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768 of 801 people found the following review helpful
Finally! Video streaming speeds that match my tablet and laptop
on March 21, 2013
I wasn't sure if this "super wifi" claim was a gimmick or not, but since I was in the market for a new player precisely because of bad wifi connectivity, I thought I'd give it a try. I have to say, I'm very impressed with both the wifi and many other features about the player. I'm getting 12-20 Mbps while watching videos and my tablet/phone - for a change - are also reporting similar speeds. (My wired PC gets around 30 if you are wondering how fast my modem connectivity is.) I haven't had it all that long but so far there have been no issues with dropped connections or rebuffering (a first for a player, I think!)
A few other things I like:
*The size: the thing is amazingly small - about the size of a hardback book. It's beveled top is a bit decorative, and if you care more about your wifi connectivity than storing it inside a cabinet, leaving it on top of a console wouldn't really be an eyesore. I left it this way just to avoid having to disconnect wires if I decided to send it back (so far not likely!), but I'm kind of liking the option of leaving it on top of the cabinet.
*"No Internet" option setting for Blu Ray Discs: This is a HEAVENLY find for me! I have a number of Blu Rays that come with that blasted BD Live software, which can hold your disk hostage forever trying to load useless internet content instead of just allowing the disc to start playing. It got to the point where I almost preferred to buy non-Blu Ray dvds just so I could start watching them ten minutes earlier than the equivalent blu ray version. By turning on the "no internet" option, the blu rays start up like any other disc would, without trying to access internet content. It's a thing of beauty.
*Amazon interface: I am replacing a Panasonic BD-210, and this player's amazon interface is much better. Unlike the Panasonic, the Amazon interface on this one allows you to see your watchlists, videos you've recently watched, top movies, etc. The only thing I don't like about it is that each episode of tv shows is shown by a numbered blocks that take up a good portion of the screen, with the description of the block(episode #) you've selected at the bottom of the screen. You dont' get an all-in-one list of episodes like you do on the Panasonic, with indicators as to which episodes you've purchased. Not a deal breaker for me, but less convenient. I should note that the interface on this one is NOT like Roku's - you don't get little scene indexes when you try to fast forward or rewind through the content. Instead it's just a bar with the time indicated. I do think the ability to zip forward and backwards is not too bad, though - the controls are fairly responsive.
*Disc loading: There are buttons on the top of the unit that are very ergonomic - loading button is distinct and placed at the far left of the built-in controls so you can't miss it. Some of the early Sony players had "tray open" buttons that were nothing more than tiny little stubs that were ridiculously placed at the bottom of the unit. This is a big improvement.
*Remote apps: I'm still a bit mystified as to how the TV Sideview app is supposed to allow you to play cable or satellite content on your tv, but I can say i've tried both the youtube and remote features, and they worked very well. The youtube feature lets you find videos on your phone or tablet and then play them on your tv. You just bring up a variation of the youtube website in the stock browser of your android phone or tablet and type in your google credentials and it does the rest. I was impressed at the quality of some of the videos playing on the tv. The TV Sideview app includes a remote control that works very well - I kind of like it better than the remote that came with the unit, especially in the dark!
*Blu ray quality: you wouldn't think this would change from player to player, but compared to the Panasonic, the quality of this one spectacular. I threw in Avatar and was amazed at the color depth and detail. It just seemed richer than on the other blu ray player I've been using.
I should mention that there are buttons on the remote for Netflix and the Sony Entertainment Network. You can also program the player to automatically bring up the Sony Entertainment Network upon startup. While I'm not big on Sony's offerings, the screen it takes you to has ALL the internet apps on it- so for me it's a cinch to get to Amazon Instant Video (the main reason I bought the player in the first place).
I'll update once I've had it awhile, but so far I'm liking this one alot.
ONE YEAR UPDATE: The best reviews, IMO, are those written long after the item was purchased and the "newness" has worn off. So on that note, it's been two days short of a year since I purchased this player. I'm still using it on a near-daily basis and I'm still loving it. It has kept up with the firmware updates needed for blu ray discs, and hasn't suffered any degradation in performance or wi-fi connectivity. I have noticed that its latest Amazon software update includes the ability to display captioning (I believe Netflix has this also). I'm sure they're coming out with even fancier players by now, but this one was and continues to be a little workhorse that does exactly what it was designed to do, and does it superbly.