Review: Sony BDP-S350

CNET reviews the Sony BDP-S350, which is smaller than any other standalone Blu-ray player on the market, but doesn't offer more value than the PS3.

The BDP-S350 is the smallest Blu-ray player we've seen yet--only a few inches deeper than a standard Blu-ray case.
The BDP-S350 is the smallest Blu-ray player we've seen yet--only a few inches deeper than a standard Blu-ray case.

We know you may not be interested in a standalone Blu-ray player, but at least the Sony BDP-S350 brings something new to the table.

We just posted our full review , and as you can tell from the image, the BDP-S350 is smaller than any other Blu-ray player we've seen, measuring just 8.75 inches deep. It also has a quick start feature, which powers on the player in just a few seconds, although engaging the feature means the BDP-S350 will sip about 9 watts of juice even when it's powered "off."

Most importantly to videophiles, the image quality is actually pretty good, surpassing most of its budget competition and only slightly stumbling on video-based Blu-ray discs.

So why did the BDP-S350 get a relatively lukewarm rating? Well, it's not currently Profile 2.0 compliant (although its getting a firmware upgrade), it lacks multichannel analog outputs, and audiophiles will bemoan the lack of DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. But most of all, it still pales in comparison to a 40GB PlayStation 3 , which offers superior Blu-ray performance, high-def gaming and media streaming for the same price--$400. If you really want a standalone Blu-ray player, the BDP-S350 is a very good choice for those that don't need the extra features of the Panasonic DMP-BD50 , but the PS3 just delivers more value for most buyers.

 

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