A Sony for the boracic lint

Danny Phillips advises potential buyers to find another £20

Sony’s bottom-of-the-range Blu-ray spinner offers a lot in performance and specifications for its meagre £130 ticket, but misses out on a couple of the key features that its BDP-S480 sibling brings to the party for only £20 more. With that in mind, it’s only worth considering if you’re really hard up, or are looking to upgrade your bedroom setup.

Highs

Sony’s brilliant web portal, Bravia Internet Video, still boasts the best range of content around, including BBC iPlayer, Demand Five, Sky News, Eurosport, LOVEFiLM, YouTube, and much more. Yes, there’s no app gallery full of child-friendly games, but do you care?

Despite being Sony’s entry-level player, it still features the brand’s Xross Media Bar menu, which is as intuitive as ever.

There are two USB ports on board, one on the front for media playback from storage devices and one on the back to house the optional UWA-BR100 wireless LAN adaptor, which you can find online for around £50.

Other features include smartphone control, the Gracenote-powered Entertainment Database Browser and picture presets for different lighting conditions.

Hi-def picture quality is excellent, with crisp detail and natural colours. And, like the rest of Sony’s player lineup, the BDP-S380 can spin Super Audio CDs.

Disc loading and boot-up times are fast, and it feels well made for a budget deck, despite being almost comically slimline.

Lows

You can’t stream content over a home network and there’s no 3D support – two features which you can enjoy on the £150 BDP-S480.

The S380 won’t play DivX files, which seems odd in this day and age. It didn’t get on with my hi-def AVI and WMV files, either.


Sony BDP-S380
Price:
£100 Approx

Overall: 4/5