Sony BDP-S500

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Sony BDP-S500
  • Sony BDP-S500
  • Sony BDP-S500
  • Sony BDP-S500
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent audio performance, great Blu-ray and DVD upscaling playback, streamlined interface, attractive design

Cons

  • Slight lag times at startup and when navigating discs

Bottom Line

The BDP-S500 is a powerful Blu-ray player, geared towards enthusiasts. Its high-end audio capabilities is best suited to a system that already has high quality audio products, although even on its own it's a great device.

Would you buy this?

Sony's BDP-S500 is the company's latest Blu-ray player to hit the market, geared for enthusiasts. Superior audio performance is the selling point for this model, alongside the already stellar video performance delivered by Blu-ray. In addition to the standard array of features, such as full 1080/24p playback, and DVD upscaling, the S500 also includes the capacity for uncompressed Linear PCM 7.1 surround sound, as well as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. Alongside support for BD JAVA (which allows access to bonus material), the BDP-S500 is a high-end and very well rounded Blu-ray player.

Blu-ray playback on the S500 is excellent. Support for 24p means that with a compatible TV, users will be able to watch movies at a "native" 24fps (the frame rate used in movie cinemas). The video quality is everything we've come to expect from Blu-ray. As with most high-definition players, however, there is a slight lag when performing functions such as fast forward or skipping chapters. Although not longer than perhaps a second, it can be slightly irritating.

DVD upscaling is a core feature of high-definition players, and well it should be, as it means that existing DVD collections won't become obsolete. The S500 is capable of upscaling DVDs to up to 1080p resolution, although the 24p frame rate is only available for Blu-ray. This provides quite a noticeable difference, especially on large, high resolution screens, where the low resolution of DVDs looks blocky and pixelated. The upscaling provides a much clearer, better defined, and sharper image, and definitely does justice to DVDs on high-definition screens.

The player's audio performance is definitely one of its major attractions. All the major high-definition audio formats are supported, along with up to 7.1 channels. Users with a system larger than 5.1 will need a separate receiver though, as the S500 only includes analogue outputs for 5.1 systems. In general, we found the player's audio performance to be excellent, and only the most avid enthusiasts should find the need for a dedicated receiver/amplifier (unless using a 6.1 or greater system, of course).

Sony has taken care with the design of the S500, keeping it in line with its target audience of enthusiasts. It's quite attractive, with a glass front panel and buttons located on the top edge, rather than the front face. The rear panel houses 5.1 analogue audio connections, in addition to the standard array of ports, including HDMI.

The on-screen menu is incredibly simple, and easy to access and navigate. A well laid-out remote makes operating the S500 a breeze, and despite its high level of performance, there are actually relatively few options that will need tweaking, even on an irregular basis. The entire interface is highly streamlined and efficient. Now, if only they could get rid of the lag times!

Overall, though, the BDP-S500 is a great high-end Blu-ray player. Its extra audio capacities make it a great choice for those with the other equipment to take full advantage of them. While those without similarly high-end gear would probably be better served by a less expensive unit, for enthusiasts this is a great product.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?