|Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Player|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Thursday, 01 February 2007|
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The lack of RS232 control is another head-scratcher. People with large-scale home theaters that are run with big control systems, like a Crestron or AMX, will need to use an IR connection which is far from perfect. The emitters fall off, leaving systems harder to work. A glaring mistake on Samsung’s player is unfortunately repeated on the Sony. CEDIA installers and hardcore system integrators will not be happy, but there is a work-around.
It was an odd omission to not have CD functionality on a Blu-ray player. PS3 works with CDs and even SACD discs. At $999, consumers will look to this player to replace their DVD player and possibly simply their systems. With no CD playback, they still need some form of transport that can play a CD. Apple iPods are popular and music servers are making it into more and more systems, but people still just want to spin a CD sometimes. The fact that this $999 player can’t is a pretty serious flaw.
When it comes down to it, the reason the Sony BDP-S1 deserves your attention and likely your investment is the video quality. Could the load time be faster or the remote be better? Unquestionably yes, but at the same time, to sit there with a 1080 HDTV and nothing to feed it the glorious video it needs is a crying shame. Beyond the native HD video playback abilities, this is also a fine scaling DVD player that can make your DVDs look better than can most traditional DVD players on the market today.
The Sony BDP-S1 is markedly better than the similarly-priced Samsung in terms of features, load time and build quality. And until the new, higher-end Toshiba HD DVD player comes out, the Sony remains one of the few ways for you to get native 1080p video content into your life. If you are serious about video and want to see just how good your display device can look, you have your answer. It is clearly the Sony BDP-S1.