Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray player
Sony's BDPS560 Blu-ray player excels at upconverting DVDs
- Built-in Wi-Fi, power-saving features, great image quality
- Multimedia features for photos only, poor remote
The Sony BDP-S560 delivers very good images -- exceptional ones on DVD -- and Wi-Fi connectivity, but its poorly designed remote and lack of streaming extras hurt its value.
Price$ 359.00 (AUD)
The Sony BDP-S560 not only delivers terrific high-definition images, but also excels at upconverting DVDs, too. And it does so in a Wi-Fi enabled model. But this model lacks the streaming media extras that competing Blu-ray Disc players offer.
The BDP-S560 was most impressive in our black-and-white Good Night and Good Luck test. Even water glasses sitting on a banquet table popped with clarity and brilliance. It did almost as well in color movies, with a nice feel of dimensionality in the Mission: Impossible III test. Only in the animated Cars did it disappoint, where a sense of flatness earned it a rating of only Good.
The player earned ratings of Very Goods down the line in our two DVD tests. In the Return of the King test, the colors looked less saturated than those from the reference Sony PlayStation 3 player, but more pleasing and realistic.
You get more than BD-Live when you plug the BDP-S560 into your home network. If you have a computer that runs DLNA server software (including Windows Media Player 11) on your network, this player will recognise it and display the photos from that PC. It can also display photos from a USB drive, but it can't play music or video over a network or USB.
This is the first Blu-ray Disc player we've looked at that comes equipped with two USB ports--one in the back for BD-Live storage, and one in the front for photos. That's a very smart design move on Sony's part.
You don't have to stretch an Ethernet cable from your router to your home theatre to use the BDP-S560's networking capabilities. This Blu-ray player is one of just three we've reviewed that include Wi-Fi (the others are the LG BD390 and the Insignia NS-WBRDVD).
On the other hand, setting up Wi-Fi on the BDP-S560 is no picnic. The setup screen often leaves you wondering what option to pick and what to do next. And the always-difficult task of entering a password via remote control is even harder because the BDP-S560's text-entry screen is so ugly and unfriendly. Fortunately, the player comes with a small booklet for setting up Wi-Fi.
The BDP-S560's box is well made, with a spring-loaded flap that covers the entire front and closes when the tray closes. The Power and Eject buttons are well situated in the upper-left and -right corners of the front panel. The only other buttons, Play and Stop, are clearly marked but feel chintzy.
The BDP-S560 started playing the Independence Day Blu-ray disc in 59 seconds--a bit faster than average.
When you first turn on the BDP-S560, a helpful wizard walks you through setup, sometimes with the aid of useful onscreen illustrations. The wizard will ask you whether you want to turn Quick Start on; it's off by default, to save power. With the Power Off option switched on (again, the default), the BDP-S560 shuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The main menu is a typical Sony crossbar. The onscreen descriptions of your options are usually helpful, if you know some basic terminology. For instance, TV Type is described as "Set the screen aspect ratio of your TV." If you press the remote's Display button while watching the movie, the BDP-S560 will give you some technical details and either the time elapsed or the time remaining (you can toggle between these)--but not the chapter number.
Despite its small, hand-friendly size, the remote control leaves a lot to be desired. The arrow buttons are well placed, but the play buttons (Play, Pause, Skip, and so forth) are hard to reach. The huge Home button, which brings up the player's rarely needed setup menu, occupies the middle of the remote, while the buttons for more-frequently-used disc menus are tiny. Oddly, there's no Eject button at all.
The Sony BDP-S560 is a good player all around, but a larger number of streaming media tricks would have made it much harder to resist.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony finally back in the black (but not thanks to PlayStation)
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCAPI DeveloperQLD
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterVIC
- TPIT Project OfficerVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - Wealth/ AdviceNSW
- FTLead Front End DeveloperVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- CCSenior Project AnalystNSW
- TPProject Coordinator. Business Process Improvement ProgramNSW
- CCJava Application Developer - BaselineACT
- CCUser Interface(UI) DeveloperVIC
- CCSolutions Designer/Architect- ServiceNowVIC
- FTNode Developer / ArchitectVIC
- CCPrincipal Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst- System/ Solution DevelopmentNSW
- CCPMO Analyst/Project AnalystNSW
- CCWindows 365 Engineer - start ASAPNSW
- FTLead Software EngineerQLD
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCAzure/Sharepoint DeveloperNSW
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterOther
- TPProject Coordinator - IT Projects - State GovernmentVIC
- FTLead Frontend DeveloperNSW
- CCInformation Security ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)ACT