Sony BDP-S500 Blu-ray Player - Sony BDP-S500

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

That said, this disc does take a while to load, but once it does it's most definitely worth the wait. The S500's picture quality is phenomenal, delivering some of the most pristine 1080p/24 images we've laid eyes on. When spinning Spider-Man 3, the deck's picture prowess is evident right from the first few frames - the deep blacks, vivid colour reproduction and ultra-sharp detail handling give the image an irresistible three-dimensionality that draws you right into the action. Outdoor scenes look the best, particularly the broad daylight battle between Sandman and Spider-Man through the streets of New York. And during the scene in which Flint Marko first forms into Sandman, the sweeping grains of sand are so flawlessly reproduced that it emphasises just how unconvincing those CGI effects really are.

These magnificent pictures are accompanied by barnstorming audio playback. We delved into the uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack on the Spider-Man 3 disc from the 5.1-channel analogue outputs and marvelled in the crisply voiced rear effects, strident dialogue reproduction and foundation-rumbling bass level. We can't fault the quality of CD playback either, which sounds slick and well-balanced - though the presence of 5.1-analogue output only serves to remind us how sweet SACD playback would have been.

Verdict

The BDP-S500 is an exceptionally talented Blu-ray player, delivering the sort of gob-smacking picture and sound quality that movie buffs go nuts for. And barring the disappointing omission of DTS HD Master Audio support and SACD playback, the feature list is pretty good as Profile 1.0 players go.

But that last line is the big problem. There's no escaping the fact that this player will be outdated within months, unable to play the interactive Blu-ray features found on Profile 1.1 compliant discs. The sensible thing would be to wait for the next generation of players to come through or opt for a PS3, but if patience isn't one of your virtues, or you simply don't care about interactive extras, then you could do a lot worse than the BDP-S500.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 7
  • Features 8

randall

August 20, 2008, 9:13 pm

I have a nice Denon receiver, but it does not have HDMI input. Do you suppose it would be possible to hook this Sony blu ray HDMI 1.3 output directly to my Sharp TV's HDMI 1.3 input and then connect the Sony player's audio to my receiver in order to use it's speakers instead of the TV's or am I out of luck ?

Luiz Alberto

October 6, 2008, 5:55 pm

randall.





I think you can do your suggested connections.





But, I already made best: I connected the player's HDMI out DIRECT on Samsung and Sony LCD's HDMI in; then I connected the optical out from the player into the optical in of Yamaha(no HDMI out) and Onkyo receivers. Both functionned perfect!!! So,I saw the images via HDMI connection and listen the DD and DTS sound by receivers speakers. All worked fine, fine.





Try and enjoy!


Luiz ALberto

gadget man

May 6, 2009, 6:01 pm

had this now for 18 months, only shown about 20 films, won't work now, comes up with 'no disc' message with any kind of disc. Sony say it's out of warranty will charge for repair, tried resetting, still won't work, cost £399, bit dear for only 20 odd films.

Frank Lloyd-Murray

January 21, 2010, 2:06 am

Had my BDP S500 for a year now. Got all firmware upgrades ok, but now wont play any BDs or Audio. Contacted Sony, were not interested at all. What is my next move?

comments powered by Disqus