Sony BDP-S790 3D Blu-ray player

This Blu-ray player works with next-generation 4K TVs, and is powerful and speedy

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Sony BDP-S790
  • Sony BDP-S790
  • Sony BDP-S790
  • Sony BDP-S790
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent features
  • Class-leading connectivity
  • Fast operation

Cons

  • 4K is unnecessary, at the moment
  • Web browser is mediocre
  • Long text input is a chore

Bottom Line

Sony's latest, best Blu-ray player is a little pricier than the competition, but it has a few features that make it stand out from the crowd. We think Sony's hit a winner with the BDP-S790's speed and diverse range of features.

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The Sony BDP-S790 replaces the BDP-S780 in Sony’s Blu-ray player line-up. It’s the top model in a series of four players, and carries a $200 premium over the lesser BDP-S590.

What sets the BDP-S790 apart is its revamped feature-set. It keeps the 2D and 3D Blu-ray playback of the previous model, along with Sony’s solid range of Internet video and social media services, but makes some future-proofing and speed improvements.

Sony BDP-S790: Design and setup

The Sony BDP-S790 is more solidly constructed than the company’s previous Blu-ray players, with a mix of aluminium and thick plastic making up the majority of the body. The tray-loading Blu-ray drive isn’t hidden behind a fascia like on Panasonic’s models, while the white single-line LCD screen is bright and easily visible.

LG OLED TV

The logo, power button and Blu-ray drive of the BDP-S790.

Three LED-lit, touch-sensitive buttons on the top right of the player mean easy access to disc eject, play and stop controls. There’s another touch-sensitive button on the left for power, but it doesn’t light up. There’s a USB port hidden behind a flap below the right buttons — this will handle all kinds of downloadable media files, with MKV, WMV, XviD, MP4, WMA, AAC, MP3 and JPEG files working successfully at 480p and 1080p resolution in our tests.

LG OLED TV

The BDP-S790's model number and USB port on the player's right side.

The back of the Sony BDP-S790 is its most interesting part. Here, you’ll find not one but two HDMI outputs, an Ethernet network port, an additional USB port, optical and coaxial digital audio, as well as a set of backup composite audio/video connectors. The BDP-S790 has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n built in.

LG OLED TV

Ports on the rear of the BDP-S790, including two HDMI outputs.

The dual HDMI output is an interesting feature. Its advantage is in making it possible to connect an A/V receiver or home theatre system with one HDMI port, and using the other port to send an unadulterated HDMI signal to your TV or home theatre projector. If you’ve got an A/V receiver that won’t pass through 3D video, for example, this is a big selling point.

Turning on the Sony BDP-S790 for the first time, there’s a very basic setup procedure to be followed. When we turned on the player and connected it to our wired network, we were quickly informed of an available software update — doing this adds new features and fixes any problems with existing ones. Wireless network setup is reasonably quick, and the remote is labeled with a T9 keyboard layout (ABC on keypad button 2, DEF on 3, and so on) which makes entering long alphanumeric passwords slightly easier.

Next page: Features and performance

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