Sony’s 2015 Blu-ray lineup contains some really great players with some amazing options, and the Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player is the most optioned model available. Sony is known for their quality and innovation when it comes to home theater, and they definitely haven’t let us down with this model. Seeing that it’s their top-of-the-line model, we decided it was necessary to do a quick write up of this model and its capabilities. However, before we jump into the technical stuff, we wanted to mention what we feel are the three most important factors of the BDP-S6500.
Firstly, it features a newly redesigned outer case – after 2 years of a very cool looking but highly controversial stealth-looking design, Sony has reverted to a square outer shell with a minimalist look. Now, we have to say that based on aesthetics, we were actually huge fans of the unique styling that Sony’s BD Players have been sporting for the last 2 years. However, from a functionality standpoint there was admittedly an issue – and it was that due to the angular shaping of the top of the player, they were not stackable. For many it didn’t matter, but for people who wanted stackability, it clearly posed a problem. Once again, the case has a flat top and is easily stackable. Good move on Sony’s part for this improvement. No, it doesn’t look as neat, but now there’s no reason for anyone to complain.
Secondly, for the 2015 lineup, Sony has introduced the access to Playstation Now. Yes, that’s correct. The BDP-S6500 (as well as all other 2015 models) can connect directly to Playstation Now. In other words, you can literally play games on your TV via your BD player without the need for a PS console! Simply connect a wireless DualShock 4 controller to the player’s frontal USB port and you’re good to go. You’ll have access to a bunch of completely free games, and if you have a Playstation Now membership, you’ll have complete access just as if you were accessing Playstation Now from your PS console. More good news about this is that you can use your account to save gameplay progress while playing via your BD Player and then pick up your game later on your PS console or other Playstation Now device. If that isn’t innovation, we’re not sure what is. In our opinion, this is HUGE, and just goes to show that Sony is once again flexing their ability to innovate. Furthermore, you’re not going to be able to do this with any other player since no other brand also manufacturers a gaming console. BAM! Sony for the win.
Third, the player we tested is one of our own, and is a Region Free model. If you’re not familiar with the term, let us explain. By default, Blu-ray Players are made to operate in the country they’re sold in. This means the voltage is designed for the local standard and the player has also been programmed to only play discs from within that same region. In other words, there is no ability to purchase a movie from overseas and use it on your home Blu-ray system. Thanks to innovations in technology, the player we’re using is able to play discs from any region in the world. Additionally, it features worldwide voltage that can be changed with the flick of a switch. If you decide to travel, or move abroad, you can take the player with you and not have to worry about needing a voltage converter – the player is already set to work with any voltage in the world. Last but not least, foreign TVs operate with different image and color encoding, which means that you’d normally need an external video converter to use this player with a foreign TV. Luckily, the Region Free model also has a built-in video converter to eliminate this problem. The Region Free Sony BDP-S6500 is a powerhouse when it comes to flexibility, literally. It can play discs from any country, on any TV in the world, at any voltage. No matter where you are, it’s always pug & play. No adapters or converters needed. Now that’s pretty darn cool, we must say.
Okay. Now that we’ve got those 3 important things out of the way, we can focus on the bread & butter of the Region Free BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player. What does it offer as far as features and functionality are concerned? Well, the answer is simple. Everything. No, really, we’re not exaggerating here. It has all of the features you could possibly ask for and there’s absolutely nothing missing. Let’s take a look.
This model is equipped with the latest audio, video, networking and convenience features including:
- 3D Capability – Watch your favorite 3D Blu-ray titles for a lifelike, in-depth home theater experience on any 3D capable TV.
- 2D to 3D Conversion – Upscale your non-3D titles to near 3D, providing as much depth as possible for a uniquely improved picture.
- 4K Ultra HD – It’s the highest resolution to date. If you have a 4K TV, the player will up-scale for the most high-definition picture available.
- Dual Core Processor – For maximum performance, The BDP-S6500 features dual-core processing for the best picture performance, speed, and functionality of anything Sony has yet to offer.
- IP Noise Reduction Pro – Enhanced picture performance and overall quality for streaming media.
- Built in Wi-Fi – The BDP-S6500 has the best performing Wi-Fi to date, with superior reception and improved speed.
- Miracast – Sony screen-mirroring technology that allows you to mirror media from your tablet or cellphone directly to your TV screen.
- Playstation Now – Play games just like you would on your Playstation console.
- TRILUMINOS Display – The deepest, most vibrant and rich picture display technology that Sony has ever offered.
- Sony Sideview App – Control your BD Player from anywhere in your home by using the side view app on your tablet or cell phone. Play, pause, change songs, adjust the volume and more.
- Streaming Media – Access to over 300 streaming media apps on the Sony Entertainment network including your favorites like Youtube, Hulu, Pandora, Netflix and many more.
- Frontal USB – Easily insert a memory stick with your favorite media, or use with your DualShock 4 wireless controller for Playstation Now.
- HD Audio – Get the most from your home theater with the most popular audio formats like Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio.
There’s really nothing this player can’t do. It plays every video and audio format we’ve thrown at it and every type of disc we can think of. The audio, video and all-around performance of the player is clean, crisp and without issue. The user-interface is well-designed and simple to use and the player features HDMI Output, Coaxial Output, and a rear Ethernet output should you decide to hardwire the internet connection.
Overall, you really can’t go wrong with this model. It does everything you could ask for and exhibits excellent performance in all areas. Combined with its Region Free capabilities, the Region Free Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player is an excellent value and the perfect choice for a truly flexible and productive addition to any home theater system.
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.