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CNET First Look
Sony's S5500 Blu-ray could be the last good HD playerIf you're looking for a streaming box that not only does HD Blu-ray movies but also plays games, the Sony BDP-S550 is an absolute bargain.
[MUSIC] There was a time when a Blu-Ray player was a big deal. They cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and promised the best image quality you would ever see. Now people balk at spending just 100 bucks for one, and are waiting for the next gig thing, 4k. As we count down to the release of 4k Blu-Ray at the end of 2015, We're in this weird holding patent that leads to blu ray players like the BDP-S5500 at $109 this still counts as a budge player.and offers a lot cool new features. The best is Playstation Now. Connect a Playstation 4 controller and you have access to Sony's game streaming service. While it costs extra to rent games, it makes this player a pretty good option for a game or a holiday house. The F55 is pretty bare boned otherwise, with a nondescript design and only an eject button and power on the front. No play button or display to be seen. You will need the remote control for this one. But one of my favorite parts of the player is its redesigned interface. Instead of the old XMB and its really long list of apps, you now have access to everything you need from one page. It's much easier to use. Picture quality is as excellent as you'd expect and even better than the Sony models from last year and the ability to transcode audio to DTS to Dolby is of a great help to people who own sambas. While it's not technically the company's flagship, the S5500 is not the best the best player that Sony could possibly make. The one feature it misses out on is dual-core processing, which in this predominantly streaming world, cuts the wait time on Netflix, for example, to mere seconds. Without it, this performs similarly to other Blu-ray players at the price. But can't hold a candle to a Roku player. While this machine will likely have competition from Samsung this year, at $109 US, it's a really good deal. This is Ty Pendlebury from cnet.com. [MUSIC]