Sony 120 GB Playstation 3 Slim Review 
Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players
Written by Thomas Spurlin   
Wednesday, 09 September 2009

Since its inception, Sony’s Playstation 3 quickly ascended the ranks as a market leader – just not in the demographic that the electronics giant would’ve probably preferred.  Though it’s become well respected in the gaming sector, its prowess lies in the computing machine’s ability to handle Blu-ray technology on the cinematic side of things.  At around $100 less than most of the competition, it decodes advanced audio tracks as an earmark on Sony’s barrage of firmware enhancements while providing an admirable picture and full interactivity with the technology’s BD-Live and BD-Java 2.0 capacities.  More advanced machines have now slipped into the market that takes the unit’s capability down a few pegs, but it’s unequivocally still the best value – you know, because it ‘s also a fine gaming machine and media hub.

Much like the transition between slimline and launch Playstation 2 systems, Sony have now spearheaded a slim Playstation 3 with an attractive new price tag underneath $300.  To say that it’s one of the best values for the money is certainly a beleaguered understatement; however, the real significance lies in whether this new model outperforms its older siblings, the bulkier Playstations launched on and since October 0f 2006.  The results are a mixed bag of strong positives and middling negatives that ultimately give way to a firm “yes”, but not without a few stipulations that’ll likely weigh on the minds of Sony’s loyalists.  

Out of the Box:

With the Slim PS3, streamlining of build size was clearly a prime driving force to releasing this new 120 GB system – along with offering a sleek new design at an attractive price.    It arrives in a box that fits somewhere between the launch system’s packaging and the sturdier PS2 style of support, arranged in a fashion that contains folded cardboard inside to support the component.  Inside, you’ll receive the slim PS3 unit itself, the newer model DUALSHOCK / SIXAXIS controller, a standard two-prong AC adapter, Composite A/V cords, Sony’s Playstation 3 demo disc, a mini USB cable for the controller, and a user manual.  

Note that even though Sony has been advertising the system as the unit that “only does everything” – including high-definition playback of both gaming and Blu-ray tech – it only comes with the gear to rig it up for 480i signals and stereo sound.  Keep in mind that you’ll need to fit an HDMI cable in the budget, or go the route of finding component A/V cables and/or a Toslink cable.  Since we’ll be testing the full extent of the PS3’s capacity as a Blu-ray bitstreaming player, the slim PS3 will be hooked up via HDMI to Onkyo’s SR605.

Build Quality / Differences:

Needless to say, the first Playstation 3 unit is a beast; measuring close to 4 inches tall at its thickest point, 12.75 inches wide and 11 inches deep , it has a difficult time finding enough space to receive ample breathing space in any home theater arrangement.  Users can find ample placement, but there was always the concern of overheating the unit when considering the heat generated from a combination of all the components at play – receiver, plasma screen, etc.  When the temperature spiked, the Playstation 3 mirrored something akin to a jet engine with its volume of sound coming from the fan.  With those factors under consideration, and under the right conditions, the thicker PS3 could be kept cool and relatively quiet for longer gaming / movie screening sessions.  Rarely did the comparison PS3 unit for this review, the 20 GB system, ever pop up with an overheat message over several years of use – even though it had its moments where it sounded like it was ready to blast into orbit.

The slim PS3 – measuring a little over 3 inches high, 11 inches wide, and about 11 and a half  inches deep, going further back than the thick PS3 -- stands as an attractive upgrade over its thicker predecessor, sporting a grainy matte-style coating over most of the unit that removes the sheen that the older systems carried.  Fingerprints can be kept at a minimum due to this thoughtful exclusion, except on the right and left flat sides of the system that still carry the glossy finish.  Though more attractive in these eyes (beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder), it’s obvious that the framework isn’t either as thick or sturdy as the previous system.  As a nice touch, the new PS3 logo has been etched into the top.  Yep, you can say goodbye to the Spider-Man font embossed in silver across the entire length and welcome a simple emblem on the top.  For those curious, the Playstation symbol underneath the loading tray cannot be rotated like other models.  Whether that’s a clear indicator over whether the PS3 should be on its side or laying flat isn’t certain, but it’s a suggestive “nudge” in the right direction.  

Design elements start to shift from purely aesthetic to more usable applications at the front of the system.  For starters, the silver lining that separated the 60, 80, and 160 GB systems from the 20GB system has been removed; once again, the PS3 has reverted back to a jet black front with no silver to be seen.  It’s a minor yet attractive feature when considering the unit as a piece of home theater equipment, since the solid dark property of the unit makes it soak into a room’s darkness.  Also, instead of the touch-registry sensors that control the Eject and Power On / Off functions, actual buttons have been put in place.  Though no issue arose with not being able to push a sensor and get the desired result from the previous system, it’s nice to both feel the button and hear that “click” underneath your fingertips – sort of like feeling that sting from disinfectant ointment when putting it on a cut.  Instead of having to hold down a nonexistent, head-sensing button like the previous models, a quick press of the snap Power On / Off button controls the power.

To the bottom-left of the unit sit two USB ports (not four, but two), primarily available as charge stations for the controllers.  However, they’re also ports for portable thumb / hard drives and as ports for web cameras and other USB devices.  Though nearly fully-functional USB ports, a USB network adapter cannot be used to hook the PS3 unit online.  However, if you choose to keep the PS3 offline, firmware updates can be downloaded onto portable devices and plugged into the unit for easy uploading.  Furthermore, images and mp3 files can be accessed through these ports.  Disappointingly, an SD card reader has not been included with these new models, as have any extra USB ports in the rear (ideal for other items, like the Playstation Eye).

Shipping with the 120 GB system is one of Sony’s DUALSHOCK 3 / SIXAXIS controllers.  Featuring the company’s signature four-button system with geometric shapes etched into each button, it’s fairly easy to use and compatible as a remote for the PS3’s Blu-ray technology.  If the controller doesn’t suit your fancy, then a Bluetooth Playstation 3 remote is also available for purchase (at a list price of $25).  Bear in mind that Sony’s unit doesn’t have an infrared sensor, which negates the opportunity to simply use the universal remote of your choice (though adapters have become available over the past year).  Though the rumble feature might not jive with every gamer (able to be toggled On / Off), the added weight from the weighted spindles in the handles gives it a nice center of gravity.
When taking a look at the rear of the slim PS3, one difference will immediately stand out.  Instead of the three-pronged AC cord most commonly used with computer systems that became commonplace on thePS3 models, Sony have shifted back to a two-pronged AC adapter with no power brick.  It’ll make the process of purchasing replacement cables a little easier and possibly cheaper, yet it brings up some concerns regarding the temperature of the unit and how strong it’ll handle a power current.  Also, Sony decided to not include the power switch at the rear of the unit.   It’s a surprising choice since they’ve included this switch on the back of both PS2 systems and on the first PS3 models, but not one that’s either a positive or negative.  Considered as a security measure for when the unit won’t be used for a prolonged period of time, or as a quick switch-off during a thunderstorm, the PS3 will now have to perpetually sit in Standby Mode when plugged into the wall outlet.

Setting Up:

Though it’s a fairly feature-rich system, the slim PS3 happens to be a very breezy unit to setup – just like its predecessor under the same XMB operating system.  Once booted up, it asks for a Language Selection and Time Setting.  From there, the setup pretty much goes on Autopilot, asking which type of connectors you’ll be using and what the resolution will be.  When hooked up via HDMI, the process is extremely simple; it automatically registers 1080p resolution, as well as the advanced audio functions within the PS3.  

As far as Settings go, the PS3’s XMB (or Cross Media Bar) contains a plethora of functions to choose from: System Update, Game, Video, Music, Chat, System, Theme, Date/Time, Power Save, Accessory, Printer, Display, Sound, Security, Remote Play, and Network, all fairly self-explanatory.  Each one contains varied customizable settings, with the Accessory settings being the most in-depth.  It’s here that you’ll want to register any Bluetooth devices (such as headsets and remotes), setup either an applicable web camera or Sony’s PS3 Eye, and register keyboards.  Synching the unit with an inexpensive Bluetooth headset was a cinch, though it takes a while to find the proper balance between voice loudness and echo.  Several other settings are available under the System Settings function, including the options to Auto Start discs upon sliding them into the unit (personal preference is to turn them off, though the function works properly in this unit), select System Language, and Format / Restore the hard drive.

Sony PS3 parts

Adjusting the visual output can be toggled under the Display settings, where selecting the Video Output Settings opens up an easy-to-navigate window.  Options first range between HDMI, Component / D-Terminal, Composite / S-Video, and AV Multi / SCART.  Manual resolution settings are available with 720p, 1080i, and 1080p options under HDMI, followed by a quick confirmation page that lists what you’ll be using.  A Cross Color Reduction Filter option is available to “reduce rainbow-effect artifacts”, available when using a Composite or SCART connection.  As with previous units, the PS3 also carried the Full Range RGB and Super-White over HDMI.

Audio functions are a bit more exciting this time around.  As per the other PS3 units, the Audio Output Settings range between HDMI, Optical, and Audio Input Connector / SCART – along with a new function, AV MULTI, available with software update 3.0 to send audio through two separate sound outputs.  Selecting Automatic for the method of output will automatically make all the options available, which brings up a very pleasant surprise.  This PS3 has been enabled with the capacity to bitstream advanced audio functions, including DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby True HD, DTS HD High Resolution, AND Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.  As with before, the unit also supports up to 7.1 channels of PCM sound via HDMI.  

Several functions are also available under the Video Settings to customize the cinematic experience with the PS3.  Along with Blu-ray/DVD Audio, Subtitle and Upscaling functions, there are also toggled options for Dynamic Range Control and 1080p 24hz Output (On/Off).  Most important, you’ll find the Video (RGB, V Pb/Cb Pr/Cr) and Audio (Bitstream, PCM) Output controls here, which is where you’ll be able to decide whether you’d like to send pure or decoded audio tracks to your receiver of choice.  Bitstream this time around, as previously mentioned, contains pure streaming of high-definition sound – so the Bitstream function was selected.  

Hooking up to the Internet with the PS3 can be a little tricky, all depending on your connections.  With a LAN-line connection, it’s pretty simple – hook the Ethernet cable into the rear and go from there.  However, wireless signals are becoming more and more commonplace, and the PS3 comes equipped with an internal wireless adapter.  Using a Linksys WRT54GS adapter that’s been security-enabled, it made the process pretty easy: select Manual, enter in the SSID, choose the entry method you’re using, then enter in the WPA-PSK.  It’ll test the connection, check to make certain you’re able to access the Playstation Network, and save the information to use upon connecting.


Let’s analyze the performance from the moment a Blu-ray goes into the player.  It’s worth starting the process here because you’ll certainly notice a difference as the disc enters the slot.  Instead of the smooth entry accompanying the previous PS3 systems, the loading mechanism inside the slim PS3 is noticeably louder.  It lets out almost a grinding sound that’s less-than-becoming, almost a little disconcerting.  Any unnerving sounds cease once the disc starts spinning, but the jarring noise as a disc enters and leaves the system can be a little annoying.  Also, upon getting the disc fired up, each Blu-ray seems to take roughly 5 seconds or so longer to boot up and begin reading than the previous system.  Honestly, these gaps are noticeable when sitting and waiting for the discs, like watching blades of grass grow; however, as is the case with many cinema lovers, a tendency to insert the disc and grab a beverage or snack during the loading process usually renders this point somewhat null.  It certainly doesn’t hinder the performance of the Blu-ray discs once they’ve been revved up.

One thing that’s worth interjecting at this point is the fact that this slim PS3 has been put through a barrage of lengthy one-session testing timespans, as well as the average multi-disc tests.  Upon first entry, the system is rather hushed, noticeably quieter than its predecessor.  The fan also runs, and this might sound a little strange, with a higher-pitched sound than the older fan.  It makes the noise a little more difficult to hear, though it sounds like it’s running as much or less than the previous system.  After about 6 or 7 hours of continuous usage, either while gaming or running Blu-rays, the internal fan kicks into a different gear and ramps up the audibility factor.  Depending on your receiver’s volume, it can be drowned out (easily done at about 6/10 power on my Onkyo SR605) but still observable if concentrated on.  This new PS3 isn’t silent, but it’s certainly quieter – and any of these factors, if seen as glaring negatives, will be overpowered by the positives that this machine has to offer.  


As a Blu-ray Player:

The Slim Playstation 3 has been put through a battery of high-definition tests, ranging from stop-motion animation and foreign drama to thunderous epic-scaled adventures.  No matter what was thrown at it in the high-definition spectrum, the quality was overwhelmingly strong – both on visual tangibility and, more importantly, on the audio side of things.  The big point to convey is that the new Playstation 3 does bitstream advanced audio options to applicable receivers.  That means no more Multichannel registry on your receiver when the Dolby TrueHD function has been selected.  Along those lines, it’s also noticeably cleaner and crisper than the internal decoding, as to be expected.  Keep in mind that the system still internally decodes the audio functions, if desired.  


Universal’s Coraline was the first to test the range of the PS3’s capabilities.  Framed at 1.85:1 and sporting a DTS HD Master Audio track, it’s been heralded as one of the better demo discs around.  Boy, it showed; the textile elements in the animation, from granules of fabric against Coraline’s doll to the intricacy of the house’s design looks jaw-dropping.  When colors are featured in the presentation, such as bright blasts of neon shades, gradients of color look fantastic.  Furthermore, this Master Audio track absolutely barrels out over the soundstage with activity and lower-frequency splendor, acing the internally-decoded track by a few degrees.  

Shifting things up a bit, Fox’s high-definition presentation of Kingdom of Heaven found its way into the player.  Though it’s an older disc, the quality still stands strong as a crisp, finely detailed rendering of 2.35:1 material.  Blue shades absolutely dominate Ridley Scott’s intended color timing for the cinematography, and it all looks rather good through the PS3.  Though details aren’t as strong as I’ve seen on other players and some of the motion renders a bit of artifacting, they’re still exceedingly film-like and very natural.  Something many might not realize is that Kingdom of Heaven comes with a DTS HD Master Audio track, a fact that might have been overlooked upon its release since very few players could actually handle the tech at the time.  The detail present in this track is astounding, ranging from clanks against a hot iron to water (among other things) rushing down a river.  

Next, Sony’s own presentation of The Fall was given a whirl on the player.  It’s an extremely colorful fantasy picture featuring beautifully-shot images that replicate exotic, oasis-like settings.   Sony’s 1.85:1 AVC encode is a stunner, and the PS3 replicates the film grain, astounding dimensionality, and robust bursts of color with exceptional grace.  Furthermore, it sends the TrueHD track splendidly to the receiver, replicating the clanking of blades, verbal clarity, and sweeping musical cues to the tune of tremendous fanfare.  It fills the soundstage elegantly.

To give a tougher disc a try, Criterion’s Chungking Express was given a spin.  It’s labeled a “tougher” disc since it’s not one of those absolutely pristine prints that showcase the merits of Blu-ray technology to its pinnacle, but more of an appropriately excellent rendering of the film’s intended visual style.  Film grain is preserved extremely well, only getting a shade on the murky side on a few occasions on the PS3.  It also contains an elegant DTS HD Master Audio track filled with kitschy music and fluttering voiceovers, all of which sounded extremely good.  

Finally, to challenge the player’s endurance, Warner Bros’ Blu-ray presentation of Fringe: The Complete First Season was run in its entirety.  Several times, the unit was running at 5-6 hours at a time between episodes, and the quality never faltered.  Warner’s VC-1 visual treatments looked great, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks all sounded crisp to the ear.  

For reference, Sony’s Playstation is Region A-locked – as tested by popping in a B-locked copy of The Fountain from the UK.  It also cannot handle PAL-encoded special features, defaulting back to menu whenever a supplement is selected on the menu for I’m a Cyborg.  

The slim PS3 also utilizes the supplemental functions of Blu-ray’s BD-Live and BD-Java functions just as well as the previous unit – as to be expected, since the software hasn’t really changed.  Accessing both WB (on the fifth disc of Fringe) and Disney’s (on Pinocchio) BD-Live functions worked with very little fuss, while the PiP functions on WB’s The Matrix and Sony’s own The Da Vinci Code popped up with both video and audio working seamlessly.  

As a DVD Player:

Here, however, is where the high praise crescendos down to little more than a whisper on the cinematic front.  Though most home theater enthusiasts have their upscaling machine of choice, some might think it’d be worth the cash to spring for the PS3 if it’ll stand up on standard-definition levels as well.  As a 1080p upscaling DVD player, though, the PS3 has always been very mediocre – and the slim PS3 is more of them same, if not just a hair worse.  Tested with copies of Universal’s DTS presentation of Jurassic Park, The Weinstein Company’s The Mist (in color), and Sony’s Redbelt, it just doesn’t handle fine detail and film grain extremely well.
Blocking and edge enhancement appear with varied frequency, while detail in and around facial structures get a bit muddy.  It still does a fine job of tightening colors and some details, but it’s very weak in comparison to other dedicated machines.  This becomes more pronounced with the age of the disc, naturally, as Redbelt actually looked rather good in sharpness, detail, and grain levels while Jurassic Park just looked flat and blocky.  The range of Dolby Digital and DTS tracks sounded rather good, though the lower-frequency items rumble on a looser, louder level in comparison.  It’ll serve the purpose if necessary, but the quality’s just not there to recommend it as a very good upscaling DVD player.

Furthermore, Sony’s Slim PS3 is a Region One locked machine, as tested with a Region 3 copy of Memories of Murder.  It also cannot handle Region-free PAL DVDs – or any PAL DVD signals – as tested with a copy of A Bittersweet Life from the UK.

As a Gaming Machine:

A fair amount of endurance testing was also put on the PS3 under its “primary” function as a gaming machine.  What better to exercise it than the engrossing new game from Eidos, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and an old classic, Bioshock.  Arkham Asylum features quick motion, high-quality cinematics, lots of color, and plenty of engine-testing on the Playstation’s new, “less-expensive” cell chip.  Though slight, it carries a marginally better grasp on motion and runtimes between loaded materials.  Moving downwards on Batman’s costume during the loading screen showcases a perceptible difference in the chip’s capacity to smoothly and seamlessly render graphics.  Bioshock, a colorful and atmospheric first-person shooter, looks rather good, though it still showed off a few instances of jagged lines against contours.  Bear in mind that other great PS3 exclusives, like Little Big Planet, are also available.  Textures and such, however, pretty much looked identical between units.

The slim PS3s can endure also hours of gameplay at a time without faltering.  One of the most disappointing shifts between thick and slim PS2s was the unit’s problems with glitches after a larger number of hours running the system – something remembered by this reviewer after a few length bouts with Final Fantasy X.  Though timeliness with this review can’t permit me to fully test the range of its endurance, it’s safe to say that the transition to a more cost efficient framework hasn’t sacrificed its prowess.  It does, however, get a bit hot when running for prolonged periods of time and can actually heat up the disc upon ejection.  Standard rules for ventilation and such that you’ve implemented on gaming systems beforehand should apply here as well.

Here’s the biggest speed bump in the process: the slim PS3 is not backwards compatible with PS2 games.  Users who have relied on the 20 GB or 60GB PS3 for that very purpose will have a bit of a decision to make.   It does, however, play original Playstation games.  Copies of Silent Hill, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII worked like a charm in this system.  Though playable, you can also download PSOne games via the Platstation Store (detailed a little later) – which currently includes the like of Final Fantasy VII and Tomb Raider.  


As a Media Hub:

When you’re not using the PS3 as a Blu-ray machine or as a gaming console, it also works as a pretty capable media hub hooked up to your television.  Accessing files can occur in a few fashions, the most popular being access via thumb drive.  Grabbing files from portable USB storage is simple, as is importing photographs – the option for USB storage pops up when an applicable device is plugged in.  Simply select it, click on the triangle (or green button) , and copy the file(s) onto the hard drive for easy use.  

It’s in the synchronization between devices that the PS3 can really work some magic.  It’s fully capable of accessing Media Servers via its wireless signal, as long as an applicable one is within range.  To do this, you’ve got to switch the function for “media sharing” on in Windows Media Playe.  The PS3 will access mp3s, images, and videos available on the server, but with a few negatives.  When it accesses mp3 files, it takes roughly 5-10 seconds to boot up each file.  Now, when it comes to Blu-ray playback, that’s acceptable; however, waiting that span of time for a media file to be accessed can be a little bothersome.   Still, being able to stream media from one hard drive to a receiver-friendly, screen-friendly HDMI wireless device is very handy.  From there, the XMB can organize playlists for easy access, both for photographs and for mp3 files.

When tested with 2L Nordic’s Blu-ray audio sampler, the quality was very pleasing.  Crux Fidelis’ Gregorian chant and North Country II tested the system’s capacity to handle delicate aural elements in DTS HD Master Audio and PCM 5.1.  The leap in quality between the two was fairly perceptible, rendering a slightly less processed quality that showcases the system’s leaner capacities.  It’s also able to handle SACD discs as well.  CD playback sounds decent enough, though a bit on the weaker side in comparison, while importing tracks from the disc onto the PS3’s hard drive as mp3 files works flawlessly – though awfully slow song to song.  When files are imported on the hard drive, load time is next-to-nothing.

Online Performance and Playstation Store:

Once you’ve connected to the internet, several options become available.  For one, you’ve got access to the Playstation Network (PSN) for purchases, as well as online gaming functions.  At the store, the bounds are limited really on by the amount of cash you’re willing to spend on digital media.  Digital downloads of new release DVDs / Blu-rays are available, as well as catalogue releases, in both high-definition and standard-definition.  Trailers for current films can also be downloaded straight to the hard drive, accessed through the Video option in the XMB, and played through a receiver if desired.  

Quality for these can vary, but they’re largely very good.  Along with movies, you can also purchase games, download free updates, and snag mp3 files from some of your favorite games. Download times really don’t differ between the old and new Playstation 3 systems.  The functionality largely gauges based on the level of internet service, and doesn’t seem to be a factor in this new unit.  Connections seem to stay locked in rather well, only sporting a drop at one time to the media server.  It’s free to browse and download trailers, a few themes, and some other gaming extras, but most of the content costs a bit extra.  As always, the PSN is free for gaming online. A web browser is available for simple cruising on the internet, but the load times and stiffness of the material makes it serviceable at best.  

Overall Impressions:

Blu-ray technology has come a long way since October of 2006.  Then, it was a cinch to jump at recommending the PS3 as a Blu-ray player, both for its quality and its price.  That’s a little more difficult now with fully-functional players in the sub $200 department, along with high-end players like the Oppo BDP-83 sprinting ahead of its quality.  Plus, it wouldn’t be a discussion about the PS3 without even a mention of the Xbox360 – a unit that’s maintained ground in the gaming department, along with slashing its price.  Naturally, to keep speed with the market, it’s about time for Sony to release their newer model of the PS3 at a more affordable level.

At the current price point of $300, Sony’s Slim Playstation really delivers a remarkable punch for the price.  With the capacity to bitstream advanced audio functions, communicate wirelessly over the internet for BD-Live and firmware updates, and put up an impressive 1080p image, it’s a highly capable Blu-ray player.  That’s not even considering the fact that it can work as well as both wireless media hub and a decent CD/SACD/MP3 player.  Through many months of refinement through firmware updates to the unit’s XMB interface, it’s nailed down fluidity with most of the tech underneath the hood – a few minor, lingering exceptions excluded.  On top of all that, it also opens the gates up to a decent library of video games since, well, it’s a Playstation 3. Over HDMI, which handshakes just fine with an Onkyo SR605, everything runs extremely smooth.

The question of the hour: is the jump from a thick to a slim PS3 worth the investment for early (earlier) adopters?  It’ll all depend on what model of Playstation you already own.  Upgrading from system to system brings a few variables into the equation – cost of upgrading a hard drive, whether the PS2 backwards compatibility is worth holding onto an older unit, how much upgrading the audio capabilities is worth – which will ultimately hinge on personal preference.  For home theater enthusiasts, it’s certainly worth the boost from simple internal decoding to a bitstreaming piece of equipment.  For $300 and a likely return investment from selling a previous unit, it’s whole-heartedly worth it – even if you’re pretty much buying the same unit with a few earmarks.

Final Thoughts:

Sony’s new Slim Playstation 3 still offers one of the best complete values in the home media spectrum, if all of the functions are utilized.  As a Blu-ray player, it’s both completely functional as a 1080p, audio bitstreaming unit over HDMI and up-and-running with all the supplemental features that make the new technology a cutting edge medium.  It plays DVD to a moderate degree, bridges to external media hubs for file access, and offers a growing library of high-definition games playable both offline and online.  The Slim Playstation 3 unit comes with a 120 GB hard drive and an internal wireless adapter, both of which almost make up for the fact that the unit isn’t backwards compatible with Playstation 2 games.  Also keep in mind that it had a few times where it ran a bit hot on this end.  

Value for the money makes this a no-brainer for those in need of a Blu-ray player, while the sleekness of design and additions to the system make this a justifiable upgrade.  Really, you can’t go wrong for $300, if less; just keep all the factors in mind while considering whether to take the plunge. 

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