Sony unveils new Blu-ray player lineup

Sony has announced its new line of Blu-ray players, adding 2D-to-3D upconversion and Skype capability to its flagship model.

Sony BDP-S780
Sony BDP-S780 Sony

LAS VEGAS--Last year Sony had one of the strongest Blu-ray players lineups, headed by the excellent BDP-S570 . Today Sony unveiled its new line of Blu-ray players, offering refinements to an already strong product line.

Here's a quick rundown of the announced features:

Key features of the Sony BDP-S380:

  • Wi-Fi-ready (requires USB wireless LAN adapter sold separately)
  • SACD playback
  • Bravia Internet Video streaming media suite (Netflix, Amazon VOD, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Slacker, Qriosity)
  • Media playback over USB port
  • Quick start mode
  • $150 list price; available in February

Key step-up features of the Sony BDP-S480:

  • 3D Blu-ray playback
  • DLNA compliant
  • Compatible with Sony's new HomeShare wireless audio products
  • Can be controlled via iPhone/Android phone app
  • $180 list price; available in March

Key step-up features of the Sony BDP-S580:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi with WPS
  • Streaming video noise reduction
  • $200 list price; available in March

Key step-up features of the Sony BDP-S780:

  • 2D-to-3D upconversion processing
  • Skype capable with separate USB TV camera (sold separately)
  • $250 list price; available in April

Again, it looks like the midrange BDP-S580 will be the sweet spot in this lineup, especially if you need Wi-Fi. We're not as thrilled by the step-ups on the BDP-S780, as the majority of 3D TVs already have 2D-to-3D converting capabilities built-in--you don't need your Blu-ray player to do it.

Sony is one of the few manufacturers to actually release pricing and dates for its players, so it's hard to make direct comparisons at this time. It is worth pointing out that competitors such as LG and Samsung are going with a third-party, app-based model for streaming video content, while Sony continues with its curated Bravia Internet Video content portal. As of now, that's not a big deal, since Sony's players already include the majority of the most important streaming services, but it's possible it could be a factor down the line.

 

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