on March 31, 2012
[added a "6 moths later update at the end]
This isn't a super in depth review, but will give you more info that most will in a fairly brief summary:
First off, I am a Sony TV guy who bought TWO Panasonic Blu-Ray players last year due to their seeming superiority(reviews, pro and online stores).
First step for any modern electronic device, update your firmware. My initial update took over 5 minutes. I also recommend registering at internet.sony.tv as in the past some Sony products won't connect to certain services until you do. I connected to AmazonVideo on Demand and Netflix, BEFORE I registered it, so they may have responded to complaints and dropped the requirement, but incase there is a service that require it get it out of the way, it only takes a minute if you have a Sony account already
Netflix app(they upgraded! Sony fans rejoice!):
One glaring fault with (past/pre-2012?) Sony visual products is their Netflix app, as for years Sony decided to have a proprietary interface, and if you have researched it, a LOT of people had Netflix streaming issues. I guess Sony finally took note, as the new interface is like a across between the Wii interface and the Panasonic interface, as in it looks like you avgerage Netflix app now. I watched the Norwegian film TrollHunters, and it took about 15-20 seconds to load the movie, 10 seconds for the Netflix stream to stabilize to the bandwidth( this is mostly on Netflix's end I believe), with the unit 10 feet from my router. For the entire movie, it never reloaded or refreshed, or froze, and was in 1080 with 5.1 sound. I also paused the movie and rewound several times with no reload or delay. Truly the smoothest Netflix experience I have had yet on any of my devices. If your getting the S590 I assume this will be important to you. And yes, it has a dedicated Netflix button, and the app loads faster than my Wii or Panasonic Blu Ray players, and my Sony TV's, so I assume they have "fixed" it, but I haven't done a lot of viewing yet.
Blu Ray performance:
Another reviewer said it won't play Disney movies, but I didn't have a problem, more later. First I put in the Star Trek (2009) Blu Ray, which has great visual beginning. I didn't have any performance issues that I could tell, and the menus are VERY fast and responsive, almost to a fault as there was a bit of shutter on the pop up menu, but unless you watch the movie with the pop up constantly going up and down I don't see this as a big issue. It was roughly 30 seconds from hitting the eject button to close the tray to the Paramount intro screen going, not bad.
I then tried a 3D Disney Blu Ray (Tangeled, a true Disney made film), as one reviewer had said Disney BR does not work. Seeing as how this player is VERY new( a few weeks to a month on market), My guess is there was a firmware issue, disc issue, or user issue. That said, Tangeled played flawlessly in 3D as I skipped around chapters trying to cause an issue, but it all worked great.
Also, this player, in my opinion, works very fast when skipping chapters or loading a scene from menu, where some playera seem to pause or lag. It was also quick to fast foward and "rewind", with little to no pause when hitting the button. A noticeable leap over my 2011 model panasonic bdt-220.
As usual for modern Sony products, if you have a WPS router, took roughly 2 minutes, from the time I started the set up on the TV, walked to my router in the next room and hit the WPS button, and then walked backed to tell the TV to begin connecting.
The Media Remote app for Android worked very well, but you must first go to the settings menu on the TV and scroll down to the Media remote section, and "register"(aka activate, a button push) the feature(an unnecessary step IMO but I guess they are worried about people with an unprotected router have their TV taken over by pranksters?).
Now some people are complaining about build quality. It's true it doesn't feel as sturdy at the Panasonic Players I bought last year, but is by no means flimsy. Unless you are planning on dropping it regularly, or letting your dog chew on it, I don't see a problem with this. It does look nice, with a brushed metal "look" on the case.
As with seemlingly EVERY Blu Ray player, it does not come with an HDMI(which baffles me, it isnt expensive to make a high quality HDMI cable, don't get fooled by the HDMI cable prices).
I have now owned this product for 6 months. If I were to again compare it to the Panasonic's , although they are a generation older, the Sony absolutely blows them away. It loads movies faster, it streams Hulu and Netflix faster, it updates firmware MUCH faster, and I have not had any streaming or Blu Ray video problems at all.
I have encountered one issue, but won't change my rating. On Fast Boot mode, while the boot is nearly instant, I did encounter an odd issue where it boots itself. If you have your TV HDMI control function, it will turn on the TV also. It's a bit unnerving when you are asleep and you are awoken by your TV turning on and seeing a Main menu. This COULD be an HDMI control issue with my TV though. There are two ways to solve it: Turn off fast boot(it's still much faster than most Blu Ray players), or turn off HDMI control so it can't turn on your TV itself. Also, while some Sony TV's do not, this player will also auto zoom/strech the screen when you are watching a 4:3 format video on netflix, to fit your widescreen, so there aren't any bars on the side. I know many people want to use every inch of their TV screen.
Also, Sony has been fairly quick lately to keep the Internet Video Apps up to date/ recent versions, So no TiVo-style glacier slow Internet Application User Interface updates to worry about.
on March 20, 2012
This is a awesome Streamer/Bluray/DVD player. I haven't experienced any issues whatsoever playing back Bluray disks. Boot times are very good with the disks I tested. Everything played back perfectly with stunning picture quality. However, I really purchased this player for its streaming abilities. Sony players were dinged in the past for a poor Netflix experience. Sony have fixed this with a updated Netflix interface that supports 1080p and Dolby Digital+ streams. Similarly Amazon VOD supports Dolby Digital bitstream audio, and VUDU and HULU+ are unchanged from the 2011 players, but work fine. Its also nice to have "crackle" on there so you can watch the odd Seinfeld episode when you fancy.
I also tested the player with a DNLA server. Sony seem to recommend Serviio (free) so I think they must test the DLNA features of the player with this software. I tested photos, music and video and everything played back perfectly.
Anyway, a great streamer/disk player. Highly recommended !!
** update **
Had a need to play a Disney BD disk on this player the other day. A comment here suggests that Disney BDs won't play. Complete nonsense. They playback perfectly.
** Update (8/27/12) **
Sony added support for watch lists with the amazon Vod app.
Cinema NOW is now supported.
on May 14, 2012
I've been looking for a Blu-ray player for awhile now and my purchase was delayed a bit due to so many conflicting feedback entries over products. I finally decided to go with a brand I trust, Sony, that had the features I was looking for and just see what happens. The S590 is 3d capable, but I have no interest in 3d and that is why I do not address it in my review.
Out of the box the player is a bit plasticy. (Is that a word?) Yes it feels a little cheap, but on the upside it is light and matches my other equipment. I don't need a Blu-ray player that is built like a tank. After all, it is just going to sit there on my media shelf playing movies. I don't get why people complain about it. Do they take their players mountain biking with them? So yes, the case is plastic, but I could not care less. One important note, an HDMI cable is not included with the unit, so be sure to have one if you want an HDMI connection.
I plugged in the player via HDMI and turned it on. First thing I established a wireless connection so I could update firmware. My router, in the next room, was seen immediately, along with routers from neighbors. I entered my password and was connected. Next, I updated the firmware. That took less than five minutes to do. Amazon Prime connectivity was next, then Netflix. No issues at all. I then decided to stream an Amazon Prime movie, Mission Impossible 3, as it is hi-def and I wanted to see what performance was like. The movie started up within 30 seconds, I saw I was getting between 8.4 and 10.2 megabits per second. The picture was clear and smooth. Over the weekend we streamed from Amazon Prime and Netflix and were very happy with the speed of connection and quality of video and sound.
I also tried playing Blu-Ray and DVD movies, both with no issues. I did not time how long it took to get a movie playing, but I can (very unscientifically) say that it was faster than what I have seen with several units. Everything played as expected.
Boot up time is acceptably fast. I chose the slower boot process as I don't want the player in standby mode all the time. When I turn the player on, I am able to choose what I want to do in about 15 - 20 seconds. More than acceptable.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the player. It is responsive, boots quickly and has handled my needs, (Blu-Ray disks, DVDs, Amazon Prime and Netflix.) I have not tried other features, so I can't speak to them. Given my experience, I would expect they would work as advertised, but you never know until you try them.
If I have friends looking for a Blu-Ray player, I won't hesitate to recommend the S590!
on June 4, 2012
In April I decided that although I loved my LG blu-ray player for Netflix and watching blu-rays, I wanted a new player that would let me watch Amazon streaming and have an updated and easier to use Netflix interface. My old player worked perfectly for what it did, I just wanted something that did more.
First, based on my great experience with my LG player, I ordered the LG BD670. I liked the interface, liked how it played blu-rays, loved that I could search Netflix from the blu-ray player itself (the old player would only let you view your queue and a few of the specific categories that it chose, you had to go to another device if you wanted to search or even browse beyond that) and I loved Amazon streaming. But it did not play Netflix well: during the course of pretty much anything I'd try to watch, whether it was a 2+ hours movie or a twenty minute tv episode, it would lose the sound and have stuttering picture for anywhere between a few seconds to several minutes. After less than two weeks I contacted Amazon and sent it back. I put my old blu-ray player back and it worked with no problems, for Netflix and blu-rays both.
Then, based on glowing reviews, I tried the Panasonic DMP-BDT220. Initially it seemed great. I liked it even more than the LG. Then it started having connection issues. Actually, it started having connection issues the first day, but I didn't realize right away that it was going to be a *constant* problem. There was not one day that it did not lose the internet connection. Granted, where it was set-up is as far away from my wireless router as it can be while the two devices are still the house, so some connection issues are understandable, but it would lose connection when nothing else in the room it was in had lost their connection and beyond that even, it would not reestablish its connection until I'd cycled it off and on, sometimes several times. I really wanted it to work, since when it was working, I loved it. I did not contact the company, in fairness, so I cannot say if they could have helped me or comment on their customer service. I did check online reviews and message boards and found that I was not alone in having internet connection issues with it. I tried some fixes that were posted but nothing worked. I read more than one person complaining that they *had* contacted Panasonic and were told that the wireless in the player just wasn't that strong, and the only real cure for connections issues was to move the player closer the router. That wasn't an option for me so, incredibly frustrated, after almost a month of it, I contacted Amazon and sent it back. Again I put my old blu-ray player back and it worked with no problems.
Finally, as a last resort, I tried this player, the Sony BDP-S590. Tentatively, hesitantly, I would say it *seems* I've found my player. I admit, I held off on the Sony because it was more expensive than the LG, and at least at the time I was first looking, the reviews weren't as good as for the Panasonic. But for me, it's working. It sits where the Panasonic sat (and where the LGs sat) and doesn't have any connection issues except when there is genuinely an interruption that is affecting everything else that's connected to the router--and even then as soon as the router is doing its thing again, all I have to do is hit "Retry" and the player is connected again, no turning it off and on repeatedly. It has no problem playing Netflix, or Amazon streaming, or Crackle, or Youtube, or good old blu-rays. I appreciate that it's got the only remote that actually controls my not-that-old Toshiba tv, which isn't a big deal, but it's nice. I'm not an audiophile or videophile or whatever, so I can't comment on the technicalities of the sound or picture; it sounds and looks fine to me. The loading times aren't long enough that I get impatient, but I'm not the sort of person who times those things as long as they aren't long enough to make me take notice.
As far as I'm concerned, if you just want to watch stuff, it works. And if you have any sort of distance constraints on where you can place it (like if you don't want to/can't put it in the same room with the router) this is your best bet. I waited to write this review, paranoid after the first two blu-ray players, but after about a month of this, I'm still pleased with it.
on April 7, 2012
At this point, I have made the rounds. I first bought a refurb Panasonic BDT210, thinking the black flashes would be fixed. They weren't. Sent it back. Then, I ordered a Panasonic BDT220. Very nice player with great picture and sound quality, and excellent streaming. Problem was there was a soft, distinct, rhythmic, gulping sound when playing discs, especially with DVDs. Exchanged it for another. The second machine had wireless connection issues. Return it rather than face a headache. Heard really good things about the BDP S390 and 590. Skeptical at first since I have been a diehard Panasonic player fan. Hooked up the Sony. Smooth as silk setup with wireless. No problem at all. Zip, zip, zip. That made me instantly happy. Very user friendly. Quiet player too. Not silent, but no disturbing sounds. Then there was the picture quality. Wow. The Panny is great, but the 590 is photographic. Beautiful picture. Great sound as well. Quick disc loading (though the Panny may be an insignificant touch quicker). Excellent streaming with a fine picture (extra hi/HD even with wireless). Navigating apps is smooth and quick. Amazon's user interface could use some tweaking when it comes to search and selection, but I get my Prime movies with no issues. I can't comment on USB and external files because I don't use them. The PQ on this player along with the smooth and friendly user interface got me to such a degree, I ended up ordering a second one for my other TV. I'm very happy with how things turned out. It's been a long haul, but Sony gets an A+ from me on this player.
Please note: Updating the firmware on this player can take a few minutes. It's quicker when the player is hard wired. The player has to be turned on again after the update is completely finished. Also, Sony customer support was friendly, responsive, and helpful when I called asking about the update. :) Panny needs to improve the quality of their customer service. Rather cut and dry in my experience.
on May 2, 2012
But!! While the first unit I received had a defective right channel
port, and one of the things I love about doing business with Amazon
is their immediate cross ship of a (fully working) working replacement,
the Sony just fell-down in two critical areas:
1) Who's the idiot at Sony that included the ability to play almost
every video format (AVI/MP4/M4V/MKV) BUT no subtitles related to these
files; talk about poor product management! The support person at Sony
indicated this was (no BS he really said...) "that's a 'feature'." WTF?!?!!
What? Not being able to see subtitles on a film is a "feature"? Forget
foreign films, how about the hearing impaired?
2) The unit was a little picky about the video files - I found a few
AVI's that caused the unit to complain about "unsupported file".
3) While not critical, the housing is a really, really cheap plastic
compound that scratches seemingly if you breathe on it...
If you don't care about subtitles and can live with the occasional
unplayable AVI file, this is an excellent unit with a very fast
processor, excellent UI and good selection of net apps (e.g. NetFlix
etc.) - I'd readily buy it (again and keep it) if they added srt/idx
subtitle file format support...
Oh, and for what it's worth, I even tried embedding the subtitles in
an MKV file, which the unit seemed to "know" were there, indicated
by it allowing me to cycle through the available character sets for
on-screen display, but never showed the subtitles on the TV.
I ended up buying an LG-BP620C - which has a brain-dead UI, a slower
processor (just means a little more wait between selections, etc) BUT
played all files I threw at it, AND showed flawlessly all subtitles.
It also has a few less (but really useful features) that then Sony,
but again, it plays everything I want to see and hear... And as a
side bonus, comes in a much better housing...
on January 11, 2013
I was hesitant to buy anything by Sony. They use to provide very good mid-level consumer electronics. Now they are just resting on their name recognition. "Its a SONY!". While setting up the player I found that the supplied remote control was defective. Contacted Sony support. They suggested resetting the remote by removing the batteries and pressing each button twice. Miraculously it worked, but only for a short time. Called Sony support back. They said that I had to send the remote to Texas and that it would take 7 - 10 days, not including transit time. I would be without the use of my new BD player for at least 2 weeks. I asked if I could purchase a new remote and send the malfunctioning unit back for a refund, but that was against their policy. I just told them that it was easier to return the whole player for a refund and then buy one from a manufacturer who actually cared about customer service.
Thank God for Amazon's great return policy. No more Sony products for me.
on October 16, 2012
First off, I'm not a video- or audiophile, meaning that I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to watching movies. I don't spend time finding the flaws in any production. Except for a couple of exceptions over the years, I don't like to know how movies are made or the detail of the acting experience. I want a movie to take me away for an hour or two and if I'm thinking about all that extraneous crap while I'm watching, there is no escape.
That said, I waited for a year before leaping into BluRay and I'm not about to replace my entire DVD collection like I did my VHS tape collection, but when I decided to take the leap, I did a lot of research, which now-a-days takes much sifting through good and bad reviews on the internet instead of the old days when I could mostly rely on Consumer Reports.
Even with a few bad reviews of this player here on Amazon, most of the reliable reviewers out there liked this player, especially for the price. Most agree that it is more flimsy feeling than a heavier box of metal and plastic, but the more reliable reviewers thought the S590 stood up to the competition and in some ways beat them. I have to say that I'm glad I ignored the few bad reviews on this site and bought this player, but I do have a few complaints.
Because it is thin and light, it sits nicely on the top of my entertainment stack. That said, it is a little longer than it really needs to be. Set up was simple and flawless. It connected to my wireless wi-fi instantly and updated itself in less than five minutes start to finish. It loads BluRay discs as quickly as my two year old upconverting SONY DVD player/recorder loads DVDs and the on-screen results are amazing with both BD discs and upconverted DVDs. Because it has all the connections I need (I personally can't imagine anyone wanting composite ports for an HD machine like this or complaining that it doesn't have them!) it connected flawlessly to my 60 inch HD TV with an HDMI cable I already had AND my current theatre system through the digital out jack so I can still enjoy 5.1 dolby (yes, I know most new movies come in 7.1 audio, but I'm not an audiophile, remember?)
I was also impressed by how many services this thing offers and how seamlessly they stream (you do need a high speed internet connection but this unit handles both wired and wireless painlessly.) One review I read said that unlike its Panasonic counterpart, the S590 doesn't allow you to browse the internet, but that reviewer is wrong because it DOES allow access to the internet much like a PC and even allows you to set your favorite start (or home) page. It loads most pages exactly like my PC does (but not all). Although it has a front USB port, it is for memory or media only, so don't try plugging in a keyboard, because it will NOT work. You are limited to the rather tedious entry of the on-screen keyboard, so this won't give you a PC experience, even though it does allow internet access.
Although it doesn't come with a built in hard drive for BD-Live or for buffering streaming content, the two USB ports handle that nicely. For a total of $10, I bought two 4GB sticks at Target and have one plugged in the back port for BD-Live and buffering and one plugged into the front port with all my music and a few videos clips. Once again, ALL of this works flawlessly, with my one MAJOR FLAW needing to be noted here:
For reasons I don't understand and haven't been able to find out by Googling it, this unit has problems reading all of the videos on whatever USB stick I put in it, even when they are all the same file format and converted in exactly the same way (and this is NOT a defect of the unit because both of my Sony S590's do the same thing). No matter what capacity stick I try (from 4G to 64G), once they get to a certain capacity, only about half of the .mp4 files on the stick show up at all, and even then it often reads the creation date and other file data incorrectly. What it does find, it plays flawlessly, but since both my Vizio smart TV and Samsung BD-F5700 Blu-ray player find all of them, read all them, play all of them flawlessly, and always show all the file data correctly, there is something wrong with the way Sony players read data sticks. Because of this, and because the Samsung BD-F5700 does everything this player does and more, and does it ALL flawlessly (and also has a smaller footprint) I am now using the Samsung and will be selling the Sony on eBay.
The bottom line for me regarding this player is that it does mostly what I wanted it for, but doesn't play personal videos as well as others on the market, even some that are considerably less expensive (I paid $105.00 plus free shipping for the Sony, but got the Samsung for $75!) For playing DVDs and Blu-ray discs, this player is probably as good as any Blu-Ray player at any price, and the Sony does have 3D capability which the Samsung doesn't have, but then again, I'm not a videophile, remember? For the non-perfectionist who mostly wants this to play their DVDs and Blu-ray discs, it does a great job of that, along with streaming from services like Netflix, HuluPlus, etc. It even does a great job of streaming audio, video and photograph files via DNLA from any PC on the same Wi-Fi network, making this a fine unit for those things.
on March 19, 2012
I disagree with the other reviewer about performance and quality of this product. Thats why I am writing this review. This is my fist BP player. I been using WD TV Live hub for a long time. I will compare it with WD for the matching features.
Here are my individual ratings
5/5 for Network configuration. It was flawless I was done with both wired and wireless in couple of minutes.
5/5 for Netflix experience. Interface is same as provided by WD.
5/5+++ for YouTube. Interface is much much better then WD. Searched videos keeps playing continuously. Easy access to playlist and subscribed channels.
5/5 for Amazon Video. flawless and 5.1 sound playback.
4/5 for other internet contents. WD has more options.
1/5 for internet browser. Horrible experience. Very difficult to work with interface. Wii has much batter internet browser then this.
----0/5 for DLNA playback. This is the worst part. I was not able to play my home videos from network drive or DLNA server. I tried different formats but no success.
TBD for BD playback. I have not tested this feature yet. Will update later.
Overall satisfied and keeping the unit.
on November 13, 2012
I'm normally pretty kind when I write reviews, but I'm so frustrated with this product, I need to warn others. First of all, my previous experiences with Sony products have all been good, and I had a high opinion of Sony. I bought a Sony TV and PS3 back in the early days of the PS3. We had been an Xbox family until then, but everyone loved the PS3, and the Xbox sits collecting dust. Guests say the TV has the best picture they've ever seen. The PS3 upconverts DVDs amazingly and plays Blu-Rays quickly and with great quality. It connects to my network quickly, and watching Amazon Prime videos is painless and of good quality.
So... when I needed something to watch DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming in another room, I naturally figured a Sony product would be good. I read the other reviews that said this was slow loading, but I got the impression it was "double", and 2x as slow as something that's very quick to load isn't that bad. Little did I realize we're talking 10 to 50x as slow!!
As an example, I can turn on the PS3, wait for it to boot and connect to the network and log into PSN, find the Amazon Prime App, launch it, open my watchlist, select a season of something, find the episode I'm on, and be watching video in under 2 minutes. I can fire up my iPad, close the current app, find the group with Amazon Prime in it, fire it up, select watchlist, season, and episode, and be watching in under 20 seconds. How long does this take with the BDP-S590? 8 to 12 MINUTES!!! If you can ever get the video to load, the picture is good, but it's just too slow.
It's slow loading DVD/Blu-Ray, but nothing outrageous. However, if you don't want the "smart" features, there's no point buying this unit - you can probably get a cheaper unit that just plays discs.
All of the comparisons are in the same house on the same high speed network, and the only difference is the BDP-S590.
One other irritant was performing a bios update when I first got the unit. It kept failing, and I eventually found on the internet that you can only update the bios from a cd. Yes - I had a network device and had to burn a disc to perform a one time bios update. At least tell me that in the documentation!
Other quirks: hitting a menu button while streaming takes 4 to 6 seconds to respond. That's plenty long to second guess whether or not you hit the button and to try again - usually resulting in something I didn't want to happen. Fast forwarding while streaming is too fast. It pops up and zips along so fast (with no feedback but the time line) that I have no idea what time it started and can't decide when I want to stop. I usually figure out how long the title sequence is for a series I'm watching so I can skip it, and that's very difficult to do with this unit. For being so slow in so many other ways, it's odd that it's too fast here.
I really can't recommend this device except to someone who does not need the network features. If you're watching from DVD/Blu-Ray only, and the price is right, then perhaps this unit is for you. Otherwise, look somewhere else. Honestly, this is so disappointing I would not buy another Sony product without trying it first and/or having some reliable sources recommend it.