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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2012
I was about to buy last year's model of this Blu-ray player then was lucky enough to spot this s-490 at a pretty good price (not on Amazon I'm afraid) so decided to take the plunge.

Firstly I should say that the unit itself is nicely put together and the remote is compact but good enough. The set-up was very straight-forward but for those who want to, there are plenty of options to play with once you're up and running.

Blu-ray playback is superb. Significantly better than my PS3 and pin sharp. Watched Avatar and the picture and sound were just awesome.

Unfortunately, its not all good news. The operating system is glitchy and after playing about with the various menus and "smart" connectivity stuff like internet radio, Lovefilm, Sony Entertainment Network, etc. for about an hour the player crashed and I had to completely power it down and back up again to get it to work again.

This happened a couple more times over the course of the evening and although its not the end of the world its enough to make me question choosing this over the equivalent Panasonic.

Hopefully a system update or two will sort these glitches out, but until then I can't justify any more than three stars.....
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I have spent months reading reviews on blu ray players with 3D with the front runner ending up as the BDPS790 until I read a review by Alan which seemed to make sense (he recommended getting this model if you didn't need Skype or 4K up scaling). It seemed pointless paying more for extras I did not require.

I am so pleased with this purchase. I have watched standard blu ray, 3D blu ray and DVD films and the picture quality is outstanding in all. The style of the player is slim and sleek, setup was so easy with wifi included. I already had the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) with my TV but if you haven't got it you will get Lovefilm, BBC iPlayer, YouTube plus many others.

This is a great 3D Blu Ray player, looks sleek and performs exceptionally.
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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 9 June 2012
Style Name: With Wi-FiVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having already released the cheaper S490 version without Wi-Fi, Sony has finally released the new S590 that includes built-in Wi-Fi. Obviously many newer TVs (especially those built for 3D) do come with built in Wi-Fi so this purchase would be for those without this feature in their TV.

Sony include a number of nice online features including on demand TV services (BBC Iplayer, 5 On demand) and also allow instant access to Netflix and Lovefilm. As well as these monthly rental subscription services there's also Sony's Entertainment Network where you can see TV shows, rent individual films etc. It's a good package and makes it extremely easy to rent films in HD, and far better than Sky's Box Office where the picture quality of a lot of their films are very subpar.

The box itself is nice and slim and will slot into the smallest of spaces on your shelf. It's lightweight but not in a cheap way. Setup is about as easy as it gets, about five clicks on the remote have you setup, connected to the internet and ready to go. Functioning is fast and there's even an option to speed up operation (although it does consume more power). The player includes a USB port for digital cameras etc and can connect to computers for sharing.

Blu-ray comes through crisp and clear without any performance problems. 3D is handled very well and again there were no performance problems, frame-rate issues or scanning. Sound is again very well produced with no problems whatsoever. Please remember you will have to buy a high-speed HDMI cable for this player as we still aren't at a point where these things are included with the package. Sony's active shutter glasses are still at a high price for even the cheaper models, you can see my reviews on them if you wish.

Overall thoroughly recommended for those that want the complete package with their 3D players.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2013
Was a little amprehensive at first to buy this item, considering I wanted a multi-region player for my DVD collection. This item is simply FANTASTIC ! and at the price, no one can complain. Had the item for a few weeks now and have had no issues. It is sleek and it is simple to use. The delivery of this item was super fast. I would highly recommend this seller for the speedy delivery and for the great item and such a great price. Anyone hesitate about buying from this seller, dont be, as I was and would definitely purchase from them again. FIVE STARS
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2012
I've been the proud owner of a third generation Sony BDP S-550 for around four years now, but recently it's started to exhibit a few minor problems; things like locking up with certain discs after extended use and issues with some or the more complex BDs out there. I was also keen to add media streaming capabilities in the living room without having to cart the PS3 between rooms each time. After demoing a few players at my local independent store I narrowed things down to the Panasonic DMP BDT220 and this, the Sony BDP S-590. In the end I plumped for the Sony for the following reasons:

Disc playback: I took a couple of known `trouble' discs with me to test, fully expecting the Panasonic to have no problems with them - I was wrong. While it didn't lock up like my old S-550, the picture did break up, pixelate and skip. I tried the S-590 and it played over the problem area like it wasn't there. This was a great surprise given that this particular disc locked up my old player and my PS3, but also because even my Toshiba deck in the bedroom - known for its speed - exhibits a slight glitch when it passes over the defective area. The S-590 was flawless, so Sony has clearly made strides in this area in the last few years. It also played another disc (the one that prompted this purchase by locking up my S-550) without incident. Images looked every bit as good as every other player I've seen when set to the standard setting (let's face it, most BD players offer the same visual quality) and audio bitstreamed to my amp without issue. I usually don't use on-board decoding, but I performed a quick test and the player mixed both primary and secondary audio and output the result as multi-channel LPCM to my AVR, so it's doing what it should. Overall I am very happy with the core functionality of the machine.

Performance: Third generation players were quite sluggish, as evidenced by the fact that the £50 Toshiba deck I have in the bedroom outperforms my old S-550 by quite some margin even though it was a sixth of the cost (the Sony was around £300 at the time of purchase). Thankfully the S-590 is much better in this respect. Boot time is noticeably quicker than the older Sony, coming in at around fifteen to twenty seconds (unscientifically measured) even without the `Quick Start' mode enabled. (The quick start mode brings it down to around five seconds but uses more power.) Load times were also much improved over the older model; Prometheus took around forty seconds to load even with BD-Live enabled and The Cabin in the Woods was just over twenty seconds. These results are only a couple of seconds slower than the Toshiba. Chapter skipping and fast forwarding/rewinding are very nippy, as is general navigation through menus.

Features: Although probably best described as an entry-level, perhaps mid-range player, the S-590 offers a generous selection of features over and above disc playback. For starters it is wireless enabled up to 802.11n, so you can connect to the Internet even if your router is in a different room (although this is obviously subject to signal strength). With this functionality you can use the XMB interface to connect to services like the BBC's iPlayer, Lovefilm, Netflix, and plenty more besides. Within minutes I was streaming 1080p video with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio in X-High quality from Netflix that looked every bit as good as it does on the PS3 (admittedly I have fast broadband and a strong wireless network). I also tried out Sony's Crackle, which offers free streaming movies, and it worked well but the quality of the streams isn't great. There's also a Sony portal that grants access to various other services, both paid and free, plus you can log into Facebook and browse the web.

The player also supports DLNA when connected to a suitable media server (unfortunately direct access to SMB shares is not supported). I was able to successfully connect to PS3 Media Server on a PC in another room and stream 1080p video in a variety of formats. I also connected a USB flash drive and an external 500GB hard disk drive to the unit via USB and was able to play back various .mp4 and .mkv files without issue (I did not test other formats). Best of all, connecting directly to the player removes the wireless bottleneck, so even 1080p video fast forwards/rewinds quickly. In this mode high-definition audio tracks (such as DTS-HD Master Audio) work, which they do not when using DLNA.

Build: Unlike my old S-550, which offered outputs such as 7.1 analogue, composite video, stereo audio jacks, coaxial digital, component, Ethernet and S-Video, the S-590 is a comparatively sparse affair round the back. You have the HDMI port, composite video and stereo audio (who would use these?), coaxial/optical audio, Ethernet and USB (for both BD-Live storage and media playback). There's also an additional USB port on the front of the machine for connecting to external storage, which is convenient. While investigating new players the first thing that struck me was that build quality is nowhere near as sturdy as it used to be. The S-550 has some real weight to it, but everything I tested recently (including the Panasonic and Sony's big brother, the S-790 at £200) was very lightweight and plastic. I wouldn't go so far as to call them flimsy, but you can definitely tell that we're now in an era of mass market BD players as opposed to the halcyon days when they were still a niche product and cost a bit more. With that said, the features packed into current players at a fraction of the cost of older units means something has to give, and I'd rather it was design than performance. This seems as good a place as any to mention the remote, which is basically a smaller version of the one that accompanied the S-550 (Sony likes to keep its styling consistent). It's comfortable to use and all of the buttons are easy to access, but the placement of the Home button is such that it's very easy to accidently knock it when trying to pause/skip, which sends you back to the home screen. I would also have liked a dedicated button for lunching Netflix (like the Panasonic remotes) to save scrolling through the XMB every time.

Misc: Sony also offers an app for Apple and Android products that allows you to control the player via a virtual interface. You can also `throw' web pages from your mobile device to the player for viewing on the big screen, perform searches related to the disc you're watching through Gracenote, and various other bits and pieces.

Cons: It's not all rosy though. I do miss some of the functions from the S-550, such as the ten second jump backwards/forwards keys on the remote. The S-590 is also a little noisier than the S550, especially with DVDs, and they are also slower to load than BDs (although to be fair I use an Oppo DV-981 when I watch DVDs, which is rare anyway). I was also a little annoyed that Sony forced me to update the firmware before I could use any of the online applications. Not only did it mean a fairly lengthy download and installation process before I could access said features, it also introduced Cinavia protection onto the machine (you'll have to look it up). The firmware upgrade wasn't mandatory for viewing BDs, but Sony clearly made the decision to `encourage' users to apply it by limiting the player's online functionality until the upgrade was performed (much like PS3 updates). Boo Sony. I was also a little disappointed to discover that on-board storage for BD-Live is not included, but then again a lot of players require external storage in the form of SD or USB, so it's hardly surprising.

Overall: On the whole I'm pretty happy with my purchase. It's not the most aesthetically impressive piece of kit I've ever owned, but it does what's asked of it well. It's amazing to think that my first Blu-ray player (Samsung BD-P1400) was around twice the size of this, three times the weight, had no BonusView or BD-Live support, no on-board decoding of high-definition audio formats, took around three minutes to load some BD-J enabled discs, and cost £350. Things have come a long way in five years and I am more than happy to recommend this player to first-time buyers or those looking for an affordable upgrade.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2012
I was about to buy last year's model of this Blu-ray player then was lucky enough to spot this s-490 at a pretty good price (not on Amazon I'm afraid) so decided to take the plunge.

Firstly I should say that the unit itself is nicely put together and the remote is compact but good enough. The set-up was very straight-forward but for those who want to, there are plenty of options to play with once you're up and running.

Blu-ray playback is superb. Significantly better than my PS3 and pin sharp. Watched Avatar and the picture and sound were just awesome.

Unfortunately, its not all good news. The operating system is glitchy and after playing about with the various menus and "smart" connectivity stuff like internet radio, Lovefilm, Sony Entertainment Network, etc. for about an hour the player crashed and I had to completely power it down and back up again to get it to work again.

This happened a couple more times over the course of the evening and although its not the end of the world its enough to make me question choosing this over the equivalent Panasonic.

Hopefully a system update or two will sort these glitches out, but until then I can't justify any more than three stars.....
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: With Wi-FiVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I expected this to be a good Blu Ray player and it is. Puss in Boots (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) [2012][Region Free] was as sharp as it was on my LG Blu Ray player. It was the quality of DVD playback that astonished me. On the LG DVDs look good, but on the Sony they look amazing. The player looks good and the remote control buttons make sense.

But this isn't just a Blu Ray and DVD player. Like most disc drives it does CDs too, but this one can also look up album artwork from the Gracenote database. I tried several well-known CDs and some came back with the cover art and track names and some didn't, but that's Gracenote's issue not Sony's. I didn't feel the actual on screen presentation of this was much good though. You can also plug the unit into a modem to get access to the BBC and Channel 5 players along with YouTube and a number of pay-per-view services. I was most taken with the 3D cinema previews you can get this way - the Men In Black III 3D preview looks amazing and I'd play it over and over again.

It also works as an internet browser, though without a mouse that's a tricky thing to manage - you use the direction buttons to select highlighted links, but sometimes the movement of the highlight area bears no relation to the button presses. Perhaps it's a gimmick, or perhaps other people will find it easier and therefore more useful than I did. I'll stick to the PC for my internet.

It also has Wi-Fi, which is something a lot of people will like, although I don't see what's wrong with a simple cable, so other people will be able to tell you how well the wireless system works.

The unit is quiet to run and the settings are easy to configure. Some of the secondary features are a lot better than others, but for playing of Blu Ray, Blu Ray 3D and DVD discs it is flawless and impressive. Switch the player off in the middle of a film and when you switch it back on it will resume from the spot that you left it. It's not 100% perfect: I wish the music player had been better supported with a full screen cover art and some visual effects as you listen. And I dislike the main menu which looks cheap and nasty - almost as if they've decided to go for the most functional arrangement of icons whilst displaying them in as low-tech a way as possible. Minor things really, but despite the room for improvement it's really good at its core function - that of playing your discs with as crisp a picture as possible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2013
Another competitively priced and feature-rich DVD player from Sony. Packed with features such as 3D, HD, Wireless capability and will upscale your DVD's to near-HD quality too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Style Name: With Wi-FiVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm glad to see that Sony have taken on board comments about this predecessor's (BDPS490) wifi ready capability and have built in Wifi into the construction of this player. I had the lower model of this which is essentially the same except that you needed to buy a wifi dongle to enable wireless internet connection. This however connects straight to my router without any problems at all. It automatically searched for available networks and I just plugged in the password. Similar to the BDPS490, the remote control uses the Bravia Sync system that enables your Bluray player to automatically switch on your Sony Bravia TV and change to the correct input channel if you press play on either the remote control or on the player itself. I've connected it to my Bravia TV via an HDMI cable for better quality and this system gives crystal clear picture with excellent sound. In my opinion the £20-30 difference to the lower model BDPS490 is worth it as wifi is built in so there isn't a chance of damaging any external dongle or USB port (which I've done in the past). The 2 bluray players are exactly the same size and are quite long width-ways but also are sleek and not very high. There are 4 main chrome buttons on the top of the player - on/off, open/close tray, play and stop. The remote control will control the volume of your Sony Bravia TV too but is limited to that. The menu system is reminiscent to the PS3 menu and is Sony's standard menu.
I've used 2 rechargable 3D glasses to watch movies (Sony TDGBR250 Rechargeable 3D Glasses and Sony Active Shutter 3D Glasses) and they both work perfectly.
There are cheaper options out there like LG and Philips but if you've already got a Sony Bravia TV then this is worth it due to the Bravia Sync function.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2013
I have been incredibly disappointed with Sony blu-ray players lately. I own a BDPS-370 which I love. It's quick, quiet and provides and excellent picture. When I needed a 2nd blu-ray player I was disappointed to find that model was no longer for sale so I opted instead for a BDPS-390. It came with a VERY short power lead (didn't reach from the player to the wall socket) and made the most incredible amount of noise. I sent it back and tried this one instead as it seemed like a further upgrade... nope. This one too comes with a particularly short power lead. That could be a good thing if you want to put your player close to the socket (less than a metre) as you won't have excess cables. However, for me it just isn't ideal. I would have lived with it, if the player wasn't so noisy. It grunts and clicks and whirs and beeps it's way through a blu-ray to the point where it ruins any quiet film or films with pauses between sounds. It really does sound a bit like someone's running an engine in the next room. If you like big, noisy, exciting films or if you plan to keep this in a sealed cabinet you might not worry too much about that. I wanted to keep it in the open and wanted to be able to watch all sorts of films on it. As a result, I really cannot live with the noise and so have sent it back.

Oh, and the little I used the internet connection it seemed very slow and clunky to me - far slower than my Bravia TV.

On the plus side - the picture seemed absolutely crystal clear.
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