on December 5, 2011
When I saw this Sony BDP-BX18 is selling at $74.95 at local costco, I immediately put it in my cart. But then I did the mistake of checking the review of this item on my smart phone and came across so many negative reviews here on Amazon. I was second guessing my decision but finally settled for it as I was buying from Costco. I could always return it if the product came out bad. But boy!! Was I taken aback!! This a wonderful product for its price range and moreover it's from Sony.
I don't normally do a review, but so many negative reviews compelled me to put some good words for this product. This product is not as advanced or feature filled as Roku, nor does it claim to be. If your main medium of entertainment is Internet and you're 100% into streaming, go buy a Roku. It's a blu-ray disc player and happens to add some on-line services and does the former job outstandingly and the latter job fairly decently.
I was replacing my upstreaming DVD player and the setup was exactly the same. The HDMI went to the TV and the digital coaxial went to the A/V receiver. The only addition was the ethernet (RJ-45) connection. As I already had wired wall jack available near my media center, it was a nobrainer. The first time I turned on the device, it asked me to update the firmware and I consented (even after reading some horrible stories here). And no, my device didn't explode :-). The easy setup was a breeze and withing minutes I was streaming from youtube.
I took a break, drank a cup of coffee and then went back to my laptop. I created an account at internet.sony.tv and registered the device with the code generated from the device. This enabled me to link my Pandora, Slacker, Amazon VOD accounts with my device in couple of minutes. I also created an account account.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com and registered my device there. I don't know how much Sony Entertainment would I consume but I felt good to have it there.
I finished the movie on Crackle I partially saw on the other night on laptop via this device. The quality was awesome. It now compels me to call Qwest (Centurylink) to upgrade my measly 1.5MBPS regular DSL service to 20MBPS fiberoptic DSL. I just cannot wait to stream HD movies from Vudu.
On the negative side, the only thing that comes across my mind is the slow response time of the LED indicator. I've turned off my device couple of times while starting up thinking that it's off. It was a very minor thing that I've gotten used to by now.
Overall, it's a great device with outstanding performance, the best bang for your buck right now in the market. If you've a Costco account, then go buy one and try it. If you're like me, you won't regret your decision. If you don't like it, you can always return it.
on January 30, 2012
When I saw that the rating of the BDP-BX18 was considerably lower than the BDP-S185 I just had to write this.
They're both the SAME PLAYER.
The BX18 is simply the S185 packaged for big-box discount stores with an HDMI cable included in the box.
That's the only difference.
Do a websearch for the BX18 manual and you'll see that it's the same manual for both. Both model numbers are even on the manual's cover page.
The Amazon description incorrectly states that the BX18 has two USB ports, one in front and one in back, but that is incorrect. There is only the one USB port in the front, exactly like the S185.
The Amazon description also fails to mention the included HDMI cable but it's a nice bonus. If you're considering the two and if the prices are close then you may as well go for the BX18 and get the free cable.
I don't know if the bad reviews are due to the prejudice against the big-box stores or what, but before you make your decision, read the mostly positive reviews of the S185 and then decide for yourself.
To the reviewer that claimed that the unit goes into standby mode even when playing a disc.... that may have been with an earlier firmware version but it isn't the case now.
And for those familar with the Sony SMP-N100 Media Player, the interface on this Blu-Ray player is essentially the same.
We replaced our SMP-N100 with the BX18 and now we have all the same media streaming functionality but with a Blu-Ray player as well.
on December 27, 2011
I had the same issues as previous reviewers with Netflix (did not load properly more often than it did load), but did some research on Sony's website as well as other reviews of Sony Blu-Ray players and came up with this "fix" to the wired set-up to make Netflix run better. The instructions on Sony's website are terribly generic, so I've cleaned it up and made it specific for this device.
Select Network Settings.
Select Wired Setup.
Enter the IP Address used by the customer (OR use Auto).
Enter either of the following public DNS : 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124 (I made the first one the primary, the second one the secondary).
So far this seems to have addressed the problem... but it's still shameful that these steps need to be taken just to make one of the selling points of this device work properly!!
on August 9, 2012
I bought this unit from a box store and will be returning it in the next few days when I have time.
It does play the disks no problem; the real issue I have and also may explain some of the streaming problems mentioned by other posters.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER THIS DEVICE WITH SONY - internet.sony.tv/Netflix
Or other services for streaming.
Sony REQUIRES you to setup a "DASH" account before you can watch streaming content.
I use Netflix and I can not "register" this device with Netflix; it doesn't detect it.
I HAVE TO GO TO SONY AND REGISTER IT. THEN IS GOES THROUGH SONY TO REGISTER IT WITH NETFLIX...
The things that really P&&&ED me off is the TOS and user agreement Sony REQUIRES YOU TO AGREE TO. You don't agree which I DO NOT; then you can not "register" this device with Sony and access say NetFlix..
WHY? You ask?
Simple they will route all streaming content like Netflix and others THROUGH THEM SONY...
Go to their web site and read this TOS and user agreement ( I would post it here, but Sony may come after me for copyright violation )....
I have a Panasonic Blu-Ray unit in my bedroom that DOES NOT REQUIRE THIS...
Given how a multiple major "Hacks" that have occurred at Sony's "PlayStation" network and loss of clients financial information - credit card numbers and more I am concerned this informed is also at risk of loss. EVEN if these 'Hacks" had not occurred this I consider an invasion of my privacy; SONY HAS NO BUSINESS MONITORING AND SPREADING THIS INFORMATION TO THIRD PARTY SOURCES..
on October 7, 2012
Got one of these for $78 dlls yesterday at Walmart, thought it was a bargain. Went home and installed it but the unit would only show a Sony splash screen and power off automatically after about 4 seconds. Tried connecting it via RCA cables instead of with the HDMI cable (assuming a bad cable/sync issue) I was using and got the exact same behavior.
I returned it to the store today first thing in the morning and got a replacement unit, thinking the previous one was simply a lemon. Got it home, installed it and it refused to turn on (a.k.a. didn't even get a splash screen this time around). Tried unplugging the unit and plugging it back in, no dice. Tried it a 3rd time and it finally turned on and into a startup sequence.
It went through its "easy" setup and detected my Internet connection. It stated that several updates were detected and I proceeded with the update downloads. After the unit applied the updates, it powered down automatically (which it had previously warned me about). The unit did not turn back on by itself. I gave it a few minutes and then I tried the remote, nothing. Tried the power on button on the device, nothing.
I decided to call customer service ("extended hours" number) but got no response due to the "abnormal quantity of callers". On a Sunday afternoon ... don't know why I find that hard to believe.
I went online and did a quick search on this specific model's product reviews, and many talk about a bunch of problems even when the machine DOES turn on ! Great news to look forward to if I had gotten any of the units to run at all!!
Needless to say, I'm on my way to the store to get my money back, just had to do my part in warning people to stay away from this product !
Buyer beware !
on December 7, 2011
I purchased this Blu-ray player because it claimed to stream Pandora, YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix. I tested Pandora, YouTube, and Hulu and was very pleased with the quality and speed of everything. Even the interface and speed to load a Blu-ray disc was fairly quick. Netflix is the one major downfall of this player. When the player is buffering movies or music, it shows the speed at which it is transferring data. While streaming Hulu or anything else, the speeds should show 8-10MBps. This may or may not be accurate, but compared to the 1-2MBps I get any time I stream Netflix. The result with Netflix is constant buffering. When streaming something in HD, it will barely go 1-2 minutes before stopping for another 1-2 minutes to buffer the next 1-2 minutes. This sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Thinking it might be a problem with Netflix, I called their customer support (which is top-notch by the way) and after talking to the (very knowledgeable) support rep, I learned that the majority of calls he takes is about Sony products. He said he had not seen this particular model come up before, but he said the speeds I was streaming was way too low. After doing some comparisons and tests, it seems that there is something keeping that particular Blu-ray player from streaming Netflix properly.
Final verdict: If you want a fast Blu-ray player that can stream Pandora, Slacker Radio, YouTube, HuluPlus, and many other free streaming sites except Netflix, this may be the player for you.
on November 29, 2011
I purchased a BX-18, successfully set it up for Netflix streaming, then noticed that there was a network update available. The update broke the unit's ability to autodetect my router's IP address and, because customizing the IP and DNS addresses are not separable, I and a whole chain of Sony support levels have been unable to make the unit work with the dynamic DNS router with which it worked just fine before the update. Insanely, if one chooses auto IP detection (which as noted, no longer works) in the network settings screens, one can then choose auto or custom for the DNS IP, but if one chooses custom IP, the damned thing insists on custom DNS.
After painfully*, over the course of several days of working my way up to engineering support and spending two hours confirming all this, the proposed solution was that I send the unit to Sony for repair. Quite apart from the cost of doing so (15% of the cost of the product!), the best case outcome is that the unit would, in two or three weeks, be replaced with one that hasn't been, and can never be, upgraded. The more likely result is that the unit would be tested with a broadband service which doesn't require dynamic DNS and returned to me as functional.
*Sony's so-called consumer electronics "customer support" is a disgrace to the company. On each of the four occasions upon which I called, I was asked, repeatedly, not only to repeat what I had said but to answer questions I had previously answered. Second level support is no better. You have to get to engineering support to find somebody who understands English and can follow a simple logic chain, i.e: it worked before the update and the five other devices, including a Roku streaming player, connected to the router continue to do. A quick search of the Internet reveals that Sony's streaming products are, to be kind, quirky.
Here are some additional reasons to think very carefully before purchasing a Sony product. After the abominable experiences described above, I contacted Sony Electronics corporate headquarters (858-942-2400, opt 7), described the problem, provided the RMA and was told that my complaint would be referred to the FL-based Executive Response Unit and to expect a call. Two days later, I called again, gave the Security Guard who was filling in while the receptionist took a break my phone number and requested a call back. A couple of hours later, not having received one, I called again, was told that she had been told that somebody had called and would call back (she or the security guard should be fired!), and explained that I was leaving the country the next weekend and expected resolution before the close of business Friday. Her response was that she'd been receiving a lot of calls about lack of response, presumably due to the volume of complaints! Sony Electronics appears to have been taking lessons from American Airlines, et al., on how not to run one!
I subsequently received a voicemail response and, when I called back was advised that there was a buy-back option, which those reviewers who have experienced the horrors of this product might elect. As requested, I faxed a copy of the receipt for the product, referencing the support event number. Five business days later, having received neither acknowledgment nor response, I emailed "Customer Support" requesting same. The initial response was that "communications regarding such concerns are handled by our dedicated Customer Relations Team" and included a direct link which turned out to one providing access to Sony's telephone support purgatory! I responded by asking why my message had not been forwarded to the response team, to which the response was ""We at Sony Mail support do not have access to forward your request". Again: think very, very carefully before purchasing a Sony Electronics product!
on November 20, 2011
This was my second experience with a Sony Blue-Ray disc player that supports Netflix and other media streaming. The first time I bought a Sony player with netflix (about 6 months ago), I ran in to all kinds of problems getting Netflix to work. So I took the player back to store for a refund the next day.
The Sony BDP-BX18 was my second time around and I was hoping for a better experience. Unfortunately, it was just as bad. I ran in to numerous error screens in trying to set it up. I had to crate an online Sony account to make it work, and after an hour and a half of trying to make it work and finally getting it working, it was slow, slow, slow. My network connection showed 10 mbps, but the connection would drop sporadically or just take forever to buffer.
The Sony user experience for setting up Netflix is simply horrible. I normally love Sony products, but if you want a Blue-Ray/Netflix player, stay clear of Sony products.
I took this back to the store, got a refund, bought a Toshiba BDK21 Blue-Ray/Netflix player for $69 and the user interface was simple and easy. I had my Netflix up and running in 5 minutes with no problems, no errors, no hassles.
on November 24, 2011
I bought the Sony blu-ray based on reviews from other sites and based on positive experience with a Sony Bravo TV. The blu-ray player was extremely easy to setup, and comes with a HDMI cable (most don't). Netflix, youtube and other online connectivity was very simple with no issues. Total time was a maxmimum of five minutes.
This player has been working effortless for some time, and connects well with our Sanyo TV. Sony hasn't been progressive in many years, and we were pleasantly surprised with both the TV and blu-ray player. We are buying a second blu-ray player or our old VHS/DVD combo that just died.
on March 4, 2012
I bought this player yesterday at Costco for 69.00. This is my first Blu Ray player and I just wanted a simple unit - no 3D, but with Internet access. I didn't need Wi-fi because my router is less than 10 feet away, and wired is better anyway. I am totally happy with this purchase. I am using this player with a new Samsung PN43D450 43" plasma TV. My router is a Linksys Wireless G WRT54G. Set up was extremely easy. It found my network right away, and did an upgrade with no problem. It has an extensive Inernet streaming list including Pandora, Netflix, Amazon, VuDu, Hulu, etc.. All I needed to do is register with each site (it will tell you that when you try to rent). You can register using the device, or you can use your pc to access the web and register. The only problem I have had so far is that when I wanted to search for a movie, I didn't know how to access a keyboard. All you need to do is press the Enter button on the remote (the round button with a cross shape in the middle) and a keypad appears. When I registered with VuDu I got a 5.99 credit, so I used that to test streaming a HD movie. It recognized that this was the first time I was streaming HD, and asked to test my network connection to see if HD would be a good choice for me. (The choices are SD, HD and HDX). The 60 second test revealed that I could actually use HDX and the movie played fine. I don't have a Netflix account so I haven't tested that. I used the player to view a DVD movie (I don't have any Blu ray discs yet) and that was also without issue. So this basic Blu ray player is doing everything it should, quite easily, and at a great price!