Sony BDV-E370 review

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Reviewed:

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Sony BDV-E370 system
  • Sony BDV-E370 system
  • Sony BDV-E370 back panel
  • Sony BDV-E370 remote control
  • Sony BDV-E370 speakers
  • BDV-E370 Home Theater System (BD Player, 5.1 Speakers - 1 Discs - Progressive Scan - 680 W RMS - Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS Neo:6, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS 96/24)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • 3D capable
  • Fast disc loading
  • Good audio and video quality

Cons

  • Lacklustre looks
  • Need to purchase optional extras for full functionality

Key Features

  • Blu-ray Profile 2.0
  • BD Live
  • 3D Capable
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £280.00

The BDV-E370 is Sony’s latest entry-level Blu-ray home cinema system. At first glance, it’s a straightforward one-box affair, but there’s more to it than meets the eye – thanks to a software update available at Sony Support, this system can play 3D Blu-ray movies when paired with one of Sony’s 3D TVs and active shutter glasses. That makes it a potential rival for Samsung’s brilliant HT-C6930W system, and a much cheaper one at that.

Stuffed into the box is a central control unit, which fuses together a Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player and 850W 5.1-channel amplifier, as well as five compact satellite speakers and a passive subwoofer. The main unit isn’t the most attractive Sony has ever designed, with a chunky shape and dull black finish making it disappointingly anonymous, but the recessed underside and gently glowing white light are pleasant touches.

Sony BDV-E370 system

The rear panel is busy, although the lack of HDMI inputs will annoy anyone who wants to channel other HD devices though this system. The HDMI output is version 1.4 and therefore compatible with Full HD 3D video signals, and alongside it you’ll find component and composite outputs, two digital audio inputs (one optical, one coaxial), analogue stereo input, an Ethernet port and a second USB port. A set of coloured speaker plugs correspond with the matching cables for easy installation. If you want to reduce clutter you can make the rear speakers wireless by purchasing Sony’s S-Air transmitter and receiver.

Another optional extra is the £70 UWA-BR100 wireless LAN adapter, which plugs into either USB port on the rear panel. This makes it possible to access the wide range of networking functions (more on these later) without the need for a clumsy cable. Unsurprisingly, cheaper non-Sony dongles won’t work, forcing you to buy Sony’s version. When you factor this adapter and the S-Air equipment into the overall price, Samsung’s HT-C6930W starts to look like better value with its built-in Wi-Fi, supplied wireless rear speakers and 3D readiness out of the box.

Sony BDV-E370 back panel

The 225mm-high front and rear speakers are robustly built, attractive and easy to install if space is tight. They’re coated in a gloss black finish and sport springclips on the back for the cables. The centre speaker’s long, thin casing is discreet, while the cube subwoofer’s plain black finish and surprisingly solid build put it in a different class to most other all-in-one subs.

Like the latest systems from Panasonic and Samsung, the BDV-E370 provides a range of on-demand content, courtesy of the BRAVIA Internet Video feature. Zip to the Video section in the home menu and you’ll find a list of catch-up TV services, including Demand Five, BBC iPlayer (which only appeared after a software update), Eurosport, Blip.tv, LoveFilm, YouTube, Dailymotion and more. This choice of web content puts Panasonic and LG to shame in terms of quantity and quality – only Samsung’s Internet@TV comes close – and it’s great to see that you can watch clips from Dailymotion in HD (although they still look noisy).

We watched a few programmes on each service and encountered few problems, although some episodes of Cowboy Builders on Five refused to load, telling us that the ‘network is down’ – but that may have been a blessing in disguise. What we love most is that you don’t have to be a tech boffin to enjoy these features, thanks to the smooth, uncomplicated onscreen displays.

Hamish Campbell

July 2, 2010, 1:25 pm

I would suggest, instead of buying the overpriced dongle, buy the Apple Express. Costs less, just plugs into the ethernet port, extends your wifi network, enables airtunes so you could stream music into the optical in and will enable all the internet goodies.





I've tried it into my Sony W5500 tv and worked a treat.....well except for the fact that tv has the most laughable online possibilities seen by man (...more exciting widgets coming ahhahaah yeah right). Maybe the downside could be that the express would use a bit more power.

Goodmane

July 2, 2010, 7:30 pm

Good review, thanks.





Haim, I have a Sony W5500. The network streaming works great with PS3 media server (free) or Wild Media Server. Both have transcoding so if you have a wired network, it doesn't matter about the TV's file support being limited - as the computer transcodes the content to MPG2 on the go, even mkvs and dvr-ms files. Try it out, there's still life in the 'old' W5500s!

Powerful

July 4, 2010, 6:49 am

I bought the BDV E870 (1000w and front floorstanders but, I believe, otherwise the same as the E370) to pair with a new Sony 46NX703 TV and am very impressed with the Blu-Ray player and the improvement to the TV's sound system, rightly noted as a let-down in Trusted's review of 22 June. After downloading a software update, the E870 adds BBC iPlayer to the list of available services (iPlayer is not available on the TV's own list of services - a serious omission for me). I hooked up an NAS device (Lacie LaCinema HD) to the E870, filled with my music, film and photo collection and am seriously impressed with the whole set-up as a complete entertainment centre. The E870's subtle sounds matches the TV's subtle pictures and the pair reveal a classy feel too often heard and seen as brash in other brands I looked at. Having been a CRT stalwart for many years, this combo was the first to tempt me to make the jump to a modern LCD setup. Overall I am stunned by the quality of HD, Blu-Ray and surround sound offered here. The networking abilities of all the kit means I can actually enjoy all my media in my living room.





First thoughts were that this combo particularly suits quality transmissions of nature documentaries - the sequences of sights and room shaking rumbling as Old Faithfull geyser spurts in the HD Yellowstone documentary are fantastic. Ballads, classical and jazz music are a revelation for an all-in-one. However, broadcasts from Glastonbury, especially Muse and Faithless, showed that the combo handles modern music and stunning light shows pretty well too.





One thing I don't like is the very slight lag the E870 adds to broadcast sound - noticeable when a tennis player serves a ball at Wimbledon. Switching the TV's sound back to own speakers solves the problem but it shouldn't be there. Is this delay the result of surround signal processing in the E870?

gdawg304

July 16, 2010, 6:28 pm

Curious to know how this compares to the BDV-E300 which it replaces - that's got a better review here on TR (back in Feb?) and is What Hi-Fi?'s best all in one for under £400, so sounds like the E370 isn't quite as good?

Craig 1

August 26, 2010, 9:02 pm

Looks fantastic and was buying right up to no HDMI in. This is 2010 right? How am I supposed to connect my Revo Media PC (it has no optical). Looks like once again its a samsung (any of the new HT-Cxxxx range) you just cant add extra connections via a software update but 3d you can.

lightning

December 28, 2010, 10:20 pm

I recently purchased this unit, my first experience of home cinema, and it performs well.


As expected it transforms films like Avatar and Saving Private Ryan, making you wonder how you ever managed without surround sound.


The only complaint is that there does not appear to be any was to alter the tone (i.e bass/treble) You can of course turn the sub up and down, which effectively alters the low bass, but on some films the system seems to lack treble. The only way to compensate appears to be turning up the centre speaker level, which does help to some extent.


There are various modes (movie, game, theatre, etc) but these don't seem to do much.


Overall though, a very impressive system for under £300.

Lauffer17

January 8, 2011, 12:06 am

Pretty disappointed! Huh, first, centre speaker is feather light. When you turn it up, centre speaker tends to fall off its place. If you really turn it up, the sound sharpness is lost, can not listen to it at all. Software, my God. When you start the system, and if you happenned to have listened to the radio, it first takes about 30sec to set up, then ...nothing. It says - tuner FM, for few seconds and then - HOME. This means you can not just press a green button and leave hoping your tuner will start playing, but have to wait, then press Function key repeteadly until u get Tuner FM again, and then it will play. One more thing, when you play MP3 from USB, you play a song, but instead of seeing the playlist, you enter the song details (totally unuseful). If you wand to play a specific song next, you need to stop the current song, return to the playlist screen and then scroll it to your next song. Also, it does not recognise formats automatically. You need to start a file from a specific program, eg, you can to play a video if you are at the Music program, and vice versa.

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