Sony BDP-S560 Blu-ray player
Sony's BDPS560 Blu-ray player excels at upconverting DVDs
- Built-in Wi-Fi, power-saving features, great image quality
- Multimedia features for photos only, poor remote
The Sony BDP-S560 delivers very good images -- exceptional ones on DVD -- and Wi-Fi connectivity, but its poorly designed remote and lack of streaming extras hurt its value.
Price$ 359.00 (AUD)
The Sony BDP-S560 not only delivers terrific high-definition images, but also excels at upconverting DVDs, too. And it does so in a Wi-Fi enabled model. But this model lacks the streaming media extras that competing Blu-ray Disc players offer.
The BDP-S560 was most impressive in our black-and-white Good Night and Good Luck test. Even water glasses sitting on a banquet table popped with clarity and brilliance. It did almost as well in color movies, with a nice feel of dimensionality in the Mission: Impossible III test. Only in the animated Cars did it disappoint, where a sense of flatness earned it a rating of only Good.
The player earned ratings of Very Goods down the line in our two DVD tests. In the Return of the King test, the colors looked less saturated than those from the reference Sony PlayStation 3 player, but more pleasing and realistic.
You get more than BD-Live when you plug the BDP-S560 into your home network. If you have a computer that runs DLNA server software (including Windows Media Player 11) on your network, this player will recognise it and display the photos from that PC. It can also display photos from a USB drive, but it can't play music or video over a network or USB.
This is the first Blu-ray Disc player we've looked at that comes equipped with two USB ports--one in the back for BD-Live storage, and one in the front for photos. That's a very smart design move on Sony's part.
You don't have to stretch an Ethernet cable from your router to your home theatre to use the BDP-S560's networking capabilities. This Blu-ray player is one of just three we've reviewed that include Wi-Fi (the others are the LG BD390 and the Insignia NS-WBRDVD).
On the other hand, setting up Wi-Fi on the BDP-S560 is no picnic. The setup screen often leaves you wondering what option to pick and what to do next. And the always-difficult task of entering a password via remote control is even harder because the BDP-S560's text-entry screen is so ugly and unfriendly. Fortunately, the player comes with a small booklet for setting up Wi-Fi.
The BDP-S560's box is well made, with a spring-loaded flap that covers the entire front and closes when the tray closes. The Power and Eject buttons are well situated in the upper-left and -right corners of the front panel. The only other buttons, Play and Stop, are clearly marked but feel chintzy.
The BDP-S560 started playing the Independence Day Blu-ray disc in 59 seconds--a bit faster than average.
When you first turn on the BDP-S560, a helpful wizard walks you through setup, sometimes with the aid of useful onscreen illustrations. The wizard will ask you whether you want to turn Quick Start on; it's off by default, to save power. With the Power Off option switched on (again, the default), the BDP-S560 shuts off after 30 minutes of inactivity.
The main menu is a typical Sony crossbar. The onscreen descriptions of your options are usually helpful, if you know some basic terminology. For instance, TV Type is described as "Set the screen aspect ratio of your TV." If you press the remote's Display button while watching the movie, the BDP-S560 will give you some technical details and either the time elapsed or the time remaining (you can toggle between these)--but not the chapter number.
Despite its small, hand-friendly size, the remote control leaves a lot to be desired. The arrow buttons are well placed, but the play buttons (Play, Pause, Skip, and so forth) are hard to reach. The huge Home button, which brings up the player's rarely needed setup menu, occupies the middle of the remote, while the buttons for more-frequently-used disc menus are tiny. Oddly, there's no Eject button at all.
The Sony BDP-S560 is a good player all around, but a larger number of streaming media tricks would have made it much harder to resist.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 3 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 4 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung ready to make chips faster than the ones in Galaxy S8
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Samsung's Bixby won’t support voice commands when it debuts on the Galaxy S8
- Fear not, early adopters: The Galaxy S8 might not be running Android 7.0 for very long
- Samsung made an even better Galaxy S8+, but you can’t have it
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 S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- FTApplication Services AdministratorNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsQLD
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistTAS
- CCNetwork Solution Architect - PresalesNSW
- CCChange / Communications AnalystNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTIT ArchitectNSW
- FTDevelopment Team LeadQLD
- FTTechnical Architect - Network /InfrastructureQLD
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- TPProject ServicesACT
- FTSystem Administrator App-VACT
- FTService Delivery ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Finance Business Analyst, Superannuation, WealthNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)SA
- FTBusiness Specialist - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTSenior Agile Test AnalystNSW
- CCNetwork Architect - SecurityVIC
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerACT
- CCProcess Specialist - TelcoVIC