The step-up BDP-CX7000ES adds 7.1 analog outputs, an RS-232 port, better build quality, IR inputs and outputs, plus Sony is claiming superior video performance, thanks to technology like the Sony's HD Reality Enhancer. In Sony's words, the HD Reality Enhancer "continually analyzes the original source bit by bit, sharpening edges and reproducing detail, while reducing the effects of film grain." That sounds similar to, which were weren't exactly fans of. The BDP-CX7000ES's upgrades don't seem nearly significant enough to justify the $1,200 price increase, but this model is clearly aimed at the "price is no object" crowd that will be taking advantage of the custom installer options.
Both players will use Sony's XMB interface to handle navigating the giant media libraries. We're definitely fans of the XMB interface on the PS3 and AV receivers, but we're interested to see how Sony has adapted it to handle media libraries.
While it's true that most buyers won't have 400 Blu-ray Discs in their collections, the idea of a megachanger than can consolidate all your discs (Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs) still has some merit. On the other hand, we're surprised that neither player has integrated Wi-Fi or any streaming-video capabilities, which are available on considerably cheaper players like theand .