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Fine as My Workhorse 3D Blu-Ray Player Only
on October 17, 2013
I had a Sony BDP-S590 3D Blu-Ray Player, but my big puppy jumped on me and I fell hitting the open disc tray with my shoulder. I tried opening up the unit to see if it was something I could fix; unfortunately, I found a large white gear broken in half. The BDP S590 was history. In the process, I had also discovered that the Sony BDP-S590 was built like crap. Its innards are just cheap.
I had paid less than $100 for the quite good performing BDP-S590, so I took a chance on its successor the BDP-S5100; I have not been disappointed. The BDP-S5100 is even faster than the BDP-S590. Blu-Ray Discs load immediately. The Blu-Ray picture is excellent with incredible detail, very low digital noise, and good color . DVDs also look very good with upscaling to 1080p; it's actually the best I have seen yet in this price range. 3D Blu-Rays look great too. Titanic 3D, Dredd 3D, Pacific Rim, and Promethius 3D all look fantastic with this player.
Another plus with the Sony is that it has both optical and Digital Coaxial sound outputs. I have the Digital Coaxial connected to a multiple input and output Digital Coaxial Switch and Selector. That way I get dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sent to my 3 older JVC Digital Receivers with digital soundfield processing. Unfortunately, they don't have HDMI inputs and outputs, But thanks to their Digital Coaxial inputs, I still get Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 96/24 Audio output to my 5.1 X 3 surround setup with dual 10" subs.
Disappointingly, the BDP-S5100 is just as unsubstantial as my older BDP-S590. This is definitely not going to be a long lived device. At 2 pounds it is light as a feather which smacks of cheapness. Like the BDP-S590 it is likely the same: all delicate plastic, very thin stamped steel, and small misplaced globs of grease. However, the BDP-S5100s saving grace is its superb Blu-ray processing .
Meanwhile, I will not be letting this player connect to the internet most of the time. Unfortunately, Sony forces Firmware Updates that enforce more and more restrictive "features" on the user. As a result, I will connect to let it do firmware updates only after I read about their effects from those that have a given version. I am just using the BDP-S5100 as my workhorse Blu-Ray player for all the movies I rent from Redbox and Netflix. It's a great performer when used as such. Its 2D to 3D conversion actually works OK on a few titles. I use my Smart 3D Wi-Fi HDTV for Streaming.
Finally, the BDP-S5100s quasi-pyramid/stealth-bomber top is just ridiculous in my opinion. Amazingly, all the main Blu-ray player makers are following this same silly "artsy" design philosophy with weird shapes and all the buttons on the top. It's as if they think owners are going to have their $100 player on a special display table in front of their Big screen 3D Smart HDTVs for everyone to marvel at- just silly. All my components are in dust protected cabinets with shelves, but I won't be stacking anything on top of the Sony due to its shape. Luckily the buttons on top are raised, and there are only four. Sony, please put the control buttons back on the front where they belong. You're not the only component I own, so why not play nice with the others.