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Sony BDP-S360 Blu-ray Player
Blu-ray players were the next big thing a couple of years ago, but it's only now that it is catching up here. (More and more Bollywood movies are being released in Blu-ray.) That is the key - once the market is created products will pick up, and the far eastern stalwarts Sony already seem to be ready for the plunge. They have been releasing models all throughout last year, and today we have their newest entry level player, the BDP-S360, to take apart.
Design and Features
A sleek half RU chassis is what makes up the exoskeleton, a regular black paint job for the body and a glossy black front panel, covered by a dark but translucent glass. When you push the eject button, the latter folds out to let the tray protrude. The eject and power on buttons here are sleek metallic push button located on the top edge of the façade, while 2 additional black round ones sit flush on the right end. There is a regular Blue alphanumeric LED display just to the right of the centrally located tray.
Build quality wise we have no issues with the product, it’s quite light in weight, but the tray is not flimsy. What I did not like was the USB port on the back panel, it’s recessed into a plastic cavity, and this is a problem for fat USB drives. The rest of the connectivity is spot on with an HDMI 1.3 out, an optical audio, coaxial audio and composite and component video out. The player supports Profile 2.0, so mandatory LAN connection is present.
The player has all the basic features one would require for satisfactory Home theater experience, which includes DTS-HD Master Audio Essential and Dolby TrueHD onboard decoding. It also supports the bitstream output of these 2 formats, if you want to make your AV receiver do the tricks. Not that it matters much to our market, but there is no Internet video streaming functionality, like Netflix or Pandora's movies.
We threw in Ratatouille and The Last Samurai Blu-ray, and the obvious DVE test Blu-ray. This player, like all its predecessors, is quite a solid renderer, with little or no issues framing or hiccuping at all. The video output was via HDMI to a Samsung 7 series 42-incher. The UI is none other than XMB, which is from PS3, and is now everywhere on Sony’s video based stuff. First things first - load time of the player is too slow, at about 22 seconds for disc startup, so it for sure cannot be called swift.
There were hardly any issues with blurring or edge artifacts, in our 1080p native footage. The video resolution tests were passed with flair, and also the tougher video test montage played quite beautifully. The video bandwidth seemed to be complete and without any clipping or color banding. Diagonal lines still had jaggies, or step formations, but this was on close analysis, and can be a combined effect of the TV too.
Rs. 19,990 is the price of this model, and seems pretty worth it due to nothing other than its solid performance. There are no extra features, or gimmicks, just a solidly built player with better than decent video performance.