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227 of 234 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
I received my player a short time ago, and so far I'm very pleased with the device. Setup wasn't totally painless, however.

I currently own four optical-disk-playing devices (not counting computer drives). I have a five-disk Sony DVD carousel, a Samsung BD player(with wireless but with minimal features, mainly Pandora, Netflix, Blockbuster, and some news headlines), a slightly older Sony BD player(BDP-570) which has, up until now, been the main unit in my entertainment center, and now this.

I'm reasonably pleased that the user interface is essentially unaltered from my earlier Sony BD device. The interface is still very easy to use, and very intuitive. It DOES, however, have the annoyance of lacking some configurability (I'd sure like to be able to remove the "Michael Jackson channel" from my list of video channels, for example, as I'll never... EVER... watch that.)

It does have a few new features accessed from that media-resources screen... the Opera web browser, a pretty decent Skype client, and a few other items. But if you've owned a Sony BD device before, the UI will be totally familiar to you, as will most of the main configuration options.

The remote control is also very similar to the older Sony remote, except that some of the special functions are now in a secondary, concentric ring around the nav-select pad... which is actually a BAD thing as far as I'm concerned, as I have found myself frequently accidentally hitting the outside ring when I'm trying to hit the inside ring, or vice-versa. Fortunately for me, I seldom use the provided remote, instead using my Logitech Harmony programmable remote... so this is not really an issue. But if you plan to use this remote as your primary control, I suspect you'll experience the same thing from time to time. Sony could have done better in this regard.

Picture quality is gorgeous, of course, as played on my 240hz Samsung 3D LEDTV. I wasn't sure that there would be any visible difference, but the image quality is notable improved, especially on upscaled DVD images. It seems that the two fast processor cores in the machine are getting a pretty robust workout... they're not being wasted! 3D is impressive, too... though I suspect this is more related to the TV than the player. (Samsung's 3D TVs are the best on the market IMHO, right now, though Sony's BD players are the best, I think!) That said, the machine never so much as "hesitates a frame" in even the most action-packed 3D scenes... which is something you'll occasionally note on lower-end 3D units, as the data streaming through them can briefly get backed up in fast, moving scenes, being rendered twice-over for each frame (once per eye, in other words).

I do not have access to a 4K display, so I have no idea if that's good or not. I suspect that 4K will tax the resources of this machine... then again, so few people have 4K displays right now, it's not worth quibbling about.

Now... if you buy one of the first units (ie, the current batch, I think!), you'll likely have a few issues when you first obtain it. The machine is designed to be network-connected, and wants to be connected. But, at least in my case, and in the case of many others, the network functionality seems somewhat hobbled under the "release firmware." You need to update the machine's firmware... after which, my machine has worked perfectly. But the device, by default, will try to "web update" itself anytime connected. Which means that you need to manually update the device, using either downloaded media (from the vendor's website), media obtained from the vendor (for a fee), or at the very least, a hard-wired network connection, in order to do your first update.

Prior to the first update, I had significant difficulties maintaining a connection... which could lead to an improper update, and a "bricked" device. Lots of other folks had the same problem. Post-update, my device works perfectly. Also pre-update, I couldn't manually enter my wireless networking info (the UI was there, but it didn't allow me to finish my setup). Post-update, that's no longer an issue.

The receiver in this device isn't tremendously powerful, and a better antenna/receiver set would be a major boon. It's basically on-par with devices built into laptops and so forth, and (post-update) works about the same as any of those. But it would be well-served by having some improved reception, since it's going to be tasked with streaming a lot of data. The reception is better than you'll get with a Roku or the like, but not as good as it ought to be for the price, and if you're not near your router, you may have some connectivity issues from time to time. It does seem to be on-par with my prior Sony device, or the built-in wireless in any of my TVs.

That's about all I can say about it right now. It's a terrific device, plays back flawlessly for any media I have access to, and just generally is the best device of its type out there right now, as far as I'm concerned. Just be careful about updating the device when you first receive it. I recommend downloading the update files and installing them without the network at all (see Sony's support site). After doing this, my network has worked flawlessly so far, and the device is separated from my router by a floor and four walls, and about fifty feet... and we have power lines nearby.

I'm very satisfied with the device so far. If that ever changes, I'll be sure to update this review, though.

*************

Edit: Well, I've had this for a while now and have fully put it through its paces. There's one thing I thought I ought to mention.

This has the best DLNA interface I've yet to see on a consumer device. It's easy to use, functions well... but there's a problem. It only recognizes a tiny subset of my media, including very, very few of my video files... very few. And while it will recognize any MP3 file, most of my media is in WMA format, which the player won't recognize, either. So, the DLNA functionality is pretty hobbled, as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to hear the experiences of others in this regard.

No support for windows media audio and video? No support for MKV containers? These are things that really should be present in ANY contemporary media-streaming solution. Hopefully Sony can implement something (it's not a hardware issue so it MUST be a legal-rights issue!) to manage file types better in the future.

Right now, the only device I have which can make full use of my media server, with the exception of actual PCs, is my little Archos portable media player. I sure wish my Sony BD player had support for as many file times as my Archos does...

*************

Another edit:

I've now had two more firmware updates since posting the above. And yesterday, I decided to play around with the network DLNA mode again. I don't know which firmware fixed this, but as of yesterday, I can now play WMA audio files with no problems.

I still can't see any of my WMV, DIVX, MOV, or other video files. The only things I CAN see, really, are the transport stream files taken directly from DVD rips, and I only have a handful of those, created off of disks I own, so that I could put those files onto my portable player (Archos 5IT, 500GB).

So... it does seem that Sony is "fixing" the DLNA issues, but a step at a time. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of my stuff... video files, etc... someday soon.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2012
I'm on my second one now. The first one arrived with the bd-rom drive broken. Before I discovered it, I worked on the wireless side of the player and successfully registered with Vudu, Hulu+, Amazon, Netflix. I sent the player back for exchange. The new one arrived and I must say, the picture quality playing blu ray discs is outstanding, better than my previous 2d player. However, I cannot register this machine with Netflix. The screen goes black and the machine locks up when I access Netflix. Called Netflix first: must be your player. Called Sony and was escalated to level 3 after numerous resettings and testings. Final result: your isp is too slow to access Netflix. This in spite of the fact that the previous 790 had no problems with Netflix. I am also streaming movies just fine on my laptop from Netflix. Today, my isp was running at 3mbps, so I tried again: locked up. No problems registering Vudu, Hulu+, Amazon. Another example of finger pointing. They make a fine art of blaming every piece of equipment you have except theirs. I'll keep the player, because it's otherwise ok, and I can stream Netflix on my laptop, but I'm not happy with Sony's tech support (and they are aware of it.)

Update 3/1/13. I've had the player about 8 months now. Shortly after I wrote the above review, the player notified me of a firmware update, downloaded it and installed it. Everything has worked perfectly since then. The player is doing an outstanding job and I am completely happy with it. Therefore, I'm changing my rating to 5 stars.
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135 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
Ok. I rated this item 3 stars which is comprised of 5 stars for picture/audio performance (and other things, more in a bit) but 1 star for extremely flakey and down-right dangerous firmware (more on that in a bit).

For for what gets 5 or 4-5 star ratings: The 'good'
The image and picture quality of this Sony is the best to-date and rivals the best of blu-ray players at nearly any price. The available adjustments make for great enhancements and tweaks for any kind of display (plasma, lcd, led, projector (dlp or lcd or ...). The streaming options are fantastic with Amazon Video, Netflix, YouTube, and a host of other streaming services (including music/radio streaming services). The Sony Entertainment Network is also available and that adds a host of additional options for viewing/listening (however, I'm not a fan so I've not explored it too much). Netflix on this unit (at least after performing latest firmware upgrade ... more on that in the 'ugly' section of this review) give you truer HD performance with 1080p streaming and DD+ 5.1 surround capabilities. Watching Killer Elite on video was actually fantastic.

For what gets a 1 or 2 star rating: The 'bad'
I've updated to the latest firmware and when I put in a disc and then turn on my whole entertainment setup, the blu-ray players either turns off (which is ok) or worse freezes at the menu for some reason. When it appears to not freeze and simply hit play to start the blu-ray disc, the machine freezes and will not shut off and the soft-buttons keep flashing ... I have to unplug it to reset the unit. I may have a bad unit and I will probably replace it, but this should never happen. I've had so many dvd and blu-ray players and this is the worst behaving one I've ever had. I've had the unit less than 24 hours and had to unplug it 3 times .... ouch. As bad as this is, the worst is yet to come.

The 'ugly'
When attempting to setup the networking setting out of the box ... the unit would not connect when everthing else in my house was connecting fine. The wired connection would not work. So I tried wireless ... this is where the extreme ugly comes in to play. I used the automatic WPS networking setting where you go and push a button on your router and it auto-negotiates with the device and setup the blu-ray player's network settings. Well, instead of setting the player, the player when working with my router UNBELIEVABLY changed my routers SSID to gibberish and also change my passphrase to gibberish ... and then nothing in my house, including the Sony blu-ray player would connect to my home network ... UGGH.... so not being a techno-phobe noobie, I logged into my router withl admin rights and changed my SSID and settings back, but my router decided that I could not apparently just change it all back and all would be good ... Nooo ... I had to re-choose and rekey in the passphrase on every wireless device in our house .... which we have a ton, a few in nearly every room .... arghhh.... way to go Sony. Not only is this bad, it is ugly and down right dangerours ....

Now I decided with such craziness going on that I had to update the firmware and perhaps that would take care of the wireless issue ... but because I could not get it to connect to my network nor trusted the darn thing to not screw up my network, I downloaded the firmware (396 or something...) and burned the files to CDR and then updated the players, which went ok. However, the player after ejecting the disc and my turning it back on, it strangely rebooted itself at least 20 times which made me think that I had a complete lemon on my hands. Eventually it stopped after about 15 minutes and now work fine except for the behavior in the 'bad' part of this review.

I'd say to wait and see if Sony works out the firmware issues or quality issues or whatever the issue is with this player. I'm going to see about replacing the player as it is flakey. However, the audio/video and streaming options are outstanding.
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75 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
This player has a design flaw: If it fails during an update, as mine did, it is likely to become useless. I thought it a great machine, but it displayed a message saying I should update the firmware. I did so, but it hung after step 1/9 and would not reset or finish no matter what. Sony said 2012 models have no way to get out of the update process except that Sony can send an update disc -- which takes 10 days and will only work if the tray eject works despite the system hanging. Sony needs to fix this!!
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2012
PROS:

*Streaming media content is excellent. Nearly as good as a Roku. It's best feature.
*Remote is excellent, well-laid out and easy to navigate.
*Very easy to set-up/follow the well laid out prompts.
*Built-in Wi-Fi is excellent/strong signal/glitch-free streaming.
*USB ports will take on photos and 1080p AVCHD files with ease. Second best feature!

CONS:

*For $250.00, it is cheaply built.
*Design is very poor in functionality.
*Must use a remote for EVERYTHING. Everything, every function.
*Front display requires superior vision and close-up viewing only.
*Loading time is still slow despite the claims not to be.
*No on-screen initial start-up information when inserting a disc.

So I am impressed but I also dislike so much about Sony's 2012 BDPS790 Blu-Ray player. I'd still suggest against it as a purchase unless you were looking to spend $100 on a Media Streaming Device but instead wanted to add a DVD player.

I also have a 2012 Denon 1611UD Blu-Ray player deck which runs circles around the Sony. Yes, in fairness, it's $400 vs. $250 but the quality is extreme and the claims about Denon picture quality are 100% accurate. Plus it loads at least 2-3 times faster than the Sony.

As said, what makes the Sony still attractive is the fantastic Wi-Fi signal strength, the wonderful and ample streaming selections (includes Amazon PRIME and Amazon Instant) and the front and rear ports for USB that can take on just about anything you toss at it. Even those massive 1080P AVCHD files play with ease using a portable hard drive or USB stick instead of a DVD.

I need a second pair of reading glasses to read the front panel of the deck and how about a ON/OFF button, Play button, etc, etc? What Sony has provided are UNMARKED (they are only unmarked when the power is off) braile-like places on the top of the deck that you can 'FEEL' for to power up/down the unit. But you have to actually feel for it and then wait for your finger to touch the correct area. Remotes do get misplaced Sony.

So, Sony did a great job at releasing a high-end player and placing the contents/parts of that deck into the plastic case they'd use on their entry level player. There's nothing professional about this professional player.

Take a look at other decks as well before you decide/purchase the Sony (such as Panasonic or Denon instead).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2013
Like another commenter, my BDP-S790 seemed to work OK out of the box, then went haywire after the October 2013 update. Forces me to log into Netflix again and again. I tried to restore to factory settings, and it just hangs and freezes. Tech support has no clue. I set up a warranty return, but didn't have the cash to buy Roku just to have something to watch on TV. So now I have an expensive blu ray player that only performs half of what was advertised and refuses to revert to factory settings. I tried downloading the update and instaling - thinking perhaps it got corrupted - but it just tells me that it's "already updated." Wonderful stuff. That last sentence was SARCASM - just in case someone from Sony tech support is reading this.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
I have owned innumerable DVD, Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-ray players over the years, with separate set-ups for the living room, theater room and family room. Each has performed well enough, but all tended to have one flaw or another.

Until I purchased the Sony BDP S-790 recently. I had wanted a player with dual HDMI outs so that I can use my Denon 4806 AVR, as it still has the finest sound I have ever owned. I had purchased a newer AVR with 3D pass through, but was not satisfied with the sound. I bought the Panasonic BDT-500, also with dual HDMI, but that unit experienced frequent freeze-ups and definitely did not perform as well as i would have hoped. I returned that and decided to try the Sony.

So far, fantastic is the only word for it. Wifi connection was instantaneous, 3d recognized immediately and the player has been flawless with both 3D and standard blu-rays. It has handled every disk I have thrown into it and I can't imaginge it not working flawlessly as we go along.

I highly recommend this unit.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
--Quick Thought--

This player is Sony's top of the line blu-ray player--which should be aware to you by the price tag. With that should come extra capabilities that you would normally use with higher end systems. The BDPS790 does that by offering many, many applications for use with an internet connection. The speed is better than comparable products as this comes with an upgraded dual-core processor.

The quality of playback needs the least said about it, because it is there.

If you see yourself content with your current blu-ray player, and your TV offers the wi-fi/applications capabilities or you do not care about them all together, then there is no real reason for you to buy this player. You have to ask yourself what you would be buying--in this case paying 100 or so more dollars than typical players--is it for speed? Apps? Future-proof 4k? If you find yourself saying yes then the BDPS790 would do well sitting amidst your entertainment center.

---Quality---

A lot of this will obviously depend on the TV being used, however I can say that there was nothing about the picture from this that made me think of anything of bad quality as coming from the player. It looks great like a blu-ray should.

There is an added feature that this will upscale HD video into 4k resolution. The latter meaning the new 'high-high definition resolution' TVs that are coming out this fall. Current resolution for 1080p is 1920 x 1080 and the '4k' resolution will be 4096 x 2160. This is your future-proof. However, it means nothing until you get a TV capable of handling the 4k resolution--which is something you probably don't have.

---Speed---

Like an upgrade to your cellphone, this player includes a faster processor than typical blu-ray players to add to its speed navigating through menus. The format of the menu is the same as the PS3 model and flipping through the options and applications is fluid with little to no lag. The processor makes a drastic difference in this. Web browsing on the TV is also given a boost so that it works very nicely.

Disc load-up is very good.

---Applications and Extras---

As you can see from the list, this player includes many extra applications. There is no need to list them but to name a few: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, and Skype. The internet connection with this player is interesting, because you have no 'automatic' setup. You will have to manually go into the menu in order to setup the internet. When you do, however, the quality is great and the speed is good. Yes, you can use skype on this player for video chatting through your TV. For this you will have to purchase separately a camera/video device for the computer. When using Skype, it works just as well as it does on my laptop.

If all of the extras are something you typically do not use, ask yourself if paying the extra money for a player that does is worth it.

-----------------------

This sony blu-ray player should do everything that a blu-ray player does--and do it well. The latter is achieved here but that is not really what was intended only. The extra money goes into the additional processor for speed, the 4k up-scaling that you might be doing in a few years, and the many applications. This can be your home blu-ray player that will stay in its spot for a very long time should you choose to go with this product.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2014
I bought this unit and installed it without setting up the network. Several months later, I decided I wanted to download Netflix on it, so I went to setup the wireless network connection. It gave me a message that the network connection was OK, but the internet connection failed. Something which is physically impossible. I have 4 other wireless devices on my network and all of them worked perfectly on the first try. I called Sony tech support, which is in some foreign country, and did all the things they asked me to try. None of which worked. Then they told me it needed a firmware upgrade, which I didn't believe for a second. They said they would mail out a disc as i did not have internet through the DVD player, and it would be here in 7 to 10 days. 4 weeks later, no firmware disc. So I called back. I was told since it was more than 30 days old they would only replace it with a refurbished unit. I asked what would happen if that one did not work. They said they would just keep sending refurbished units. Of course each time I have to send the one I have back first, so I am without a player for what will probably be weeks or months. After I disconnected it from my main home theater setup, I moved it right next to my router and hard wired it. The network and internet worked fine. So I downloaded the firmware upgrade and as I suspected, it made no difference. I even disabled the security on my network and it would still did not have internet wirelessly, but was connected to my network. Again, something which is not possible!!! It has taken 8 phone calls and hours of my time and I still have a broken player. They said they would send me a shipping label by email, and after 3 hours, it still had not arrived. I called again. They said it would take 24 hours for it to arrive. I figure since the firmware disc never arrived, I probably will not get the label either! I asked for the address and phone number of Sony's corporate office and they said they did not have that information. I guess Sony executives can't be bothered by consumers that spend their hard earned money, only to get a piece of junk that does not work. I looked on the internet and found dozens of people experiencing this same issue with virtually all of Sony's WI FI DVD players. If you are smart, don't EVER buy a Sony product. Their Tech Support is one of the worst I have ever encountered and their products over the last decade have all had design problems and flaws. Maybe that's why there are so many Class Action Lawsuits against Sony!!!!!!!!!! Dealing with Sony has to be one of the most frustrating and infuriating experience's in my life. And I won't even go into the 5 year nightmare I had with one of their TV's. Ultimately, I had to buy a new one as they had a major design flaw that Sony could not fix. I have been a die hard Sony fan for 40 years, but I am disappointed to say, they are not the same company they once were. Something that seems to be a world wide epidemic in Corporations these days. Customer Service is DEAD, and nobody in the corporate world cares about keeping customers. Another side affect of over population.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2013
I purchased this item and within a week or two I returned it for another one. The picture started flickering and was unable to watch any DVD's. After about 3 months the new player started flickering. I was able to watch DVD's after turning the player off and back on anywhere between 3 and 5 times.I finally got tired of it and purchased a different DVD player from Amazon.
After buying 2 of these I would not recommend it to anyone.
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