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Sony BDP-S360 review

Barry de la Rosa
1 Jan 2010
Sony BDP-S360
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
135
inc VAT

A decent Blu-ray player, but the BDP-S360 lacks the video and music format support that other players have.

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Sony's BDP-S360 is the successor to last year's Labs winner, the BDP-S350. Performance has improved dramatically since then, and the BDP-S360 was much quicker to start up and reach the main menu of a Blu-ray film, even without its Quick Start feature enabled. Quick Start makes the player draw 6W of power on standby, though, which isn't very eco-friendly, and it isn't as fast as some rival players.

The BDP-S360's design is rather odd: the entire front panel opens out when you eject the tray, which seems pointless as there are no extra controls or ports beneath it. There are only four controls on the front, but the Power and Eject buttons are thin strips of chrome that are rather hard to spot. This exacerbates the fact that there's no Eject button on the remote.

On the rear is a recessed USB port, which is handy if you plan on placing the BDP-S360 against a wall. Unfortunately, it doesn't support video or picture playback from mass storage, and a USB stick is just used for BD Live storage.

The BDP-S360 doesn't support video playback from data discs at all, and will only play the JPEG and MP3 photo and music formats. It will play Blu-ray content recorded to DVD, but it's fussy with AVCHD files, only supporting AVCHD recorded without menus, and even then only if it's recorded using Nero software: our test DVD of AVCHD video recorded using CyberLink software was jumpy.

We weren't surprised to see Sony's Xross Media Bar (XMB) interface, which is used on many of the company's products in the place of a traditional menu system. It's easy to navigate, and changes depending on what media is inserted. It does seem a bit pointless having dedicated icons for Photos and Music when only JPEG and MP3 files are supported, though. In our DVD test we noticed a fair bit of ghosting as well as jagged lines, but overall the quality of DVD upscaling was satisfactory.

All the players on test this month will play Blu-ray movies well, but it seems this is all the BDP-S360 can do. It has little support for other media formats and incredibly limited video format support. Although it's quicker to operate using Quickstart mode, this wastes power and doesn't actually give it much of an advantage over other players.

Details

Price£135
Rating***

Buying Information

Price£135
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.multizoneav.com
Detailswww.sony.co.uk

Features and Connections

Blu-ray profile2.0
HDMI outputs1
HDMI Version1.3
Component outputs1
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs1
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless standardnone
USB ports1
Mass storage supportno
Supported memory cardsnone
Other connectionsnone
BD Live storageUSB

Video, Audio and Photo

Video playback formatsMPEG-1, MPEG-2
Image viewing formatsJPEG
Audio playback formatsMP3
YouTube streamingno

Audio

Dynamic Range Controlyes
Dolby TrueHD supportyes
DTS-HD MA supportyes

Physical

Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on14W
Extrasremote control
Size430x216x56mmmm