5 new Blu-ray Disc Players were released by Sony in 2011, including a first-ever portable player. But the standout product in the lineup is the BDP-S580 model. This mid-range player is packed with all the latest extras you want in a player at a very affordable price ($200). Coming in line just below the BDP-S780 model ($250), the BDP-S580 has Full HD 3D playback, built-in wireless for online streaming media, Gracenote Metadata Service, and many more great features.
Simple in its design, the BDP-S580 has made a conscious effort to conserve energy and the environment. The disc loading tray, display screen, basic control buttons,s, and a USB Port are on the front. All other connections are found at the player’s rear, including another USB Port.
The BDP-S580 can support 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 video output resolutions via an HDMI connection. There are other video connections in the form of Component and Composite Outputs. However, unlike past players, the component video outputs can only display SD resolution. This is due to restrictions regarding copy protection. (All manufacturers are subject to this restriction.) Since most of us will use an HDMI connection, this should not pose any major problems. Video quality is excellent with the BDP-S580. It has options for preset picture modes and 3 different noise reduction types. As well as IP noise reduction that significantly improves the quality of Steaming video content. All these features should satisfy all high-definition Home theater enthusiasts.
Audio connections for the BDP-S580 include the HDMI Output, the Coaxial Digital, and 2-ch Analog Outputs. Like the Video outputs, the HDMI will provide you with the best sound. Over the HDMI connection, the BDP-S580 can transmit high-resolution audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) to be decoded by an A/V receiver. Or you can let the player decode the audio formats internally. Either way, you choose, you will get great 7.1-channel lossless surround sound. Unfortunately, the BDP-S580 lacks multi-channel analog outputs, which will not suit those with older A/V receivers without an HDMI input.
One of the great features of the BDP-S580 player is its ability to support many different types of media. Including the playback of AVCHD, WMV, AAC, MP3, GIF, MKV, WMA, JPEG, PNG, 3D BD, BD, DVD, CD, and even SACD. Internet streaming of movies, videos, music, and photos, as well as social networking, is also available. Once connected to the internet, either by the Ethernet Port or through a built-in wireless connection, you have access to a wide range of services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Picasa, and Sony’s Qriocity VOD service. Which is a limited Web browser.
Other great features that will get consumers’ attention are the Gracenote™ Metadata Service with Cross Search and iPhone/iPad and Andriod phone remote. With Gracenotes, you can access details regarding the films you are watching and search with certain online apps such as YouTube and Qriocity. The free iPhone/iPad app turns your device into a remote for the player. It even supports a full Qwerty keyboard to take commands. The BDP-S580 can also receive content from DLNA servers, such as PCs. And it has a feature called Party Streaming; when paired with Sony HomeShare network speakers, it will stream music to any room in your house.
The Cons: The BDP-S580 from Sony is a 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with built-in Wi-Fi®. You get vivid clarity of Full HD 1080p on playback of Blu-ray Disc. You can instantly stream TV shows, movies, music, sports, and more from over 30 internet sources, such as Qriocity™, Netflix®, YouTube™, HuluPlus™, ESPN, and many more. You can add a compatible HomeShare® network speaker, allowing you to take advantage of Party Streaming™ mode to synchronize all your speakers to play the same song in every room. A free app is available to download that will transform your mobile device into an easy-to-use remote control. Also has USB playback support and is DLNA Certified, so you can access video and music from your computer and display it on your HDTV.
The cons: The BDP-S580 does not have any internal memory storage. This is surprising since last year’s equivalent model, BDP-S570, had 1 GB of storage. Therefore, a USB Memory device (at least 1GB) needs to be connected to download BD-Live content. Fortunately, the BDP-S580 comes with two USB Ports. To playback 3D content, you must have a 3D HDTV and 3D Glasses. Only has one HDMI Port. Some of its competitors are equipped with two HDMI ports for greater flexibility when connecting to a 3D HDTV.
The BDP-S580, like last year’s very successful BDP-S570, seems to be the highlight in Sony’s 2011 blu-ray lineup. This mid-range player has many great features and a price list of under $200.00. This 3D Blu-ray player has Bravia Internet Video, DLNA capability, built-in Wi-Fi, and USB playback, plus the added features of iPhone®/iPad® and Android™ phone Remote Control, Quick Start/Quick Load, Gracenote™ Metadata Service and I/P Noise Reduction. Don’t be surprised if the BDP-S580 ends up as one of the best-reviewed players by experts and consumers.