The Sony BDP-S1100 is an entry-level player that offers basic Blu-ray functionality at a wallet-friendly price. It’ll play Blu-ray, DVDs, CDs and media files via USB, but there’s no 3D support, built-in Wi-Fi or 4K upscaling. That makes it well-suited to use in a second room where such bells and whistles aren’t essential. If you do rig it up to a router via Ethernet, you can stream Sony’s terrific selection of internet content.
The Sony BDP-S1100’s ‘Sense of Quartz’ design and alluring gloss black finish mark it out as one of the best-looking budget decks around. The top panel has sloping, angled edges that mimic the look of rock crystal, which is a refreshing break from the norm. The front edge features a row of four buttons for up-close control (sadly not touch-sensitive) while the lower part of the fascia features a USB port and disc tray.
Predictably, build quality is a little lightweight but we weren’t expecting luxury. Its aluminium bodywork is actually fairly robust for the money. Also noteworthy are the deck’s compact dimensions – 290mm wide by 43mm high – which is much smaller than your average Blu-ray deck, and supports our notion that it would make an ideal bedroom player.
You can count the number of sockets on one hand, but again that’s commensurate with the price and target audience. There’s a single HDMI output, coaxial digital audio output and an Ethernet port, which should suffice if you’re simply hooking it up to a TV and AV receiver.
But if you want stuff like a second HDMI or analogue audio ports, start saving your pennies for the BDP-S790. Also, the BDP-S1100 doesn’t support Wi-Fi dongles, so Ethernet is your only route online.
This deck spins 2D Blu-ray discs and DVDs, upscaling the latter to 1080p if required. It also supports Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio (bitstream and decoded PCM), Deep Colour, Triluminos Colour and BD Live. But the latter requires you to connect a USB memory device (1GB minimum). DTS Neo:6 processing is also on-board.
There’s no DLNA file streaming in the Sony BDP-S1100 but you can play media files from USB devices. The list of supported formats is fairly wide and includes MKV, AVI, TS, ASF and MP4 containers, plus XviD, WMV and AVCHD. On the music side MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV and FLAC are supported, plus JPEG, PNG and GIF photos. DivX isn’t supported.
Connect the Sony BDP-S1100 to the internet and you can access a terrific range of content. Web portals live or die by their catch-up TV and on-demand movie content, and thankfully Sony offers plenty of both – BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News, BBC Sport, Sky News, LoveFilm, Netflix and Video Unlimited, Sony’s own on-demand service.
There’s loads more besides, including YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook and tons of other niche apps. Move over to the music section and you’ll find the Music Unlimited service, Berliner Philharmoniker, vTuner internet radio and National Public Radio. Both Music and Video Unlimited are subscription services. Even more web apps are found in the Opera TV Store section.