481 of 491 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
I already own a Sony BDPS-360 downstairs as our main Blu-Ray player, but wanted a streaming player for upstairs (an Xbox360 takes care of that downstairs). Since I won't have a 3D TV for quite some time, and have wired ethernet running to the appropriate room, the 470/570 offer me nothing over this player, so I bought the 370.
Blu-Rays are very quick to load. Checked out Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and the biggest delay in getting to the movie was skipping the previews up front. Menu was up in just a few seconds, and the movie launched very quickly after that. Maybe 30 seconds from putting the disc in until I was watching the movie.
The remote does have an Open/Close button on it. That was not a big deal for me with the 360, but others complained about it so I thought I'd mention it.
Streaming takes a bit of setup, with the biggest item of note being that you need to register your Blu-Ray on internet.sony.tv before activating the streaming features. I had fits trying to create an account directly on that site, but creating a SonyStyle account first and then activating here worked much better. This works similar to Netflix activation in that you get a 4 symbol code from the player, enter it into your account, and now the Blu-Ray is activated. I then needed to go through the typical Netflix activation, getting another code from the player and entering it into my Netflix account. Amazon VOD linked directly to the Sony account and was then available on the player. Instructions for each of these are included in the screens on the Blu-Ray player, where it will provide the codes and the website address, and you then go the computer and finish linking from there.
Netflix works only off your Instant Queue, so you need to add movies to that queue on the website (or from the Xbox360 or other device with a full browser). Amazon VOD seems to have a fairly complete browser included. Netflix HD quality was reasonable, but most importantly about what I get on the computer or Xbox360; the player does not interfere in any way. This player was my first experience with Amazon VOD, and I must say the Sample HD clip (Superman Returns) was a lot higher than I expected, and actually better than most OnDemand offerings I get from my cable company (TWC NC).
So for Blu-Ray playback and Internet streaming, the box does a really good job. I wish the Netflix interface was more robust like the videogame consoles have, but actual playback and access to the Instant Queue works fine.
(Updates for this paragraph below) The big disappointment, and the one that keeps it from getting 5 stars, is that the SonyStyle page for the player lists DLNA as a feature. This is the standard for letting media devices connect to your computer and stream video / pictures / music over the network. Services like PlayOn also support this. DLNA, however, is not actually active on the player. From checking other sites, no one knows yet if this will be available in a future firmware update, or if the site is incorrect. If DLNA support is critical to your decision making, you may want to hold off until there is some answer on the DLNA picture.
Aside from that, I'm really happy with it as Blu-Ray player and Netflix/Amazon VOD streamer.
I have not yet tried a standard DVD, or any of the music streaming services. I'll update this review if anything changes as I use the player more.
UPDATE MARCH 1, 2010: Sony has updated the product page and changed the footnote for DLNA support. It is now due in a July 2010 firmware update. That's good news, and once the firmware ships I'll try to remember to report back on how well it works. If it works well the review will probably bump to 5 stars, as this is a pretty full-featured, fast, stable Blu-Ray player for under $200, especially if like me wireless and 3D are just not important to you.
One other bit of info for those who buy the player: if you have a Vizio TV, the remote code to use appears to be "04". It's not in the manual, but I tried this after a web search revealed others using the code for other Sony remotes, and this works for turning the TV on and off and changing the volume. The INPUT button does not work for me, though. The manual also seems to be missing the instructions for changing the TV code, but thanks to the manual for the S360 I have downstairs, the instructions are to hold the TV power button on the remote, enter the code, then release the TV power button on the remote.
UPDATE JUNE 9, 2010: The long-awaited DLNA firmware is now available for download. This is working great with my Windows Media Center (from Windows 7), with all my pictures, videos, and music available. One gotcha here is that the Sony has separate menus for all 3 categories, and you must play content from the correct category, even though all files show up under all options. So, for example, if you select your Windows Media Center server from the Video section, it will also have a folder for Pictures and Music, but every folder under those will show "no playable files". All the videos will play fine. It will be similar if you go to Music, except that only the music folder will have playable files.
However, at this time PlayOn is incompatible. The PlayOn server shows up, and you can browse and select videos, but all videos return a "This file is corrupt or unsupported". I've submitted a help request to PlayOn, and from the PlayOn forums it looks like others are as well, so we'll see if PlayOn can make a change, or if this needs to be reported to Sony. My Xbox360 streams the PlayOn stuff fine, so it's not a global issue with my setup.
On a different note, I've also since tried several standard DVDs and done some music streaming, and those features work fine. Others might be picky somewhere about DVD upscaling, but I've never really noticed an issue with this or any player, so I wouldn't worry about it. You do need to be aware that there are settings in the video setup to control the aspect ratio, so if you want a 16x9 picture (not letterboxed), you need to change the aspect ratio settings off "original". Aside from that, DVDs have played perfectly for me. And streaming music seems to work okay with the little I've done.
UPDATE August 9, 2010: PlayON has released updated software that fixes the streaming issues with this and potentially other players. Now that the DLNA support is working for all the stuff I want to stream, I've upped my review to 5 stars, as I have no complaints at all with it.
90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2010
This is my first blu-ray player. Well, technically, it's my third, but I returned the other two and decided on this one. I returned the Samsung BD C6500 and got this one, for cheaper. Anyway- here's a review for my fellow technophobes:
What I love:
1) I had it set up in just a few minutes.
2) It automatically detected all of my connections and cables, and I confirmed them in the set up.
3) Connecting to the internet via ethernet cable was so much easier than the Samsung!
4) I updated the software, and after entering a code on Sony's site, I was given a Netflix activation code and was watching netflix in minutes.
5) This works with my older non-High Def system and will allow me to slowly upgrade.
6) There were other Sony apps I haven't had an opportunity to check out (except I did check out some Michael Jackson videos.)
One minor annoyance found thus far:
Netflix Streaming- you can only access your instant queue.
And for all those hesitant to upgrade to Blu-Ray because your system is old, here's my system:
My set up:
Tube television (Toshiba 36AF4I, 9 years old), 3 piece stereo acting as a receiver (Panasonic something or other- 15 years old), Sony Blu-Ray S370 connected to ghetto TV via component video, and to internet via ethernet cable to a router.
What I was looking for:
To replace my dead DVD player and would work on my old system but would work on a flat screen in a year or so. Also, streaming netflix a bonus.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2010
I'll start with the bottom line about this player-it just works! If you're looking for a nice, fully functional Blu Ray player that's going to just WORK as you'd expect it to, on anything you throw at it, this is a nice, safe buy. You'll have no problems upgrading from a normal DVD player to it.
Like a lot of people, my first Blu Ray player was my Playstation 3, which I bought last year. If you don't already have a PS3, that's worth considering instead of a stand alone player, because it doesn't cost much more, handles Blu Rays (and DVDs) well, and of course plays Playstation 3 games.
I even toyed with getting a second one, but decided a stand alone player would be a bit cheaper, and I didn't really need the second Playstation 3. (I've also since bought a Blu Ray drive for my computer, so I can watch Blu Rays on it too.)
Impressions of the s370:
-Audio and video are excellent. I can't notice any difference from my PS3.
-The unit is physically SMALL. It's actually smaller than my two stand alone DVD players (though is the same width as normal stereo components, so fits in fine)
-The unit is very quiet in operation-quieter than my two stand alone DVD players in fact. I don't think I can hear it at all except when it's first starting up, loading up a disc (and that only if the room is dead silent). Interestingly, the disc drive's seek sounds sound IDENTICAL to the drive in my Playstation 3! I'd be shocked if it's not basically the same drive.
-Performance is very good. I think it takes SLIGHTLY longer than my PS3/PC to load the fancy interfaces some discs use (some discs replace the normal fast forward/rewind interfaces with their own themed interfaces, and loading that interface adds a few more seconds before the disc's ready-so far I've only run across this on two discs, and it's kind of pointless, but this player DOES seem to handle them just fine). Rewinding/fast forwarding on this isn't quite as smooth as my Playstation 3, but it works as you'd expect a normal DVD player to.
-Power usage is very low-the unit says it draws a *MAX* of 22 watts in operation
-It has all the features and ports you'd expect from a unit like this, and has an excellent menu system, that's ripped straight off of the Playstation 3 and Portable (of course once you've set it up with the settings you want, you'll probably never really use the menu again, but it's easier than any DVD player's menus I've ever used).
I'm probably forgetting something I'd like to mention, but honestly I could have quit after the first paragraph. If you're like me and just want something that WORKS without hassle, this is a great choice.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2010
First off, let me say the Blu-Ray player seems *potentially* awesome so far. All of the online content works well. Firmware update was a snap. Up-converted DVDs look good. I will check an actual Blu-Ray out tonight but I'm not worried based on other reviews I have already read.
It's disappointing that Netflix supports Instant Queue only (you can't browse all available titles). From what I read this is fairly standard for most Netflix-enabled players, although some let you browse the top 100 titles in each genre. So, I have to use my computer to find/add titles to the queue and the titles I added immediately show up on the Blu-Ray player. Integrating Netflix browsing would earn another half star... :)
My only other big gripe is that DLNA is NOT currently supported. The Sony site did NOT make this point very obvious, but it does indicate that it will be supported in a July 2010 update. I look forward to that update greatly and will likely increase my rating once it happens.
My only other gripe was nearly a show-stopper. The UI would not recognize any AVI or DIVX files on the USB drive. However, there is a very easy workaround. Simply rename your files from *.avi (or *.divx) to *.mp4 and they will play just fine! Apparently, the firmware does support the AVI container and the DIVX codec, but it hides the files (MPAA probably thinks that blocking DIVX will cure piracy despite the millions of perfectly legal uses for the codec). Anyway, it works. If Sony should "break" this in a future update, I will lower the review to 1 star and promptly eBay the box. However, I am hopeful that Sony realizes how stupid it is to block a single container/codec when piracy can & does exist in every possible format. :)
Hopefully, with the DLNA update, they will come around and realize that blocking AVI/DIVX in any way is a bad move and allow you to play the files without renaming them first.
43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
I just went to my local Sony Style store and tested/played with this new BD player (S370 model) and I must say I was/am very impressed! Before looking at the player in person, I was thinking, what did Sony strip down from the previous models (S350 & S360) to make this one thinner and less expensive? But after going in the store and playing around with this BD player, I was pretty blown away with the quality, quick loading times, looks/size, and price. I actually brought in with me a few discs to try (I brought "The Dark Knight" Blu ray, "Resident Evil" DVD, & also a few burned CD's & DVD's just to make sure the player would read them). I wanted to try "The Dark Knight" Blu ray because on my old S350 Sony BD player, the load time for this Blu ray is quite long (about 30-45 seconds). So I first turned off the S370 player, then turned it back on. Start up time was very fast (about 3-5 seconds at most). I hit the eject button, put "The Dark Knight" BD in, closed the tray, and the load time for this player was maybe 10 seconds max! I couldn't believe how fast it loaded up and began playing the movie ( and "Dark Knight" is a BD that usually takes a while to load up). Next, I put in my "Resident Evil" DVD, to see how fast it loaded & most importantly, how well it up-converted. Load time was obviously extremely fast, since it was fast on a BD, it's even faster on a DVD (although, not by too much, that's how quickly the BD's load up). Now, I purposely selected the older/original/first "Resident Evil" DVD as I knew that the picture quality was not as good. Of course, up-converted, on this older movie, it did not look like a BD would, but nevertheless, it was decent/watchable. Another notable thing to consider here is that Sony had this player hooked up directly to their TV (the new NX800 model) with a HDMI cable (of course). That's it. The S370 was not connected to a high end receiver or anything (just directly to the TV), so keeping this in mind, if you have a high-end A/V receiver or video processor, the up-converting will end up looking even better! Lastly, the burned CD's, DVD's. They worked flawlessly. Again, since Sony didn't have this player hooked up to a receiver/speakers/etc (just to the TV), I was not able to tell how good the sound quality of the CD was, but I just wanted to be sure the S370 would play burned discs. The other things I looked at were the menus. Very nice X-Bar menu system (a bit more colorful than before). I was not able to check any of the streaming/Internet options since Sony did not have it hooked up the the Internet (kind of a bummer). I wish Sony had the player hooked up to their network as one other thing I really wanted to try was the iPod touch/iPhone BD remote app. I brought my iPod touch in, but sadly, the player was not connected to the network for me to try this feature out. Because of the fact that I was unable to check out this feature and the streaming/online features, I am unable to give this player the full 5 stars at this point. But for the features I was able to check/test, it passed with flying colors and easily takes the 5 star rating. Hopefully I'll be able to test out these other features and update this review soon. However, if anyone that actually owns this unit & tries these other features, please let me know.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
This Blu-Ray Player gets the job done. Blu-Ray discs, DVDs, and streaming video all come out in HD on this device. But, there are some important notes that cause me to give this player less than a 5 star rating, and they are not addressed in any other reviews...
1. I consider myself tech savvy when it comes to computers, but not so much when it comes to AV components. Because of this I found the set up to be a little cumbersome, as I was unsure of all the proper settings. A little reading in the manual helped point the way, but I don't recommend that you throw the book out with the box as I normally do.
2. (Most important of the three comments, IMHO) I purchased this unit because of the NetFlix streaming capabilities. The first few shows were wonderful, but then I lost audio. I couldn't figure it out, and, after many frustrating hours of restoring default settings and surfing the web for advise, it turns out that not all NetFlix audio can be read and transmitted through HDMI. If you plan to use this device to watch streaming video you WILL NEED to set up using cables other than HDMI - I tested my theory with composite cables I had on hand, but have ordered component cables as a permanent fix.
3. The laser in a Blu-Ray player is much more sensitive than a standard red laser. If you have a disk that is severly scratched, but works in other equipment, it may not work in your Blu-Ray player. This was true with one of my son's CDs. Because I was having trouble with the sound on NetFlix, I assumed it was a sound problem all around until I tried another disc. The moral here is to make sure you have two test discs standing by, just in case there is a disc error rather than a player error.
50 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2010
I bought the BDP-S370 for two reasons. I wanted to play Blu-Rays for the their high-def audio (and picture, but more concerned about sound). I also liked the option of playing my SACDs (Super Audio CDs) on another machine.
Blu-Ray performance is excellent. I've had no issues with it refusing to play anything. I hooked it up to our network right away and it upgraded its firmware immediately. The response time is excellent. (My parents have Sony from about a year ago and the speed improvements are impressive.) Picture and sound look great. You have to adjust some settings to get the machine to ouput the bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master. The out-of-the-box setting is for the player to convert them to LPCM and pass that through the HDMI. I guess that makes for maximum compatibility. The only downside of this setup is that the player give no indication which soundtrack it's reading off the disc -- which will force you into the setup menu on every disc to double-check. (For example, the excellent Uncompressed LPCM soundtrack on Pirates of the Caribbean must be proactively chosen, else you only get Dolby Digital.)
SACD playback is good, but the player is a bit buggy here. The bitstream DSD as decoded by my Marantz SR5004 sounds incredible. I daresay the DSD through my receiver has better depth and clarity than my Sony SCD-C555ES, which means a great big box can be removed from my setup. You can ask the player to decode the DSD to LPCM as well.
The player instantly recognizes the SACD discs and engages SACD mode -- you can choose multi-channel or two-channel preference in the menus. BUT as I eluded to earlier, this mode is a bit buggy and lacking some basic usability support. The track names do show properly on the player's Home screen, but that's the last you'll see of them. Once you start playing, only track number and time is shown on the on-screen display. It doesn't show you track/title/artist text. The icons are there, but the space is blank. Disappointing, but who wants to listen to music with the TV on, right?
Well, that's where things get worse. The display on the unit shows the total time and track count upon loading a disc. Unfortunately, once you are playing an SACD, the track number is not shown at all, not when changing tracks, not when paused, not during playback. Lame. (There's a T that is clearly supposed to be followed by the track number, but it is only followed by spaces until you get to the track time.) In summary, I expected much better SACD support from the company who invented and co-authored the SACD standard.
The other, gimmicky, stuff is actually pretty useful. I love Slacker Radio, despite the lousy, super-compressed audio. (That's where it's nice to have a good receiver that can take the digital signal and manipulate it.) I haven't tried too much of the other stuff. Generally, internet access is very fast; we have decent 12Mb service.
I've had several instances where it froze up. More than once, only unplugging it would resolve its state (update: June 2010 firmware update has NOT helped). I've also closed the the tray and the thing sat there blinking Close. Opening and closing the tray solved that quickly.
There is also an inconsistent delay in my receiver locking onto the bitstream format from the Blu-rays (Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, DTS HD Master, etc.). You sometimes miss the first few notes of the logo screens' music. I don't know if that's due to the disc, my receiver, the S370, or just a general issue with the Blu-ray/HDMI format standards of today.
I have lowered the star rating based on the recent firmware update. None of my concerns with this player were addressed and Sony e-mail support ignored my questions, only pointing me to the most recent firmware. That said, I probably would still by this player again, because it's such a good price. If you care a lot about SACD playback, consider an Oppo.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Blu-ray is here to stay, and the new generation of BD players are making their way down into mass market pricing. This is basically Sony's "entry level" player in the new gen of players. It's very slim and boasts styling that matches Sony's "monolithic" line of Bravia TV's. That is to say, it has a minimalist approach to its styling. It looks as if it's just one solid slab that was carved out of black lacquer. The disc tray is barely noticeable and blends in nicely with the face of the unit, and there are Power, Play, Stop, and Open/Close nubs, which are also very low key. A USB jack is on the front as well.
This unit is possibly the fastest standalone Blu-ray player out there. Compared to stand alone players of the past, this thing is a speed demon, requiring a very short start up time, and extremely quick disc loads, even with BD-Java heavy discs such as Spiderman 3, or Disney's Pirates films. It is even faster than the almighty PS3 (though the PS3 is by no means a slouch and remains an excellent player). Also available is a quick start mode, which sacrifices using a bit more power in standby, but offers near instantaneous start up (I measure about 2 seconds). I am sure many people will love this feature and the 6.5 watts in standby will seem worth it to them. I am happy with the start up time without this already.
1. The player has excellent video quality. Blu-ray discs look of course tremendously good, though with video based content, it takes a slight hit. Nothing to worry about. DVD up conversion: Not bad, but not terrific. Passable.
2. Internet Video: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu Plus(coming fall 2010), and tons of others await your Ethernet cable as this networking player does not include Wi-Fi, though you can purchase a proprietary Sony Adapter. Steams very well, with no problems. Also has Pandora for you internet radio junkies.
3. Gracenote: looks up your Discs to provide info for you. Works hand in hand with:
4. iPhone/iPod BD remote app. This is unique. You can download an app for your iPhone and it will sync your phone to the player giving the phone the ability to control the player and not have to aim the remote at it. It also gives you disc information that becomes accessible into Youtube portals for info on cast members etc. Kind of handy at times. Also, you can use a QWERTY keyboard on your phone to enter things like when you are searching Youtube or something. Very handy.
1. There is no onboard storage for Internet BD downloads, so you will have to provide a USB drive that plugs into the back of which the USB drive must be formatted in FAT32 or it will not work (Minor issue as most people will never bother with it).
2. Also, the video formats supported from the front USB jacks are limited as well, so those with video codecs galore looking to play through the front port USB may need to look elsewhere. For me, a minor thing as I don't go around with a USB drive wanting to show video.
If you need Wi-Fi, and want the player to be 3D capable as well (not likely), you can step up to the 470 for 3D and the 570, 770 players for Wi-Fi. Those not needing 3D or wireless, look no further, this is one of the best players out there.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2010
A few weeks ago, I reverted my Netflix account to DVD-only as my current Samsung BD player had disappointed me for the last time and I decided to not use it anymore. It isn't broken, just really, really bad and has ruined a number of movie nights with how poorly it does things. I was considering the Oppo, when this Sony suddenly appeared at my house as a gift.
I dislike Sony as a company and I don't like their products, but I really like this BD player. It starts up quickly, loads the Bluray disc quickly and simply plays it. The remote is very responsive, and basically, it works like a DVD player. No lag between remote presses and action. I've only played one movie so far, and it just worked. Even better, I paused the movie for about 30 minutes and when I came back, it was still ready to go. None of this could be said about my old Samsung which is probably why I'm giving the Sony 5 stars.
This is really all I need. A blueray which simply plays discs without fuss. As long as it keeps playing whatever movies I end up with, I couldn't be happier.
A nice feature is a 15second skip button on the remote, so it is easy to page and forth thru a movie in small increments, in case you missed some dialog or something.
I played with the other networking stuff. It came with a bunch of online streaming services ready to go. I did not like that I had to first register with Sony to make things work, but they didn't ask for anything but an email address. I tried Netflix, Pandora and DLNA to a PlayOn server. All worked fine. My 4:3 show via Playon was stretched to fill 16:9, and I didn't bother trying to fix it. There are about 20 streaming services available including netflix, amazon video, youtube, a strange channel devoted to Michael Jackson and a bunch of others. No 'regular' hulu support, only hulu+. But, I can watch hulu via dlna/playon, so it is not a problem.
I have no plans to use normal DVDs with this player as I still have a DVD player hooked up and I use that for regular DVDs.
The very minor downsides I have noticed so far are no 6-channel analog audio output which would have been nice, but I realize that this is their low-end player in the line. Also, it feels cheap and plasticky. Very lightweight and small and the few buttons on the unit itself are not that nice feeling. But, the remote is pretty good, so this is not a major problem. I wish the remote was backlit.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2010
I recently purchased a Samsung BD-C5500 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player...I loved the feature set and design but unfortunately it wouldn't play most of my SD DVD's and it had an image and sound quality issue (Yes I downloaded all the updates). Amazon let me return the Samsung and I purchased the Sony BDP-S370 instead. I don't care for the design as much as the Samsung and I miss VUDU which the Sony doesn't have but I do love the fact that it simply works. It plays every DVD in my collection and the streaming functionality is great. If you want a product that won't give you any trouble stick with Sony.