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on March 18, 2013
Update
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Please note that there is a new version of this player to be released soon. The BDP-S5200. The higher end BDP-S6200 is available now and you can find out what I thought of the player on the product page here>

Sony BDPS6200 3D Blu-ray Player with Wi-Fi and 4K Upscaling

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Original BDP-S5100 review:

This is a full featured BD/DVD/Network player.

The player uses the same XMB (Xross Media Bar) interface as last years players and the PS3. All the same services are on this player as last year, including all the popular ones - Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, Hulu and Crackle. The Netflix interface supports the new Super HD (5800kb/s) stream, with Dolby Digital + audio. Amazon also supports Watchlists and Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstream. I mention this, because its one of the few players out there that does.

New for 2013 is the Youtube app, that gets a serious facelift, and supports HD streams and a new look.

Disk start up times have also being improved over last year by at least 10 seconds (compared to the top of the line BDP-S790 from 2012).

A lot of folks complained about text input on last years player, as the onscreen keyboard used a numeric keypad to provide the input. This year, Sony replaces it with a full QWERTY style onscreen keyboard, which is certainly easier to use.

What else is there. Well again the Sony player is very good for supporting local media playback through DLNA. This bluray player supports more file formats and codecs that most, and is best used with the Serviio DLNA server.

Also new for 2013 is the players ability to work with Sony's new 2nd screen app called TV Sideview. This gives folks the opportunity to interact with the player using a iOS or Android device. You are able to search across multiple network services (Netflix, youtube) and local content too ... although i've not had much luck with search ... the system seems to have a few bugs in it right now. Early days though.

One other new capability over last year is the built in Opera web browser. It has being improved and will support "some" HTML5 video streams ... such as youtube, within the browser. Again, my experience with it wasn't ideal, and I really wouldn't recommend using this blue-ray player to browse the net! Its just too slow to render the pages.

Visually, its a nice looking player, and has a semi metal case, compared to last years all plastic one. Its suppose to have improved WIFI reception too ... although I only tested it with a wired Ethernet cable.

If you're looking for a solid disk and network player, the BDP-S5100 is well worth a look. Is it worth upgrading from last years BDP-S590? ... well, only if you are a heavy youtube user would I consider it. The BDP-S590 was already a excellent Bluray player, and Sony has only done a few incremental improvements here.

Final thoughts ... note that this player has no analog outputs; not even for audio .. so if you have non HDMI equipment, don't even consider this player. No Digital optical output either (Only Coaxial) Also this player won't come with a HDMI cable, so plan ahead !!

I can't comment on its 3D abilities as I don't have any 3D displays.

For folks that may have a issues with video cutting out intermittently, do yourself a favor and turn off "deep color" in the screen settings. No content uses this feature anyway.

Thanks for reading.
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on July 3, 2013
Pros: Quick setup, great picture quality, lots of apps
Cons: Menu screen is a bit too dark, BD player a bit noisy

I've only had this player for a couple of weeks, but have played around with it quite a bit. I'll preface my review experience by saying that this is my first blu-ray player, so I have nothing to baseline it against.

The player loads very quickly upon power up. Compared to the load time on my Oppo 971h DVD player, it's a race car. The picture and sound quality are top notch, as expected. I did not experience any glitches during playback and the 7.1 surround sound is truly immersive. The wifi setup was very easy and I was able to quickly download an update to the firmware and be up and running in a short time. There is a bit of a noise when using the physical disk (BD or DVD) as it spins even when you're not playing the movie. This was not much of an issue for me since my equipment is inside a cabinet.

There are the typical selection of apps avaiable for streaming: Netflix, Amazon instant video, Youtube, Hulu+, Vudu, etc. I tried out Netflix first and the HD streaming was flawless, with no interruptions or lags. It does take about 20 - 30 seconds to load to actual app, but once you're in, there are no delays. I had a similar experience with Amazon. I'm a Prime member, so as soon as I logged in, I saw my saved items in the queue. There was a small delay with the Amazon app as I navigated through the choices and menus. Also, the Amazon user interface is actually more intuitive on the older Wii console.

Pandora is another app I've tried and have gone through several playlists throughout the week. Again, like the Amazon app, I experience some delays here and there, but nothing too annoying. The songs however, seemed to play with no lag.

The one area that is somewhat annoying is the menu and keyboard options. I'm hoping to remedy the latter with a USB keyboard, but for now, I have a reasonable solution. I've installed the TV SideView app on my iPad (it's also available in the Google Playstore). Using the app, I can quickly search for titles, play movies, music, etc. much faster than wading through the menus with the remote.

As I mentioned before, the menu seems a bit dark and scrolling through the huge list of apps for video and audio is not ideal in the current arrangement. I've also experienced some sub-menus that don't display a "back" or "return" button. It appears as if you're stranded at the end of some menu. You are forced to hit the "Home" button to get back to the main menu.

The physical size of the player is rather small, which is nice if you're fighting for room in your electronics cabinet. It is somewhat difficult to stack another device on top of it since it has that prism design, but I still managed to get the Wii console and my ATT Uverse box on top of it. The build quality seems rather cheap for a player that's supposed to be a flagship model.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this device so far and I'd say it's a solid contender. I may provide an update in a couple of months after extended use.
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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.
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on May 2, 2013
I bought this to replace my Panny 210 and so far, it works well, with just a couple of complaints. Compared to the Panny 210, the unit is quieter and much quicker to load and play a BD. The UI is typical Sony and I like it, a lot. The wireless was easy to set up, and the firmware update was finished quickly.......... Make sure you turn the "BD Audio Mix" setting to OFF if you are connecting the player to an AV receiver that can decode DTS Master and Dolby HD signals, otherwise you won't get the best that Blu-ray has to offer.

Now, as for the issues. The Pandora app takes much longer than I expected between songs. On my Sammy 6420 TV, it is no more than 5 seconds between songs and on my Onkyo 709 it is no more then 3 seconds, but on the S5100 it takes at least 15 seconds or more between songs........Pretty annoying. However, the YouTube and Amazon Prime apps both work great with no stuttering or buffering and I'm only on a 2.5mbps connection.

The main issue: Today when I went to play Pandora it got stuck on the "Acquiring internet content 3/3" screen and would not load any smart apps. I turned it off/on and nothing, then I unplugged it for 5 minutes and plugged it back in, nothing, I rebooted my DSL ( even though the S5100 said that my connection was OK ), and still no joy. I read online that with some of its other players, Sony recommends to do a system reset to fix this, but I also read from users that a reset didn't do a thing, and they had to spend 20 minutes resetting up their player, so I didn't do it. I then got stubborn and tried to load Pandora again and let the machine idle on the "acquiring internet content" screen for 20+ minutes and it magically fixed itself. This would be a huge deal breaker if it becomes a trend. I will update with the results and adjust my rating when I get more time on the unit. If it happens again, it will be going back immediately, but if it was a one time fluke, then I will be more than happy to keep it.

Hopefully Sony gets enough complaints regarding the Pandora app and sends out a firmware update to fix it. If that happens, and today's app issue never happens again, then this would be the perfect 5 star player......Time will tell.

UPDATE 5/7/13: I read over on AVS Forum that it was recommended to disable the "Software Update Notification" setting (set to ON by default) to prevent the "acquiring internet content" freeze that I experienced. I did so the day I wrote this review and I have not had another issue since. The downside is I have to manually check for updates my self, but I personally prefer that as it's no different on how I handle Microsoft Updates for my computers. One check per month should be more than enough, but since it's so easy, you can do it at the end of every session as it takes under 15 seconds to complete.

I could no longer take the Pandora & Slacker delays between songs, so I ditched them, and now just use my Samsung's Pandora app instead. If you have other smart machines in your home theater, then they probably have Pandora & Slacker on at least one of them, but if you're going to have to rely on the 5100's Pandora & Slacker apps, then be prepared to be frustrated.

I raise my rating to 4 stars because of the simple fix for my main issue, and it only falls short of 5 stars because of the lazy apps. If Sony fixes them, then it's a 5 star machine......Overall, a very good player that (knock on wood) will live happily in my system for years to come.

UPDATE 6/4/13 Today's firmware update completely fixed the Pandora app. Now there is only a 4 second delay between songs. I raised my rating to 5 stars.

UPDATE 6/28/13 It's been 3 weeks since the firmware update that fixed Pandora and I'm happy to report that this is the only Pandora app that I use now. 3-5 seconds in between songs is awesome. Also, I re-enabled the "Software Update Notification" and I have not had the issue I mentioned above regarding the unit freezing on the "Acquiring internet content 3/3" screen, and I use it daily.............Typical Sony, find a problem, fix it........... I can't recommend this unit enough.

UPDATE 9/1/13 We have been using the Amazon Instant app more than we ever have, and I am happy to report no issues. We are now on U-verse 6Mbps and that speed is fast enough to receive DD 5.1 when it's offered, also no stutters or freezes either and the video is above average for a streaming HD feed. The firmware updates have lessened as of late so it looks like Sony is happy with its current performance..........I know I am.

UPDATE 5/20/14 It's been 13 months with many, many hours of use both as a Blu-ray player, as well as a streaming media player and I am happy to report there have been no major issues. Sure, there has been the occasional issue once or twice that turning it off/on resolves, but knock on wood, I have not had to do any type of soft/hard reset like unplugging or hitting the reset button in the settings. I would say that it gets used for 70% BD movies and 30% streaming as I now have a Roku3 that I rely on for streaming duties. I see no reason to pay more for the 2014 Sony when this model can be found for so much cheaper............... 5 stars easy.
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on August 23, 2014
Really like this player. I mostly bought it so I could get subtitles on Netflix and Amazon prime. My TV couldn't and both my wife and I were finding it more and more useful to have the subtitles on. So I visited netflix.com to see what players would provide that support, and this is the one I picked. I like Sony products for the most part, and the user and tech reviews were pretty good. I replaced a samsung blue ray that was also very good. I'm sure if I hadn't been looking for one the had subtitles, I wouldn't have bought it.

However, I find I use this player more than I ever did my Samsung. Mostly watching Amazon Prime and Netflix. This player has all sorts of movie and music apps that can be use. I've tried the sony movie app, but they have a 24 hour viewing window on the rental. Which I thought I was fine with, but man them mean it. I was watching Thor and we stopped it the first night to go to bed. We resumed the next night and were down to the last 10 minutes when the 24 hours ended and the shut the movie off. Ouch. So I just stick to Amazon and Netflix.
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on July 1, 2014
works. plays dvds without any issue. like that I can use for netflix, hulu plus and amazon prime so that I can have one box doing everything. have a roku box that I did use. problem is my tv has only 2 hdmi ports and one is used by the satellite receiver which leaves just one port left. with this player I do not need an external switch box or do the old cable swap to have everything.
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on January 7, 2014
Pros; Lots of great features, internet compatibility was good, Hulu, Netflix and several other streaming services available, seems to work well with my digital movie library also.

Cons: A touch slow (I’m used to using my PC, much faster), and no pointer while internet browsing. Finding and highlighting a link or selecting without one can get annoying.
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on November 21, 2013
Great features, affordable price. My third Sony Blu Ray. They get better and better. This model has the fastest loading time of Bluray movies of the three I own. A little more expensive for this unit, but the display is appreciated.
Basic control buttons are located on the top of the unit unlike some that only have a remote controller.
Easy Wi-Fi set up.
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on April 30, 2014
Never had any Sony DVD player before but this suited my need to support other file types for playback from PC. The interface is OK, software updates seem to happen often. Machine works well and has a great picture and good display options.
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on May 1, 2014
Love the wifi capability which allows me to use netflix, Amazon Instant video, and youtube. It also supports DVDs, which is fantastic. I don't have to get rid of my dvd collection! I would recommend this to a friend or family member.
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