The Good The Sony BDP-S590 has built-in Wi-Fi, 3D compatibility, and an ample suite of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Pandora, and Vudu. It's also the sleekest Blu-ray player I've seen this year, with a well-designed remote that includes a dedicated Netflix button. The BDP-S590 is also one of the better players for playing back digital media files like MKV, DivX, and Xvid.
The Bad Sony's user interface isn't as intuitive as those from some competitors, especially the interfaces for Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus. It's also relatively slow at loading discs, taking almost twice as long as some competitors.
The Bottom Line The Sony BDP-S590 is a great-looking Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi, 3D compatibility, and tons of streaming-media apps, but it's slow to load discs and has some user interface quirks.
No matter how you feel about Sony, it's hard to deny that the company has a knack for product design. The Sony BDP-S590 ($140 street price) falls right in line with that tradition, as it's the only Blu-ray player I've seen this year that actually looks attractive, while most competitors are little more than a utilitarian black box. And the BDP-S590 isn't all just for show, with a healthy set of features including built-in Wi-Fi, 3D compatibility, and a suite of streaming apps that includes Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Pandora, and Vudu.
Its flaws only become apparent after you move past its fancy looks and spec sheet. It's relatively slow to load discs (sometimes nearly twice as slow as competitors) and its user interface still lags behind the competition, especially for Amazon Instant and Hulu Plus. On the other hand, it is better than most players at playing back digital video files, like MKV and DivX. The Sony BDP-S590 wouldn't be my first choice for a Blu-ray player (that would be the), but it definitely has its charms, especially its sleek look and its facility with digital video files.
Design: Finally, a handsome Blu-ray player
Sony may be the only company that still cares about how its Blu-ray players look. The top of the player has an attractive textured look, and the case tapers down toward the bottom, avoiding the typical "black box" look that most players have. There's a standard disc-tray on the left, with the front-panel display, buttons, and USB port on the right. If you care about how your Blu-ray player looks in your home theater cabinet, the BDP-S590 is your best bet.
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