Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray player
A 3D-capable Sony Blu-ray player with average image quality
- Well designed, extremely fast operation, 3D-ready (when Sony releases a firmware update)
- Disappointing image quality (especially black and white), on-screen menus and manual not always helpful
The Sony BDP-S570 looks great on paper, but in our tests its on-screen results were mixed.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
Whether you use Wi-Fi or Ethernet to link the BDP-S570 to that network, the player offers a cornucopia of video options. You can view Internet video from YouTube and a raft of obscure sites devoted to specific topics. When you launch a YouTube video on the BDP-S570, it appears in a very small onscreen frame, but you can switch to a full-screen view by pressing the remote's Enter button. By YouTube standards, the full-screen video looks pretty good. A unique search tool lets you find videos across this service.
While watching a Blu-ray disc or DVD, you can bring up Internet-based information about the movie to your HDTV or to your iPhone. But the information isn't especially helpful; for instance, it gives the date the disc was released, not the original movie.
One more network-based feature is promised, but hasn't yet materialised: DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance). Sony promises that you'll be able to enjoy media from your computer, over your network, via a firmware update later this year.
But with a USB storage device such as a flash drive, you can enjoy photos, music, and videos now. The BDP-S570 views only .jpg images, but it plays .mp3, .wma, .wav, and .m4a audio files along with a large selection of video formats. It doesn't give you a way to play music while watching a slideshow.
The BDP-S570 comes with two USB ports: a back one for BD-Live storage, and a front one for multimedia. Physically, it's a nicely designed machine; the buttons are easy to see and press, and they provide tactile feedback.
As for updates, well, the term "3D ready" would be more accurately rendered as "not yet ready for 3D." At some point later this year, according to Sony, a firmware update will make the BDP-S570 compatible with the new 3D Blu-ray specification. You'll need a 3D-capable HDTV and special glasses to take advantage of it, however.
One strong point is the player's responsiveness. It started playing the Independence Day Blu-ray disc in a record 26 seconds. To put that in context, the next-fastest player, the LG BD370, completed its start-up in 34 seconds, and most units we've tested take more than a minute.
We found lots to like in the Sony BDP-S570. But its mixed-bag image quality and a few poorly designed features prevent it from being a winner.
Note: The Sony BDP-S570 is not currently available in Australia. You can find out more about the product on Sony's US website.
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