If anybody had said few years back that there were 25GB discs (now even more storage area) available that were capable of storing the games for the playstation or movies that could be watched in High Definition scale or facilitated the access to the internet, it would have been considered a joke. But then, the case is not so after the invention of the Blue ray playersand the blue ray discs. The Blue ray players have the above said capabilities with very good extra features. In the list of blue ray players delivered to the world by Sony, the BDP-S370 is one of the recently released. This product was released on the same time the BDP S570 was brought into the market. The Sony BDPS370 blue ray player has the profile 1.1 as well as the 2.0 features and this means that it supports the access to the BD Live contents. The two biggest highlights are, one, it is very inexpensive and two, it is fast. In other words, this blue ray player is very approachable. The detailed description of the product follows below.
The two ‘D’s – Design and Display:
The Sony BDP-S370 Blu Ray Disc Player has a simple appearance and does not wear any look that might make it look extra ordinarily admirable. In real, looking extremely beautiful or elegant does not matter, but it is the performance and user’s satisfaction that matters for making a product a success. Though Sony has not achieved this goal completely, they have managed to satisfy the users to some extent. The player is completely black in color with a glossy finish. Normally, black color enhances the appearance giving it a professional look. This blue ray player has the “Monolithic Design” which means that if the user’s room is filled with home entertainment products all of which are Sony’s, then the room would have an enhanced look because of the design. This player is actually slimmer, smaller and thinner. It weighs a mere 2 Kg with the dimensions 430 x 36 x 206 mm.
The LCD screen works fine and promptly displays the current usage of the player, for instance, it displays “Home” when the user is in the home menu and likewise obviously would show other topics like “Loading” or the time period for which the disc had been running. Though these are preliminary features, they are the basic ethics that a blue ray player should satisfy and Sony has indeed check listed these features. The four control buttons, power, eject, play and stop, are present near the display panel. At the right corner of the player at the front is the USB port.
The remote control of the BDP-S370 is simple and easy to use with the model name RMT-B107P. This remote fortunately has the eject button unlike the remote of its predecessor the Sony BDP S360B. This is a very good news because the user does not have to get up from the couch every time to change the discs. The remote does not have anything out of the box and it can be used without any difficulty.
The Alternate Remote Control:
Using the same feature again and again might be boring. In order to avoid this feeling of getting bored of using the same remote control time and again for operating the blue ray player, the Sony has brought in a good solution. It is the use of the iPhone to operate the player. This feature is quite exciting and interesting too. But every sweet has some bitterness right? The bitterness here is that to use the iPhone touch remote control facility there are detailed and long procedures to be done. First thing, the BD Remote App has to be downloaded. Then, the user has to go to the network settings and register to make use of this feature. The registration process is also not that simple. For those who are used to doing anything in just a click, this might not be interesting. But for all iPhone lovers, who are awaiting the chance to use their iPhones at anytime possible this would be an exciting process.
Old DVDs of movies or shows can be watched in High Definition with the help of this DVD upscaling feature. So, all the old DVDs can be watched in HD environment since that facility is available in this blue ray player. The blue ray players are basically designed to be watched in 1080p which is the highest that any player or playstation can actually afford. The clarity would be the best in this 1080p and images or videos are visualized without any big difference between the real image and the pictured image.
No Local storage:
One noticeable flaw in this machine is that it does not have on board local storage for memory! This should have actually meant that you can not store your favorite contents. So the users have to get memory sticks by themselves since it is not included. But then, fortunately the USB port can be used to access the BD Live contents.
Most of the Sony’s products at present come with Bravia Sync and so does this Sony BDP-S370. Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture is one interesting feature introduced by Sony. The advantage of the Bravia Sync is that if the user has a Bravia TV connected to a Bravia sync blue ray player, the Bravia TV remote would be sufficient to operate both the TV as well as the player. This reduces the work.
Digital Living Network Alliance has a wide usage for the consumers of electronic goods all over the world. “Connect and enjoy”, “Connect between rooms and connect between devices”, these being their ideas, it is really tempting to use it. Though this DLNA is only in the development stage it is excellent. With DLNA, the contents can be easily shared between the electronic devices. For instance, the contents on the PC can be moved to the HD TV very easily with the DLNA. The Sony BDPS370 claims that with the firmware upgrade that would be available from mid June; the product would be DLNA Certified!
Facility to spin SACD:
The Sony BDP-S370 S370 1080p HD Blue ray player can actually spin SACDs! The specialty of the SACD or the Super Audio CD is that it provides excellent audio performance. The SACD uses the DSD format and the output given by the CD is awesome! They give the highest possible resolution that can be achieved for an audio in both stereo and surround system.
Audio and Video Output:
The important audio, video and internet connections are available at the rear side of the player as usual. Beginning from the left side, the LAN plug is available and that in turn is followed by the composite and component video output plugs. The HDMI plug succeeds it. Next to the HDMI out are the digital output plugs, the coaxial and the optical. The second USB 2.0 port is present at the back and this can be used to store any data in a drive.
The presence of the audio and video plugs is trivial. Their performance is what that matters the most. Fortunately, S370 supports most of the audio and video formats. There is on board decoding for Dolby True HD as well as for DTS Master HD Audio. This is an excellent piece of news for a blue ray player of very less price. The quality of the sound is enhanced with the surround system. Regarding the video, there is 24p cinema technology used. This means that the users can actually watch the movie as intended by the director. Visual effects would be excellent. Also, there is the Photo TV HD facility. With this, the users can watch photos with excellent clarity and marvelous color sharpness. The resolution would be increased to an unbelievable 1920 x 1080 pixels and this implies the quality of the picture. To add up to these features, there is the Gracenote with which the users can pull extra information about the movie directly from the net.
Internet has become like the breath of a person! It is really difficult these days to do any work without the help of the Internet. And now the importance of internet has spread even to the blue ray players. The wired LAN connection is available for this S370 and it can be availed by plugging in the wire to the LAN plug that can be found on the back side of the player. If there is something that the BDP-S370 has failed to achieve, it is the wireless connection! Yes, there is no inbuilt Wi-Fi connection available. This is sad news for the travelers, but then nothing is impossible these days if you can just tip-off few extra pounds. There is a UWA BR-100 802.11n dongle available for the wireless connection using which the user can access the internet wirelessly.
Once the analysis of the features is done, applying them for the human usage would be the next in queue. When it is used for the first time, there will be a set of procedures to be done to set it in action. The set up is easy and not very lengthy. It can be finished quickly and then the machine is ready to be put to use. The required disc can be inserted and the movie can be watched happily. The audio and video performances are commendable and are more than satisfying for a cheap priced player. There are few areas where Sony failed to look at, probably because of the cost. But the available features are good enough that they make us forget ‘what is not there’ and make us concentrate on ‘what’s there’ in the small rectangular box. One big disadvantage is the appearance of the home menu when the user manipulates with the drive. This redirection might be a nuisance for those who were interestingly watching a movie.
LoveFilm, You Tube, BBC iPlayer:
Just watching the movies available on the blue ray discs would not be exciting. To add sugar to the ice, the S370 provides access to the videos available online. This player can actually access videos and movies available from many of the popular web services like You Tube, Lovefilm on demand, BBC iPlayer and more and more. To think that Sony is providing all these features for a budget priced player is astounding! These services can be accessed by getting connected to the internet.
Are you a film lover? Then you would be a user of LoveFilm! The users can extend their LoveFilm usage from their PCs to their HD TVs with the help of this S370. Movies and games can be rented on demand from LoveFilm by subscribing to them and then there would be no necessity to go the theatres! Everyday the users can watch any number of movies as their heart desires just by renting from Lovefilm.
The influence of You Tube in the current world of entertainment is incredible. It offers so many videos for the users and this S370 extends its application a step further by making it possible to watch those videos with ultimate clarity on a 40” TV. The users can search for their required item from the web site and can view them. It is to be added here that searching can be troublesome at times.
BBC iPlayer is another service that is provided by the BDP-S370. The users can listen to the BBC radio, watch the BBC News, or watch any of their programs at any time comfortable through this player. It is very simple and great! There is a new feature called the Catch-up TV Series that is very impressive. With the help of this feature, the users can actually watch any TV program of their interest at any time that would suit them. These are few of the appreciable features that go hand in hand with this player. The Sony BDP-S370 has lots more to offer at a very nominal price.
Parents can heave a sigh of relief as there is the Parental control system. With the help of this system, the parents can not only control their children using the player itself, but also control their limit of access.
As said earlier, the BDP-S370 has a very fast loading time. This would be very comfortable for all the busy bees that spend their time rarely on movies and want it to be quick. There is the Quick Start Mode with which the player can be started in just 3 seconds which is amazing when compared to the normal 35 second time range. But it is to note that in Quick Start mode, power consumption will be higher. The normal loading time for any disc is in the range of 15-20 seconds which is pretty good for a blue ray player of less cost.
The Sony BDP-S370 uses the XMB interface. Getting the “Deja-vu” feeling? Yes, it is the same interface that runs on the PS3. Sony is now embarking this interface on many of its recent products, probably because of its popularity. This interface is easy to use and is also interesting. The main menus like the Music, Videos, Photos, Settings and the like are laid out horizontally while the sub menus under every main are laid out vertically, this makes navigation easier and users of the PS3 would have no trouble familiarizing the interface.
There are two USB ports, one at the front and one on the back side of the player. The presence of two USB ports is a great advantage. If the photos are stored on any hard drive they can be watched instantly on the player by simply inserting the drive onto the port. The player also reads images, provided they are of JPEG or MPEG type. This means that the users can watch their vacation photos from their digital camera right in their living room with the entire family on a HD TV.
The power consumption comes under the normal scale. For the normal mode, the player consumes 12.9W when in use and consumes only 0.15W during the power saving stand by mode.
The Sony BDP-S370 has the warranty coverage for about 1 year for any kind of service or repair.
There are lots of interesting features that the Sony BDPS370 has to offer, needless to mention, at a very low cost. But then there is no 3D functionality. This is not a very bad fall and it has so much more contained in it that makes it a very lovely kit to be used. The final conclusion is that, this player has done more than justice to the pounds that it requires to be owned by the user. There are many features that make a go once the player is put into action. So, if 3D and Wi-Fi are not your choices and only expect your machine to do a pretty good job, then here is the answer, make a Sony BDP-S370 yours.