Sony BDPS480B Blu Ray Player Review
Review: We go hands on with the Sony BDPS480B
Gaining the coveted 5 stars when reviewed in the June 2011 issue of ‘What Hi Fi?’ this Blu Ray player has been specifically designed to handle the Internet, 3D and DVD all with the greatest of ease. It can also cut through bone, just like butter, (but only if you’re watching ‘Machete’ on it). But is it indispensable or merely expendable? We dispatched our reviewer to find out.
Today’s Blu Ray players are getting smaller and smaller, which is useful for space reasons and better from both a consumer standpoint (there’s less to pay for) and an environmental one. This is only an uncomfortable irony if you happen to be watching ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ on Blu Ray. Joking aside, the BDPS480B is pretty small, measuring 19.9 x 43 x 3.6 cm and weighing in at an anorexic 1.7 kg. In today’s world, it pays to be space conscious when it comes to home entertainment, as more content is available, at a lower price, than at any other time in history.
Because it is a Blu Ray player first and foremost, your Sony BDPS480B will enable superior picture and sound quality, bringing you closer than ever to home cinema. However, I should point out that this will only achieve full potential if hooked up to a decent surround sound system and a 1080p HD TV.
This model will connect to the Internet, allowing you to surf the net on your TV the same way you would with your computer and it’s WiFi connection interfaces easily and efficiently with your home broadband.
The Sony BDPS480B also comes equipped with two USB ports, which are great for connecting memory sticks or portable hard drives in order to watch downloaded or user-generated content. They can also connect your Blu Ray player to digital cameras in order to watch your home movies, or show friends your holiday snaps.
And yes, you can use your mobile phone as a remote (Apple and Android only).
Upon its release at the beginning of last year, this player cost £330, which is, frankly, a bit steep. However, right now you can buy it for £90 (not including postage), which is actually a pretty good deal. Amazon’s marketplace also has it available for as low as £70, which is even better.
I’m pretty sceptical when it comes to 3D, so I’m not sold by the manufacturer’s boast that it represents “the new generation of home entertainment”. Luckily, you don’t need to watch everything in 3D, so this is still a worthwhile product for all you 3D doubters out there.
You can access any number of apps, which are perfect for streaming Internet content and do so very well. This means that you can catch up on last night’s ‘Mock The Week’ with the iPlayer app, but still enjoy new episodes of ‘Jake & Amir’ via the YouTube app.
The Sony BDPS480B boosts the quality of DVDs to a very high standard indeed, which means that you won’t need to go about replacing your entire film collection with Blu Ray discs (which, lets face it, if you can afford to do that in this recession, you must be golfing with the Prime Minister this weekend).
The Amazon reviews for this particular model are really very good. UK-based user ‘Steve’ says that he (I’m assuming he is a ‘he’) bought this to take the stress off of his overworked PS3. He goes on to say that the overall performance is better. Another fellow Brit says that the WiFi is actually only accessible by the purchase of an optional dongle, I have to say that I didn’t notice this during the review and it is not clearly marked on most websites, so I’m grateful to him for pointing it out.
‘Dan 46’ had a different story, however. When (s)he connected to a slightly older (yet still HD) TV, (s)he discovered that the resolution reverts to that of regular DVD, effectively wasting the money that was spent on it. It is worth noting that this is a common complaint among first time Blu Ray buyers and one that is worth your consideration.
Other reviews centre on the lack of connection cables included, which, when you consider also the absent dongle, is actually quite disappointing.
This is a good player. At under £100 it is reliable and high tech. This is one that certainly won’t steer you wrong. If, however, you aren’t all that thrilled about 3D, you can knock £20 (or even £30) off the asking price by buying a 2D version, which is a viable option that could save you money. Overall, the asking price is fair and the performance is very nice indeed.