64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2014
This player has excellent up conversion of standard DVDs. The quality of blu ray disks is very good as expected from a flagship Sony product. It seems to recognize any file format for usb play back and file size. However, this player has a fatal flaw that I cannot believe was not tested before launch. The player freezes up and is unresponsive to the remote or front power button. You need to physically unplug it from the wall to reset it to get it to play again (holding the power button for 10 sec. does not help). It freezes with the following conditions: Viewing small jpeg files, large mp4, playing blu ray disks, internet content. It freezes while playing media from the usb port the most. Usb flash drive format FAT32 or NTFS. 2T NTFS hard drives have the issue as well. It seems like the new dual core processor is defective or has a software issue.
There are many reviews that stat the same issues.
96 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
4/29/15: Update freezing problem - I discovered another freezing problem that takes place since I have moved my player in different locations. The player will overheat and subsequently freeze when placed in a location that doesn't have good airflow or on top of another component that runs hot. Its best left in the open and not confined in a tight space. I was able to recreate this overheating-freezing problem which forced me to unplug/plug the player to get it working again.
Replaced my Sony BDP-S270 with this one since I stream a lot over the network and the older version was not able to play a lot of my content (DLNA) and the applications for streaming services I use seemed outdated which was understandable since it was an older model. It was a nice player for its time but it was time to upgrade.
I love and buy mostly Sony products but I still do a LOT of research before deciding on what to buy. When Sony has a product that meets my needs, I will give it preference over other brands but in this case I felt the Sony was the best option.
Overall its a great player which has met my expectations (fast power on, fast disc loading, supports most file types when streaming media, nice compact remote, excellent picture quality) except for one thing. Like some others have mentioned in their reviews, it freezes occasionally. So far for me it has only frozen up when using net streaming services and the only way to get control back is to unplug the machine. No buttons work. Can't power it off with the remote or with the power button on the machine itself. It happened 3 times when trying to switch between different streaming services (Netflix, MLB channel, Amazon Prime video) and once froze at the end of a video on Netflix). Pulling the plug is the only way to get it working again so when streaming video, it has been a major pain. No freezes on regular Blu-ray playback though.
I'm hoping this issue is being addressed and a firmware update is in the works but for the time being I cannot rate this player 5-stars even though all other aspects of the player seem to be working perfectly.
Edit 6/4/14: I was notified by Sony that they were having a technical issue with their streaming service servers and since then everything has been running smoothly. I was waiting a couple of weeks before updating the review to made sure but I have not had any freezing problem since they updated. This is now a 5* player no doubt and has brought back my confidence in Sony products given the fact that they fixed this issue. I must reiterate that the picture quality for both DVD and Blu-Ray is superb compared to any of my other players (owned an older Sony, Panasonic).
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2014
Please do not buy this unit. I'm begging you to save yourself the headache. Bought this brand new unit about 5 months ago and haven't been able to use it that much during that time because of the amount of times it freezes on its own. Since I first got the unit it would randomly freeze during playback of blurays, dvds, or even when I'm on Netflix. The freeze not only stops the media from playing, but the bluray player becomes completely inoperable by remote or buttons on the unit itself. Only unplugging the BR player from the wall allows you access again. I held onto it for more than thirty days trying to contact Sony's tech support who suggested a system reset. The system reset was ineffective. I then pursued ways to either have the unit repaired/exchanged/returned. I used to hold Sony in such high regard until I had to start going through their tech support and "customer care" departments, which are a series of misdirections, run-arounds, and straight up lies. Amazon is unable to help in this problem which is understandable, but Sony refuses to stand by their product which was purchased brand new. Let me walk you through the process. Sony demands that if I were to have the unit exchanged or repaired I would be responsible for shipping (not that big of a deal), however even if the unit is under warranty they will not replace the unit with a new model (or even the same model). Even when one member of the support staff said he could process a refund for the unit, I still get the run-around when I spoke to another rep.
TL;DR- Bluray player freezes randomly from day one. Sony's response, "Tough luck."
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2014
Received this and was very happy with the product as a whole. It does everything you'd expect it to and we needed that as we had officially moved to a fully-streaming household. No cable, only online services that run through a player and this was purchased as the player. HOWEVER, after about 45-60 days, it started stalling while in different modes - the most common being the "POWER OFF" function. Rather than actually just powering down, it goes into a freeze with the "POWER OFF" light blinking nonstop. We've let it sit up to an hour or more, just to see if it was in a self-update mode (or anything along those lines) - and I'm sad to report that it was not. The only option was getting up, unplugging the unit for 10-15 seconds, then plugging back in. We have a very heavy, very large entertainment center and this player's power cord is not detachable at the player port. This means that to unplug it, we have to pull the full entertainment center forward to reach the outlets. I don't think I have to tell you how incredibly frustrating and back-breaking that can be! This freezing period started slow, happening only once or twice a month, but as of 2-3 months ago, it has gone to happening at least weekly, if not more like 2-3 times per week. We are - of course - outside the refund or exchange window and the cost of these things prohibit us from being able to just run out and buy a new one. I've looked into this and found that it is not an uncommon machine defect for Sony players to freeze-up. I wish I had known that before buying because we are now stuck with this terrible, defective machine which has forced us to run an ugly, bulky power strip up the side of our furniture so we can pull the power and reset the machine without constant backpain. BUYER BEWARE!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2014
If you're in the market for a blu-ray player, first time or replacement/upgrade, then this is a good choice. The picture quality is better than any blu-ray player I've owned before, S370 and S590, or the Roku, or the Apple TV, or the Android streaming stick I've used. For picture quality it's a solid choice. In movies I've watched for 20 years or more, I'm noticing more detail, subtler shading, increased sense of depth as graduation in bokeh effect are more distinct.
Streaming services, Hulu, and Netflix, etc have the latest look, features, and feel. The player can stream the top quality streams from services... but the apps are buggy and regularly getting updated sometimes features added. Files played from USB or locally streamed via DLNA play smooth and look great.
The Super Bit Mapping (SBM) makes a great improvement to picture quality increased detail and reduced banding, but the IP Noise Reduction seems to blur if not used with full HD sources, or older filmed material so I leave it off. There are very advanced picture quality settings available, so picture quality can be optimized/tweaked however you need. I just leave it set at defaults except to tame annoying ditherting, but these options can be used to recover poorly transferred material or respond to viewing conditions such as bright room without needing to change settings in the screen that is calibrated. Upgrading from a Sony BDP-S590 I did have to make slight adjustment to my TV calibration for black and white levels, but after turning off all the preset tweaks and ran calibration again I was back where I started... a testament to Sony's dedication to rendering accuracy in their deigns.
REVISED 11//14: Notably, this player doesn't decode or bitstream multichannel TrueHD Dolby to PCM if the source is USB or DLNA and if you try it you'll get stereo only. It does pass the TrueHD multichannel out, from blu-ray disc, through the HDMI and the receiver can decode. DTS is handled without any limitation. To know whether this TrueHD limitation is an issue, or not, for you... check what you have that the only multichannel track is TrueHD. I was very surprised to find I had only two, and one also had a better PCM 5.1 audio track anyway.
For whatever reason, this player is pickier about the discs, surface, finalizing, surface color, whatever it is... but these problem discs play fine on my S590 player.
I've come across a couple bugs. I can ignore, work around them, or pull the plug to reset the player. They seem to be in the Sony firmware/onboard software issues. The player has the latest firmware and it's been on the market almost a year, so still having this number of bugs is very unusual. Also, despite the dual-core processor, the cross-bar interface looks jaded and sluggish (though the cutesy transition animation is likely to blame), and the optional SEN screen interface pretty, but is unstable.
The player plays SACDs and it decodes FLAC (though not gapless) to PCM out over HDMI is a great for hi-rez hi-fi. It can do more hi-rez audio than those, but they're what I'm using and they work great on this player.
Do you need this player over the next model down, and pay the $50 extra, or is it even worth upgrading? Do you need the extra audio features, or is the SBM worth that? For me, the SBM, added support for hi resolution audio, and the premium streaming quality, make the premium worth it - even with the bugs. Your mileage may vary.
I rated this a 3-star product.... 5 stars for picture quality and streaming, but 1 star off the the price, and 1 star off for bugs and being sluggish.
As firmware updates change the performance, I'll post review updates.
Update: May 2015.
Still having bug fixes by updates, and bugs added by updates. What a mess. I don't know if it's Sony or Google/Hulu/Amazon that are to blame but it's shocking, a year later and it's still ongoing. I dropped the rating to 2-Stars, "I don't like it" cause I don't. I won't be buying any Sony streaming players in the future.
Sony support have started a dialog in the comments. Feel free to review that, and comment.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2014
A high priced piece of junk. This player, half of the time, will not connect to internet apps, failing to make an internet connection. Other times, this player takes a minute + to access internet apps such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. It will not access VUDU at all, saying "Operation Timeout". Spent an hour with a Sony rep, to no avail. Yes, I have a Roku but the Sony upscales, it just doesn't connect to the internet...