Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray player

Sony BDP-S580 review: Built-in Wi-Fi makes this Blu-ray player convenient, but the price is steep

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Sony BDP-S580
  • Sony BDP-S580
  • Sony BDP-S580
  • Sony BDP-S580
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Good design
  • As many features as any other BD player

Cons

  • High price over BDP-S480 just for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

The Sony BDP-S580 adds only Wi-Fi over the BDP-S480, and comes at a $50 price premium. While it adds convenience we don't think this small inclusion is worthy of its pricetag. Otherwise, it's a competent and powerful Blu-ray player that has the added feature of supporting various BRAVIA Internet Video services.

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The Sony BDP-S580 is the best Blu-ray player that Sony makes. The only thing that makes it better than the $50 cheaper BDP-S480, though, is its integrated Wi-Fi networking -- something we don't think should come at an extra price. If you're willing to pay the extra, though, you'll be pleased to know that the Sony BDP-S580 is just as competent and full of extra features as its cheaper siblings.

Sony BDP-S580: Design and setup

The Sony BDP-S580 looks indistinguishable from the cheaper BDP-S480 and BDP-S380. It has a glossy, scalloped front with a blue power light and a single-line LCD display — designed to sit alongside one of Sony's top LED LCD TVs like the BRAVIA HX925 or BRAVIA HX820. We can't speak for the longevity of the components inside but the BDP-S580's exterior is sturdy. It's attractive and feels well built.

Setting up the BDP-S580 doesn't take particularly long. Power and a HDMI cable (to your TV) are all that is needed, although the Blu-ray player doesn't come with a HDMI cable bundled. Since the Sony BDP-S580 has Wi-Fi inbuilt you don't need to plug in an Ethernet cable to connect to your home network, but the option is available if you don't have Wi-Fi (although we'd question why you bothered buying the BDP-S580 over the cheaper Wi-Fi-less BDP-S480).

Initial setup involves connecting to your home network and choosing a few minor options, like the quick start-up mode that leaves the Sony BDP-S580 in a hibernation mode — it reduces boot-up times significantly but consumes more power in standby mode and the rear fan runs constantly (albeit silently).

We were hoping the BDP-S580 would, as the top-of-the-line model, be bundled with a high quality remote, but this isn't the case. The remote control is not like the large glossy candy-bars that accompany Sony's BRAVIA LCD TVs. It's small and doesn't have very many buttons, relying instead on users finding features through the Sony BDP-S580's tried-and-tested XMB interface.

Sony BDP-S580: Performance

The performance of the Sony BDP-S580, apart from Wi-Fi, is largely similar to the BDP-S480, including Web browsing and Facebook access.

In its quick start-up mode the Sony BDP-S580 turns on quickly, hitting the main user interface in under 20 seconds. This is on par with other Blu-ray players from competitors like Samsung and Pioneer. Blu-ray movie discs loaded in around 30 seconds, and the Sony BDP-S580 was smart enough to automatically switch to 3D playback when we inserted a 3D Blu-ray of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (you can opt out of 3D playback if you want, of course). We didn't notice any video irregularities so the Sony BDP-S580 gets our mark of approval as a perfectly competent Blu-ray disc player.

The main menu interface of the Sony BDP-S580, in Sony's trademark XMB style, is easy to operate once you've spent a few minutes working out the location of various features. There's no lag and the BDP-S580 does a good job of streaming videos from the company's BRAVIA Internet Video service without any painful delays.

Sony BDP-S580: Conclusion

Considered on its own the Sony BDP-S580 is a competent, powerful and versatile Blu-ray disc player though. In the context of its competition from Sony's other Blu-ray disc players, we'd probably opt for the Sony BDP-S480 — the addition of Wi-Fi in the BDP-S580 is tempting but not worth an extra $50.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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