A 3D Blu-ray player
Sony BDP-S470 is a small Blu-ray player from the entry-level class. Older versions of this device are compatible with 3D technology through a simple software update.
With a price of about 250 euros, this small Blu-ray player made by Sony seems to be one of the cheapest ways to access 3D technology. As for PlayStation 3, Sony scheduled a software update (in June 2010) which allows the device to play Blu-ray 3D disks. There are good news for Sony fans. Especially since this player also has good multimedia capabilities (MKV, AVCHD, JPEG and MP3 reader) and is able to connect via Wi-Fi at a home network. A bad thing is that USB Wi-Fi is optional. The today’s reviewed device also offers access to some online services and it can be operated with the iPhone or iPod Touch devices offered by Apple. Finally, Sony also promises a fast loading time and an audio / video quality. Let’s see the reality and the test.
The Sony BDP-S470 is a Blu-ray player that’s well designed, with a small display and a discreet front tray that does not waver at the opening. This seems to be a good sign at first look. On the front you can find only one USB port, a weak point in our opinion. On the rear you will find a second USB port that can be used to insert the device’s Wi-Fi adapter and to allow the reader to connect to the network or to a wireless DSL device. Note however that the Wi-Fi adapter (called BR100-UWA) is sold as an option at a price of about 80 euros. That hurts ! Across the small fan providing discreet cooling for the device, there are two digital audio outputs (optical + coaxial), HDMI output, one YUV output, one audio output / analog video and one Ethernet port. As for the remote, it is the usual one with the characteristics of Sony players. It offers nothing more or less than models launched last year.
A lot of file formats available
Firing up the player you can find the classic interface called Xross Media Bar and other tuning options. A nice surprise: the player supports SACD discs. This is great news for all lovers of quality music listening. The rest of the setup options is classic and they offer only few tools and audio / video will not be moved once validated at the time of installation. If you press the Options button on the remote, it is possible to use some video settings, modify the quality of the image depending by the environment (standard, store, dark room) and noise reduction (noise reduction field, Block Noise Reduction, Mosquito Noise Reduction) along with other features.
However, these operations were simplified as much as possible, particularly the section on the network connection. With just two clicks of the remote, the player is able to access the shared folders on the computer or multimedia files directly from your player. Another feature of Sony BDP-S470 is playback streaming and this is easily possible. Many audio / video / photo formats are supported, including AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV, WMV, the M2TS, ASF, M4V, MP3, WMA, the WAV and JPEG files. In fact, only files protected by DRM are not supported.
Controllable from iPod Touch
For the test performed for this review we downloaded an application called BD Remote for iPhone or iPod Touch. This allows the user, after registering the device, to control Wi-Fi access to all core functions. It’s fun, practical, free. In short, it is great. With the Wi-Fi access, the player is controllable throughout the home. This is especially useful if you need to listen to music: no need to stand in front of the drive to change tracks. Finally, the player can also access the Gracenote database to view information on the disk (since the version 473 of Firmware dated in March 2010), as well as YouTube, DailyMotion and other online services through BRAVIA Internet Video. However, the quality is not great for videos played on the TV’s bigger than 40 inches screen, but this option can be useful sometimes.
Good image quality and price
Image quality delivered by the BDP-S470 which is 3D Ready, is very good. Resolution is excellent, noise and tingling are limited and the display at 24p is perfectly smooth. Provided colors are tonic and upscaling. Some old DVDs can be reinvigorated a little behind in terms of resolution after playing with this device. If you consider just the price, you mustn’t expect too much. However, if you hear the level of noise, you must know that this is not a turntable for audiophiles. Anyway with SACD compatibility and a pleasant overall dynamics, music is quite well treated by this device.
The new Sony BDP-S4 is an interesting option if you need a nice and small Blu-ray player. The image quality is excellent for its low price and the digital sound is dynamic, multimedia capabilities are great, the device is simple to use, simple to configure and accepts everything that is provided to it. This is a very good option.
|Table / Portable||Salon|
|Width in mm||430|
|Depth in mm||219|
|Height in mm||36|
|Super Audio CD||Yes|
|Hard Drive Capacity||0|
|Video Converter N / A||12 Bits – 148.5 MHz|
|Audio Converter N / A||24 bits – 192 kHz|
|Streaming Via Home Network||Audio / Video|
|Normal consumption in Watts||12.9|
|Type of Memory Stick||N / A|
|Type of SD Card||N / A|