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I brought the Sony BDP-S350 quite a few years ago as a Christmas present for my Husband who had been mumbling about Blu Ray Players for quite some time. I was swayed into choosing the Sony BDP-S350 as I trust the Sony brand and the price seemed quite reasonable for relatively new technology, I think I paid less than £200 and they can currently be brought second hand for less than £50.
The BDP-S350 boasts a number of different technologies including:-
HD1080p:- This is full high definition capability and delivers amazing picture quality. There is a massive difference between DVD and Blu Ray quality.
24p true cinema:- There is a small light on the front of the Blu Ray Player that lights up blue when the Blu Ray disc supports 24p true cinema, films for the cinema are filmed at 24 frames per second and this technology allows you to enjoy cinema like quality at home. In all honesty I have not seen this light come on when playing any of my Blu Ray discs so I can not comment on the quality of this.
Precision Cinema Upscale:- This can upscale your DVD's to HD, This really works and I have noticed a big difference in picture quality when watching DVD's on the Sony BDP-S350. We still own far more DVD's than Blu Rays.
Precision Drive HD:- This is a little extra technology that balances the discs in the machine better enabling the play back of scratched or bent discs. Not that I have any bent or scratched discs.
BD-Live:- When the BDP-S350 is connected to the internet you are able to enjoy little extra's such as deleted scenes and cast and crew commentary, again I have never used this technology as it requires a memory stick to be used for the content to be loaded on to and I can't be bothered to mess around. It does occur to me that Sony would have made this a much easier to use if they had of installed a small Hard Drive into the Blu Ray Player to start with.
Bonus View:- When a disc with Bonus View compatible features is played they will be displayed via picture in picture technology, so if you enjoy seeing a small box in the corner of your film with a smug director explaining his vision then this is great, if not it can be turned off at the start of play back.
Network Update:- This is exactly what it says it is, when a Ethernet cable is connected it is possible to update the firmware on the BDP-S350, I have only needed to update the BDP-S350 a few times usually when prompted by a newly purchased Blu Ray Disc and it has been a easy and quick process. Unfortunately a Ethernet cable is not included with the BDP-S350.
Audio Quality:- The sound quality during play back of Blu Ray's, DVD's and cd's is very clear, the BDP-S350 supports Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio and 7.1 channel play back. When the Blu Ray Player was in our lounge we had the sound running through a home cinema system and it was really good, and great for action films where the sound moves from the front to the back of the room etc. The Blu Ray Player is now connected to the rather rubbish Sharp TV in the kids TV room and the picture and sound quality is still excellent.
Bravia Sync:- When the BDP-S350 is connected to Bravia tv via HDMI cable it allows the control of the Blu Ray Player via the remote control, as I don't have a Sony Bravia tv I can't comment on this feature but I would imagine it is very handy to have and saves having masses of remotes lurking around the lounge waiting to get lost.
The Sony BDP-S350 also plays DVD+Video/R/RW which is great for playing back dvd's which you have put together on your pc, it also plays cd's, as I have previously mentioned the sound quality is really good whether played through the tv or through a home cinema system.
During my extensive use of the BDP-S350 I have always found it a delight to use, the remote is a little on the large side but all the buttons are self explanatory and I have found that I use less than half of them anyway. The remote takes two AA batteries that are available anywhere, the batteries last for an absolute age and I have only replaced them once in the years I have owned the BDP-S350.
When a Blu Ray Disc is put in the player it can take anything from a few seconds to around a minute before the player brings up the menu, I think this is dependant on the amount of information on the disc, I have never had a disc refuse to play and only occasionally prompt me for a update to play the disc.
The menu's that come up on the screen are dependant on the type of technology embedded within the Blu Ray Disc, some films only have basic menu whereas others have a full interactive menu and contain interactive features throughout the film. I have always found the menu's easy to navigate as they are self explanatory.
The Sony BDP-S350 is quite a good looking piece of kit and sits well with all the other black components under the tv. The Sony brand is prominently displayed on the smooth slightly blue hued plastic front, the digital timer is unobtrusive although slightly dated looking and the few buttons on the front of the machine are small and discreet. The player can be opened using the remote or via the small eject button situated on the upper right hand side of the player, the opening mechanism is nice and smooth and quiet.
My Husband connected the Blu Ray Player up to the tv in no time at all and it is worth bearing in mind that you need to provide the HDMI and Ethernet cables yourself, he was a little disappointed that the player prompts for a firmware update as soon as it is connected, this takes a little time depending on your internet connection, but he was soon watching the Blu Rays I had brought to go with this.
In all honesty I feel Blu Ray was a little hyped up, the picture and sound quality is excellent but the promised extra's that are on Blu Ray Discs are not much better than those included on DVD's and a lot of Blu Rays are sold with a free digital copy which in my opinion is the future of film watching and the way the Husband and I watch the vast majority of films now which is why the Blu Ray Player is now in the kids tv room.
The Sony BDP-S350 was a great buy at the time and is still one of the best players on the market, we must have used ours most weeks for the last five years and have never encountered a disc it can't play or any problems that can't be sorted with a firmware update.
The instruction manual is quite thick but easy to follow and comes in a variety of languages, I always skim the manual and then start playing with the technology as hands on is the best way to get to know a new item.
The Sony BDP-S350 comes highly recommended from me despite not using the vast majority of features available on the machine.
Thank you for reading.
Got the Blu Ray player around 4 years ago when Blu ray was taking off and glad i got it! At the time the price was a little high looking at prices now could get a much better deal but i have had 4 years of great use with 0 problems so far (fingers crossed as i have now jinxed it).
The Blu Ray player includes a Ethernet port for system updates this helps future proof the system a little more they have been several updates that have helped speed up the loading times.
The Blu Ray is great its really compact in depth so fits in shallow shelf's however it is fairly wide so if you have a narrow shelf check the measurements. The remote might come across complicated to non technical consumers as there are a lot of buttons but it is similar to that of a sky remote.
The Picture Quality as you would imagine for Blu ray is Amazing! Blu Ray sound and picture is the best you can get Full HD is the only way to watch the latest and greatest films. The Avengers, The Hobbit etc. are soooo much better in Blu Ray.
The player is great just what i wanted however now days there are different and maybe better options.
Look around and compare prices but if you want a player that plays blu Ray's and DVD's to a great standard then i would recommend this!
Having joined the high definition HD player crowd initially when the Blu-ray Vs HD war began a couple of years ago I was soon disappointed to find the former died a quiet and drawn out death. I didn't wait too long to purchase a Blu-ray player and decided on the Sony BDP-S350 player which we got on special offer for £130 at the time of purchase. This was a great price at the time and can still be purchased for under £150, excellent value for what you get.
The player came with three free Blu-ray discs, a selling point Sony often use in a large black and blue cardboard box. The item is well packaged in polystyrene and foam paper. Inside the box is the remote control, instructions and the Blu-ray player.
This player is sleek and stylish being black in colour which is matt black on the top and sides and glossy black/navy on the front panel. The Blu-ray players dimensions are 43cm wide, 22cm long and a height of 6cm which site perfectly above our now superseded HD player. The Sony logo is on the left hand side in silver with the Blu-ray logo again in silver in the centre and minimal buttons on the right. The 'open' button is on the top at the front of the player and on the front are the play, pause and stop options. The disk tray is hidden behind a panel that opens outwards when you press the eject button, it is almost hidden when closed being flush and smooth with the rest of the frontage.
This Blu-ray player not only plays Blu-ray discs, it is a multiregional DVD player and manages to upscale DVDs really well and noticeably having up to 1080p, it is also great for playing CDs and CD-Rs. This is very high resolution video using Precision Cinema HD Up scaling technology. In order to get this quality however you need to ensure you use a HDMI cable for this result. The sound from this machine is epic; we have full HD surround sound which takes full advantage of the 7.1 Channel audio bitstream. This again is at its optimum using a HDMI cable.
It has some good added extra features including being BD-Live ready which means you can upgrade the player as well as being able to download Blu-ray disc bonus features and added interactive extras. It has an Ethernet port for this internet connection. The player also has a small external port for local storage which doesn't hold very much on it to be honest when we have used it known as flash based memory.
The colours and picture quality from the Blu-ray discs you play from this player are remarkable, with action packed scenes and special effects being sharp and crisp to watch. As mentioned it also upgrades DVDs but as the saying goes you can't polish a turn and some films you don't watch simply for their picture quality. Most older films have not been converted for you to be able to upscale them but for the more recent releases or re-mastered.
One draw back for this Blu-ray player is that it takes awhile to start up and open up the disk tray. The remote control is also very busy having 50+ buttons to choose from. A lot of these are for the interactive menus and special feature options and a large number of them I haven't got a clue what they do! I suppose it is always better to have options.
I would definitely recommend this player not only for value for money but also its quality and longevity, I am sure it will outlive many cheaper models.
This is a fantastic blu ray player from a top brand at a very reasonable price. Sony were one of the main companies behind the development of blu ray so it's no surprise they've got this one spot on.
Blu ray playback is absolutely incredible. When I used to watch DVD's I though the picture quality was perfectly OK and didn't know how it could be improved. But you have to watch blu ray to really appreciate how much better it actually is. It isn't all hype. Apart from the vibrant colours and sharpness of the picture it's the detail that I find most impressive. When I watch a film on blu ray which I've prevoiusly had on DVD I always spot new details in the picture which I've never seen before. The depth of the picture is also very impressive. Some scenes seem almost 3D and appear to be happening right in front of you. The only drawback I find is that sometimes I'm so impressed with the picture quality I forget to follow the film.
I also think it's not just action/sci-fi movies which benefit from the blu ray treatment as some people seem to think. In my blu ray collection I have films from all different genre's. A great picture is a great picture no matter what your watching. After watching blu ray you wont want to go back to DVD.
Blu ray can also offer a lot more extras than DVDs - many of them interactive.
And it's not just the picture that's high definition it's the sound as well. Even listening through the TV speakers you'll notice the difference. Though you'll need a good surround sound system to get the most out of this.
This blu ray player can of course play CDs (which it does perfectly well) and DVD's as well as upscaling them to near 1080p quality. I'm not entirely convinced about this upscaling business. On some DVDs it does work fairly well (though do not expect blu ray quality) but often I find there is no difference in picture quality and in some cases it's worse as high definition can expose a poor quality picture (particularly if it is an old film).
Another slight drawback is the time it takes to load blu ray discs. Sometimes it can take a couple of minutes though this is not a major issue. And it's fair to say some blu ray discs are better quality than others. I'd also recommend that you have a decent size TV to get the best out of blu ray. I've watched blu ray on a 32" and a 40" and the difference on the larger set is noticable.
I have been an owner of this machine for more than a year now, and so far it hasn't given me any problems apart from one update required for software update.
It is easy to set up, using HDMI Cable and I use an optical lead for surround sound which is attached to my Yamaha DSP-AX759SE 7:1 amplifier. Moreover, it starts much quicker than my older blu-ray player the Sony BDP-S500 which can take about three minutes just to load up.
Playing ordinary DVD discs, picture being upscaled, it looks pretty good, enhancing the colouring and detail especially in darker scenes. Blu-Ray discs look really good, showing greater detail with deeper, warmer colours. Sound is very good too as long as you are using a proper Surround Sound System. I use the 7 Channel Stereo Mode on my amplifier to watch some of the older DVDs or DVDs which have been archived from TV Shows. Most Blu-Ray discs now use DTS HD Sound and it sounds remarkably well on this machine.
One thing must be mentioned for those who may wish to access BD Live which is available on some Blu-Ray disc. It is not a Profile 2, so you may not be able to access all features. However, you can still access the internet because there is an ethernet connection at the rear of the machine which is useful in case of firmware updates.
A very good buy for those who wish to enter the world of Blu-Ray and not having to spend a packet to do so. Shop around, prices of Blu-Ray players are falling pretty fast these days, so you should be able to snap one up for around £150.
I had read up a bit on the differences of bluray and after using dvd's since the very early days, we finally brought this player and a selection of disks.
The player took a matter of minutes to install 3 cables, one power, one hdmi and one ethernet (network) plugged in and off we went.
One thing I was surprised with was the speed or lack of on just playing a dvd, I know people complain about the slow load times but I didn't realise it affected both dvds and blurays. It seemly takes an age to start the disk. I found put the player on and get a drink and then it will be loaded when I get back.
The player is well made the whole front flaps down to allow the disk draw to open, according to what type of disk is a different coloured light appears in the middle blue for blurrays or white for dvds is a nice touch.
Its physically a very small machine but quite wide, its balanced on top our sky box to give you a idea its about a half inch wider on both sides and about half the depth.
The remote is a let down, its pretty basic and classic sony design hasn't changed in years. big green buttons at the top for power, it will also control a Sony tv but I can't see a way of getting it to work with our Samsung.
The player support anynet so the has more control, the Samsung remote can stop play etc the player without doing anything other than plugging it in.
The standard functions of the bluray stuff is quiet good but I've yet to use them in any real anger, I've not done any online content but the player will update itself via the sony site which is nice.
The picture quality is great for both dvd and blurray, no problems with any high action pictures or lots colours, the sound I can't say in too much detail without new speakers but no complaints, clear and very good range of sound.
Upscaling of standard content is good, sadly you can't override the picture ratios e.g. 4:3 to 16:9 which drives me nuts on some blurays come in hd but in square but can't be forced to fill the screen.
There are lots of forums that explain how to multiregion the dvd only, looks pretty simple but as I own very few r1 dvds I haven't done this yet.
Overall the player is very good, Just shame its loading times are long.
After my husband and I bought our first place together last year, we allocated the design of each room according to interest - this is why I was given the kitchen, and ordered premier Wusthof knives and olive wood cutting boards, and he was given the living room, and ordered a Sony Bravia TV with a corresponding Blu-Ray player.
This was our first Blu-Ray player, and I gather that it is at the lower end of Sony's options (though, because this is Sony, still more expensive than other competitors). Like all other Blu-Ray players, it is capable of playing your regular DVDs ('unlocking', so to speak, a much better picture from the discs than your old DVD player is literally incapable of doing) as well as the special (read as: more expensive) Blu Rays. I was somewhat skeptical of the extra expense of buying special Blu Ray discs, so wasn't entirely convinced that the purchase of this Blu-Ray player would change my life.
I am now utterly and completely converted! The picture quality is unparalleled - this is undoubtedly thanks to the combination of the Sony Bravia and the Blu-Ray, but the difference between viewing a regular DVD and a Blu-Ray is substantial.
I'm not incredibly 'techie', so unfortunately I can't offer you the breakdown of what's going on behind all the screens, but I will say this: I would recommend this player to epic film and nature documentary buffs, and tell romantic comedy or indie film buffs to not bother - for the former crowd, the quality of the image is central to enjoying the film, and you will definitely get more 'bang for your buck' if you splurge and invest in this player. But if your favorite films and TV shows are more about the characters and the chat, the enhanced image (and the extra money you've spent!) might be wasted.
Well laid out remote control.
Supports all dvd formats and software updates.
Excellent HD quality.
Loading is slow.
Needs a PC internet connection for updates.
Given an overall rating of 7/10 because of slow loading and PC based internet updates, otherwise a possible 9/10
Had my Sony BDP-S350 for two months now and I'm very happy. Only once has it restarted during a film, which was annoying, but this was when I first bought it and it hasn't happened since.
Great picture quality and all of my family have been impressed with its design, simplicity and depth in picture.
Great piece of kit which I'm sure will take over the mantle laid down by the original DVD format.
All in all a good price for a product which provides all the eseentials for a blu ray players, it ticks every box for me
Average price: £150
I'd recently been looking around for a Blu-ray player, in order to play Blu-ray movies through my Optoma HD700X HD Projector. After searching through loads of Blu-ray players, this one seemed to be by far the best available when on a budget. In fact, the Sony seemed to compare to many Blu-ray players with a much higher price tag
On first impressions, the player is very small and well designed (It's dimensions being: 430 x 60 x 220 mm). The front of the player is deep blue and the disk tray is hidden behind the front panel (a section of the panel folding down when the tray ejects). The remote control, admittedly, is on the large size, however, this allows for many functions too be accessed easily. Design: 8/10
The player is a profile 1.1 out of the box but is easily upgradeable by disk or Internet connection to profile 2 (however, I havn't yet found the need to update). The player features full 1080p output, 24p True Cinema (ensuring the frame rate is as high as the film will allow), BRAVIA Sync, 7.1 Channel audio bitstream via HDMI (version 3.1), bonus view and X. v. colour. In short, the player has all the features you could want for a bargain price. The picture quality of Blu-rays from the Sony is nothing short of amazing. Blu-ray: 10/10
DVD Up-scaling -
The player also up-scales DVD's to near HD quality. Compared to many other Blu-ray players (especially ones around this price range) it does the job well. However, It doesn't upscale to the quality of a typical stand alone DVD up-scaling unit. When watching up-scaled DVD's on my projector the picture is nowhere as sharp as that of a Blu-ray disk, there is a considerable amount more grain and the colours are not usually as deep. Saying this, it does vary from DVD to DVD. For example, when up-scaling Toy Story the picture is very good, although, when Armageddon is up-scaled, the picture distortion is visible in places. Despite all this, the up-scaling on this Blu-ray player is very good for a Blu-ray. At the end of the day, if you want a excellent up-scaling unit, you'll have to buy a stand alone player as no Blu-ray player will do the job as good. Up-scaling: 7/10
This Blu-ray player blows away all others within this price range and is an excellent budget player. It's possible that this is the first player to really make Blu-ray affordable to the masses. People have compared this player to the PS3 in order to work out which one is best. The players are pretty similar in output, although, the fan on the PS3 is considerably louder - not to mention the price difference. If you're looking for a Blu-ray player for around £150, then this is the player for you!
Buy it now from Amazon for only £149.99!
Others to consider: Panasonic DMP-BD35EB-K Profile 2 Blu-ray Disc Player with BD Live
Was looking into getting a Blu Ray player for sometime but was put off by the price. It was until checking at Christmas that I noticed the prices were starting to come down and managed to find the Sony BDP-S350 for a good price, also checking the reviews it had good feedback and seemed a very capable device. Setting it up was easy enough, there is no HDMI cable that comes with it so you have to purchase this separately. It is straight away noticeable the difference between Blu Ray and DVD, one of the first films I watched was James Bond Casino Royale and the colours were very clear and vibrant especially the part where he is in the Bahamas and the see is a very vibrant turquoise. It is BD 2.0 compatible but I had to upgrade mine using the Ethernet port on the back, I believe you can also download the update and put it onto a CD and install that way. I had a quick look at the BD live options (Requires internet access via Ethernet port) on some of my films and was not that impressed, it is just like and extended version of special features, this may change in time however with further advances in the system.
I have had no problems with this player, it up scales normal DVD's but the quality is obviously not as good as actual Blu Ray disks. With prices of BD's likely to decrease in the near further you cant go wrong with this player from Sony
This blue-ray player has got to be one the best on the market. I bought mine with my new TV as it is a full 1080p TV . The player its self is half the size of the previous model which makes it small and compact in comparison, it is very easy to install just connect with an HDMI cable for best picture quality. The menu system is really easy to navigate through and get set up. One of the best things about this player is the start up time, it just takes 6 seconds on quick mode, but this does use more power, so if you are trying to be green you can put it on power saving mode which takes quite a bit longer to boot up the disks. The picture quality that it produces is amazing it really brings the picture to life giving you dark blacks and vivid colours along with superb crisp lines. Other players on the market just don't measure up to the same standard of the Sony a fantastic bit of kit well worth the money.