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Sony SMP-N100 - Impressive online services

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The key services we’re talking about are Sony’s Qriocity video and music on demand platforms (though at the time of writing these remain closed while Sony tries to fix security issues); the BBC iPlayer, the ‘Demand 5’ Channel 5 catch up service, a Sky News headline news video package, LoveFilm, Eurosport, YouTube, the Billabong extreme sports ‘channel’, and Sony’s own Entertainment Television archive, featuring free access to a host of classic Sony-owned TV series.

Sony SMP-N100

There’s actually a ton of other stuff besides, but the list above covers the highlights. It’s likely, too, that other services will get added to BIV’s cloud-based servers in the coming months - though not being party to Sony’s plans in this regard, we can’t make any promises.

Suddenly having so much on-demand video material at your disposal when you’ve likely never experienced on-demand viewing before will come as a revelation to many of the N100’s target audience. And it again underlines why we’d always take a few extra video content sources over any number of silly game or infotainment apps when it comes to ‘smart’ TV services. Especially when the N100s’ video is delivered - even in HD if your screen and broadband speed are up to it - with consistently pleasing quality and stability.

Sony SMP-N100

The final point to add is that although the N100 wasn’t quite as intuitive to set up as we’d like and dropped its network connection a couple of times, it’s still for the most part straightforward to use, thanks to the both the remote control and the clean, colourful and mostly logical presentation of its onscreen menus.

In an ideal world the BIV content might have been presented more succinctly than just putting everything in a long, scroll-down list, but this is only a minor irritation really.

Verdict

There’s room for improvement with the N100, certainly, and you might also consider that you can get Sony Blu-ray players offering broadly similar functionality for - in the case of the Sony BDP-S480 - only around £50 more.

However, if £100 is your budget, then the N100 is a simple and effective way of dragging your aging relic of a TV kicking and screaming into 2011.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

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

Castalan

May 27, 2011, 2:18 am

Bought one of these at Christmas as Amazon were selling them back then for not much more. Completely agree with the review - windows7 media player playback to the smp-n100 works flawlessly - it's positioned in the bedroom on a 4 year old Sony lcd - and despite the distance form the wireless router, once it has buffered the video stream works extremely well - the BBC iPlayer content is available in HD - but either SD or HD quality are just like watching normal TV on a 22inch.

I just wish they would provide 4OD as well - fingers crossed it comes soon - but overall i love it - and love how it gave a TV which still has a great picture another lease of life with streamed content.

Hamish Campbell

May 27, 2011, 11:33 am

Glad I read through to the verdict, so that I didn't make an arse of myself suggesting that a Sony blu-ray player might be a better option.

Of course to get wifi you'd need the BDP-570 (or newer 580) and this costs a bit more than the 470.

noncorporeal

May 28, 2011, 2:39 am

The BDP-570 is a very nice piece of kit. I use one with a Samsung 51" LED, they work well together. I'd consider this for the mater bedroom 37" Vizio.

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