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Customer Review

293 of 308 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small, Cheap, Full Of Features, But No Wi-Fi, 3 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Sony BDPS185B.CEK Compact Size Blu-ray Player (Electronics)
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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)
- MUBI (your online cinema)
- Eurosport (Latest Internet Videos)
- YouTube
- Billabong (Action, Sports, Lifestyle)
- (The best shows of the web)
- Dailymotion (Our best videos on your TV)
- uStudio (Great content 24/7)
- (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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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Nov 2011 00:06:55 GMT
Ram says:
Sony BDPS185B.CEK SMART internet enabled Blu-ray Player

Hi, Anybody tried connecting external USB HDD (Westren Digital/ Segate)to USB port. My player is not detecting any external USB hard disks. I have replaced one player hoping that some problem with the player but the current one also have the same issue. Some posts have mentioned that USB Hard disks (FAT32/NTFS format) can be connected. I have the latest firmware.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2011 17:39:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Nov 2011 17:40:11 GMT
Alan says:
I didn't actually try connecting a Hard Disk Drive to the BDP-S185. I tried a USB Flash Drive though, which worked just fine. Have you tried looking in Sony's Operating Instructions PDF?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2011 21:57:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Nov 2011 21:59:16 GMT
Ram says:
Thanks For the Reply. The USB Falsh drvie is working fine. But i want to connect my portable USB Hard disk so that i can play the files from HDD. But no luck.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Dec 2011 12:35:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jan 2012 21:41:09 GMT
Alan says:
Perhaps one of the other reviewers can help you. You should try asking them. All of my Hard Disk Drives are formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which I doubt is compatible with the BDP-S185.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2011 20:51:39 GMT
Barny says:
Perhaps it only reads Fat32 flash drives and not NTFS. I do wish people that make these reviews would include that in the review. Not even the makers give enough information on what typ of HDD it can read.

Posted on 2 Jan 2012 18:15:20 GMT
i notice nobody has mentioned the lack of an optical output to connect to a 5.1 home cinema system,surely the point of blu-ray is the sound it produces aswel as the picture quality,whats the point of buying a blu-ray player if you cant enjoy the amazing sound .

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2012 11:38:06 GMT
Rob says:
I had the same problem - an external 750GB USB powered hard disk that works fine with my laptop and iMac but not the BDP-S185. After some Googling it seems to be that the BDP-S185 doesn't provide sufficient power over the USB port to spin mechanical hard drives (as opposed to a flash drive which needs less power). So the light on the hard disk comes on, but it's not fully operational.

I got one of these cables StarTech 3 feet USB Y Cable for External Hard Drive - USB A to mini B and connected the second USB port (the red one) to a phone charger with a USB port. I also needed a USB extension cable as the two USB ports on the Y cable are quite close together. This works, but not it's particularly elegant and it's a shame the USB port on the Blu Ray player can't just provide the required power directly like a laptop or computer does.

The external 750GB drive is one of these formatted as FAT32 Hitachi HD G-Drive Mobile 750GB/USB

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2012 11:19:50 GMT
Alan says:
You can "enjoy the amazing sound" via an HDMI connection. Sure, not having an optical digital output is a disadvantage, but you can still benefit from 5.1 sound with HDMI.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2012 18:14:13 GMT
R. P. KNIGHT says:
Surely you plug HDMI cable into at HDMI equipped AV amp to get 5.1 sound (BR>AMP>TV)? Plugging direct to a TV of course will only give you stereo if your TV only has 2 built-in speakers!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 01:55:17 BDT
PS says:
I finally had this confirmed by Sony late 2011 that this player would not work with an External HDD after I had been sent a 3rd one by Amazon. Initially Sony kept insisting it was a player fault then finally confirmed that there was not sufficient power for an external HDD.
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