* Prices may differ from that shown
A couple of years ago I was on a look out for a Blu-Ray player, but as I already owned many DVDs I also wanted one that allowed me to watch my current collection of DVDs as well as delve into the new generation of watching movies on Blu-Ray format also. Therefore I decided to purchase the Sony BDP-S370 Player.
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I purchased the Sony Blu-Ray player from Amazon a few years ago, which at the time cost me around £99. However having a quick look on Amazon now, it seems they have discontinued this for a new model. Amazon Marketplace are still selling the BDP-S370 model new from £68, and used from £48.
eBay also have a few auctions up for this Blu-Ray player starting from £28.
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* Watch and listen to content in full HD 1080P thanks to Blu-ray DiscTM
* Watch DVDs in near HD 1080p quality with DVD upscaling
* Access YouTubeTM and BBC iPlayer: Making the unmissable with the last 7 days of BBC TV and radio via your Blu-ray DiscTM Player with no need to connect your TV to your laptop or PC (via firmware update now available)
* Plug in a Sony USB dongle to wirelessly access online content
* Connect your flash drive via USB to enjoy your photos and films
What is a Blu-Ray Player?
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A Blu-Ray player is basically an advanced DVD player that plays movies in higher resolution and better overall picture quality & sound than DVD players. This specific one is also able to play normal DVDs but uses an upscaling function that automatically displays the DVD videos in higher definition qualities.
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The Sony BDP-S370 Region 2 player has a glossy matt black finish, and is thin and compact in size. It measures approx 4 cm in height, 43 cm wide, and 25 cm in depth and weighs approx 4 kg in weight. The authentic blu-ray symbol is located on the front top right of the player, next to which is the USB port and disc tray slot. A small digital screen is present at the front which enables film details to be displayed such as time and duration. The design is overall very sleek and modern, and compact size and matt black finish adds to the attractiveness of the player.
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The size of the player makes it very easy to fit into small tight places, especially if like me already have a few other electrical gadgets gathered under the TV, such as Sky box and a Wii console. As it has a nice black glossy finish it can almost camouflage onto the upper shelf of my Tv stand without making it look overloaded or messy.
The player is very easy to set up, and requires a HMDI cable to connect it to the back of the TV. Ours did not come with a HDMI cable but we managed to get a gold plated one from home bargains for a couple of quid. HDMI cables are widely available at most major high street stores like Asda, Tesco, Comet, Home Bargains etc.
Once powered on, it takes only a few seconds for the Blu-Ray menu to show up on screen in which are number of features are displayed. Loading DVDs and Blu-Rays takes seconds for it to automatically load up on screen, all you need to do is pop in a disc and sit back and enjoy!. It plays a number of formats including DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD RW, BD-ROM, which is excellent as it allows me to watch my brothers wedding DVD which is DVD-RW format, as well as watch rented movies and older movies from my collection. It allows me to play music CDs through the TV, which is a good little extra that I used quite a lot when practising my dance routine for my brothers wedding, believe me I needed the practice!
It automatically upscales the DVD videos to higher definition quality which makes watching my older DVDs even better. However the real quality is shown while playing Blu Ray movies, it is literally mind blowing. I was a little sceptical about whether there would be that much of a difference from a DVD movie to a Blu-Ray movie, but I was wrong to doubt the quality improvements. Every aspect is improved such as sound quality, picture colours and resolution, every grain of the picture is crystal clear.
The remote is easy to use and allows navigating through the menus and options while playing movies a breeze, it also a relatively small sized remote so it is easy to hold and holds the usual functions found on a remote.
The USB slot is another great bonus, as it allows me to view pictures, listen to music, and watch movies that are stored on the USB. All very easy straightforward and convenient, just pop it into the USB slot and select the USB option on the Menu screen. It will display folders to which you can choose which to select my simply using the remote navigation arrows and select button.
The Player can also be connected to the online section of movies and TV shows that exist on iPlayer and Youtube, you just require connecting it to your existing internet connection using either a wireless USB stick or a internet cable. I have never actually used this feature, as I mainly use my laptop to watch catch up shows from iPlayer, but it is still a good option to have.
The only slight niggle I have is that it is a little noisy, and I find it tend to give off quite a bit of heat as well. So for example after watching a movie marathon on a Sunday afternoon, I could after an hour start to notice a slight humming sound coming from the player, which I believe is the inner ventilation system trying to cool the player down. Its not a huge issue, in fact I am probably nit picking, but I thought it was still worth a mention.
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Overall this is excellent quality Blu-Ray player that plays movies, and displays pictures in HD quality. It also has a useful USB connection socket, and plays back most Disc formats. It is now very cheap to purchase, and would definitely recommend this player as the picture and sound quality is mind blowing!
II bought this item about a month ago from Amazon for £89.99 reduced from £149.00 and when reading the information online was under the impression that it would not need a dongle, even got my dad to read through it to see if I was reading it right, being a layman, however when it arrived it does state in the instructions that you need a Sony UWABR100 network adapter to access Wi-Fi, and that costs another £56.97. I had bought this because I had wanted to access my Love film account through it wirelessly. So this frustrated me, nowhere did it say that I would require this, I assumed that if one was needed I could purchase a cheaper version dongle for 10-15 pound but when the instructions specified a particular item I was dubious of buying any other item as I have been told Sony products only work with Sony products (I could be wrong). It may work with a cheaper option, I don't know because I was reluctant to spend the money. Since buying it however have rung around a few shops to find out if I can use another adapter and been told no, and that even with the Sony UWABR100 the signal isn't great. Anyway I managed to get an Ethernet cable so that I can go online, but this is not what I was hoping for.
Another problem is that not all programs from Love film are available and when I called Amazon I did ask if they knew the reason for this, they stated that Sony have very different licensing and that I would not be able to access them, which again annoyed me because I had been connecting my laptop to my TV to be able to watch Love film, and I had bought the blu-ray so that I would no longer need to do this. So now if I want to watch the programs or films on love film that are not accessible through the blu-ray, I still need to connect my laptop. You have loads of other options to watch online through the blu-ray including BBC i player and demand 5 though.
It also has DVD digital up scaling making regular DVD better quality, and I have noticed a difference when playing DVDs on the blu-ray player. This is 1080p resolution so you do get fantastic picture and sound quality.
You connect via an hdmi cable which is not included so if you are considering purchasing this do be aware that you will need to purchase an hdmi cable too.
This is a very quiet, fast loading blu-ray and although it doesn't do all that I had hoped it is still a very good product.
The blu-ray itself has a very sleek design and I have been able to attach a hard drive to it so am able to view my picture and family videos through the blu-ray, which I find good and it does manage to play them in avi format. The price I consider ok but with all the drawbacks I wish I had of gone for another make.
I was drawn to this particular blu-ray because have had Sony product before and have always been extremely impressed and it is a very well known name for electronics so figured I was making a wise choice.
PRODUCT DIMENTIONS: 19.9cmx43cmx3.6cm weighing 1.6kg
BRAVIA Internet Video
Wireless LAN ready
Full HD 1080P and DVD upscale
IP noise reduction
Internet video enhancer
Entertainment database browser
High Definition audio codec's
Cost saving power consumption
Overall not a bad product just doent do everything I was hoping for, but overall a very good blu-ray...I would recommend as a blu-ray and dvd player.
Review summary for the review "Sony Blu-ray player"
A good Blu-ray player with dvd-upscaling, you can connect to the internet wirelessly using a Sony UWABR100 network adapter or via an ethernet cable. Very fast and quiet blu-ray.
When it was time to upgrade from a DVD player to a Blue-Ray player I wanted to get something that was entry level, just in case it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. I have inherited a strange affinity for Sony products from my Dad, so when I found this entry level Blue-Ray player for £90 I went ahead and bought it.
I think it's great looking, sleek, black, compact unit, so it fits nicely into my current media set-up. It was really straight forward to set up with pretty much any connection possible except Scart, which isn't really a problem because if you've bought a Blue-Ray player then you want HD and so you wouldn't be using Scart. The remote control that comes with it is very straightforward and because I have a lot of Sony products it was easy for me to use.
Unfortunately there was not a HCMI cable included in the box, which is necessary for having the full HD experience, so like me you would have to buy one as well as the player. On the plus side the player has 2 USB ports on the front and back of the player, meaning that you can also play media via a memory stick.
Once I had it set up and ready to go I put in Avatar to see what everyone was raving about with this Blue-Ray thing. Suffice to say I was blown away, especially when the fast-paced scenes were on, it really did make it much more clear to watch.
In terms of the player's performance I can't really fault it. Even when playing my DVDs, which I think is a very neat feature, you don't often get back compatible hardware. The player has full HD technology, which is why my older DVDs look so good on it, it really brings the home cinema to life.
Although you can't access the internet via Wi-Fi with this player, I have connected it via a cable to my internet. So this means that I get firmware updates and ensures that although I bought an entry level model it probably won't need to be replaced for a good few years yet!
All in all great Blu-Ray player that doesn't cost the earth, I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't upgraded yet!
Just after Christmas this year I decided it was finally time to retire my rather aged, 11 year old dvd player, while there was nothing really wrong with it, apart from the fact that it was always rather noisey when reading a disc, I felt I wanted to upgrade and get myself a blu-ray player.
After a lot of reading up on various entry level models, and having seen a lot of recommendations, I decided to plump for the Sony BDP-S370.
At the time it was on offer and I picked it up for £90, which I was pretty pleased with. Sadly my first unit was faulty and failed to display a picture but the company I got it from very swiftly replaced it and the second unit worked perfectly, just one of those thigns I guess!
Unlike my bulky old dvd player, the Sony is a really compact unit, standing only 36mm high, width is a pretty standard 430mm, and depthwise it's only 219mm giving plenty of room at the back for all the leads that will end up connected to it.
The build quality is pretty good, though could be a bit better. The uncluttered front of the player has a small lip which houses the on player control buttons, which are rather tiny and the lip does feel a little on the plasticy side of things but to be far I, like most people I'm sure, will hardly ever touch those buttons as everything is controllable from the remote.
Besides the lip with the buttons, the front houses the disc tray which slides out quicly and quietly, a small backlit display and a usb socket.
On the back of the player is, as you would expect, where you find all the connectivity options along with the power supply. Despite being an entry level player, the connectivity options are fairly comprehensive.
Stereo Audio Output
Composite video out
Component Video Out
HDMI Video & Audio Out
Optical Digital Audio Out
Coaxial Digital Audio Out
These options allow connection to pretty much any setup, the only exclusion being Scart, which to be honest is not missed really, as if you have a blu-ray player you will most likely want to connect via a means which allows for HD resolutions to be output, whic Scart does not support.
The player comes with a remote control which is, as is fairly typical these days, pretty functionary in it's design but it have controls for everything and seems to work well. I almost immediately reprogrammed my Logitech Harmony remote to control the player, so have not really used the remote that came with the player.
The first film I played on the player was Kick Ass on Blu-ray, and I ahve to say I was mightily impressed! I have the player set to output at 720p, the native resolution of my tv, and it looked amazingly sharp and clear, details and textures of fabric of the costumes were visible and looked incredibly detailed. I have to say I was really quite impressed at the difference from dvd! When it came to fast motion and rapid camera movements, there were no issues of stutter or blurring or picture artifacts, so I was very happy indeed.
I have my player connected to my TV using the HDMI lead, and my Amp via the Coaxial Digital Output. This allows me to watch films with the audio either through the TV or through the amp depending on whether I want the full on surround sound or if it's a film which will be fine in stereo. Both sound nice and detailed, clear and crisp with plenty of weight in things like explosions etc.
My amp is fairly aged now and does not support new HD audio formats so I have the box outputting to Dolby Digital which works very nicely. I'm sure the HD audio will be an improvement but until my existing (and indeed lovely sounding) Marantz amp dies on me I am not planning to upgrade because it sounds amazing as it is!!
The Lan connector on the back of the p[layer allows you to hook it up to your network to give it internet access for things like online extras with dvds and to access the various online features of the player, including Iplayer, 5on demand, Lovefilm and Youtube.
With the exception of Iplayer, I have not really used these features much but they seem to be quite good, if you have a fast enough internet connection. I have used Iplayer a few times and even with my fairly average connection it was watchable and didn't pause or stutter after the initial buffering.
The USB sockets on the back and front allow you to hook up USB sticks etc upon which you may have video files or photos which can then be viewed on the TV. I have other means of doing this so it is not a feature I have used but might be interesting to some people.
Overall I am thoroughly impressed with the player, it is fast to operate, produces very clean crisp pictures from Blu-ray and upscaled dvd and sounds terrific through my amp, I would higly recommend it!
I was fortunate enough to receive this blu ray player for free when i purchased my Sony Ex503 T.V and i have to say it does not disappoint.
The first thing that strikes you when you load up the player is the vast array of features on offer. There are icons for many services such as BBC I player, YouTube, Five on Demand and various others. These are accessible when you hook the player up to an internet connection that can be done through the Ethernet port located on the back or via Wifi. However as with many Sony products it seems, a wireless dongle was not included and this means an additional purchase will need to be made to get the WiFi experience. I hast to add that also missing from the box was a HDMI cable which is required to get the full HD experience. These exclusions disappointed me and meant i had to go back out to buy these additional components before getting the full benefits of the player.
In addition to an Ethernet port, USB ports are located on the front and back of the player ( 2 Total) allowing the user to take advantage of media playback via a memory stick. This player could handle pretty much any type of file i could throw at it although it struggled to play WMV and MKV video files so converting to a more friendly format would be recommended.
Features aside its the performance of this player where it really shines. The first thing i tried was one of my old DVDs and i have to say this player really brings it to life like never before. The start up screen automatically recognized the disc and started to play it without having to press a button. The load speed was very quick and played almost instantly.
This player features full HD up scaling technology which means that older DVDs are rejuvenated and you could instantly see a more crisp picture . However it wasn't until i played a blu ray disc that this player really shone. The picture was breathtaking and really gave a cinematic experience that draws the viewer in. The colors are so vibrant and textures so clear it was a pleasure to watch.
I would say that in terms of picture and performance it would be hard to beat the BP-370. The access to the internet keeps the firmware up-to date and this means it should be fairly future proof. However the lack of a 3d update thus far is disappointing and the range of video formats it can handle is not as strong as i would have hoped. 8/10
Best price at time of review £90
The headline really says it about the BDP-S370. The range of features is amazing, considering the price. Sure, it might not have wifi built in (and the dongle is a bit expensive) but the price is excellent for what it does do out of the box, if you shop around.
I have it connected using homeplugs (Ethernet through the power line), so the lack of wifi builtin is not an issue. The Ethernet connect is fast and I find no lag when streaming HD programs through BBC iPlayer.
There is a lot of streamed/internet content available and it is regularly updated. One of the additions is Sky News, too (the latest news clips)! There is also Demand Five, YouTube, Eurosport (video clips), and even Sony's on channel with TV shows. Those are just to name a few.
It will also pick up media servers, so you can stream from a PC/laptop or a NAS ("network attached storage"). USB drives (formatted to fat32) can also be plugged in (as it is fat32 there is a 4GB limit on file sizes). So far it has played every file I have tried. The upscaling (of non-HD files) is great and it can sometimes be difficult to tell that the source is not originally HD (unless looking up close).
The downsides? Well, I can't find any for the player. I was even able to install a remote control application on my Android phone. :)
It was easy to configure (anyone who has set up a PS3 will be immediately familiar with the interface) and simple to use. I even ordered some DVDs from the US and they played back without a problem. Of course, the blu ray experience is great. Anyone who wants a blu ray/dvd and network player all in one at an excellent price should take a look. I did check out some other brands (in particular, Samsung), but although the feature set was similar some of them did not support iPlayer (at least at the time).
The player looks good, too. The profile is low. There are two USB ports (one at the front and the other at the back). I normally plug my flash drive in the front for easy access. The remote is not too large and feels comfortable to hold and use.
This was my Christmas gift this year, and can I just say what a great present.
Dimensions: H5.5 x W43 x D21.5cm
I'm not a very techy person, once I unpacked the player it was very easy to set up, just plug in all the leads provided which is only 2, put in the battries provided in the remote and you are ready to go.
The product looks very chic, slim and black with a blue light in the middle of the player. It has a minimalist look which matches all current TV sets. Once plugged in it will asked you to update the system, you just click yes and it will automatically set everything up for you. However you will have to answer 10 question to set up your DVD player!
Once connected to the internet via an ethernet cable (which is not provided), I could select to watch on-line movies and catch up on missed programs using iplayer, 4OD, 5 on demand and many more options. The internet streaming is flawless and very quick. However you might need to update via internet several times, as when I first updated my service BBC iplayer wasn't available to me, but I tried after a week and it was downloaded for me.
The picture is extremely clear, bright and very sharp. I'm so glad i've upgraded to a Blu ray player, but then again you can't accept anything less for a Blu-ray player. But don't chuck your old DVDs away, this will play normal DVDs, and if you have a HD TV then will increase the picture quality.
It does come with some extras, if you have an iphone or an ipod touch, you can use it as a remote control. You will have to download a BD remote app, and this will give you the opportunity to use your phone as a remote control, you can even look for movie information.
You can purchase the above item in many home ware stores such as John Lewis for £119, however if you shop around you can find cheaper players, e.g. pls check out Richer Sounds, as you may be able to pick one up for only £80.
The only disadvantage this player has it's that it doesn't have wireless connectivity.
The Sony BDP S370 is easily the most popular player on the consumer market right now. I work in Currys and these players are flying out the door more than any others. There are higher models of this similar range such as the S470, S570 and S770, but honestly they are not worth the extra unless you are seriously considering upgrading to 3D.
The S370 features the now-standard 2.0 Profile allowing you to connect to BD Live, as well as stream videos through numerous apps such as YouTube and LoveFilm. This is a nice addition from the predecessors but will require a fairly decent internet connection, otherwise you may get frustrating buffering issues. The player is not wireless like the aforementioned models so will required to be plugged into the router with an ethernet connection if you want to use the internet. Whether this is important is up to you; I personally stream videos very rarely, and BD Live has probably been used once! If you feel these features are significant then you may want to consider investing in the S570.
Loading times are quick and the machine is pleasingly quiet. I would say it's about on par with the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player and playback boasts brilliant picture and audio quality, as you would expect from Sony. If you have a Sony Bravia TV then the remote will also have both functions, which is a useful addition.
Overall, it's obvious why this player is so popular at the moment and is perfectly suited to someone new to Blu-Ray, looking for their first future proof player.
The streaming of iplayer, lovefilm and such works incredibly well and saves a lot of hassle hooking up my laptop to my TV. The only thing I would advise people on is that if you don't have high speed internet, at least 10mb, you may struggle to stream BBC HD and HD youtube videos especially if you're downloading or your child is playing xbox live for example.
Because I own an ipod touch I can also control the player, it makes it much easier and allows me to look at all the movie information, plus using something touch screen makes the entire controlling process more fun. All of these things do not compare though to how fast this player is! It claims it takes 3 seconds for the disc to load. Now I haven't taken a stopwatch to it, but im guessing it's not far off.
In summary, this player does everything you would expect just better, it's incredibly simple and easy to use, just be careful that you don't get sucked in by the streaming capacities then realise you don't have the internet within your home to use them.
With prices of blu-ray players and discs coming down fast as the market becomes even more competitive, now is the time to have a look at this wonderful machine, the latest in a long line of Sony achievements.
The machine, very easy to set up, attaching an HDMI lead to my Sony Bravia TV and an optical lead to my Yamaha Home Cinema amplifier, it is ready to be switched on in minutes. The first thing I noticed was the speed which it loaded a disc. It is the quickest I have ever come across, literally seconds. The second thing I noticed was the picture quality. Using a blu-ray disc, Terminator Salvation in this case, picture quality is absolutely stunning. Although I did use the Vivid Picture Mode on my Sony Bravia which does make colour and detail that much brighter and sharper. Some viewers may find this mode a little too bright for their taste, so you may have to adjust the mode for whatever suits you. There is no denying however, that picture is quite simply awesome. Moreover, ordinary DVDs are automatically upscaled and look pretty good too.
As for sound, I use the Yamaha Amplifier which is capable of transmitting 7:1 sound, and it does not disappoint. The sound is expansive, sharp, with clear dialogue and good surround effects depending on the disc of course.
The machine is also capable of playing Music CDs, and since I tend to listen to classical and opera music mainly, the sound is very good indeed.
Now, the interesting bit. As technology advances, the ability to access Internet services becomes more accessible. There is an ethernet connection on the rear of the machine. I use Homeplugs Ethernet cables for Home Networking rather than wireless, (you can use a wireless dongle which is expensive though) and it works very well indeed. Since I am a member of Lovefilm I can access Lovefilm Library (you will be given a code which you will need to confirm online before you can download any films etc) and can pick and choose from quite a long list. Moreover, there are other internet channels such as YouTube and Sony Entertainment just to mention a couple which you can access without extra charge. Welcome to the world of Home Entertainment Online!!
All told then, this is a marvellous machine to own. Prices are falling very quickly these days, so shop around because I am sure you will pick up this machine for around £150 or less in some places.
My second venture into the world of Blu-Ray was done so with more experience and knowledge of the subject. That is not to say that the Samsung BD-P1600 which I bought in August of last year was a disappointment, but that there are better options if you take the time to look. And I did. And the one that stuck out as being an excellent model is the Sony BDP-S370 whose attributes are numerous enough for it to be considered as more than just a simple player.
In terms of what it looks like, it is hard to differentiate. Coloured in traditional matt black, the front is a glossy black in which the sensors, USB connection and loading tray reside. It also acts as your display. Measuring a slight 430mm x 206mm x 36mm and weighing 2kg, it possesses all the technical specifications you expect. Region 2/B encoded, it can play all manner of DVD formats, up-scaling in the process as well as audio cd's.
So what is the big deal, why has this become such a hit with consumers, and in the short time I have owned it, me. Well the answer lies in the USB slot. You see what Sony have, and in doing so have stolen a massive march on Samsung, is to get their online capability working. With the use of the Sony USB Dongle, you can wirelessly connect to sites such as YouTube, Lovefilm and best of all BBC iPlayer. And all of these sites amongst others available, can be viewed in HD.
True it does make a bit of a racket which can be distracting for films that have silent periods or if like me you are using it upstairs without a home cinema system. But this is a minor complaint in light of all the other things it does so well.
It accesses disks with excellent speed, far better than any player in my experience. Updating firmware is easy via the aforementioned dongle and with Sony poised to offer more on this platform in the future, it is not difficult to see why it has garnered the awards in the short period of time it has been on sale.
Sound and picture quality on a full HD TV are perfect, I cannot see how it can be improved and I say that with experience of 3D in mind. I would recommend this to anyone, but with a caveat. Wait. At the moment both amazon.co.uk and play.com are offering this at £129.99, earlier this week play sold it for £99.99 as amazon had earlier in the year. My advice would be to wait them out until they do so again.
I did a lot of research before buying this. I searched and searched what i wanted. I'm a fan of Sony, i think they are the Apple Mac of the TV world - stylish and quality. I looked at Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba players. I actually stumbled upon this at my local Tesco. It was avaible slightly cheaper on Amazon, but i got my clubcard points and it was infront of me at the store. So on impulse i just grabbed it. Very easy to set up. Pictures in the instructions show you what cables go where. No cables included, but it did have the batteries included for the remote. I am a bit of a technophobe, so i assumed i could just plug a scart lead in and i'd be away. I ended up having to take a second trip to Tesco to buy a cable. Check out the spec in line with your own TV model to make sure you get the right cables. Once i had them, i plugged it all in and it was up and running in no time at all. One button pressed and it was attached and working within minutes. Look is lovely, it is really pretty! Watched a few episodes of Bones on normal DVD, looks really great. I have a new TV, so honestly couldn't say if it is the BD player or TV! But either way, the combination is amazing. I watched my first BluRay Disc last night. I cannot describe here how great it looks. Clear picture, bright colours - for some reason i really focus in on the Blue - Blue seems to look so crisp, clear, a bit like the ocean off a Greek Island. I would say this is the best thing i have bought this year. I haven't yet set up the audio, so can't comment on that - my laziness, not product related.
Earlier this year I purchased a brand new large screen TV for our living room at home and managed to get a good deal for a feature packed HD LCD television. At the time we couldn't actually benefit from 'High Definition' broadcasts on the television or via disc as we had neither Sky installed or a Blu Ray player, all this changed in June though when we finally joined the BR ranks and bought the subject of the review; the Sony BDP-S370 Blu Ray Player.
As I have explained on previous reviews I am not the most technically minded of people so this review will focus more on my experience of using this device and what features you are likely to find if you buy this yourself. In the most simple of terms a Blu Ray player is a higher resolution DVD player but rather than just playing DVDs (which this does) it also allows you to play Blu-Ray discs which when viewed on a High Definition television gives greater depth of colour to films, a richer sound quality and more of an overall 'cinematic experience' for the viewer. For me a Blu Ray player can be described as a glorified DVD player with extras which I hope to cover in this review.
==How it looks and Connecting to a TV==
First things first then and the player looks exactly the same as any generic DVD player as illustrated in the picture provided, it has a lovely matt black finish to the design and when switched you are greeted to a cheeky "Hello" illustrated in blue azure lettering on the display. The weight of the player is around 2 kilograms and measures 43cm in width, 21cm in depth and only 4cm in height so is relatively long and compact and fits in perfectly well with other technological devices that you may have in your home.
The player requires connecting to your television with a HDMI cable (which does not come supplied although Amazon did include one as part of a promotion they were running), these can be easily found online or in the likes of Asda or Tesco though and are widely available and can be found from anything from a few pounds up to around £10.00 depending on what you buy. Once connected and switched on the Blu Ray player springs into life within only 3 seconds and you are met with an onscreen menu where there are different options to chose from. This is where the differences between a DVD player and Blu-Ray come in as on the BDP-S370 there are a host of extras which lift this from being a regular disc player.
==What you can expect from this Blu-Ray player==
You can of course simply use this as Blu-Ray/DVD player and the device is perfectly capable of playing a number of media formats including CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, BD-ROM etc as well as shop bought/rented films and it is simply a case of inserting your disc into the tray, sitting back and enjoying the action that plays out in front of you. If you are looking for more though the player can be hooked up to the Internet where you can use the BRAVA Video platform to stream films and TV programmes directly from websites such as YouTube or even the BBC I-player and this is achieved via a separately bought USB WIFI dongle or linking up the player to your own wireless network from the Ethernet connection. Frankly this seems too much like hard work to me so I only use this as a straightforward player but for the price this is available for you to purchase it you do appear to get a feature packed device for a relatively small outlay.
If, like me, you will only ever use this to play your DVDs and Blu-Rays then you can expect to receive a responsive, attractive looking machine which provides true HD picture quality. DVDs are upscaled to near High Definition but the magic comes alive when you watch a Blu-Ray film on this. The picture quality is sublime on the BDP-S370 and that is perhaps the most important thing and probably the reason why you would want to buy a Blu-Ray player in the first place. Images are clear and sharp and ultra fine detailing is shown; Blu-Ray discs can hold a lot of data and you are able to fully explore various features that come included on a film simply by using the remote control to navigate around the different options and menus that you are given. The remote itself is of a nice weight which feels well made and comfortable when held in your hand and the buttons are clearly marked and follow in a logical sequence so after only a few times of using you pretty much know where everything is. Everything about this machine and its remote belies its low price ticket and for the features you get here you would be forgiven for thinking that this would cost hundreds of pounds.
Depending where you do shop there are bargains to be had with the Sony BDP-S370, some places will charge between £170 and £190.00 but on Amazon this is featured at just £99.99 and has been at this price for a couple of months now. I bought this when it first came down in price from its original cost of £149.99 and for my first visit to the world of Blu Ray players I consider this to be a superb introduction.
==A point worth mentioning==
From the research I did before buying this I understand that there have been concerns in the past with the response time and loading of films on some players and this appears to be an issue that Sony have addressed. In the blurb that I read about this machine before purchasing I noticed that they made the point about its 'super-fast' operation and make reference to the fact that the machine takes just three seconds to boot up and just two seconds for the disc tray to open. Once a disc has been inserted then Sony claim that you are not 'kept waiting around' for a film to start, in practice I have found the results of this to be variable to be honest with some films loading almost immediately whereas others have been slower. I do consider this to be dependent on the amount of information is stored on a disc as to how quick the player will load the information finding that the data-heavy discs take fractionally longer to load than discs with less content. However I have not experienced any problems with any films that I have tried to play in this with every one playing without judders or breaks in picture quality.
==Opinion and Rating==
In the short time that I have owned this machine I have certainly put it through its paces with both rented Blu-Ray discs and shop bought ones. My assumption that this was just going to be a glorified DVD player with extras is correct on some levels as it is as intuitive and as easy to use as an everyday DVD player but it is reassuring to know that there are plenty of features that I could explore if I wanted to and the "Sony" name does give me faith that I have bought a decent brand. If you are more technologically minded then there are plenty of additional features that could appeal here, the fact that this is compatible with other Sony products via the 'BRAVA Synch' function means that you can control all of your Sony devices from the one remote control and by utilising the Internet connectivity you can open up the player for online streaming. For now I am happy to use it's most basic of functions but maybe in time I will start experimenting with what it can actually do.
Even if you only ever use this to play discs and nothing else for a penny under one hundred pounds you can't really go wrong with this, you get a one year guarantee as standard with any electrical purchase on Amazon anyway so you do have the added reassurance that should something go wrong you do have a warranty. There are players available for double and treble the price of BDP-S370 which will probably offer you even more features for your money, however if you are looking for a low priced, brand named Blu-Ray player which just so happens to come equipped with a number of additional features you could do a lot worse for your money than this and for me it has been an amazing buy.
Overall then I have had no issues with this Blu-Ray player and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it to anyone looking for a device of this nature. For its price and features a perfect 5/5 dooyoo stars seems only fair from me along with a glowing recommendation which, from reading other reviews on various sites seems to be echoed with a near-universal collective thumbs up for it.
==Specifications at a Glance==
Further information concerning any specifications or features that I may have missed can be viewed on Sony's website here
And for convenience and the sake of a thorough review I have reproduced some details (from the Sony website) here which cover the main points:
1080p output (via HDMI)
Precision Cinema HD upscale (DVD upscaling to 1080p)
Video D/A Converter: 12bit / 148.5MHz
24p True Cinema
Progressive Scan Output
Precision Drive HD
Preset Picture Mode
8ch Linear PCM bitstream out
Dolby TrueHD decoding
Dolby TrueHD bitstream out
DTS-HD Master Audio decoding
DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream out
Audio D/A Converter 192 kHz/ 24bit
HDMI socket: 1
Component Video Output: 1
S-Video Output: NO
Composite Video Output: 1
SCART Connector: NO
Digital Audio Output: Coaxial 1
Digital Audio Output: Optical 1
7.1ch Analogue Output: NO
Analogue Stereo Output: YES
Quick Start-up: 3 seconds
Easy Set up: YES
BRAVIA Sync: YES
PhotoTV HD: YES
Firmware update via Ethernet: YES
Local Storage for BD-Live: NO
Child Lock (Tray Lock): YES
Parental Control: YES
Thanks for reading my review, please note that this originally appeared on ciao under my username
This is a new Blu ray player which is designed to complement their current home entertainment range including the brilliant Bravia range. The design is sleek and would look good beside most modern TVs.
This set allows for Blu ray discs to be played in full 1080p HD and will even upscale your DVDs so they look even better on screen. This player is full of extras including: DNLA, which is a communication protocol to allow all DNLA equipped machines to talk to one another thus creating the best possible way to control all your home entertainment system at once. This Sony Blu Ray player is all about connectivity; it is following in the footsteps of other gadgets and adding a wireless internet capability to its features, although you have to buy a separate wireless dongle, this is a questionable move especially at this price. But doing so does allow you to watch on-demand videos from BBC Iplayer, Youtube and Daily motion. Also if you have an Iphone or Ipod touch you can connect and control the player remotely.
The operation of the player is very impressive as it is one of the fastest I've come across. With discs loading fast and it turning on and off in a flash. You can also use gracenote, a modified version of the system which found out track information on Sony MP3 players, to find out about the film your watching which is a nice feature.
The picture and sound quality is unrivalled Sony have got it sussed, especially if you hook up to a good quality TV like the Bravia range. The features are all very usable and including the iphone controllability was a touch of genius. If you don't mind spending a bit more for quality then this is for you.
The BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc player features Blu-ray 3D playback, Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, and instant streaming of online video content from the BRAVIA Internet Video platform.
When connected to a broadband Internet network, the BDP-S370 instantly streams movies, videos, music and more from YouTube, Yahoo!, Dailymotion, Wired, Sports Illustrated, Sony Pictures, and other providers through the Sony BRAVIA Internet Video platform.
Sony's Blu-ray Disc player BDP-S370 features an entertainment database browser, using Gracenote technologies, that allows users to browse details like actor and production information from a Blu-ray Disc and access related content found on BRAVIA Internet Video content.
The BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc players from Sony are now DLNA enabled following a firmware update. It gives you even more entertainment possibilities around the home. DLNA compatibility means a Blu-ray Disc player from Sony can 'talk' to other compatible DLNA devices such as a phone, laptop or music player and play their stored content on your TV, no matter where at home the device is located.
You can also easily plug an external hard disk drive or USB device into the front USB port of the BDP-S370 and enjoy stored movies, music or photos through your TV or home cinema system. With the Blu-ray Disc players now able to play a larger range of file types, including DivX HD and MKV format, it's easier than ever to share personal entertainment from all over the home.
Unique to the BDP-S370, users with an iPhone or iPod touch devices can control the players using a free application that can be downloaded from the Apple App store. The application allows an iPhone/iPod touch to function as a remote control that includes the ability to access a Blu-ray Disc's details such as jacket artwork, actor, and production information as well as search for additional video clips online.