Sony BDP-S570 3D Blu-ray player
A 3D-capable Sony Blu-ray player with average image quality
- Well designed, extremely fast operation, 3D-ready (when Sony releases a firmware update)
- Disappointing image quality (especially black and white), on-screen menus and manual not always helpful
The Sony BDP-S570 looks great on paper, but in our tests its on-screen results were mixed.
Price$ 379.00 (AUD)
At first glance, the Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player seems perfect: It costs a reasonable US$225. It prepares discs for playing in record time. It incorporates a video search engine and plays Internet video from a multitude of sites. It's 3D-ready (via upgrade). And it lets you send everything to your HDTV in the source's original format. But when we assessed the BDP-S570's image quality against that of other Blu-ray players we've tested, our enthusiasm evaporated.
Though the player handled detailed, color-rich images quite well, it struggled when presented with our black-and-white film and when given less detail to work with.
The BDP-S570 earned marks of Very Good almost across the board on our image-dense test films Cars (a computer-animated movie) and The Searchers (a VistaVision classic, with a negative twice the size of standard movie film). In Cars, colour saturation was superb. Two scenes from The Searchers (chapters 4 and 20) looked sharper when played on the BDP-S570 than when played on our reference PlayStation 3; chapter 20 also had a better sense of dimension on the BDP-S570.
Our two test Blu-ray discs of movies filmed in standard 35mm -- Phantom of the Opera (chapter 3) and Mission: Impossible III (chapter 7) -- looked fine but unexceptional, only slightly improving on the PS3's image quality.
But the BDP-S570 really disappointed our judges when we tested it with the black-and-white opening of our Good Night and Good Luck Blu-ray disc, and again on our two DVD tests. Though it produced a slightly better greyscale than the PS3 did, the BDP-S570's black-and-white images looked flat and dull. And our tests using DVDs of Return of the King (chapter 22) and Phantom of the Opera (again chapter 3) looked soft, with flat, uninteresting colors. If you buy the BDP-S570, you might want give the job of DVD upconversion to your HDTV instead of to your player.
All Blu-ray players have an output resolution setting. If you set it to 1080p, it upconverts your DVDs to that resolution. If you set it to 480p, it downconverts the Blu-ray discs to that resolution. But the BDP-S570's Original Resolution option sends everything to the television without converting it. So if your HDTV does a better job of converting than the BDP-S570 does (and that's not a very tall order), let the TV do it.
The options for Original Resolution and other adjustments reside on a standard Sony crossbar-style menu; but some of the menu's onscreen explanations -- such as "Set the conversion method for video or film material" -- are unhelpful, and the manual doesn't help much either. Press the remote's Display button while watching a movie, and you get a nice information screen that lists the original resolution, audio details, the chapter number, and the elapsed and total time, but not the time remaining.
The worst onscreen experience associated with the BDP-S570 occurs when you attempt to enter text (such as search text or a Wi-Fi password) into the player. Entering text with a remote control is always a pain, but Sony's menus and remote made the operation particularly unattractive and difficult.
The small, unexceptional remote control is neither backlit nor programmable. Nevertheless, the buttons, though small, are well placed and easy to find by touch once you've learned them.
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can download a free program that will transform it into a remote for the BDP-S570. The idea is nifty, and the screen is attractive and easier to see in the dark than the regular remote. Both the iPhone and the BDP-S570 must be on your network for this arrangement to work.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- FTBusiness Systems Analyst/Salesforce Developer APEXNSW
- FTPaid Search SpecialistNSW
- CCSAP CRM Technical LeadACT
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer JUNIPERNSW
- FTFinancial AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (Payment Systems Project)QLD
- CCWindows Systems Engineer - AD, VMware, RedHat experienceNSW
- FTTechnical Solutions Architect - CloudNSW
- TPSharePoint Designer / DeveloperQLD
- FTSoftware Sales & BDMNSW
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- TPBusiness Change ManagerQLD
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- FTHead - Project Delivery / Project Delivery DirectorACT
- FTUX/UI DesignerNSW
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- TPNetwork AdministratorWA
- CCSenior Back-end Developer/Database DesignerNSW
- CCService Desk/Helpdesk ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Front End Wed DeveloperNSW
- FTDesktop Support Team LeaderQLD
- FTWorkbrain Functional ExpertNSW
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperVIC