Back in the bad old days — circa mid-2010 — there was a premium you had to pay for 3D equipment. Sony, in its wisdom, realised the way to get 3D into people's hands was to make it affordable. Not only did it release a free update to its PlayStation 3 console, but it released one of the most affordable Blu-ray players in the BDPS470. With 3D!
The Sony BDPS470 is a low-slung black Blu-ray player that looks more like a DVD player than a HD disk spinner. Why? Well, it doesn't have the obligatory fold-down door or blue fascia. In fact it's quite nondescript, and only 36mm high.
The front of the player has a small number of controls on the front — just Eject, Stop and Play — which is not only too few for navigating menus but the buttons themselves are tiny and uncomfortable to press.
Above the controls is a small but legible blue LED display and a USB port for connecting external, media-laden drives.
In keeping with the budget pricing, the Sony comes with a barebones remote which is smaller than most from the company. All of the functions are there, but we'd invest in a universal model to simplify your setup anyway.
Trailing our fingers down the specs list we found it difficult to tell the difference between this player and the AU$70 cheaper BDP-S370. Essentially both provide onboard upscaling to 1080p, HD audio decoding and output, iPhone control, internet television via BRAVIA Internet Video, and DLNA streaming. While the specs also suggest Android control it wasn't available from the Android market at the time of testing.
The main difference between the two then? 3D, of course. So, if you don't need this feature we'd say go for the cheap one.
The player offers Gracenote compatibility which enables the Sony to grab cover art and actor details for DVDs and Blu-rays. This can get tiresome as the player halts completely while doing this, but you can turn it off.
One of the things that impressed us about this player is its support for media formats, and most particularly MKV. While this is seen as a "pirate" format we would hazard a guess that people who download a lot of media would have at least one MKV movie in their collections. Other formats include AVI, DivX, MP4 for video and MP3, AAC, and WMA9 for audio. Unfortunately there's no FLAC audio option and photos are limited to JPEG.
Bravia Internet Video is a boon and allows access to a wide range of sources including ABC's iView and Yahoo7!. You could spend hours just flipping through the dozens of channels on offer without ever having to insert a Blu-ray.