This new player from the mega stalwart Sony has been the biggest buzz the reviewing community. It so happens that the BDP-S370 has been getting full marks everywhere! Finally Sony obliged us and sent us a product for review, for just one week (they are uptight like that) but that's more than enough for us. Let’s see what the hype is all about.
Form and Features
The form of the player has no striking or loud elements, though it does have quite a snazzy geometry for the front panel, which consists of a groove cut out right across. The tray and display LED lies on top of this groove, while the buttons and a USB slot lie in its cavity. The buttons themselves are top class, slim silver ones contoured into the surface itself, giving a feel of something in between flush mount and real push buttons. The weight of the unit is quite light, and overall dimensions make it a perfect rack fit for home theater shelves.
The connectors at the back include a basic bouquet, comprising an HDMI output, a Ethernet in, Optical and Coaxial audio in and finally component and composite video in.
Feature wise we have some good candy but not too different from what the competition offers. Basically we have internet video stream-ability, titled Bravia Internet video, which gives the user options like Netflix, Youtube, Pandora etc. It upscales DVDs to 1080p, and also supports Dolby TrueHD internal decoding and thus bitstream output via HDMI.
Everything sounds good on paper, the real theatrics have to measured, and for that purpose we connected the unit up to a 60 inch LG screen and Denon receiver and loaded in Transformers 2 Blu-ray. Then on I really don't remember anything, it was hard to look at the experience analytically. The sound hit me first, it was so well balanced frequency wise, that you could almost see the crispness around. The movie anyways has brilliant SFX, and this player decoded every last bit for audible pleasure. The video performance was also seamless, with one of the smoothest playbacks I have seen. The Full HD picture was deep and crystal clear, something very hard to find fault in as a reviewer also.
Moving onto upscaled DVDs, (as a lot of us including myself still watch loads of DVDs). The performance was very commendable, and upscaling to 1080p was a successful feature, with very little edge distortion or momentary pixelation (a common problem with upscaling). All features mentioned work smoothly, off course internet videos only make sense if you stream HD, but then too the player itself does it’s job well.
Good performance alone doesn't cut it, value for money is important, and that is where the S370 excels: it costs Rs. 9990. This makes it the cheapest priced player we have reviewed, thus all those boys saying “I could just get a PS3”, may want to rethink their strategies.. This player offers perfect value for a home theater source player, with latest features and decent looks. Most of all the performance was near flawless, i really could not find even a nitpick. It gets full marks.
Regions sold - A,B
BD profile - BD-Live (2.0)
Disc Playback - Blu-ray, DVD-A, SACD, CD, MP3, DivX, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-RAM
Dolby True HD
Bitstream Output - Yes
Bitstream Output - Yes
Size - 43.2 x 3.8 x 20.6 cm (17.0 x 1.5 x 8.1 inches)
Weight - 2 kg (4.4 lbs)
Analog Audio Output(s) - 2 Channel: 1 (Rear)
Coaxial Audio Digital Output(s) - 1 (Rear)
Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr) Output(s) - 1 (Rear)
Composite Video Output(s) -
1 (Rear)Ethernet Connection(s) - 1 (Rear)
HDMI 1.3a Connection Output(s) - 1 (Rear)
Optical Audio Output(s) - 1 (Rear)
USB Port(s) - 2 (1 Rear/ 1 Front)