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.
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.
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.
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.
For $20 a month or $100 a year, users can access new and back-catalog PS3 games from this Blu-ray player. All you'll need is a PlayStation controller, sold separately.
In practice, however, this feature is too limited for all but the most occasional gaming.