the Onkyo BD-SP809 in almost every other department too.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Scan Format1080p
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD-RW
Digital Audio Optical OutYes
Sound SystemTHX, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
Number of Discs1
Brand NameOnkyo
Audio FormatsCD-DA, MP3, WMA
Features1080p Upscaling, BD Live, Bonus View
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, AVCHD, DivX Plus HD, DivX HD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, PS, TS, MPEG-4
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Green CompliantYes
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Operating Power Consumption23 W
Standby Power Consumption100 mW
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Digital Audio Coaxial OutYes
Video Signal FormatPAL, NTSC
Country of OriginChina
Height104 mm
Width435 mm
Depth313 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
ManufacturerOnkyo Corporation
Product ModelBD-SP809
Product NameBD-SP809 Blu-ray Disc Player
Input Voltage110 V AC, 220 V AC
Manufacturer Part NumberBD-SP809/B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Now you'll never be short of content. As Onkyo's top Blu-ray player, the THX certified BD-SP809 provides a wide range of playback functions to complement your high-quality home cinema. As well as playing CDs, DVDs, and 3D-encoded BDs, the BD-SP809 handles videos, music, and photos sent from a DLNA 1.5-certified media server. On top of that, it also features a USB port that lets you play back audio and video files from a thumb drive. Image quality is superb, whatever the source. Onboard Qdeo technology from Marvell ensures pristine deinterlacing, noise-reduction, and 1080p upscaling. Twin HDMI outputs allow you to switch between two displays - say, your main TV for daily viewing and a projector for movies and sports. And whether you're playing high-def DTS and Dolby formats or compressed MP3s, your audio benefits from a high-precision clock, separate blocks for video/audio circuitry, and a vibration-reducing top cover. It all adds up to a virtuoso playback solution for the dedicated fan of quality entertainment.

Package Contents
  • BD-SP809 Blu-ray Disc Player
  • RCA Audio/Video Cables
  • CD-ROM (Instruction Manual)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Remote Controller
  • 2 x AA (R6) Batteries
Remote ControlYes
Weight (Approximate)4.70 kg