The Sony BDP-S350 is an entry-level Blu-ray player with plenty of impressive features.
- Great performance for the asking price, attractive & compact design, comparatively fast load times, user-friendly interface
- Poorly designed USB port, analog outputs limited to 2-channel
If you’d prefer not to spend a fortune on a Blu-ray player, but still want the quality-assurance that comes from the Sony brand, then the BDP-S350 is a top-quality choice.
Price$ 479.00 (AUD)
Sony's BDP-S350 is an entry-level Blu-ray player that replaces the BDP-S300 Blu-ray player in the company’s high-def line-up. Alongside the requisite 1080p video playback, the Sony BDP-S350 comes with a solid array of features, including BD-Live functionality, 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD support, a 24p True Cinema picture mode and DVD upscaling.
The Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player is smaller, faster and more handsomely equipped than its predecessor; what’s more, its price is around half the BDP-S300’s original RRP.
Considering its budget leanings, the Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player is a good looking piece of kit. With dimensions of 430x230x60mm, it is significantly smaller than the BDP-S300, which measured a comparatively monolithic 430x375x79mm. The metallic blue faceplate may lack the uniformity of the rest of your home entertainment setup (we’re guessing the rest of your gear is black), but this merely gives the device a suitably centrepiece-like appearance.
A blue LCD display and opaque flip-down panel add to the sense of class. Onboard buttons are kept to just the basics — play, pause and stop. While we appreciate the minimalist design, we would have liked to see a pair of directional buttons squeezed in somewhere. As it stands, if you misplace the remote or it runs out of batteries, you won’t be able to access any menus.
The Sony BDP-S350’s remote control is a definite improvement over the BDP-S300's, although it still isn’t backlit. Naturally, anyone who splurges on a high-definition home entertainment system is going to want to want to watch their movies with the lights off, so prepare for plenty of groping in the dark [Ooh er! – Ed.].
The BDP-S300 supports BD-Live, which allows you to access bonus content when you connect the player to the Internet. This is something that some entry-level Blu-ray players lack (such as the Sharp AQUOS BDHP21X and Kogan Blu-ray Player Full HD 1080P). While its usefulness remains a bit sketchy at present, it’s obviously a good function to have.
There is no onboard memory, but a rear-mounted USB port is included for firmware updates and BD-Live downloads. Other connections on the BDP-S350 include an Ethernet port, S-Video out, component out, stereo RCA out, optical audio out and coaxial audio out. One caveat is the recessed USB port design — the narrow aperture is ill-suited to bulkier thumb drives, which simply won’t fit. On top of that, its rear placement is frustratingly difficult to access, especially if it's inside a snug entertainment unit.
We tested the BDP-S350 Blu-ray player with a 55in Sony Bravia KDL55XBR45 LCD TV . Needless to say, the results were up there with the best Blu-ray players in its price range. Only Samsung’s BD-P1500 rivalled it in the imaging stakes. We noticed none of the over-sharpening issues that so often mar cheap Blu-ray players, with the climactic bombing scene in Pear Harbour striking a good balance between smooth edging and razor-sharp detail (didn’t stop the film from being crap though).
In addition to playing Blu-ray discs, the Sony BDP-S350 offers DVD upscaling. This is something that many critics tend to overlook in their Blu-ray reviews, with a single sentence devoted to the subject. However, unless you intend to replace your entire DVD collection (which is doubtlessly extensive) it may be one of the most important considerations. Thankfully, the Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player does a great job in this regard, with our standard-def playback tests returning very strong results. When we ran the lobby shoot-out scene from The Matrix, we were very impressed by the level of detail on display. The tiny perforated holes and stiches on Keanu Reeves’ boots were clearly visible as they stomped into shot.
As mentioned, the Sony BDP-S350 supports 7.1-channel surround sound, though analog output is limited to just 2 channels. If you haven’t upgraded to an HDMI sound system yet, the Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray player also comes with coaxial and optical digital outputs. All of the major audio codecs are supported, including Dolby Digital TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus. By contrast, the Sony BDP-S300 lacked the ability to decode all of the afore-mentioned formats.
One of the criticisms we threw at the Sony BDP-S300 was its lethargic load times. This is something that Sony has successfully addressed with the BDP-S350. We managed to load up a Blu-ray disc in about 19 seconds, while skipping chapters took around two seconds. These are very reasonably results for a budget Blu-ray player and should go a long way towards making life easier.
All up, the Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player is a solid entry-level option that improves on the BDP-S300 in almost every area. If you’re in the market for an affordable Blu-ray player that doesn’t skimp on style or features, accept no substitutes.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 2 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 5 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
Latest News Articles
- EC says LCD screen cartel is active globally
- Sharp to increase LCD panel production on higher demand
- Dick Smith report says Australians keen to switch to digital radio
- Samsung, Numonyx to develop PCM specifications
- Faster SD cards could reach devices next year
PCW Evaluation Team
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
- Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- GAMOSPHERE: Your August Roundup of Gaming News
- 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
- FTInformation Security Accreditations AdvisorOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - SAP HROther
- FTIT Development Team LeadNSW
- TPProject ManagerACT
- CCTechnical WriterNSW
- FTBackend JAVA DeveloperOther
- FTAsset Officer / Service Desk - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTTeam Assistant / Executive AssistantOther
- CCSenior Network Security EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - TechnicalWA
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Data Analytics/MigrationOther
- FTUX DesignerOther
- FTSales/Account Manager - Network & Unified CommsNSW
- FTData DeveloperOther
- FTExecutive AssistantACT
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerVIC
- TPTest and Support AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystWA
- CCRelease and Deployment ManagerNSW
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT
- CCBusiness Solution Consultant.VIC
- FTTechnical/ Architecture Java Lead - Move to MelbourneNSW
- CCCyber Security AnalystACT
- TPExpression of Interest - Multiple RolesACT
- FTProject Manager/Integration PMACT