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Sony BDP-S1100 - Operation, Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


Sony BDP-S1100 – Operation

Installing and operating the Sony BDP-S1100 is a slick, hassle-free experience. Once the cables are connected, fire it up and a step-by-step wizard guides you through important settings. Network setup is equally simple – plug in your Ethernet cable, run the ‘Easy Network Settings’ option and it connects within seconds.

Sony BDP-S1100

The main menu uses the excellent Xross Media Bar design. A row of icons runs horizontally across the middle (Setup, Photo, Music, Video, Network and Sony Entertainment Network), which is vertically intersected by a list of options for the selected category. It’s not hard to see why Sony has stuck with this polished, intuitive design for so long.

Sony BDP-S1100

Select Video, for example, and all the video-related apps appear in the menu. Sony’s extensive range of content means the list stretches down a long way – a redesign is surely on the cards – but it scrolls quickly and thumbnail logos make each service easy to spot. If you prefer, there’s a dedicated Sony Entertainment Network screen, where all the apps are displayed alongside Sony’s video and music content.

Hit the Sony BDP-S1100's Options button during playback and a menu slides in from the right-hand side of the screen. Here, you can access information about the disc, switch audio tracks and activate subtitles.

You’ll also find a range of picture settings, including three presets (Standard, Brighter Room and Theatre Room), plus Block and Mosquito Noise Reduction.

Sony BDP-S1100 - Remote Control

Sony BDP-S1100

The remote gives us no cause for complaint. Its buttons are intelligently placed, nicely sized and clearly labelled, and we like how the important Home and SEN keys are coloured blue to stand out. Its compact shape also fits snugly in the hand.

It’s a good job Sony has made the physical remote so useable as the Sony BDP-S1100 doesn’t support Sony’s TV Side View app for smartphones and tablets.

Sony BDP-S1100 – Performance

Thanks to the Quick Start-Up mode, the Sony BDP-S1100 boots up almost instantaneously, although it uses more power in standby when activated. It also loads discs quickly – the tricky Terminator Salvation disc took just 30 seconds to start playing after shutting the tray, while most other discs started in about 20 seconds.

Despite its entry-level price tag, the BDP-S1100’s 2D pictures are as good as players costing twice as much. When playing Iron Man 3 for example, the screen positively sizzles with detail. Brightly-lit outdoor scenes show the Sony at its best – as Tony’s home is blasted to bits, the crumbling cliff face is rendered with intense sharpness, likewise the ornate, leafy surroundings of the Mandarin’s compound.

Dark scenes also look fabulous. Shots of Tony Stark beavering away in his lab at night are clear and easy to watch, with solid shadow detailing and smoothly gradated background walls, while Christmas tree lights punch crisply through the gloom.

Colour reproduction is spot-on. Skin tones look natural and bold colours blaze from the screen, demonstrated by the deep blue sky during the skydive scene. We’re also impressed by the smooth, judder-free motion and the way the Sony draws edges with fantastic clarity.

Switching over to the demanding Silicon Optix HQV disc, the budget Sony BDP-S1100 handles the torture tests like an old pro. The cadences of both the Video and Film Resolution Loss patterns are quickly identified and smoothly displayed. There’s a touch of flicker on the latter but nothing ghastly. The camera pan across the stadium is also handled with admirable stability, removing moiré noise from the upper seats and keeping jaggies at bay.

None of this will particularly matter when ploughing through a Breaking Bad boxset on your 26-inch bedroom TV, but it’s nice to know there’s some decent processing ticking away under the bonnet.

Sony BDP-S1100

Should I buy the Sony BDP-S1100?

If you’re after a Blu-ray player that makes hi-def movies look as good as possible, and you aren’t too fussed about flashy network tricks and 3D, then the Sony BDP-S1100 is an excellent purchase. It does the basics brilliantly.

It’s stylish, compact and incredibly easy to use, which some buyers may consider more important than things like Wi-Fi or DLNA (both of which this player lacks).

It’s not completely devoid of features though, with media playback via USB and a terrific range of internet content, if you don’t mind rigging it up via Ethernet – just a few reasons why the Sony is a top budget buy.

Sony BDP-S1100 – Verdict

Features are scarce, but the Sony BDP-S1100 is an otherwise impressive sub-£100 player – it’s stylish, easy to use and delivers slick HD pictures

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 6
  • Performance 8
  • Value 9


October 15, 2013, 11:25 pm

How is the up-scaling quality? Other reviews I've seen suggest the picture is a little soft.


October 18, 2013, 11:38 am

This Sony BDP-S1100 is £50. Will more expensive ones like the S3100, S5100 and Panasonic DMPBDT330EB provide better picture quality or is it all the same?


October 18, 2013, 2:08 pm

There may be small incremental improvements, but there won't be a vast difference. Depends quite a lot on your TV and how good it is. If you've got a fairly no-frills set it's probably not worth splurging on the more expensive players.


October 20, 2013, 12:42 pm

Great, thanks. Can you also say something about the noise issue mentioned in some Amazon reviews? Disc playback gets very noisy at times. How does it compare to the other players you've reviewed, and can you make noise level a regular feature of your reviews?


October 21, 2013, 8:47 am

Afraid I can't as we don't have the sample anymore.


December 1, 2013, 10:36 am

In general this is a very good little player with amazing picture quality and it is very easy to use,lots of apps available( you need to connect it to the internet which is quite easy to do). The main disadvantage that although it is advertised BBC iPlayer amongst other applications-this does not work after firmware update and currently there is no way to fix it.


December 29, 2013, 11:28 am

I was bought one of these for Christmas and notice that there is no wifi compatibility, is there some sort of purchasable plug in device that would enable it to pick up the 'house wifi'?


January 5, 2014, 8:33 am

Get a Network range extender that has an Ethernet port on it. Basically, you plug your player into this wifi device with an Ethernet cable, and the device then connects wirelessly to your wireless router. I just picked up the N300-WiFi Range Extender (Model: WN3000RP) today, and set it up in about 10 mins. Hope that helps!

R Callander

January 7, 2014, 10:23 pm

I have just bought this DVD but can't get it to work - plugged in hdmi but getting message to say it's not connecting to the tv-can anyone help?

J. MacD

January 8, 2014, 9:28 am

On sites for different vendors it says that this player will play multi Region DVDs. Others don't mention this. Can anyone confirm as to whether it can?


January 24, 2014, 11:18 pm

I faced the same problem. I just can not connect this Blu-ray player to Samsung TVset (series 5). Can anyone help?


January 30, 2014, 5:40 pm

Does this player support to read SRT file??


January 30, 2014, 5:43 pm

Does this player can read subtitle (.SRT) file??


February 5, 2014, 9:25 pm

I bought this and assumed it had wifi - now it is pretty much useless for my needs and un-returnable. One question - why the fuck is this not wireless? Is this thing from the 90's? My old PS3 is wireless for christ's sakes.


February 27, 2014, 6:24 am

Read the product description stupid

James Hewitson

March 18, 2014, 6:16 am

It does yes but not out of the box. I bought my from World import modified, region free DVD and Blu-Ray playback. it really is a great little unit (^-^)


April 27, 2014, 9:19 am

I bought this because it has YOUtUBE on the front of the box... I assumed it would play MP4 YouTube files I have downloaded from YT... It doesn't........


May 3, 2014, 12:49 am

I received this blu-ray player and all I have is an old (2003) phillips box tv. Is there anyway to use this player with this tv?


May 28, 2014, 6:06 pm

do you mean FLV files? Is anybody else having issues playing MP4 or MKV?

Miyako O'Conner

December 4, 2014, 2:19 pm

Great article Danny. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your Sony Smart TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

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