Review: Sony BDP-S370/BDP-S37 BluRay Player

December 17th, 2010 at 3:28 am by Mark
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After making a decision given the astoundingly low price of the Sony BDP-S370/BDP-S37 BluRay Player, I felt that it was time that someone gave it a fair and balanced review.

The box that the player comes in is a marketing marvel. Instead of the same-old, tried-and-true, three-color reisograph packaging that other manufacturers use, Sony invested heavily in a UV-coated, graphical design: it sported a full-color, artistic outer layout suitable as a full page advertisement in most any magazine. The exotic brunette with her “come hither” eyes, the elegant looking player spotlighted, along with multiple, large icons, with small text, to display the player’s capabilities made the box look more like an interactive Web page rather than the droll, cardboard covering that it actually was. “WiFi Network Ready!” was proudly displayed as the fourth icon.

Upon cutting the tape from the box, I was astonished to realize that Sony had included RCA, Component and HDMI Audio/Video Cables. An impressive value, which denies salespeople the commission in selling a $5 HDMI cable to unwitting consumers for $40. In addition, there was the added benefit that batteries for the remote were, in fact, included! Yes, Batteries Included, offering the customer a value of up to $1.59USD!

Upon plugging in the power and attaching the HDMI cable to the 1080p Television, the player cycled multiple times and then asked, “Can you see this image?” Of course, there was no way to actually “answer” this question, despite it repeatedly powering off and coming up with it again. There were no instructions regarding this, just as there were no instructions given for setting up the remote to control the RCA LCD TV that the player was attached to. The manual did have a quick reference for the codes you were supposed to enter on the remote, so I was left to assume that this would require the aid of a blind telekinetic from the planet Zargon 23. Or a Japanese Customer Service representative who gave a damn. The likelihood of either seemed pretty low…

Upon going through the rather ironically named “Quick Setup” for nearly twenty minutes, I soon discovered that “WiFi Network Ready” meant that additional Sony products had to be purchased to make this portion of the player function.

Upon plugging in a 25 Foot CAT5e cable (not included) directly from the router to the back of the player, thus creating a tripping hazard across the living room, I was finally presented with the Network options for BD-Live. The screen displayed that it was at Revision 315, and suggested that Revision 695 be downloaded — update One of Nine — and, after around three hours, the player was completely updated.

The featured-filled software load for playing multiple Free- and Subscription-based Internet Video-On-Demand services, as well as supposedly streaming from Windows Media Center, Windows Vista and Windows 7, was impressive. However, the player displayed absolutely abysmal network performance, buffering every 15 seconds even when playing Music or Videos from the local wired network.

Eventually, I digressed that the player was an absolutely stupendous piece of shit, and very carefully placed the player, cables, remote, batteries, manual and shipping materials in “New/Open Box” condition back into the box for some other unwitting rube to stumble upon.

The only good thing about this product is that Sony managed to redefine the term, “WiFi Network Ready,” declaring than any piece of equipment ever made with an RJ-45 Network jack or USB port is WiFi capable, considering that you have to buy at least $80 worth of other shit to make WiFi happen with this device.

But you just know that if it comes from Sony, the box that said extra equipment comes in will be absolutely fucking gorgeous.

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