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 Sony Bdp-s360 - Mixed Review

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PostSubject: Sony Bdp-s360 - Mixed Review   Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:00 pm




This year's model of the "budget player" is the BDP-S360, an update on the S350 that came out last year. Like last year's model, it supports several features unique to Sony, including the Picture N' Picture playback mechanism, and a wide range of audio options, including Dolby TrueHD output. It doesn't have support for streaming media services such as Netflix, but is otherwise pretty solid all the way around.

The device has two video outputs - HDMI and component video. The HDMI runs the full gamut of digital outputs, and has a fairly robust auto-detection mechanism, and handles 1080p-24 and 1080p-60 higher end outputs. Component video can handle the various interlaced formats for older television sets, but it's unlikely that anyone who'll pay for this will have an older set that needs them.



When it comes to audio, the S360 is a bit more eclectic. It's got excellent support for the audio systems it does have - most of them are HDMI compatible, and includes a plethora of connection capabilities, ranging from optical, 2 channel analog, coax digital and HDMIwith good audio filters on top of this. What it lacks is full support for 7.1 channel audio, which is a peculiar omission given what it's targeted at.

The unit supports several formats, from DVD, CD, through to generalized picture formats. At this point, DVD players that can play slide shows of digital photos are nothing new. The player has an Ethernet port to hook up to the web with the BDLive service, but no wireless internet connectivity to allow it to be hooked into your home network. It lacks a hard drive, but this isn't as big a problem as it might seem, as the player can use any USB hard drive out there quite readily. The inability of its USB ports to support digital music or photo playback is another odd omission.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

BluRay player is able to support playback of HDMI outputs of 1080p-24

BluRay player has built-in DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD decoding capabilities that stream over HDMI outputs.

BluRay player supports playback of BDLive Web and Sony Picture N' Picture content.

Cons:

No Analog support for 7.1 channel output, which can be a problem with compatibility with older hardware.

BluRay player does not have internal memory. You have to purchase an external USB thumb drive. Also, the USB port will not play music or photos.

No streaming media service, or wireless support for home network streaming media play. (This is supposedly coming in next year's model.)

Conclusion:

This is Sony's entry into the low end of the market for 2009, and while this review focuses on the features not present, that's not a damning indictment. If you're looking for a good introductory player, this is the one to go for. For more advanced features, give this one a pass.

Michael Woods is an expert on electronics. He started providing compact DVD players that carry reasonable price tags. Visit Michael's site today to learn more about alternatives to the Sony BDP-S360.



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