Sony Blu-ray Disc™/DVD Player (BDP-S390): Product Review

I’ve already detailed my thought process leading up to purchasing this particular product. Just to recap; I was in the market for something to stream Netflix on that wasn’t my laptop. Initially I thought some sort of tablet device was the way to go but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I’d rather look at a bigger screen. So I opted for the Sony BDP-S390. Aside from being a Blu-ray/DVD player, this device has built in Wi-Fi and a number of apps to satisfy all your audio/visual desires.

The Blu-ray/DVD player works just as it should. The load time for discs seems a bit sluggish overall, but in the grand scheme of things, waiting an extra 5 seconds for something to load isn’t going to kill anyone. The picture quality is excellent (full HD 1080p) and honestly, the DVDs look almost as good as the Blu-rays. It takes a keen eye to really tell the difference.

While I needed a Blu-ray player, I really got this machine for streaming Netflix, which it handles exceptionally well. Syncing my Netflix and Amazon Instant Video accounts with this device was a breeze and now I can enjoy all the Netflix or Amazon instant videos I want from the comfort of a nice chair or my bed. There’s even a dedicated button on the remote control to take me directly to Netflix any time I’d like.

In addition to Netflix there are apps for Hulu Plus; Amazon Instant Video; Vudu HD Movies; Crackle; and YouTube (to name a few) for your viewing pleasure. This product came with a free 3-month trial for Hulu Plus, which I’ve already decided that I won’t be renewing once it expires. Aside from SNL digital shorts, Hulu doesn’t have much to offer me, but it functions well on this device nonetheless. Be warned; some of these are pay-per-view services and others are free with short advertisements.

On the audio side there is a podcast app that is somewhat disappointing in the content that it offers. I haven’t played with it enough to see if I’d be able to subscribe to podcasts that I enjoy listening to, but upon my initial inspection it didn’t appear that this was possible. The Pandora app is great though and works exactly as it does on my PC. Syncing it to my account was quick and painless.

There is an internet browser, but this, to be quite honest, is garbage. Once opened the text is nearly illegible due to its extremely small size. It’s also not the easiest thing to navigate. I tried to access websites that required flash and this device apparently doesn’t support Adobe flash. But this isn’t an issue since my laptop can be plugged into my TV if I were to decide that I wanted to use my TV as a computer monitor.

There’s a number of other apps available that I haven’t even begun to check out. Another helpful feature I’d like to highlight is the USB port. This makes transferring music and videos from your computer to this device incredibly easy with a thumb drive. I’ve used it to watch h.264 videos and listen to MP3 music. In addition to this you can access the audio/visual files from other devices in your computer’s network through the wireless connection.

The only real drawback, excluding the crappy internet browser, is the time it takes to load upon start up. In total I’d say it takes roughly 45 seconds (give or take a second) to fire up. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about how long it takes to load discs; this is simply how long it takes before one can operate it. I also wish there were HBOGO and CinemaxGO apps, but alas, there is not.

At the end of the day this is a small price to pay for all the positive features of this product. I procured mine for $109.00 and it was well worth every penny. I highly recommend the Sony BDP-S390 to anyone in the market for a a sleek and stylish device that can handle their Blu-ray/DVD and audio/visual streaming needs.



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