Marantz's "Budget" Blu-ray Player

Who doesn't love high-end home entertainment gear? Great quality, fabulous components, all the latest features, right?

Somehow, Marantz missed the boat. For sale in November, the Marantz BD7003 is the answer to the BD8002 that Marantz currently sells for $2,000. The new BD7003 is selling for a mere $799. Yup, just days after we tell you about $199 players, Marantz unveils this "budget" BD player.

What features does it have, and more importantly, what's missing?

The BD7003 has HDMI 1.3a, support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. And, it has upscaling to 1080p from DVD. Nothing wrong with that, right?

However, this $800 player is only a Profile 1.1 player. It has a second audio and video decoder and an SD card slot for additional information downloaded from a computer, which just sounds like a work-around for the lack of Profile 2.0.

The player debuted at CEDIA earlier this month. Once released, the reviews will reveal if the player is worth the price. -Leslie Shapiro

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