Sony has introduced it’s new lineup of Blu-ray Players for 2016 and we felt it’s about time that we gave them a review. As always, Sony brings an impressive array of cutting edge features to the table and delivers an excellent value for your dollar. From their most economic model to their highest performer, there’s something available to fit everyone’s budget. Please keep in mind that our models are the region-free version which is not available in stores.
Sony 2016 Region Free Blu-ray Players
Sony’s newly released Blu-ray Players for 2016 include the BDP-S1700, the BDP-S3700 and the BDP-S6700. From the base-model 1700 to the fully equipped 6700, there’s a variety of options and capabilities to be had. From basic Blu-ray performance to 4k Ultra-HD and 3D Playback, Sony has done an excellent job of bringing the latest media features direct to your home theater. If you’re looking for powerful, well-rounded and long-lasting players, look no further – all you have to do is decide which player is right for your needs.
Each model comes equipped right out of the box to meet the most basic home theater needs such as internet connectivity, support for a wide variety of media playback (such as MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV for audio – and AVCHD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Motion JPEG, WMV9, XVID for video), streaming media capability, and of course all major surround sound formats (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio). All models also come equipped with HDMI output, ethernet port, and Full 1080p HD. As we move up the scale of models, other features and options become available such as the Wi-Fi, 4k-Ultra HD Upscaling, 3D Playback, DLNA capability and more.
One of the biggest features that deserves an important mention is that just like last year’s models, all of Sony’s 2016 Blu-ray Players are equipped with Playstation Now. What it does is give you the ability to play real Playstation games directly on your Blu-ray Player without the need for an actual Playstation console. You can save your games, start new games or even pick up on a saved game that you started on your Playstation or any other Playstation Now enabled device. If you’re wondering how you can game with nothing else than your Blu-ray Player, it’s simple – Sony has made this feature possible as a streaming feature since they’re the producers of Playstation. The only thing you need is a Playstation DualShock 4 controller which plugs into the frontal USB port of any new Sony Blu-ray Player. It’s a simply fantastic value that offers endless entertainment without spending the money on expensive gaming consoles. It’s genius.
Before we get off track, let’s take a look at each individual model to get an idea of what’s included.
Region Free Sony BDP-S1700
As the most basic model, the Region Free Sony BDP-S1700 doesn’t do it all, but for most people it does far more than enough. The major downside to this player is it’s lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, but there’s still an Ethernet Port which means you’ll get lighting-fast internet speeds with the use of a wired connection. Once you’re wired up, you can easily enjoy streaming media from the most popular apps as well as a variety of social media, news and informational platforms. Watch your favorite movies on Netflix, see what your friends are up to on Facebook or check out your favorite sports app to view the scores from the latest game. There’s a ton of great media and entertainment options packed into this feature alone.
The BDP-S1700 features a single HDMI output and a digital coaxial output, making it perfect for a basic connection to your TV and surround sound. It has a frontal USB port for simple sharing of your favorite videos, photos and music, or to plugin a DualShock 4 controller for gaming with Playstation Now. To share media, just insert a cable connected to your external device, or insert a USB storage device with the files you wish to use. It’s that simple. The on-screen user interface features a smooth and customizable layout, making it a breeze to navigate through files, apps, and to control your player. The Quick Start feature is also a great addition, as it eliminates those long loading times of Blu-ray Discs, meaning you can get started with your movies faster than ever before.
Region Free Sony BDP-S3700
The Region Free Sony BDP-S3700 is a step up from the 1700. While it still has the same awesome features as it’s younger sibling, there’s even more to this unit. With Wi-Fi built in, the BDP-S3700 give you the same access to streaming media and internet with the addition of DLNA compatibility. This means that you can wirelessly share movies, music, and photos from any other wireless device on your home network such as your tablet, smartphone or laptop computer. Do you have a movie on your laptop that you’d like to watch on the big screen? No problem, all you have to do is choose the file from the player’s user interface and press play. The same goes for pictures, music, or home videos. It’s simple, convenient and it makes the days of using wires seem like nothing more than a distant memory.
That’s not where the wireless capability ends, however. You can also use the Sony Sideview app to control your player – and your media – from anywhere in the house. You can actually see the user interface right on your phone and use it to pause, play, or adjust the volume on your player. If you’re connected to a surround sound system, just imagine being able to adjust the volume when a favorite song comes on from any room in the house – or better yet, while you’re having a party or BBQ. This awesome feature eliminates the need to go running to your player to turn down the volume, pause the kid’s movie or change your playlist. The power to control it all goes wherever your smartphone goes, as long as you’re connected to the home network.
Region Free Sony BDP-S6700
The Region Free Sony BDP-S6700 shares all the features of the two previous players, but is has two extra bonuses that send it over the top.
First, 4k Ultra-HD upscaling. What this feature does is utilize the player’s powerful processing technology to give you the highest possible resolution, regardless of what type of media you’re using. You can upscale a non-HD DVD or a 1080p Blu-ray Disc to an amazing 3840 x 2160 resolution, literally twice that of 1080p Full HD. If getting the absolute best experience out of your 4k TV is important, than this is an option you just can’t pass up.
The second major feature included with the BDP-S6700 is 3D Playback. If you have a 3D capable TV, this player will allow you to watch your 3D titles in all their glory. Experience the extreme effects and immense depth of real 3D at any time you wish. Was was once reserved for fancy theaters is now available for your viewing pleasure in the comfort of your own home. It’s especially popular for newer action films and a must-have if there’s children in the home.
2016 Sony Blu-ray Players in a Nutshell
While Blu-ray has come a long way in the last decade, Sony continues to push the limits on the home theater experience. With Playstation Now, they’ve completely broken the Blu-ray mold and brought a whole new aspect into play; one that no other manufacturer has been able to do. From the simple and stylish design to their all-around ease of use and compact size, we have to say that these newest Sony Players are a solid choice.
Furthermore, as Region Free models, the Sony Players we’ve reviewed are capable of being used anywhere in the world. They come equipped with worldwide voltage, which lets you power them using any voltage from 110 to 240 volts without the need for a voltage converter. They play discs, both DVD and Blu-ray from any region of the world, meaning you can purchase foreign movie titles or rent them while you travel without any sort of playback issues. And to make it all work, they have internal PAL/NTSC conversion so you’ll never have to use a video converter – even with a foreign TV. You can take these players anywhere in the world, play discs from anywhere in the world, on any TV in the world, with no problems at all. If that doesn’t sell us, we’re not sure what will.
See more information or Region-Free Sony Blu-ray Players, from one of our trusted and highly recommended retailers. Remember, not all Sony models are Region Free and they’re not available in major stores, so please only purchase from a reputable Region Free retailer.
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.