Review: Region Free Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player

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.

region free sony bdp-s6500 blu-ray player

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.


Comments

Review: Region Free Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player — 39 Comments

  1. Hey! Could you clarify for me whether this
    Model is region free out of the box or whether one needs to seek out a “fixed” version for that feature to be available? For example, if I just walked into best buy today and picked up this model, would I be able to switch the region codes? Thanks!

    • Hi, Rob. You’ll need to purcahse the region-free vesrion from a retailer who actually modifies them. Check out 220-Electronics.com, we use them personally as do many others, we’ve never heard of (or had) a bad experience with their players.

  2. Great article! For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your Sony Blu Ray player by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

  3. have had sony bluray players since their inception .last one was great …this one is a quantum leap ahead of the rest in every category and the pic is 4k ultra as measured ,we have 35 4 k titles and the ability to burn a 4 k bluray disc from streaming internet content.with the new denon flagship receiver we don’t go out to the movies any more at all .hence we save money on popcorn ,10.2 dolby surround with 250 watts per channel is quite theatre like in every respect. we highly recommend this sony bdp-6500 player to anyone that loves movies.

  4. One question concerning Sony BDP-S6500: Can it play SACD´S ? If not it is a big minus.

    Greetins Jukka Vainio

  5. I have an important question. This device upscaling to 4K but is it a real 4K player? If I connect a video already in 4K it will play in 4K?

    Luiz

  6. I have a Region A Sony BDP S6500 player and the limitations are that it does not play PAL DVD’s and does not play 50i content.

    This is a big disappointment.

    Luckily it is only a secondary player to enable me to play my region A blurays in Europe.

    • You need to purcahse the Region-Free model if you want those features. The manufacturer doesn’t produce them to work with anything outside of its native region. Modified players that are region-free will play anything from anywhere. Hope that helps!

  7. Hi,
    I currently live in Australia but will be moving to China in the near future.
    Could you please advise me if this Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player can be used in both locations, or if any modifications are needed?
    Also can I play any regions DVDs on this player?
    Kind regards,
    Lindsay Steinbock.

    • The player does not come directly from the factory capable of playing discs from any region. However, the Region-Free version of this player will play any disc, from anywhere in the world. You’ll need to find a reputable retailer for the modified player. We’d recommend visiting 220-electronics.com as they’re the most experienced & reputable out there and they offer global shipping. The player will be sent to you ready to work anywhere in the world. Thanks!

  8. You might mention that Playstation Now is only available in the US and is being trialled now in the UK, not available in Australia.
    Players being sold in Australia are Region B not all regions.

    • Thanks for the input about PlaystationNow not being available in the UK or Australia! We appreciate the heads-up! As far as the players, you’ll need to purchase a modified player from a reputable retailer who specializes in Region-Free players; none of the department stores sell region-free versions because the manufacturers do not make them region-free, it is a hardware modification that must be done after the factory. Thanks!

  9. Region free players including Sony are not worth the headaches. Most of the problems are with BluRay disks. The machines work fine for about a month. Then something goes haywire & they all have trouble distinguishing codes. Sony’s support is probably the worst. You are re-routed to India and by the time you have finished explaining the problem you wished you had gone out drinking instead. My advise: Until the technology is more predictable stick with the player made for the zone you are in. The most that can happen is disks skipping which predates BluRay. The problem even presented itself in the old VHS. Better to deal with that than messages “error conflict distinguishing zones” or trying to get Sony support in India to straighten out the mess. No suggestions on fixing please. Forums suck. Been there done that. The problem is with the machines reading the codes. There is just too much data for the memory to adsorb. Secondly the technology on “region free” isn’t what it is cracked up to be.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Santus. However, keep in mind that ALL region-free players have been modified. The manufacturers do not sell region-free versions, and therefore the quality of the modification depends on the person who modified it as well as the quality of the modification hardware & software. When you purchase from a reputable seller you will receive a high-quality modification that will work flawlessly, exactly like they are supposed to. Also be sure to follow the instructions that come with the player for changing regions. We have never had a single problem with any region-free model aside from the occassional lock-out during a firmware update, which is rare. Again, a reputable company who does modifications the right way will sell you a player that you won’t have issues with.

  10. I recently purchased a Sony BDP – S6500 player for the very reason that it would play DVDs from all regions. I then purchased a British DVD (region 2) of a film a I ahve long wanted, and the Sony player will NOT play it. Can you tell me why?

    • Did you purchase a Region-Free version from a reputable retailer? The BDP-S6500 is not region-free from the manufacturer. In our entry we are speaking of a professionally modified version. You can visit 220-electronics.com if you’d like, they have a great inventory and pretty good prices.

    • You need to purchase a region-free model. None of them come unlocked from the manufacturer, they’ve all been modified by the companies that sell them.

  11. KINDLY PROVIDE ME DETAILS REGARDING MULTI REGION (A,B & C OR ALL REGIONS)/ REGION FREE BLUE RAY DVD PLAYERS AND HOW TO PURCHASE.

    THANKING YOU.

    AJAY KUMAR
    STATE BANK MANAGER
    HN 482/24 TILAK NAGAR
    AMBEDKAR VIHAR JAGADHRI WORKSHOP
    YAMUNANAGAR
    135002
    M – 9729899337 / 9416009337

    • All the details are available right here on the website, Ajay. Visit the ‘Players’ page for more info. You can also visit 220-electronics.com, they sell all types of region-free models and ship worldwide.

  12. I am Swiss and stay approx. 5 months per year in my house in Surin/Thailand. I am looking for a zone free BluRay player, which can also read formats as MP4 (my own dia and video presentations) from an external Hard disc via USB cable. Could you provide me with an address in Thailand where I can order such player?
    Many thanks for your response.
    Regards,
    Peter Bösiger

  13. Will this player support a 1tb WD passport external hard drive. Trying to put some of my movies on one to watch. Old player will not support it, brought last year

    • I don’t want to give you a definitive answer, but it seems that even the manufacturer doesn’t specify this.. If you contact Sony and they say the BDP-S6500 will support it, than so will the region free model. Sorry I couldn’t give you a direct answer but I want to be sure that you’re getting the best info available.

    • This one is a step-up form the 5500. WIth Sony, the higher the model munber, the more options it has. At least in recent years! :) Check out 220 Electronics or Crutchfield for complete player specifications.

  14. I bought the Sony blu ray multizone player.
    So far so good. Except didn’t work with the uk dvd.
    If it’s region free, multizone, what’s the difference between a dvd coming from France and one from the UK????????

    • There is no difference. If you have a true multi-zone or region-free player, you’ll need to follow the instructions provided by the retailer as it should play any disc from any region in the world. Hope that helps!

      • I was recently given a Sony BDP6500 that’s (apparently) been modified to be region free, but the friend who gave it to me lost the instructions on how to change the region code for Blu-Rays. Any advice on what to try?

  15. What is the audio quality like with this model. I have a Denon DB2012 which has great audio but I find the pic quality a little faded. My Sony S580 is great for pic quality but the audio is nowhere as good as the Denon.

    • Hi Sherry,

      Your TV will need an HDMI port for this player to connect. If it has USB, it most likely has HDMI input. You should check to be 100% sure before making your purchase.

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