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Sony BDP-S3700 review:

Sony's BDP-S3700: There's life in HD Blu-ray yet

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The Good The Sony BDP-S3700 Blu-ray player demonstrates good features and performance for the money. The number of streaming apps is solid, and disc loading times are fairly respectable.

The Bad Entering text in apps is laggy and frustrating. The implementation of the PlayStation Now gaming app is relatively poor.

The Bottom Line The Sony BDP-S3700 Blu-ray player offers a lot of features for little money but a lack of input responsiveness can spoil some of the fun.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.6 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Ecosystem 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Value 8.0

With 4K Blu-ray having finally arrived in 2016 and streaming players costing as little as $30, it seems almost "retro" to be buying a 1080p disc player these days. Or does it? Standard Blu-ray discs lack the benefits of HDR but can still look better than streaming video, even in 4K.

Despite not planning to release a 4K Blu-ray player until 2017 at the earliest, Sony still sells plenty of regular, old 1080p Blu-ray players. They include high-end models like the $350 UHP-H1 as well as more modest offerings such as the BDP-S3700.

Features

sony-bdp-s3700-01.jpg

Sarah Tew/CNET

The S3700 is a cut above many sub-$100 players. In addition to PlayStation Now, the player will also stream from a lot more services than competitors, including apps such as Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify. And of course the Sony will play back Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs.

sony-bdp-s3700-06.jpg

Sarah Tew/CNET

The BDP-S3700 is a digital-only machine with only an HDMI port, digital coax, and USB for connecting your gear. Internet access can be provided by either wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

sony-bdp-s3700-10.jpg

Sarah Tew/CNET

The interface is friendly and easy to configure with shortcuts to your favorite services, while the stubby remote control has the all-important Netflix shortcut. I had some niggles with usability, however, the most glaring being the inability to eject or insert a disc when Netflix or other apps were active. I also found the interface could be slow to respond, especially when inputting text in apps. A lag of several seconds between each letter makes it unusually frustrating to setup or search Netflix, for example.

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