The Sony BDP-S1100 is a new model in Sony’s growing Blu-ray lineup for 2013. Sporting the sleek, stylish and somewhat controversial new body style released this year, the BDP-S1100 offers a much needed solution for consumers who are looking for an affordable yet functional Blu-ray Player branded with the trusted Sony name. The BDP-S1100 accomplishes just that.
While it doesn’t offer 3D playback, Wi-Fi or 4k upscaling there’s plenty of things this model is capable of and those features focus on usability, consistence and quality. What you’re going to get with this model is quality that performs at a price you can afford.
When you unpack the BDP-S1100, you’re immediately intrigued by the cutting-edge design, angled corners and attractive gloss black finish. It feels a bit light but for a rather inexpensive player it really looks great. The aluminum trim pieces are a nicely added bonus and are tastefully sized and placed. There’s a single USB port on the front as well as the disc tray and four buttons for easy control when you want to get up close and personal. The rear panel features the LAN/Ethernet port, HDMI output and coaxial digital output.
This model isn’t loaded with bells and whistles, but it has all the basics you’ll need to keep up with the times. Connect to your TV with HDMI output, view photos and video directly from flash drive via the USB port and connect to the surround sound with the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD audio.
Without Wi-fi capabilities you’re going to need to connect to the net with a LAN or Ethernet cable if you want to connect to streaming media via the Sony Entertainment Network. While it may seem like a hassle, the wired connection is going to offer better reliability with a definitive solid connection. If you don’t mind the cables, you’ll have hundreds of apps, millions of songs, and a seemingly endless supply of streaming video available right at your fingertips.
As a region-free model, we can’t forget to mention that this player will recognize and play both DVD and Blu-ray Discs from any region in the world. This is ideal for movie collectors and aficionados. But that’s not all that comes with the ‘region-free’ package – it also operates at any voltage from 110 to 240 volts, meaning it can literally be used anywhere in the world. When you add in the last important feature of the region-free Sony BDP-S1100 (built-in PAL to NTSC conversion) you really begin to recognize the flexibility this player provides for such a low price. This made us very happy.
First off, the image quality on the S1100 is downright amazing. While Sony always seems to deliver flawless image quality, we were quite surprised to see how crisp, clean and consistent the picture was. From sun-drenched outdoor scenes to the darkest nighttime shots, this player delivered awesome detail and vivid hues. The colors reproduced wonderfully and there wasn’t a single instance where anything looked off, out of sync or overly saturated – and that included reds, bright yellows and fluorescent colors. It’s pretty impressive to experience such a stable picture that lends the same quality of players that cost twice as much as this.
While there aren’t an abundance of audio options, Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD were fully operational and we noticed no quirks or shortcomings. It provided high quality sound that worked great on our simple surround sound system.
We have to add in that the region-free S1100 uses the typical and easy-to-use sony interface which started right up and loaded everything quickly. In fact, it worked much quicker than the majority of players we’ve seen in the $200 or less range.
This really is a solid player and we were quite impressed with the total package once we weighed out the pros and cons. We had to look at this model a bit differently, especially because we know this one was produced to offer quality theater performance on a low budget, therefor was lacking in the over-the-top features and extras category. Anyway, we’re okay with it.
For the price-to-performance ratio, we’re giving the Region-Free Sony BDP-S1100 five out of five stars. If you want quality and simplicity in a great looking package that performs like a pro, this player is the answer you’ve been looking for.
IMPORTANT: Please note that Blu-ray Players are NOT produced as Region Free from the manufacturer, and are NOT available in major retail stores. Region Free units require professional hardware & software modification and are only sold by specialty retailers. Be sure to check the player’s specifications before making a purchase to ensure the player is being advertised and sold as a unit with region free capability.