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on March 18, 2013
Please note that there is a new version of this player to be released soon. The BDP-S5200. The higher end BDP-S6200 is available now and you can find out what I thought of the player on the product page here>

Sony BDPS6200 3D Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi and 4K Upscaling

Original BDP-S5100 review:

This is a full featured BD/DVD/Network player.

The player uses the same XMB (Xross Media Bar) interface as last years players and the PS3. All the same services are on this player as last year, including all the popular ones - Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Hulu and Crackle. The Netflix interface supports the new Super HD (5800kb/s) stream, with Dolby Digital + audio. Amazon also supports Watchlists and Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstream. I mention this, because its one of the few players out there that does.

New for 2013 is the Youtube app, that gets a serious facelift, and supports HD streams and a new look.

Disk start up times have also being improved over last year by at least 10 seconds (compared to the top of the line BDP-S790 from 2012).

A lot of folks complained about text input on last years player, as the onscreen keyboard used a numeric keypad to provide the input. This year, Sony replaces it with a full QWERTY style onscreen keyboard, which is certainly easier to use.

What else is there. Well again the Sony player is very good for supporting local media playback through DLNA. This bluray player supports more file formats and codecs that most, and is best used with the Serviio DLNA server.

Also new for 2013 is the players ability to work with Sony's new 2nd screen app called TV Sideview. This gives folks the opportunity to interact with the player using a iOS or Android device. You are able to search across multiple network services (Netflix, youtube) and local content too ... although i've not had much luck with search ... the system seems to have a few bugs in it right now. Early days though.

One other new capability over last year is the built in Opera web browser. It has being improved and will support "some" HTML5 video streams ... such as youtube, within the browser. Again, my experience with it wasn't ideal, and I really wouldn't recommend using this blue-ray player to browse the net! Its just too slow to render the pages.

Visually, its a nice looking player, and has a semi metal case, compared to last years all plastic one. Its suppose to have improved WIFI reception too ... although I only tested it with a wired Ethernet cable.

If you're looking for a solid disk and network player, the BDP-S5100 is well worth a look. Is it worth upgrading from last years BDP-S590? ... well, only if you are a heavy youtube user would I consider it. The BDP-S590 was already a excellent Bluray player, and Sony has only done a few incremental improvements here.

Final thoughts ... note that this player has no analog outputs; not even for audio .. so if you have non HDMI equipment, don't even consider this player. No Digital optical output either (Only Coaxial) Also this player won't come with a HDMI cable, so plan ahead !!

I can't comment on its 3D abilities as I don't have any 3D displays.

For folks that may have a issues with video cutting out intermittently, do yourself a favor and turn off "deep color" in the screen settings. No content uses this feature anyway.

Thanks for reading.
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on May 2, 2013
I bought this to replace my Panny 210 and so far, it works well, with just a couple of complaints. Compared to the Panny 210, the unit is quieter and much quicker to load and play a BD. The UI is typical Sony and I like it, a lot. The wireless was easy to set up, and the firmware update was finished quickly.......... Make sure you turn the "BD Audio Mix" setting to OFF if you are connecting the player to an AV receiver that can decode DTS Master and Dolby HD signals, otherwise you won't get the best that Blu-ray has to offer.

Now, as for the issues. The Pandora app takes much longer than I expected between songs. On my Sammy 6420 TV, it is no more than 5 seconds between songs and on my Onkyo 709 it is no more then 3 seconds, but on the S5100 it takes at least 15 seconds or more between songs........Pretty annoying. However, the YouTube and Amazon Prime apps both work great with no stuttering or buffering and I'm only on a 2.5mbps connection.

The main issue: Today when I went to play Pandora it got stuck on the "Acquiring internet content 3/3" screen and would not load any smart apps. I turned it off/on and nothing, then I unplugged it for 5 minutes and plugged it back in, nothing, I rebooted my DSL ( even though the S5100 said that my connection was OK ), and still no joy. I read online that with some of its other players, Sony recommends to do a system reset to fix this, but I also read from users that a reset didn't do a thing, and they had to spend 20 minutes resetting up their player, so I didn't do it. I then got stubborn and tried to load Pandora again and let the machine idle on the "acquiring internet content" screen for 20+ minutes and it magically fixed itself. This would be a huge deal breaker if it becomes a trend. I will update with the results and adjust my rating when I get more time on the unit. If it happens again, it will be going back immediately, but if it was a one time fluke, then I will be more than happy to keep it.

Hopefully Sony gets enough complaints regarding the Pandora app and sends out a firmware update to fix it. If that happens, and today's app issue never happens again, then this would be the perfect 5 star player......Time will tell.

UPDATE 5/7/13: I read over on AVS Forum that it was recommended to disable the "Software Update Notification" setting (set to ON by default) to prevent the "acquiring internet content" freeze that I experienced. I did so the day I wrote this review and I have not had another issue since. The downside is I have to manually check for updates my self, but I personally prefer that as it's no different on how I handle Microsoft Updates for my computers. One check per month should be more than enough, but since it's so easy, you can do it at the end of every session as it takes under 15 seconds to complete.

I could no longer take the Pandora & Slacker delays between songs, so I ditched them, and now just use my Samsung's Pandora app instead. If you have other smart machines in your home theater, then they probably have Pandora & Slacker on at least one of them, but if you're going to have to rely on the 5100's Pandora & Slacker apps, then be prepared to be frustrated.

I raise my rating to 4 stars because of the simple fix for my main issue, and it only falls short of 5 stars because of the lazy apps. If Sony fixes them, then it's a 5 star machine......Overall, a very good player that (knock on wood) will live happily in my system for years to come.

UPDATE 6/4/13 Today's firmware update completely fixed the Pandora app. Now there is only a 4 second delay between songs. I raised my rating to 5 stars.

UPDATE 6/28/13 It's been 3 weeks since the firmware update that fixed Pandora and I'm happy to report that this is the only Pandora app that I use now. 3-5 seconds in between songs is awesome. Also, I re-enabled the "Software Update Notification" and I have not had the issue I mentioned above regarding the unit freezing on the "Acquiring internet content 3/3" screen, and I use it daily.............Typical Sony, find a problem, fix it........... I can't recommend this unit enough.

UPDATE 9/1/13 We have been using the Amazon Instant app more than we ever have, and I am happy to report no issues. We are now on U-verse 6Mbps and that speed is fast enough to receive DD 5.1 when it's offered, also no stutters or freezes either and the video is above average for a streaming HD feed. The firmware updates have lessened as of late so it looks like Sony is happy with its current performance..........I know I am.

UPDATE 5/20/14 It's been 13 months with many, many hours of use both as a Blu-ray player, as well as a streaming media player and I am happy to report there have been no major issues. Sure, there has been the occasional issue once or twice that turning it off/on resolves, but knock on wood, I have not had to do any type of soft/hard reset like unplugging or hitting the reset button in the settings. I would say that it gets used for 70% BD movies and 30% streaming as I now have a Roku3 that I rely on for streaming duties. I see no reason to pay more for the 2014 Sony when this model can be found for so much cheaper............... 5 stars easy.
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on March 15, 2013
With the release of these three updated Sony bluray players in 2013 I have put together a quick overview of the main differences between the three to help you decide. I went with the middle of the road S3100 and so far have been very pleased. It pretty much comes down to whichever features you need in your player as all three from a playing bluray perspective are the same. When you are ready to put your big boy audio/videophile pants on, check out the Oppo high end player at the bottom.


The Base Player - BDP-S1100 - Replacing the Sony S185

No WI-FI - Wired Ethernet only
Does NOT support DLNA
There is NO internet browser
Does NOT support Super Audio CD
There is NO analog video or audio outputs whatsoever
There is only one USB input (on the front of the player)
There is NO optical digital audio output on any of the three players. In addition to the HDMI there is digital coaxial audio output only.


Middle of the road - BDP-S3100 - Replacing the Sony S390

All the previous plus...
WI-FI support (2.4GHz)
Internet Browser with Opera TV store
DLNA support
Gracenote "lookup" support
TV Sideview Android and iPhone App support
There is NO optical digital audio output on any of the three players. In addition to the HDMI there is digital coaxial audio output only.


The High End - BDP-S5100 - Replacing the Sony S590

All the previous plus...
3D support
Extra USB port in rear
2D -> 3D conversion ability
There is NO optical digital audio output on any of the three players. In addition to the HDMI there is digital coaxial audio output only.


The Sony Flagship player - BDP-S790 - Not being replaced by anything this year yet

All the previous plus...
4K Video Upconversion
Internet Picture Enhancer Pro
Super Bit Mapping
3D Streaming
Additional HDMI out in the rear
Composite Video output in the rear
Analog Audio output in the rear


And for those that didn't know that high end bluray players existed out there, check out one of the most popular ones on the market.
The Oppo BDP-103


I stumbled across this site that was very informational while hunting for an accompanying TV. It includes feature comparisons, model number guides, and recommended picture settings.
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on October 17, 2013
I had a Sony BDP-S590 3D Blu-Ray Player, but my big puppy jumped on me and I fell hitting the open disc tray with my shoulder. I tried opening up the unit to see if it was something I could fix; unfortunately, I found a large white gear broken in half. The BDP S590 was history. In the process, I had also discovered that the Sony BDP-S590 was built like crap. Its innards are just cheap.

I had paid less than $100 for the quite good performing BDP-S590, so I took a chance on its successor the BDP-S5100; I have not been disappointed. The BDP-S5100 is even faster than the BDP-S590. Blu-Ray Discs load immediately. The Blu-Ray picture is excellent with incredible detail, very low digital noise, and good color . DVDs also look very good with upscaling to 1080p; it's actually the best I have seen yet in this price range. 3D Blu-Rays look great too. Titanic 3D, Dredd 3D, Pacific Rim, and Promethius 3D all look fantastic with this player.

Another plus with the Sony is that it has both optical and Digital Coaxial sound outputs. I have the Digital Coaxial connected to a multiple input and output Digital Coaxial Switch and Selector. That way I get dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sent to my 3 older JVC Digital Receivers with digital soundfield processing. Unfortunately, they don't have HDMI inputs and outputs, But thanks to their Digital Coaxial inputs, I still get Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 96/24 Audio output to my 5.1 X 3 surround setup with dual 10" subs.

Disappointingly, the BDP-S5100 is just as unsubstantial as my older BDP-S590. This is definitely not going to be a long lived device. At 2 pounds it is light as a feather which smacks of cheapness. Like the BDP-S590 it is likely the same: all delicate plastic, very thin stamped steel, and small misplaced globs of grease. However, the BDP-S5100s saving grace is its superb Blu-ray processing .

Meanwhile, I will not be letting this player connect to the internet most of the time. Unfortunately, Sony forces Firmware Updates that enforce more and more restrictive "features" on the user. As a result, I will connect to let it do firmware updates only after I read about their effects from those that have a given version. I am just using the BDP-S5100 as my workhorse Blu-Ray player for all the movies I rent from Redbox and Netflix. It's a great performer when used as such. Its 2D to 3D conversion actually works OK on a few titles. I use my Smart 3D Wi-Fi HDTV for Streaming.

Finally, the BDP-S5100s quasi-pyramid/stealth-bomber top is just ridiculous in my opinion. Amazingly, all the main Blu-ray player makers are following this same silly "artsy" design philosophy with weird shapes and all the buttons on the top. It's as if they think owners are going to have their $100 player on a special display table in front of their Big screen 3D Smart HDTVs for everyone to marvel at- just silly. All my components are in dust protected cabinets with shelves, but I won't be stacking anything on top of the Sony due to its shape. Luckily the buttons on top are raised, and there are only four. Sony, please put the control buttons back on the front where they belong. You're not the only component I own, so why not play nice with the others.
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on July 3, 2013
Pros: Quick setup, great picture quality, lots of apps
Cons: Menu screen is a bit too dark, BD player a bit noisy

I've only had this player for a couple of weeks, but have played around with it quite a bit. I'll preface my review experience by saying that this is my first blu-ray player, so I have nothing to baseline it against.

The player loads very quickly upon power up. Compared to the load time on my Oppo 971h DVD player, it's a race car. The picture and sound quality are top notch, as expected. I did not experience any glitches during playback and the 7.1 surround sound is truly immersive. The wifi setup was very easy and I was able to quickly download an update to the firmware and be up and running in a short time. There is a bit of a noise when using the physical disk (BD or DVD) as it spins even when you're not playing the movie. This was not much of an issue for me since my equipment is inside a cabinet.

There are the typical selection of apps avaiable for streaming: Netflix, Amazon instant video, Youtube, Hulu+, Vudu, etc. I tried out Netflix first and the HD streaming was flawless, with no interruptions or lags. It does take about 20 - 30 seconds to load to actual app, but once you're in, there are no delays. I had a similar experience with Amazon. I'm a Prime member, so as soon as I logged in, I saw my saved items in the queue. There was a small delay with the Amazon app as I navigated through the choices and menus. Also, the Amazon user interface is actually more intuitive on the older Wii console.

Pandora is another app I've tried and have gone through several playlists throughout the week. Again, like the Amazon app, I experience some delays here and there, but nothing too annoying. The songs however, seemed to play with no lag.

The one area that is somewhat annoying is the menu and keyboard options. I'm hoping to remedy the latter with a USB keyboard, but for now, I have a reasonable solution. I've installed the TV SideView app on my iPad (it's also available in the Google Playstore). Using the app, I can quickly search for titles, play movies, music, etc. much faster than wading through the menus with the remote.

As I mentioned before, the menu seems a bit dark and scrolling through the huge list of apps for video and audio is not ideal in the current arrangement. I've also experienced some sub-menus that don't display a "back" or "return" button. It appears as if you're stranded at the end of some menu. You are forced to hit the "Home" button to get back to the main menu.

The physical size of the player is rather small, which is nice if you're fighting for room in your electronics cabinet. It is somewhat difficult to stack another device on top of it since it has that prism design, but I still managed to get the Wii console and my ATT Uverse box on top of it. The build quality seems rather cheap for a player that's supposed to be a flagship model.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this device so far and I'd say it's a solid contender. I may provide an update in a couple of months after extended use.
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on March 6, 2014
March 6 2014

I got this for a gift for Christmas. It was fine, great, very happy until TODAY.


Very upset, Sony, Amazon, please advise.

March 7, 2014

Amazon has agreed to take the product back for a full refund, something I am very happy about because I got no response from Sony and don't want to fool around with hacking a product I have only had for two months.
After reading quite a bit online, it is clear that many sellers specify *** Do Not Upgrade ***, something I would not have agreed to (future compatibility), since this is a product I do not want to be replacing every few years. There was nothing here or on the package documents to say do not upgrade.
I will replace this from an online seller who supports firmware upgrades, even if it is a bit more.

Again, thank you Amazon!
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on April 22, 2013
Everything worked perfectly out of the box. Netflix / Amazon Prime /Pandora etc etc all worked fine with the codes the player provides during setup or when using the first time. Absolutely no problems. Old DVD up-conversion looks sweet.

Hookup was a snap (does NOT come with any HDMI or any other cables in the box), and I had some minor kludging to do, as some of my other equipment has been around for quite a while - but everything went smoothly.

My old receiver has, along with 3 Toslinks, a default "coaxial" digital audio input for DVD players,
and since the hi-quality :D gold shielded "digital audio" cable I foolishly ordered from Monoprice hadn't arrived yet, I just grabbed a cheap video composite rca cable I had laying around and used that.

I'm used to good quality (for digital) 5:1 optical audio, and for the life of me I can't tell any difference (no crosstalk, buzz, interference or drops) using this cheap workaround rca cable (a short 6' run) - so I'll swap out when my "good" one gets here, - but just so you know, a cheap yellow video composite, or ANY cheap rca audio cable will likely work in a pinch (for short runs).
If you don't have a "coaxial" digital rca input on your receiver, just get something like this: C2G / Cables to Go 40018 Coaxial to Optical Digital Audio Converter

The picture quality right out of the box was impressive - if necessary I can even convert the HDMI output to DVI (via converter cable) to accommodate an older DLP Samsung tv, and though when I do this it degrades down to 1280×720 it still looks great. I've seen no glitches, drop-outs etc so far, even when I hook it up to the older equipment.

The icing on the cake was the network performance. I have a Netgear 802.11.N wireless router with wired gigabit ports, but even though the Sony player only has a 100baseT ethernet input (I did go wired RJ45, haven't tried wireless yet) the network speed is more than adequate - I have little to no download wait time for Netflix, Amazon Prime HD movies with 5:1 sound - and when I can dig up a good quality movie from one of those sites (full 5:1 / HD) everything looks and sounds great, with fast rewind / fast fwd / repeat over the network (Comcast "blast" testing at 50Mb+ down-speed)

Lastly, what also impressed me was how painless it was to access all my multi-media from my PC with DLNA. My laptop saw the Sony player immediately on the network and vice versa - and with a few "share / permissions" tweaks on my laptop for security all my music, vids and pictures were immediately available on my tv.

The only things the S5100 doesn't do that higher-end players do are 4K upscaling and "Skype on your TV" - but until prices for 4K come down a lot, I have no desire to shell out $$s for a 4K tv, and I Skype from my laptop. The included Opera browser imo is for me a waste of time - I use my laptop's browser.

For $130 bucks, this thing exceeded my expectations in performance and literally painless setup. Easily worth the dough.

As I try newer more tricky stuff in the future I may add some detail to this review, but honestly, after just a couple days and just the few things that I've done so far, I
I have to give the BDP-S5100 my total recommendation for anyone looking for an affordable mid-range solution to media players.
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on November 28, 2013
Product worked well out of the box but after only a couple movies it now won't read any discs. It just displays a "false" error and amazon is no longer accepting a return for this faulty merchandise. As a long time amazon customer this is very disappointing.
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on May 8, 2013
I own several Sony DVD players, and they've all been very good, till now. This player got good reviews and operates about the same as the other players I have, so I thought it would be a safe purchase. When it arrived and I hooked it up, the first thing I did was update the firmware. So far so, good. I set up other services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Youtube, etc. All that worked fine. The first time I noticed something wasn't right was when I attempted to play a 3D blue-ray DVD. It would say that it was reading the disk, but never come back. After several power cyclings, it finally read the disk, and played normally. If I tried to stream anything, it would report a network error, and quit, even though the smart tv right next to it was able to stream the very same service without a problem. Occasionally, streaming works, but most of the time, it does not. And, I continue to have problems with it reading DVDs. I tried to get it to display pictures and video on a USB drive. It would say it was reading the drive, but would never return. The very same USB drive plays without a problem on the smart tv and computer. So far, it has not been able to read any drive I have tried, even though every other device, including my older Sony DVD players, can.

The only thing I can conclude is that this particular player is defective. Other reviewers have noted problems with player. Gotta return it.

A couple other things aren't working. If I try to update the firmware wirelessly, it goes away for about 10 seconds and then returns with no message of any sort. My other Sony players will say the firmware is up to date if its. This does not. Also, it cannot see my computer on the network, even though the tv and other players can. And, last but not least, it occasionally freezes for no apparent reason.
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on November 15, 2013
I really hate this player a lot. Many of the player's feature require you to register an account with Sony, so I don't use them. I only use it to play discs and Netflix streaming. The software it uses to connect with Netflix is fussy, and occasionally fails to connect, erroneously claiming the network is unavailable. Loading the Home screen takes a long time compared to my old LG blu ray. Discs take a long time to load as well.

The form factor of the remote is terrible. It's perfectly symmetrical, so you can't tell in the dark by feeling which end you're pointing with. There is a special button on the remote that activates Sony Entertainment Network, their walled garden of whatever. I was forever accidentally pressing that button just picking up the remote. The process it launches can not be interrupted and takes forever to mount. In desperation I dug that button out of the remote with a pocket knife.

The player was cheap and has wi-fi and that's why I bought it. The instant I can afford a better one it goes in the trash.
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