|Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Tuesday, 18 May 2010|
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For a long time, Sony’s been struggling with a good problem to have regarding their standalone Blu-ray decks. It doesn’t matter if their quality strong, the reaction time decent, and the supplemental specifics pleasing to the eye, they always have to combat price-wise against the company’s “flagship” player, the Playstation 3. On most occasions, their standalone decks of a comparable quality (such as the BDP-S560, reviewed here) were, on a good day, the same price as their game-playing iteration, a unit that’s become a reference machine for the likes of The Criterion Collection and others.
Out of the Box
If a pair of eyes will be looking at the S570 that have seen the thickness and width of other Blu-ray decks, they’ll be taken slightly aback at the compressed size of this high-functioning unit. It barely sits a foot and a half deep at 17 inches, while offering a bit of a slack-jaw inducing height at 1.81 inches tall. Sure, the likes of Samsung’s ultra thin BD-P4600 are more shocking with their size, but the ability to cram this high-function player into a compact, glossy design impresses to a noteworthy extent. In comparison, this unit sits roughly a full inch shallower from front to back and about a half an inch shorter than JVC’s XV-BP1, an able-bodied and size-conscious unit on its own. Gone are the flip-open tray and wonky buttons from the S560, replaced by a front panel that’s sturdy, unwavering, and void of any blue coloring. But it’d be wise to have a polishing cloth ready if lights are in proximity, as the black glossy finish is prone both to dust pick-up and fingerprints.
To the front, attractive minimalist design takes the helm. The short stature calls for a more edgy motif to make it grab the user’s eye, complimented here by a thin silver trim that rides along a small jetting “shelf” at the bottom that holds very, very small buttons for stopping, playing, pausing, powering down and the rest of the standard functions. These buttons feel almost like thinner, hard Tic-Tacs or another small mint, which are pointed but on the stiff side. A very soft LED timer arrives on the right-hand side, rendered in delicate but readable blue typography that’s adjustable to even darker levels within the menus. For a little extra ambience and, maybe in some lighting, assistance in seeing the buttons, a thin light strip appears directly in the center of the unit that glows an agreeably tame white color – whose brightness can also be toggled along with the time display. A USB 2.0 port also adorns the right of the panel.
On the rear of the S570, there’s very little to get excited about. We’ve got out standard ports for plug-and-play usage, with the HDMI out taking charge as the preferred connection method. Component RGB jacks are available, along with coaxial and optical outputs to match for audio, as well as a LAN cable port for non-wireless Internet usage. The only nice earmark we’ve got on the rear panel is a port for a USB connection, so the user can connect a storage device to the back without cluttering up the front continuously. It’s worth noting, however, the power cable isn’t a standard A/C output port, instead carrying a permanent connection that cannot be unplugged or replaced. That’s a little frustrating for installation folks and those who’d prefer easier plug-and-play experience, or for those that, say, have a power wiring issue and need to switch out cables.
Though Sony has implemented a new model of remote between the S560 and the S570, jumping from a RMT-B104A to a RMT-B107A, there’s almost no difference between the two devices. Both are flimsy tack-on designs that work, mind you, and are user friendly – just very inexpensively handled. The B107A, however, has one key feature that the 104A lacked, and that’s an EJECT button. The “Theater” button has been scooped up and moved to a new location, but other than that it’s the same unit; therefore, the comments annotated in the review for the S560’s remote carry over here. Essentially, it’s a lighter, flimsier version of Sony’s Playstation 3 Bluetooth remote, carrying the same rotary navigation functions, color-coded buttons, and TV control as before.