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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The forgettably named BDP-S185 is Sony's latest and cheapest Blu-ray Disc and DVD Player. It comes neatly packaged in a cute little (32.7 x 7.3 x 27.4 cm) box that contains the following six items, but no HDMI or Ethernet cables:

- AC Power Cord (hard-wired into the back)
- Remote Control (41 buttons, but short at 14.9 cm)
- Sony AA Batteries (two of them, in silver)
- Operating Instructions (26 pages)
- Software License Information (27 pages, who reads this?)
- European Guarantee Information Document

The BDP-S185 itself is surprisingly small compared to most other Blu-ray players, measuring just 29 x 4.2 x 18.8 cm. It's also extremely light at just 1.1 kg; although it still weighs more than four Apple TVs. It has a glossy black plastic finish on the front and the sides, and a black brushed aluminium finish on the top. Sony claim this gives it an "appearance that looks good in any room" and, with the exception of the toilet, I'd have to agree.

Obviously the BDP-S185 can't record anything, but what it can do is play a huge range of disc formats. In terms of Blu-ray discs it can play BD-ROM, BD-R and BD-RE. In terms of DVDs it can play DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW. And in terms of CDs it can play Audio CDs, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW. What it can't play are Blu-ray 3D discs, DVD-RAM, HD DVD, DVD Audio, Photo CDs, Super VCDs and DualDiscs.

On the front of the BDP-S185 is one USB port (Type A), which allows you to playback files stored on a USB flash drive, such as the Freecom Databar I reviewed last year. Obviously you'll need to own a computer (Mac or PC) to get the files on there in the first place, but once you do, you'll be amazed at the wide variety of files that the BDP-S185 can play. It can handle MPEG-4 files (MKV, MP4, M4V, M2TS and MTS), Xvid files (AVI), AVCHD files, as well as MP3, AAC and WMA. In addition to working with USB flash drives, the USB port also accepts external HDDs (but will not power them). So if you have something like a WD My Passport Essential with thousands of files on it, simply plug it into the BDP-S185's USB port and watch your videos on TV.

On the top of the BDP-S185 is a large removable sticker that asks you to "Imagine the Internet on your TV". This is a tantalising proposition, with one small problem; the BDP-S185 doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi. Normally manufacturers (including Sony) do this to make you buy an overpriced Wi-Fi adapter, but the only way of connecting the BDP-S185 to the internet is via an Ethernet cable into the LAN (100) port on the back. Of course, once you've got that sorted, you can update the software using Network Update (the latest version is M09.R.0028) and begin enjoying Bravia Internet Video.

So what is Bravia Internet Video? It's basically Sony's attempt at bringing the "best of the web" to your TV. What it consists of is a collection of channels that provide simplified versions of popular Internet sites and services. While some of them require a paid subscription, the majority are free to access. The only two that you'll probably use are BBC iPlayer and YouTube, but here's the full list of all 20 channels available:

- Video Unlimited
- BBC iPlayer (7 day catch up of BBC TV & Radio)
- Demand 5 (Your Wish Is Our Demand)
- Sky News (First For Breaking News)
- LOVEFiLM
- MUBI (your online cinema)
- SONY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION (A World Of Entertainment)
- Eurosport (Latest Internet Videos)
- YouTube
- Billabong (Action, Sports, Lifestyle)
- blip.tv (The best shows of the web)
- Dailymotion (Our best videos on your TV)
- uStudio (Great content 24/7)
- GolfLink.com (Track. Learn. Improve)
- LIVESTRONG.COM for a healthy life (Expert health and fitness videos)
- LOVEFiLM Movie Trailers
- SingingFool (Music Videos That Matter)
- Podcasts (RSS feeds from around the web)
- Tagesschau
- Deutsche Welle (Germany's global broadcaster)

Overall I think the Sony BDP-S185 is a great product. It's small, it's simple, it's packed full of features and it's very competitively priced. The XrossMediaBar user interface looks modern, which is to be expected as it originated from the PlayStation 3. I really only have two complaints. The lack of built-in Wi-Fi is a major pain and completely unacceptable on a 2011 product. Also, the remote control looks like something out of the 1980s and has a ridiculous number of buttons.
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on 12 November 2011
First of all the pro's in this unit's favour; the design is immaculate, compact and a joy to look at. The startup speed of blu-rays is also far quicker than my other player (a PS3) although that is to be expected being a stand alone unit. And then of course there is the price.

However I have a MAJOR issue with this unit which appears to be a fault identical to that found with the Sony BDPS370 player. Whilst watching discs the sound cuts out randomly several times which may not sound that bad but can become quite annoying for a supposed HD experience. This problem with the BDPS370 was eventually fixed (for some) by firmware updates as it pertained to Sony Bravia TVs. I have updated the firmware on my player and even though the glitch isn't as frequent it still happens. I've tried 2 different HDMI cables, turning the sound to PCM all with no notable effect. I'll update this review once I hear back from Sony and/or if I have to return the unit. I am hoping it won't come to that and this can be resolved via some setting on the unit or a future firmware update. So for anyone thinking of buying this unit be aware if you have a Sony Bravia TV there may be problems...
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on 8 April 2012
Needed to replace an old DVD player so opted for blu ray. Looked at reviews and considered panasonic and samsung. This got good reviews so took the plunge. Great little machine. Plays Blu Ray and DVDs with ease, ok its a little slow to play the blu rays but we are talking seconds. Quality on 32" LG HD TV is excellent. I also wanted it for the connectivity to Lovefilm, iplayer etc. Worked out the box. Its not wifi but in my house wifi is not great. I use Devolo homeplugs and worked straight away.
The selection of channels is good as you get 5 player, iplayer, lovefilm and several other Sony channels-they seem to work ok but not really looked too hard
Recommend as a good, solid cheap bluray.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Sony BDPS185 blu-ray player is certainly the smallest blu-ray player I have ever owned, it has a neat suave look as well as being extremely light to carry.

It comes with a small sized remote which didn't bother me as I found it to be very comfy to hold and is easy to navigate with.

The device has the same XMB(Cross Media Bar) interface as the PS3, personally I think it's one of the easiest navigation bars to deal with and welcome it to this blu-ray player.

That said there is one thing that bothers me when navigating around the interface and that is the frame rate, sometimes it can feel a little laggy (not so smooth), it would be nice to see if they can sort this issue out somehow.

This device has these ports available:
1) USB Port.
2) LINE OUT (VIDEO).
3) LINE OUT (R-AUDIO-L)
4) DIGITAL OUT (COAXIAL).
5) HDMI OUT.
6) LAN (100) terminal (Ethernet Port).

There are two let-downs in this category, the main issue for me is there isn't an optical out, I like to experience the ultra sharp surround sounds through my home cinema system, but to do this I would need an optical out.

The other is regarding connectivity to the internet, you can only do it through an Ethernet cable, I've had multimedia devices before that will let you stick a USB Wifi stick into it's USB slot and can connect to the internet that way, but this device is unable do to so.

When connected to the internet, you're able to view a selection of internet channels such as: BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Sky News, Eurosport, YouTube and you can even connect to your LoveFilm account. Surprisingly this device does not currently have ITV player or 4oD, two really popular channels, the PS3 has it, so I do not see why this player can't also.

The playback of media through a USB stick was mostly a good experience, it played my videos/movies & music to the quality the format it's supposed to be, as for the photo's, it would of been a bonus to have a "fit to screen" option, other than that, I was happy with the outcome.

The Blu-ray quality is top-notch, picture and sound was super crisp, just as you would expect from a blu-ray player.

Overall I think the price is very reasonable and would recommend this player, if you think the negative points I have mentioned may annoy you, then I would say look at a different model, but other than that, I thinks it's a good buy!
review image review image
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing I noted as I got the player out of the box was how small it is. Installing it was a doddle and I soon found out that despite the size, this player is full of features.

I am using it with the television in a small "office"/utility room and its size makes it ideal for this. This also enables me to hook it up to the internet through an ethernet connection to my router. The player has no wi-fi capability so a physical connection is required. This seems to be the case with most Blu Ray Players I have seen but hopefully this will soon change. Most people don't have their routers in the living room in my experience.

If you don't insert a disc, a scrolling menu screen is presented with a host of options such as BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Lovefilm, podcasts and all sorts of free and paid for video services. Picture and sound quality from these sources is very good and probably much better than through a TV screen. Quality of course is also dependent on your internet speed. I only get about 3Mb/s and still get good quality.

Onto playing discs and I was very pleased with how quickly discs loaded. My old Blu Ray player takes ages to load. On this player, they load in no time. There is excellent picture and sound quality from DVD and Blu Ray discs with the former being upscaled. I also had no problem playing CD-R, DVD-R and DVD+R discs including those with audio and/or visual computer files such as AVI and MKV.

There is a USB port as well so you can play AVI, MKV and MP3 files through an external drive or memory stick.

I am really pleased with this player and for the price, makes a great "second" player for a bedroom or office room. I would even go so far as to say it would make a good main player also.
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on 12 April 2012
This is the second blu-ray player I've owned. The first one took 2 minutes to load a disc, was massive and chunky and sometimes froze up.
I went to a friend's house and their blu-ray player had similar problems so I assumed since the technology is relatively new all blu-ray players were like that.

I got this little Sony player last week and I have to say it's brilliant! It loads discs almost instantly, has a usb slot for sharing music and photos (and also most video files) and has internet compatibility for software updates. The menu is similar to a PlayStation3 menu and the remote works really well and isn't over-cluttered.
It does have access to online apps like iPlayer, Lovefilm and 5OnDemand, but the iplayer app currently isn't working - however this seems to be a problem with the iplayer server itself rather than the player and the iplayer customer support said they are working to resolve it.

I would recommend this to anyone - it's the best blu-ray player I've seen aswell as the cheapest, plus it's nisely designed and small.
Fantastic little device :]
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on 26 October 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have owned a few Blu-ray players now. One from Samsung, one from LG and a couple of years old Sony.

This blows all of them out of the water.

The biggest problem I have with Blu-ray thus far is the time it takes to get a disc loaded and the film playing. This is the fastest player I've ever used and has played every blu-ray I've chucked at it and without a hitch. It isn't too noisy, either.

The internet apps are a bit of a gimmick to me, I've never really used them on my TV or current player. They work well enough here and the Internet connection ensures you're player will always be kept up to date.

The unit is very compact, the smallest player I've seen and a testament to how the technology has progressed over the last few years.

A great entry level unit from a trusted brand.
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on 30 October 2011
Don't think that just because the Blu-ray player is under £100, that it's going to be mediocre, it isn't.

I was quite undecided about this player. I couldn't find any reviews as the player hasn't been out that long, so my choice was not made easy. I took the chance and glad I did.

The player is actually quite small, smaller than I expected, and whilst it has only a few connection options, it has the basics to enable you to hook it up to your TV via HDMI and any cinema audio you may have.

The player can upscale normal DVD's and it does a good job at this, but when you put a Blu-ray disc in for the first time the upgrade in definition on a full 1080 TV is awesome, and immediately apparent. I used to have Sky movies in HD and even they can't compare to the quality of the visuals through this little player. I can only guess that Sky broadcast much of their Hi-Def movies at 720.

This blu-ray player is made even more 'value for money' when you start to explore the Bravia Internet TV options that are available through Sony's menu system, much of it free, including LoveFile and YouTube.

Overall, I think this player is excellent and worthy of 5 stars, which I rarely give out. You can't go wrong for a first Blu-ray player
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on 4 February 2012
This DVD is excellent. Yes it has no display. Yes it is a bit plastic. But the remote is small and fantastic, why have other remotes got so big in the last few years. Does anybody actually use the 50 buttons on them? The best bit about the player though is the Internet connection. Simply plug in an Ethernet cable from your router and you access to eurosport, BBC I player, channel 5 on demand and a whole host of other on demand content. We have chosen to subscribe to Lovefilm so we can get all their films streamed to the DVD player. For £5@month this is just superb. No waiting for DVDs in the post. Watch what you want when you want. The other that was excellent is the next day Amazon free delivery with Amazon Prime. If you don't subscribe to prime yet just do it you'll be glad you did.
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on 19 October 2012
This arrived on day promised. Somewhat surprised it was not wrapped and was just the Sony box with an invoice stuck on it, and the box wasn't sealed and had signs of having been opened. However everything was inside and the unit was OK, new and untouched.
It worked properly as soon as plugged in and, with a Lan cable, got immediate internet access.
I followed the simple set-up and within a minute it was ready to go.
I am playing DVDs on it and I am not overly impressed with picture quality, surposedly up-scaled, no better than on a cheap LG DVD player, in fact, not as good until I had fiddled with some of the settings for video and reduced contrast on the TV.
It is a neat and solid unit, quite small and attractive. It seems you have to open the DVD drawer with the remote, which is a pain. i-Player was easy to find and load, and use, but was a bit slow (compared to our Sony HDD) - and that's with 30+ MB/S download speed. It has a lot of other internet based video and music functions but I am not interested in those but they are there if you want them.
Good Remote, nicely laid out; but its TV functions don't work with our LG TV and it doesn't appear to be able to learn (how much would that cost!)

Overall a good unit, OK for the price, and good internet connectivity but not over pleased with picture.

Update.
It all appears to be working very well and after adjusting the picture settings we get a really good picture from DVDs. The i-Player works well. All in all I would definately recommend this.
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