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The Sony BDP-S1100: Outstanding Value At This Price Level
on May 19, 2013
The Sony BDP-S1100 is the best non-3D Blu-ray/DVD player that I have seen, anywhere near its price range. It takes 15 seconds to load Blu-ray disks, which took around 2 minutes to load in one of my earlier Panasonic players. A couple of Blu-ray disks (The King's Speech and Casino) would only load in this Panasonic player if I unplugged the Internet connection. Eventually, a firmware update came along which allowed loading of these titles, but they still loaded very slowly.
The owner's manual that came with the BDP-S1100 lists two Sony models in its title: BDP-S1100/BX110. However, the two models appear to be identical other than their different nomenclature. According to the owner's manual, the only difference between these two models is that the BX110 comes with a "High Speed HDMI Cable."
The Sony BDP-S1100/BX110 is not WiFi capable, nor is it WiFi ready. The only way to connect this player to the Internet is through the use of a LAN cable. When using a LAN cable, this player connects to the Internet quickly and produces fast and accurate streaming content. With Comcast Internet, the player quickly set itself up through the use of its Auto settings.
My previous experience with all-in-one Blu-ray players has found their Internet streaming capabilities lacking. This was not a problem for me because I have a Roku 2 XS for my Netflix and Amazon streaming videos. I assumed that this Sony player would be no exception and that its Internet streaming capabilities would not be good. But I registered the player with Netflix and Amazon just to see if it would actually play streaming video with any degree of accuracy. (By the way, the player has the ability to erase all personal data from its internal memory should ownership of the player ever be transferred.)
To my surprise, this player does an excellent job of streaming both Netflix and Amazon content. No dropouts, no stuttering and no lockups. The Sony streaming video interfaces are slightly different from those of the Roku, but they are very intuitive and easily learned. I couldn't be happier with the performance of this Sony player's streaming video performance.
This Sony player quickly loads both Blu-ray and DVD disks and when the Auto function is used, it plays both Blu-ray and DVD disks in 24p mode. The remote control system is very sensitive and the player responds quickly and accurately to all commands. The player allows faster loading of Blu-ray disks by allowing the BD Internet Connection to be shut off. I have shut off this feature because I have found nearly all BD Internet content to be a complete waste of time. There is also an optional Quick Start Mode which allows Blu-ray disks to load faster.
One of the audio settings of the Sony player was somewhat confusing to me until I did some research. The BD Audio MIX Setting when set to On produces a multi-channel PCM signal only, presumably adding alternate soundtrack information to the main audio program. When this option is set to Off, the primary soundtrack comprised of various audio types, such as Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD and True HD are available. I set this option to Off.
A USB input on the front of the player allows the playback of MP4, MP3, WMV, JPG pictures etc., (those are the only formats that I have tried so far) and the USB device is also used to store BD data in a "buda" file, which the player can delete on demand.
My Pioneer receiver has the ability to correct lip sync problems through the use of an audio delay setting. The Sony player did not need any audio sync correction and the HDMI audio signal arrived at the receiver perfectly synchronized with the video. At least that's my assumption, because the Sony player, Samsung TV and Pioneer receiver may all be working seamlessly together. There could still be lip sync problems with other combinations of playback equipment. However, the player also has the ability to do an Audio/Video sync from 0 to 120 msec and the default setting is 0 msec.
There is a coaxial digital audio output jack in the back of the unit -- a feature that is becoming rare in entry-level Blu-ray players. I did not check the digital audio output for possible lip sync issues.
Once the Internet connection was established, the player offered to update its software version to M14.R.0093 and this update was accomplished quickly.
The player generates almost no heat and therefore does not have a cooling fan.
This Sony player has a light that indicates that the player is turned on, but it does not display any disk time or chapter information on the unit. This disk information can be displayed on screen by pressing the "DISPLAY" button on the remote while the disk is playing.
UPDATE 12/08/2013 Regarding Netflix Dolby Digital Plus Audio: In order to receive DD+ sound, you must have a DD+ capable receiver AND make the appropriate Netflix settings in "Your Account" Playback settings. I just ran through the Netflix settings and got these results:
Low (0.3 GB per hour)=PCM Stereo.
Medium (0.7 GB per hour)=Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio.
High (3 GB per hour)=Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio.