Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sony continues to release Blu-ray players that are packed with features, and the BDP-S580 Blu-ray player is no exception. HTR Reviewer Adrienne Maxwell takes a look at the BDP-S580 to see how it measures up against its contemporaries.

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At CES, Sony announced plans to release five new Blu-ray models, three of which are now available: the BDP-S380 ($150), BDP-S480 ($180), and BDP-S580 ($200). We have not performed a hands-on review of the BDP-S580, but here is an overview of its features. The BDP-S580 is a 3D-capable player that also supports SACD playback. It has integrated WiFi for connection to a broadband network, which allows for access to Blu-ray BD-Live content and the BRAVIA Internet Video platform. Sony’s Web platform includes NetflixHulu PlusPandoraYouTubePicasa, and Sony’s own Qriocity VOD service–plus a very limited Web browser (it doesn’t support flash and has other restrictions). The Entertainment Database Browser uses Gracenote technology to provide actor and production information. The BDP-S580 can also receive streamed content from a DLNA server, and it’s compatible with Sony’s HomeShare network speakers–the Party Streaming function lets you wirelessly stream audio to remote zones. The BDP-S580 supports the Media Remote App, which lets iPhoneiPod touch, and Android phone users control the player via their mobile device. This model lacks the 2D-to-3D conversion and Skype capability that will be offered in the not-yet-released BDP-S780 ($250).

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore Blu-ray movie reviews on hometheaterequipment.com.

In terms of video connections, the BDP-S580 offers a single HDMI output, as well as component and composite video outputs. (The component video output is SD-only; beginning this year, manufacturers are no longer allowed to include HD-capable component video outputs, due to copy-protection restrictions.) This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. Picture adjustments include the ability to choose between preset picture modes and engage three types of noise reduction; Sony has also added IP noise reduction to specifically address the quality of Internet video sources. As for 3D adjustments, you can designate the size of your TV so that the player can tailor 3D graphics appropriately, and you can adjust the depth of the 3D image to suit your preference.

Audio outputs include HDMI, coaxial digital (no optical), and stereo analog. The BDP-S580 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.

The BDP-S580 supports playback of BD, DVD-Video, SACD, CD audio, AVCHD, MKV, WMV, WMA, AAC, MP3, GIF, PNG, and JPEG. You can add the player to your network using either the back-panel Ethernet port or the internal 802.11n wireless module. The BDP-S580 lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content; a back-panel USB port is provided for this purpose. A second, front-panel USB port supports media playback. The player lacks RS-232 or IR ports for integration into an advanced control system.

Read about the high points and the low points of the BDP-S580 on Page 2.

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High Points
• The BDP-S580 supports 3D playback.
• It supports BD-Live and BonusView/PIP.
• It has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources.
• The player has integrated WiFi and supports a wide variety of online media services, including Netflix, Qriocity, Hulu PlusPandora, and YouTube. It also has a music-streaming function.
• A remote control app is available for the iPhone, the iPod touch, and compatible Android phones.

Low Points
• This 3D model does not include dual HDMI outputs to send separate signals to your 3D TV and A/V receiver, and it doesn’t support 2D-to-3D conversion.
• It also lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it’s not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• There’s no advanced control port like RS-232.
• It lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content.

Competition and Comparison
Compare the Sony BDP-S580 with its competition by reading the reviews for the Vizio VBR333Panasonic DMP-BDT100LG BX580, and Samsung BD-C6900. Learn more about 3D-capable Blu-ray Players by visiting our Blu-ray Players section.

Conclusion
The BDP-S580 is a full-featured Blu-ray player offered at a very competitive price. In addition to 3D playback, you get integrated WiFi, SACD playback, DLNA media streaming, and a thorough assortment of Web services. You also get a few perks that I’ve not yet seen in other players–like a limited Web browser and music streaming to Sony’s HomeShare networkable speakers. If you don’t need the integrated WiFi, the $180 BDP-S480 is WiFi-ready but shares the rest of the BDP-S580’s features.

Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore Blu-ray movie reviews on hometheaterequipment.com.

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