* Prices may differ from that shown
You know when you buy something with Sony on the box, its going to be a good quality product.
When you get this out of the box you'll realise that its a pretty good looking piece of kit. There's no gawdy dials and the digital display is very understated. When you put a disk in, you'll be greeted by a rather stylish looking beam of blue light that appears on the unit (it turns when when you're playing a standard DVD). You'll sit down and wait for your movie to load up. And boy will you wait, and wait, and wait some more. That right there is first snag you'll hit, and realise "Oh yeah, maybe THAT'S why it was low price."
But waiting an eternity for the disc to load aside, once it fires up, you'll love it. Picture quality is superb, and if you're pairing it with a good 1080p HD TV then you'll know what Blu-Ray is all about!
It has the function to go online, so any Blu-Ray discs you have with interactive features can be fully explored.
The one other snag you'll find, , and maybe I'm being picky here, but the remote control doesn't have a disc in/out button. I know what you're thinking, but its a pretty standard function even on £9.99 DVD players.
Anyway, all-in-all I'd recommend this Blu-Ray player to anyone.
This is my first dedicated bluray player and I have to say I'm very pleased with it.
It is very sleek looking being black, not very high and has blue LEDs on the front.
Connection is via an HDMI, not inc, so make sure you get one separately and your TV has a socket for one,
First film I watched on it was Clash of the Titans and the definition was amazing. Bright vibrant colours and sharp images, everything I had hoped for! Sound quality was great too.
Only 2 criticisms are the time it takes a bluray to start, typically about 25-30 seconds, and a vibration if it is not completely level necessitating a piece of cardboard under the rear corner!
it has the same menu system as the PS3 with lots of configuration options though I have left mine as standard.
Another great plus is internet connectivity, initially useful for updating the firmware and then for the built in entertainment options such as Lovefilm (subscription) and the BBC iplayer and other catch up services. This is not wireless like the PS3 though and necessitates an Ethernet cable. Rather than have trailing Ethernet wires around your house, see my review on the Develo AV Plus SE Homeplugs.
I purchased this Blu Ray player in June 2010 from Play.com. At the time it was the most competitively priced branded player I could find.
Appearance, design and build quality.
Overall I have been very impressed with it, the high gloss black finish goes well with my TV and stand. It has a good solid feel, typical of other Sony products I have owned. The Disc drawer slides out slickly from behind a drop down flap which makes up the whole front of the player. This is a nice design touch as it means there is no open slot for children to push things into.
Remote control and accessories
The remote control is nice and compact with all the required functions neatly laid out. The only button which it lacks is an eject button but to be fair, you need to go to the player to insert and remove discs anyway so I cannot really complain. There are other buttons on the remote for which I have no use, as it seems you can control home theatre and TV but as my TV is Hitachi this has no relevance for me. As far as other items in the box are concerned, I was very disappointed to find there was no HDMI lead included. I had to make a special trip out again to purchase one.
Operation and ease of use
The first thing which struck me on switching on the player was that it told me to wait by means of the digital display on the front. This 'please wait' message flashes for a good 10 to 15 seconds every time you switch on the player and has proven to be a small, yet surprisingly annoying attribute. Once 'booted up..??' the player displays a menu on your TV whereby you can select various options ie data disc, dvd etc. I think this means that you can view picture files on CDR but I have as yet not had any luck getting them to work and end up using my DVD player which I have had to leave connected along side the Blu Ray. Overal the on screen menus are fairly simple to use.
Picture Quality and playback
For viewing DVD's I have found that the picture quality seems to be worse than on my DVD player. This is why I have left the DVD player insitu. For Blu Ray discs I can find no fault. Picture quality through my HD ready TV is exceptional.
A very good Blu Ray player for those on a budget. You get a nice, branded machine which is functional and simple to use. There are no fancy extras but you get what you pay for. Just remember, switch it on, then go make the tea, otherwise you'll be waiting ages to watch your new film after dinner.
Blu-ray is the way forward. Fact. After the bloody battle between Blu-ray and HD-DVD ended there was only one left standing - Blu-ray. That is a good thing though as it means that we, as consumers, are only given one choice for our high definition TV watching needs.
However, in order to watch a Blu-ray you will need a Blu-ray player as they will not work on a standard DVD player. To make it even better, while you can pick up a DVD player for around £20, for a Blu-ray player you are looking to pay close at least £80. Blu-ray players will also play DVD's so you do not need to have both a DVD player and a Blu-ray player.
The Sony BDP-S360 is one of the cheaper models available. Priced at around £100 it is considered to be one of the more basic models. However, for someone like myself and probably for the majority of people, it will do nicely. It also has the added benefit of playing music and showing pictures although these are quite limited as the player only accepts certain file types.
In order to hook up the Blu-ray player to your TV you will also need to buy a HDMI cable and have a HDMI connection in your TV. Not all TV's have HDMI ports so beware of this before you invest in a player. HDMI cables can be bought from most electrical stores for a very high price or on somewhere like Amazon for a fraction of that.
Installation of the player is very easy aswell. Simply plug one end of the HDMI cable into the player, the other into the TV and connect the power to it and you are all set to go.
The unit is finished in all black with small areas of blue on the panel at the front and a display on the front that shows the elapsed time of a movie. It looks very smart and in terms of size is not too big at all (430 mm x 216 mm x 56 mm) and so does not feel like it takes up a lot of space.
On the front of the unit are only a few buttons - power, eject, stop, play, and pause.
This means that the front looks very smart and clutter free. In reality, I would even say that it does not even need to have these buttons as almost everything can be controlled using the remote control.
The front panel drops down when you press the eject button but to be honest I don't really see much of a benefit in this as there are no extra buttons here.
The main feature of any Blu-ray player is its ability to watch films in 1080p which is the highest form of high definition TV.
As well as that, the BDP-S360 also upscales DVD's to 1080p. This means that it improves the quality of a DVD compared to a normal DVD player. Generally speaking, you do notice a difference. While the difference is not comparable to a DVD vs a Blu-ray, it is still very noticeable.
If you connect your Blu-ray player to the internet using an Ethernet cable (other players have built in Wi-Fi) then you also get access to special content for the film you are watching including things like interviews and trailers for other movies.
There are numerous other items which I don't really understand but will try and describe. These are as follows:
*24p true cinema - this means that the film is played back at 24 frames per second as opposed to normal films and TV which plays at 25 frames per second. Cinema's use 24p and this slows down the film slightly which means that you are supposed to be left with a smoother picture.
*x.v.Colour technology - this apparently doubles the range of colours that can be shown thus meaning that you can see colours more vividly and look more natural.
*Xross Media Bar - this is the actual menu system used on the player. It is very easy to navigate and is very user friendly. Depending on the type of media you put into the Blu-ray player, the menu changes to suit.
All I can say is WOW! The first time I put a Blu-ray in I was astonished at the difference. The level of detail is quite amazing and the picture is clearer than anything I have ever seen before. I recently watched Avatar and the quality of the film was great. The detail of every single item was very clear and you feel much more engrossed in the film. I have also found that the sound is vastly improved.
The remote is very nice indeed. It is very easy to use and the buttons are not too cluttered. All the buttons used for playback are very close to each other and there is also a very useful "Home" button which takes you back to the main menu when ever you want. If you have a compatible TV, then you can also use the remote to control the TV negating the need for additional remote controls.
The main thing that gets on my nerves is the time it takes for Blu-ray films to load up. I haven't counted it but I think, depending on the film, loading can take anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute. While this isn't exactly a long times, when compared to the Playstation 3 which only takes a few seconds, it all adds up.
One other thing I have noticed recently is that, on certain films, if you pause it for a while a type of screen saver appears with the name of the studio that released it (such as Universal). Sometimes it is not possible to resume the film and you need to stop it, go to the main menu and find the chapter that you were on.
So is it worth it? My answer would be a yes. The improvement over a DVD is very noticeable and the overall movie experience is dramatically increased in terms of picture and also sound.
The only thing I would note however is that I have seen older films which have been digitally enhanced for Blu-ray and, to be honest have not noticed that much of a difference. To buy a film on Blu-ray instead of DVD will set you back and extra £5 or so beware when buying films.
When my first playstation 3 suffered an overheating death I thought it would be wise to stop using it for Blu rays and DVD's. A quick search found this player for £30 with no remote control. A quick hunt produced another seller with the remote for £20. So £50 spent I took a chance.
I'm thrilled that I did as it turns out to be a fantastic little machine. It looks sleek and subtle and slots unobtrusively into my living room setup. That said, it did require some moving as the unit is not deep and cannot support a full depth deck on top easily.
This machine does produce great quality images, Blu rays are superb and the 5.1 Dolby output through optical line sounds the business on the surround sound. DVD's are upscaled to 1080 resolution and look clean and crisp with no image distortion on my Sony 32".
Although the BDP360 does feature a network connection for automatic Firmware updates, it does not allow any access to online services such as media streaming or online shopping, though this could be added in a future update, not as yet.
My only complaint is that this unit could not be used without a remote, the main unit only features a power, eject and play button. This is enough for music CDs but will not navigate through DVD or Blu ray menus. Also, the eject button on the main unit is the only way of doing it, although you will be at the machine to change CD anyway, its annoying not to have a remote function.
And lastly we come to the load time. I cannot understand why sony can make a playstation that loads a DVD in seconds, but a blu ray player that takes 30 seconds to start up and load a disc. It does not bother me much as Im prepared to wait 30 seconds or more before a 2 hour film, but its about the slowest loading player ive seen.
Overall a great buy, if you ca find a cheap one grab it.
I bought the Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray player approximately 3 months ago from Currys for just short of £150. First impressions were that it has a very sleak gloss black look, with a fully moving front face which moves via a hinge located at the bottom when the disc tray is ejected. One large noticeable feature, or lack of, is that there is no clock on the player which is a nice to have feature in my own opinion, however, there is a numerical display to show remaining and elapsed time from movies etc. that are being viewed. There is also a nice light on the front of the machine which fades from both the left and right side, which is coloured blue when a blu-ray disc is playing or white when another format is playing.
The Sony S360 is compatible with several different formats of disc being blu-ray (goes without saying really), DVD video which includes up-scaling ability, audio CDs and Data discs. This player also has the ability of being able to be connected to the internet through a LAN cable input in the rear of the unit for use with blu-ray live, a function that is offered on a number of blu-ray movies as an added extra. This internet connectivity also provides the ability for the unit to update itself to the latest software version, a feature that I consider vital with a blu-ray player, as new discs may not play on old players if not updated.
Quality and Price
The build quality is obviously second to none being a Sony machine, it is solid and looks fantastic. The picture quality is of no exception, providing great picture resolutions and colours, the sound quality is also very good. The price of the product is obviously not the cheapest player on the market, being Sony, but you get what you pay for, even though I think that £150 for this unit isn't too expensive seen as the budget makes are around the £100 mark (there are some even cheaper models on the market if you shop around).
Overall, it is a great unit with a stylish clean look and produces fantastic picture and sound quality. I would definitely recommend this blu-ray player to anybody who is looking for a non-budget brand. 4 stars out of 5 from me.
The Sony BDP S360 is the next release after the BDP S350, with improvements and an affordable price tag. Unlike the predecessor, the S360 supports BD Live out the box and has a sleeker design including an attractive light on the face which glows blue with a Blu-Ray and white with a DVD.
Sockets include the popular HDMI, component and composite, and unfortunately an Ethernet port as the player is not Wi-Fi compatible. I have yet to use the internet features however, including no updates required to play any discs as of yet as it is a 2.0 Profile.
Aside from the obvious 1080/24p output, the S360 can also upscale your DVDs up to 1080p which has certainly been useful for releases yet to be given a Blu-Ray transfer. In addition, it syncs with my Bravia TV, so if you own a Sony Bravia this could be of use to you. This provides an even more user friendly player. Similar to the PS3's dashboard where you can choose to play the disc which automatically closes the tray if open and change options.
The picture quality is undoubtedly impressive, especially for such an affordable big brand entry level player. Although it may not support as many features as higher priced machines (built in memory, Wi-Fi, advanced audio options) if you're simply looking for a player to do just and only that; play Blu-Rays to a high quality then the S360 will not disappoint.
This blu-ray player was on offer after christmas at Comet for £99 with three blu-ray films. The films included were Slum Dog Millionaire, Terminator Salvation and Angles & Demons. This was an amazing offer so I had to snatch it up, hopefully there are similar offers to date.
I have never owned a blu-ray player but it is my understanding that most do take a while to do the initial loading after inserting the disc. I estimate it takes up to 30seconds for this process to complete and after that it will boot the film, starting the trailers or the main menu.
It also comes with Blu-ray 2.0 which is capable of Blu-ray Live! which enables up to date on demand content. This content is supplied via the onboard network interface card which you can plug into your home computer network for it to access the internet.
I just can't beleive it is actually a good player and best of all, made by Sony. It really looks the part in the living room and seems a lot more expensive than what I paid for it.