For those with smaller rooms, or who find the challenge of purchasing separate Blu-ray players, A/V Receivers, and speakers daunting, Sony has a system for you. A feature-laden, WiFi enabled 3D Blu-ray disc player with a built-in amplifier with 5 satellite speakers and a passive subwoofer for 5.1 channels of discrete high definition surround sound. Ladies and gentlemen, a home theatre in a box (HTIB).
The BDV-E570 from Sony offers built-in WiFi capabilities for connection to a home network, which is becoming more and more common with just about every home electronics product. Wireless is especially handy for those who have their router in another room.
Once connected to the Internet, the BDV-E570 is among the Sony products with access to Bravia Internet Entertainment, a collection of entertainment and social networking widgets. Check out the full list here, but they've got Hulu Plus, Netflix, Crackle, Fear Net, Wired, Ford Models, NPR, YouTube, and Pandora along with Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo News, and USA Today Spots. Firmware updates will also be available over the net.
Sony's BDV-E570 is DNLA certified, which allows you to play all your PC's media files from the comfort of your couch through your wireless broadband network. MP3 audio files and JPEG pictures can also be accessed from writeable BD / DVD / CD media, or via a USB storage device or USB enable MP3 player such as an iPhone or iPod Touch.
The big gun here in Sony's new Home Theater System is Blu-ray 3D playback at full HD 3D resolution. That means, with the combination of the appropriate display, Blu-ray 3D source material will play at a glorious 1080p-per-eye resolution, 24 to 60 fps. The BDV-E570 also plays back traditional Blu-rays and well as your old standard definition DVDs and music CDs. VHS owners…like most days, you're S.O.L. Unlike early Blu-ray disc players, this one features a Quick Start / Quick Load system to get you to content faster.
The Sony BDV-E570 has the option to internally decode or bitstream all the modern uncompressed and lossless surround sound formats, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio. There are two digital inputs, and two stereo inputs for other audio sources, and a built in AM/FM Tuner.
Customers seem to generally enjoy the sound qualities from this little system which features a 1000W total (RMS) output: Center 167W; Surround 167W, Woofer 165W, Front 60W. Really nothing to write home about, but in smaller rooms for those who aren't self-described audiophiles, it should get the job done.
The wood cabinet subwoofer is passive, a rated impedance of 3ohms, and a cutoff frequency of 20-200Hz. The two fronts and two surrounds are "micro satellite" 1 way speakers with a 3ohm impedance and 55mm x 80mm woofer units. The center channel features is a 1 way, magnetically shielded 3ohm impedance "slim" speaker.
Generally, Sony's BDV-E570 looks like a promising entry-level system, though user reviews complain about missing streaming features and botched firmware updates (most of these, most likely, improperly performed) which resulted in a locked, unusable system. Also, while there are two digital and two analog stereo inputs to run other audio devices, there is no video-switching capabilities in this unit, which means other than DVDs in this player, there is no video scaling. This most likely won't be an issue for most owners, however, because most modern HDTVs are equipped with multiple HDMI and other video inputs.
The Sony BDV-E570 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System can be picked up today for around $500.
Media Compatibility: Blu-ray 3D, CD, DVD, BD-R, CD-R, BD-RE, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, BD-ROM, DVD+RW, DVD-RW
Inputs: 2 RCA stereo, 1 coax (Sat/Cable) digital, 1 optical digital
Outputs: 1 HDMI 1.4a, 1 Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr), 1 Composite RCA,
Additional Features: Bravia Internet Entertainment, DNLA, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, AM/FM Tuner
Audio Formats: DTS, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, MP3, PCM
Video Formats: VC-1, AVCHD, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, JPEG
Dimensions (amplifier / blu-ray player): 17" W x 3 3/8" H x 13 ¼" D
Weight (amplifier / blu-ray player): 10 lb 10oz