The Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray player is good but slightly overpriced.
- Excellent Blu-ray image quality, 7.1-channel analog output, BD-Live ready
- USB port can't be used for playing media, DVD upscaling makes edges fuzzy
The Sony BDP-S550 is a good product but its relatively high cost means that unless you need the 7.1-channel analog output the competition offers better value.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
The Sony BDP-S550 is a fully featured Blu-ray player with a wide array of ports and good image quality when playing Blu-ray discs and upscaled DVDs. Its main point of difference with sub-$500 Blu-ray players is its 7.1-channel analog outputs — you will need to decide if you think that this is worth the extra $150 you will pay to get the BDP-S550. However, for a limited time it's possible to pick up a free BDP-S550 Blu-ray player when you purchase select Bravia LCD TVs from Sony.
Stylistically speaking, the Sony BDP-S550 looks slightly dull. A mostly plastic fascia and top-plate have a dull-blue hue, with the middle of the face-plate opening up to reveal the drive tray. The rest of the unit is black and constructed of aluminium.
After we popped in The Guardian on Blu-ray it took 25sec before we could watch the movie. Throughout our tests the player remained quiet and relatively cool, despite hours of continuous operation.
When playing Blu-ray movies, the picture was excellent. Blacks were given plenty of depth, and image clarity, sharpness and detail were all of a high calibre. Close-ups of faces showed up every wrinkle, and skin tones were natural.
Upscaled DVD movies played relatively well, but edges were fuzzy and the blacks occasionally resembled deep navy blues. We've seen better upscaling on devices like the Samsung BD-P1500, but the picture quality produced is still much better than what you'd expect from a standard DVD player when plugged into a large-screen television. The player is configured to play Region 4 DVDs.
The Sony BDP-S550 has an Ethernet port, which offers access to BD-Live content (also known as Blu-ray Profile 2.0) when the player connected to the Internet and a compatible disc is played. Other ports include a HDMI 1.3 output for 1080p visuals and 7.1-channel sound, a digital optical audio connection, a coaxial audio output, an S-Video out port as well as separate composite and component video out ports.
A USB port is provided; this only serves as external storage for BD-Live content and can't be used to play media from external USB storage devices, which is disappointing given the price of this player. One welcome feature is the inclusion of 7.1-channel analog outputs, which will allow users wanting to connect their 7.1 speakers directly to the Blu-ray player to do so.
Audio formats supported include DTS bitstream, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD.
So while the Sony BDP-S550 is a solid performer, sub-$500 Blu-ray players are capable of producing similar image and sound quality. You'll need to decide if you need 7.1-channel analog outputs and whether or not you are willing to fork out the extra $150.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCBusiness Project Manager - ApplicationsNSW
- CCNetwork and Cloud SMENSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!WA
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD
- FTTest Automation Lead | 6mth ContractVIC
- CCInfrastructure Test Lead - Contract 6-8 wks initially - IT Services - North RydeNSW
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- FTETL Informatica DeveloperNSW
- FTEAM Delivery Manager - SAPNSW
- FTApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- FTAgile Project ManagerACT
- CCUnix/Linux Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthQLD
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorSA
- CCICT ManagerNSW
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP BPC SME/Consultant - BRISBANE BASEDQLD
- FTAgile CoachACT
- TPProject SchedulerVIC
- FTProject CoordinatorSA