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on August 18, 2011
I received my Sony BDP-S480 yesterday and have been playing with it for few hours now.
The setup
Blu Ray player connected to Onkyo HT-RC360 via HDMI and connected to Ethernet, TV Samsung LN52B630
As soon as I started the player it started my TV, onkyo receiver was off at this stage and running in pass-through mode. The completed the easy setup and player was ready within few 2-3 mins.
I started playing with YouTube and everything I searched was running fine, I liked the part that it was running all the videos that were listed as part of search. I was able to move forward/backward with ease and the load time was normal.
Second I started Netflix and started playing with the menu, I am used to Netflix app on Wii and the Sony interface looked a bit dated. It shows only 3 titles for a category at a time and you have to click on more to see whole screen of titles. I played some SD and HD videos and most of them started within few seconds. The HD videos took little longer as the player was checking bandwidth before playing every movie. Once the movies started it was streaming without any issues. The picture quality was really good, a lot better than watching through Wii.

Next I tested my NAS device (Synology DS207). The player listed my device as a service just like Netflix or YouTube and identified shared folders listing music, photo and movies, I played some random files that includes avi, dvd rips and hd video copies, it played all of them without any issues. So far I have been using Popcorn hour A100 for this purpose and now the blu ray player will replace it.
Since I am Amazon prime member I get those prime videos for free. The choice is very limited but I guess the content will keep increasing over time. Only issue with Amazon instant video is main screen shows movies/tv that can be purchased with one click and only need a pin number. If your kids know that pin number they can easily purchase any movie.
I tried all these things through Onkyo receiver and everything ran the same was as pass through setup. The player was on for almost 6 hours and didn't show any heating issues or stuttering.
I will be playing with some blu rays next and will update the review. So far I am extremely happy with the selection. I was trying to select between Samsung C6500, Sony S580, but this choice seems better so far.
The bad so far is no HDMI cable included, but that seems to be standard with all players now.

Update I
I tried two BD movies, Kings Speech and Rango. The player was quick in loading both movies. Since Sony has removed 1 GB storage that used to be standard on older models, you get message that can not connect with BD live content. I will try next adding external storate and test it. The blue ray quality was excellent and scene selection, moving forward/backward seems to work perfectly fine.

Update II - 9/30/2011
I have been using Iphone app for this player and it's a time saver. Now once I have started the player I end up using this app instead of remote. I can use all remote function via app without worrying about facing the player. Plus the app allows me to search with full keyboard (iphone touch kepad) instead of time comsuming numeric pad. Netflix, Youtube, Amazon VOD, all have search capabilities and the app has made it lot easier to search.

So far I am annoyed with the youtube app. It can search fine but does not return all records returned by search on a computer. I tried using my account and it listed all the playlists I had, but it listed only few videos from the playlist. I updated my playlists from computer but the player app is not showing me updated playlist videos.
I found few type of AVI files the player won't play. It plays mkv, most of avi, mpegav files fine.
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on January 22, 2012
I bought this player almost entirely to get Hulu. My TV is not really videophile quality, so I can't comment on that aspect. It's a disk player and it plays disks perfectly adequately for a person who's looking for an inexpensive player.

I have a Boxee, but Hulu blocks the Boxee due to some kind of behind-the-scenes shenanigans. TVs, game consoles, disk players - all these devices now have a basket of apps which are just about the same, and have the same features and flaws. For example the YouTube app on the S480 and the Boxee presents things in a side-by-side format which looks nice, but leaves very little room for the title, so when you're looking for things with multiple parts, like "My really awesome video that you want to see Part 01" - the end of the title is just truncated. But anyone who's used YouTube for 5 minutes quickly learns that's where critical part of the title info is located. Because when you want to watch a 5 part video and your search turns up 5 videos all with the title ""My really awesome video that you wan..." - you have no idea which is the first one. And if you figure it out by trial and error, then when part 1 is over, you don't know which is part 2. This kind of thing is probably not Sony's fault (I assume they are not the app authors) but if you're buying one of these for the first time, and you see "Apps! Apps! Apps!" all over the box, all over the product display in Best Buy, and all over the Amazon product page, you may not realize that they spent a lot more time on promotion than actually using the software and making sure the experience is nice.

All the apps have these weird quirks regardless of which device and manufacturer you choose. The real differentiator is the remote. It may not be obvious at first, but if you're going to use Hulu or YouTube, eventually you're going to want to search, and that means typing text. That is where things get heinous really fast. If you use Sony's remote, you have to type it in phone-pad style using the number keys. If you want a 'C', you have to push the '2' key 3 times. You can imagine what it's like to type in "buckaroo banzai across the 8th dimension" and then realize you made a typo - or you're trying to find the right part of your video but you have to do it by trial-and-error because the titles are truncated - and you picked the wrong part - and now you have to type all that over again *every time*. The ghost of Steve Jobs may well come back and murder the engineers who designed this in their sleep.

And this brings us to the meat of the issue. Device manufacturers quickly realized that if you're going to interact with these "Apps", keying in words with a traditional remote is just a non-starter. What many of them are doing is creating their own remote control apps for phones and tablets that give you another way to control the device. Sony's is called "Media Remote" - if you have a smart phone or tablet, you can install this app and then navigate using the touch screen and type text as required using the virtual keyboard on the device. This changes the experience from one of incredible tedium and frustration to something almost workable. Generally, I'd say don't even *think* about buying any minimal device like this for the apps unless it supports using a smart phone or tablet as a remote. I've heard that LG's remote does not support text entry - which is like an ironic fork in the eye - to go to all that trouble and then leave the main pain point unaddressed - incredible.

In order to use Sony's "Media Remote" app, you need a wireless network that supports UPnP. They aren't exactly up-front about that. Possibly because just about every modern router does support it. The ones that don't are typically routers supplied by internet providers, like AT&T's 2Wire gateway router used with U-verse. If you're stuck with one of those, you'll have to buy another router and switch your network over to it in order to use Media Remote. If you envision yourself using the apps, then plan on doing what it takes to get Media Remote going. It's conceivable that you could use Netflix with only clicks by setting up the searches on your computer in advance and adding items to your queue. But sooner or later you'll want to search, and without Media Remote, any kind of text entry is very painful.

One serious negative is the "browser" application - don't imagine that this box is a substitute for a Boxee, Roku, or Google TV in that regard. The browser works alright, but there's no concept of a cursor. You have to navigate around page objects with the arrow keys to find something selectable, and the first video I tried to play locked up the whole box hard. I had to unplug it for a couple of minutes to get it to reset. It's really amazing that you can get so much from a device that is so inexpensive - but some parts are just not ready to use. Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube apps have all worked fine for me. The browser, however, is a disaster.

So if you want a disk player that also supports all the popular app-driven services, AND you have a smart phone or tablet, and a wireless network that supports UPnP, then you're all set for a great experience with the S480. It's a metric ton of value for a pittance.


After using this box for about 4 months, I have to amend this review to say that it crashes a LOT. By "crash", I mean that it gets into a state where it won't respond to the remote or the front panel buttons at all. When that happens, you have to unplug it for a good 30 minutes, then plug it back in. It must have some kind of internal system for holding the memory through brief power outages, because you can't just unplug it and plug it back in. 5 or 10 minutes is not enough. That can be really annoying - say you invite some people over to watch a movie, but while you weren't looking, the box crashed and it won't turn on. Sorry folks - we need 30 minutes to reboot the player. It has a hardware reset by holding down the power button for 10 seconds - that usually is ineffective. One crash got it into some weird state that locked up my whole LAN. Overall, lots of value for a small price, but very quirky little box.

** UPDATE 5/21/12 **

New software update from Sony - but it's still doing the same thing. The LAN lockup behavior seems to coincide with powering it down with a disk inside. I have a Netgear 8 port gigabit switch that most of my LAN traffic goes through - including the player. When the LAN is knocked out, I see a ton of traffic coming from the powered off BluRay player into the switch, and no traffic goes anywhere. When I unplug the BluRay player, everything goes back to normal.

** UPDATE 1/14/13 **

After putting the player on filtered power from a UPS, it crashes only every couple of weeks, instead of every few days. But after several firmware updates, it still exhibits the crash behavior that takes out my entire LAN. Last night, I had to shut everything down and reboot after one of its spaz attacks to get my network going again. I would be curious to know what it's blasting out on the network that can kill it so thoroughly, but not enough to put a network analyzer on it to find out. Overall, given the time this thing has wasted, I have to say it's just not worth it. It's a great little player until it locks up your entire network and wastes an hour of your time. After repeated episodes of that, I'm lowering my rating to 2 stars and throwing this thing in the trash.
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on February 24, 2011
I purchased this unit pretty much on a whim. Since it's so new, I couldn't find much in the way of user reviews. It plays Blu-Ray disks fine (my old Toshiba was pretty much a hit or miss in that regard), but the network functionality is poor.

I was using Netflix on my Xbox 360 but grew tired of the high annual Xbox Live fee so wanted a player with Netflix support. Compared with the Xbox 360, the Netflix interface on the Sony is a joke... it only gives you access to your instant queue... that's it. No searching, no recently played, no recommendations. There are hints in some of the menu functions that more might be coming in future firmware releases, but who knows.

Another feature I wanted was streaming over my home network. I tried connecting up to Windows (7) Media Center and then to XBMC. More than 80% of my videos wouldn't show up or wouldn't play - all are AVI files, encoded in a variety of formats like xvid, divx. The same was the case with files stored on a USB memory stick - they simply wouldn't play showing up as 'corrupted'. Have not tried the other network apps like Hulu, Pandora.

The one thing about this player that I really do like is the Android app for remote control. Easy to set up, worked like a charm. I will likely return this unit in the next few days.
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on December 12, 2011
I have this player for a few weeks now and I think it was worth every penny I paid for. I got it on sale for $79.99 from another site and I couldn't be more happy with the way it performs. I also love the fact that this player can do some many things.

3D Blu-ray
DLNA Certified
Works great with PS3 Media Server
NTSF support via USB (simply awesome)
MKV support (works great, even supports soft-coded subtitles)
Remote Control by iOS/Android Devices
Internet Browser
Facebook app
Crackle app -works flawlessly
Pandora app -works flawlessly
Hulu Plus app
Amazon Instant Streaming app -works flawlessly
YouTube app -works flawlessly but do need an option for 720p or 1080p resolution
Netflix app
...more apps

Sluggish but functional UI (not as smooth as PS3, hopefully it will improve with an update)
No DivX support
No built-in WiFi, need USB adaptor (not really a problem for me because I prefer Ethernet cable)

Update 2/2012
Still working.
Marginal performance if you are streaming Netflix - because streaming via Netflix has to go through Sony servers the video quality is degraded compared to when streaming through my PC
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on December 13, 2011
I purchased this BluRay Player because it was a Sony, and could handle 3D disks to go with my 3D TV. I have not tried any 3D disks, yet, but the BluRay playing is magnificent!

Then I plugged in my Ethernet cable and followed the instruction to receive enhanced services and I was pleasantly surprised with the available Online capabilities that this unit provides. My flat-screen TV becomes a Web Browser which I never expected! I will admit that it is a bit clumsy to use without a qwerty keyboard, but it is still a Browser. There are also services of which I was not previously aware that provide dazzling travel-log videos in HD, and other entertaining short clips.

I have read comments about how difficult it is to be Online. This model uses an Ethernet cable as opposed to Wifi (available in model 580) but I have had NO problems with this. I am completely satisfied with it, and then some!

If you buy this, you will not be sorry!
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on December 14, 2011
I bought this a few days ago and have been VERY impressed. (1) First off, wireless connections are not nearly as good as wired... RUN A WIRE! and you will have far less problems. (I have a 3.0mb internet connection and I run 2 of these simultaneously with no problems... wired). (2)Someone posted on here that this unit only shows your instant queue in netflix..WRONG! I started not to buy this because of the post because that was one of my main concerns. Maybe it is because of an update (I updated it as soon as I turned it on), but there is indeed a search feature in netflix..excellent. People always like to leave negative comments on almost anything, but this is a great player and network device. you WILL NOT go wrong if you purchase this unit.
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on January 3, 2012
We received the blu-ray player with quick shipping. After reading the reviews I was fully aware that it wouldn't be wire-less without purchasing the extra accessory. Most reviews stated that directly using the cable gave better play for netflix and the other internet sites so it was no big deal. All the cables needed were included, the remote isn't any cheaper than others. We have a universal remote and it was super easy to get them coordinated. The device works perfectly, color is fabulous even on our older disks. I do agree that the set up for netflix, hulu etc., was tiresome but the small hassle wasn't that big of a deal. Read all the reviews, investigate other sources for reviews. Don't let the negatives from here keep you from purchasing a great player at a good price. Good greif...one of the low reviews was simply that the cord to plug it in wasn't long enough. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed the dvd part and the ability to watch online. In my opinion, you can't go wrong. Don't miss out simply by negative reviews, (most from ones who didn't thoroughly read about the product) some just nitpicky.

UPDATE 1/26/2014
No issues or problems with this blu-Ray player...well, except for the kids occasionally losing the remote. Our family doesn't have cable, so we use this constantly for watching Netflix, amazon prime videos, and Hulu. Still recommend this player, and would still purchase it again.

UPDATE 1/8/15 Blu-ray player is still going strong. No problems.
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on May 1, 2012
I actually bought two of these units as one was a gift. The person liked the unit so much I decided to purchase one to replace an ailing Pioneer. I have no details on connecting to the Internet with this machine as I use it strictly for Blu-Ray movie watching and the occasional standard DVD. The setup was very easy and I had the player up and running in minutes. A short wizard takes you through the motions and I was watching movies in minutes. I have owned many DVD & Blu-Ray players and some of them have been higher end players so my comparisons may be a little biased. I also own a higher end Sony LED TV and I thought this would be a good match for that set. It is if you are looking for convenience. If you are looking for stellar-grade quality it is not here. This unit got very good reviews online and it does do the trick but if you have owned Panasonic players or Pioneer players you will notice the difference. There is little to no tweaking of your video settings on this machine and the picture you get is what you get. While the picture is blu-ray, it just seems to be a little washed out compared to the other mentioned players. The price can't be beat on this unit, but in the end as most say, you get what you pay for. Standard DVDs did not look very good on this player, with the upscaling not nearly as good as a Panasonic player. If you are looking for a bedroom player, or on a strict budget then this player will do nicely but if you are picky about your video and like to take control of your picture and tweak settings, this is not for you. For the price you would do much better with a Panasonic player. I'm surprised that this player is not mind blowing given Sony's quality in video. I ended up returning it (Amazon rules) and buying another brand.
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on March 2, 2011
My biggest beef is about the BDP S480 is the Netflix. It needs to be like the PS3 version.
Youtube needs more user control as well. Both Netflix and Youtube are too limited. Hopefully
Sony will fix these issues soon.
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on December 29, 2011
Overall this is a great product for the price. Bought it for the parents for Christmas and they've been happy with it so far.

Pros: Perhaps the most important perk of this player is in the included app to access Amazon's Video On-Demand service. If you have a Prime subscription, it's really nice to able to load up the included free streaming videos directly to your TV, or to rent a movie (in HD in many cases) for much less than a movie ticket (although not quite as cheap as RedBox). There's also the benefit of the standard Netflix, Hulu, etc services. The included remote also has a convenient "Netflix" button for ease of access to the service.

Cons: The homescreen interface for the system is very utilitarian in its look. Options are presented in a horizontal row, with suboptions appearing vertically when a main group is selected. The streaming apps are not installed by default and finding the correct option to download and install them is challenging (took me three tries and I'm fairly tech savvy). Once downloaded, then continue to appear only as suboptions in a menu, which is annoying. Further, in order to actually use any of the apps, you are forced to create an account with Sony and "register" your device through them first. Then you must additionally register your device with your streaming service of choice. The Sony registration is really very superfluous and the extra steps were confusing and frustrating for my first-time streaming-user parents.

Neither Pro nor Con: There are actual physical buttons on the front of this device. They are small and can be hard to see (they are black against the black front of the device), but it is sort of refreshing.
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