I was excited to get this player. I had been waiting a long time for one that had a good set of features and a reasonable price. Overall, in the 2 weeks I've had it, I've really loved it. I'll go over the good and the bad of this Blu-ray player.
First the bad:
The remote, like all Sony remotes, are very basic. It handles the Blu-ray player functions fine. It also has built in TV remote functions as well. I have a Sony Bravia TV that is about 2 years old. However the remote doesn't work for about half of the functions, making this remote useless for controlling the TV. The remote can be set to a handful of TV brands. You would think that it could at least handle a Sony TV properly.
NOTE: When registering the device on the Sony site, this model is not listed (as of this review). I selected the model S570 instead and that worked for me.
When playing a Netflix movie, one time the movie locked up the player. It didn't respond to the remote, then completely restarted itself. Of course it didn't remember where it had stopped in the movie and I had to search to find where I was to finish the movie. Hopefully this doesn't happen often.
At the time of this review DLNA has not been included with the player and will be available later, so I could not test this out. Being that it isn't relly a new thing, you would think that they'd have this already included.
AVI file playback is only avalable to Canada players.
The buttons on this box are tiny and the labelling is just as small and hard to read. Pale white print on black is always hard to read. In a dark area it is nearly impossible, even with the little light that it shines on the lower button panel, so using the remote is the way to go. Don't forget it when you go to load a disc. You'll probably end up memorizing button locations if you like to use the buttons on the player itself.
If you are playing a disc and decide to stop play for any reason, it exits disc mode entirely, connects you to Gracenote, and returns to the Xross menu. Forget about returning to where you stopped. You have to go back to the very beginning of the disc loading process.
You have to point the remote directly at the player to get it to do anything. It's very picky about this.
This is a very nice machine. It oozes high-tech. It is small and lightweight and no bigger than the slim Sony upconverting DVD player it had replaced. They could have used the exact same case for it.
Load times are excellent. There is a setting that can have it load even faster if you don't mind keeping it powered in standby mode.
The Sony Xross menu system makes sense and is easy to navigate. The menu is in 1080p, so it looks smooth and not cheap like other older players have done.
Setup was a breeze. Plug in your connections and power it on. You're ready to go. You just have to register the device with Sony and Netflix and Amazon if you use those services. Simple and quick. Sony already had a software update for the player, so I had it do the update and it was done after a few minutes.
There are a number of on-line sites you can visit for music, music videos, a handful of movies and other misc. on-line video content. Assuming that the original on-line content is in good quality, the video picture quality is very nice.
You can use your DVDs to play your own content. You aren't restricted to using the USB connection. If you have a supported video or audio format stored on a disc, you can play it on this player. Really awesome.
I look forward to the DLNA support coming later. I'll be able to connect to my PC where I have my own video and photos stored there.
Standard DVD playback is excellent. This is not just upconverted playback. It also puts it in 24p and it also appears to have cleaned up the DVD picture quality, so it's seriously close to Blu-ray quality. For your regular movie you'll start to ask yourself if you really need those Blu-ray discs after all.
Blu-ray disc playback is, of course, excellent. If you haven't had one before, you'll see colors and depth that you've not seen before on a TV screen. Details are sharp and it's performed without the slightest hesitation in this area.
3D support is coming later for this player. I probably won't use this, but it's good to know that it's going to be there if I do decide to go that route.
Overall, this is something that I've thoroughly enjoyed and I expect I'll be using for years to come. Some of the issues can be overlooked and some can be fixed with software updates if Sony decides to do so. A universal remote is in my near future. I'm very happy with this purchase.
Update: April 12, 2010
Sony has sent out a firmware update for this player. It mainly gives you some enhancements to Gracenote and for the photo slideshow feature. Still no DLNA.
I have a SanDisk Cruzer 8GB USB device where I have some video. I tried using this in the front USB input in order to play my video. However I got a message that the USB device is not compatible. Apparently you can't use just any USB storage with this player. The manual says nothing about limitations in this area. My old 2GB drive works fine.
Update: June 11, 2010
Sony has now added an update to play 3D discs! You may turn the 3D it on or off or keep it in auto mode.