Blu-ray may have started out as a mess, with confusing "profiles" and painfully slow load times, but beginning this year standalone players have finally gotten their acts together. Sony's entry-level BDP-S360 is typical of the new breed of Blu-ray players. It has the basics covered, with support and onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential.
Beyond the basics, however, the BDP-S360 doesn't offer much. Unlike its competitors, the BDP-S360 can't deliver any streaming Internet content, such as Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, or Pandora. And while we do like the polish that went into the BDP-S360's XMB-inspired menu system, we were disappointed to see some simple design missteps like the recessed USB port and the lack of an eject button on the remote.
The Sony BDP-S360 does have a stylish exterior design and it offers reliable Blu-ray playback, but we have a hard time finding a reason to recommend it over the other options.