What is a Sony BDP-S5500?
The BDP-S5500 is Sony’s latest mid-range Blu-ray player. It’s partial of a five-strong choice that also includes a top-end BDP-S6500 (£149) and 3 cheaper models, a BDP-S4500 (£89), BDP-S3500 (£89) and entry-level BDP-S1500 (£75).
Although a BDP-S5500 lacks a 4K upscaling found on a S6500, it offers a inexhaustible operation of other facilities for a money, creation this an affordable party heart for any room in a house.
SEE ALSO: Best Blu-ray Players 2015
Sony BDP-S5500 – Design and Connections
The trend among bill Blu-ray decks is for compact, space-efficient units, and a S5500 is no exception. It measures usually 230mm far-reaching and 39mm high, creation it an ideal messenger to your tide setup.
Looks-wise, Sony has deserted a pointed “Sense of Quartz” pattern of final year’s players. Instead, it has opted for simple, true lines – desirous by “pure geometric shapes” – and a black finish that won’t demeanour out of place alongside a other AV kit. It’s not showy, though a brew of textured panels on a fascia (dappled, glossy, hairline) is a jazzy touch.
As you’d design for a money, build peculiarity isn’t good – a section is super-light and plasticky in places – though a aluminium back-end is solidly bolted in place. On a front are dual buttons – on/off and open/close – and a USB pier for media playback from coop drives.
The behind row offers a unclothed smallest – HDMI output, Ethernet and coaxial digital outlay for comparison AV receivers. You don’t unequivocally need most some-more on a actor such as this as a HDMI pipes audio and cinema to your receiver or TV, though an visual outlay competence have been some-more useful.
The BDP-S5500 facilities Advanced Super Wi-Fi with upgraded MIMO (multiple input, mixed output) record to offer a faster and some-more quick vigilance for online streaming. This quick and unchanging tie allows we to tide online video now and reliably.
Sony BDP-S5500 – Features
Connect to a internet and a BDP-S5500 offers a glorious operation of online apps, including catch-up TV (BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News, BBC Sport, Sky News); film and video streaming (Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube); amicable networking (Facebook); and calm from Sony Entertainment Network.
Although it lacks some of a renouned apps found on players from Samsung (ITV Player, 4OD) and LG (Now TV, Spotify), a preference is still considerable and will keep we entertained in between examination Blu-rays.
The Wi-Fi tie also lets we entrance files stored on PCs and NAS drives on a same network as a Sony, and a operation of upheld video, song and print files is wide. During a test, we were means to play hi-res FLAC tunes, MKV videos, MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, AVCHD, AVI, 3GP, MOV. In fact, a usually files we couldn’t play were ALAC and DivX. You can also play these formats from a USB hang connected to a front port.
Other facilities embody shade mirroring, that allows we to perspective a concordant smartphone on your TV, 3D, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support, and Sony’s Triluminos colour-boosting technology. It’s also probable to upscale DVDs to 1080p, though there’s no 4K upscaling.
LG’s BP550 allows we to tide song from CD or USB to a networked audio systems – though there are no multiroom capabilities here. In fact, nothing of Sony’s new decks offer this feature, notwithstanding a association rising a operation of multiroom audio products.
Sony BDP-S5500 – Operation
Sony has freshened adult a Blu-ray menu interface this year, ditching a XrossMediaBar it’s been regulating for years. Although we’ve always desired a slick, innovative XMB, an ascent has been prolonged overdue, and we’re gratified to contend that Sony has finished a glorious pursuit with a new layout.
The homescreen is friendlier and easier than before. Two grids of retard tiles lay over a blue background, any tile containing an app or menu option. This creates equipment easier to find; we no longer have to corkscrew by extensive lists to find a choice we want. On a left are “Featured Apps”, that embody big-name calm such as iPlayer and Netflix, while a “My Apps” menu on a right contains apps you’ve added.
To supplement apps, name a “+” tile and name from a full list that pops up. To mislay them, prominence a neglected tile, press a Option symbol and name “Remove Application” from a pop-up menu. You can also pierce it around or supplement it to a list of favourites.
Other options on a homepage concede we to burst to DLNA or USB content, activate shade mirroring or revisit a Setup menu, that harks behind to final year’s blueprint though opposite a prettier blue backdrop. Installation is a breeze, interjection to a Easy Setup menu that fires adult on initial boot-up and walks we by a simple settings.
The Media Server (DLNA) menu also looks like a XrossMediaBar, presenting all accessible servers in a list with colour thumbnails. You can navigate by to your selected manuscript or video quick and simply – a BDP-S5500 is one of a slickest and quickest DLNA operators we’ve tested. Play a lane and a credentials changes to black with information dotted around a shade and a playback timeline during a bottom.
The rug comes with a typically user-friendly remote, that crams in copiousness of buttons though feeling cluttered. The vast instruction pad is placed accurately where your ride sits, with frequently used buttons in a evident vicinity. Buttons for a Home menu and Netflix are phony blue and white respectively to make them mount out – a Netflix symbol even bears a company’s logo. The handset is also compact, and sits snugly in a palm. All in all, a top-notch remote, though it’s a contrition it’s not backlit.
You can also control a rug regulating Sony’s SideView app on your smartphone. It provides information about a calm you’re examination as good as charity a TV EPG, YouTube videos and entrance to DLNA content. It’s easy to use and smartly presented, enhancing a user knowledge as any good remote app should.
Sony BDP-S5500 – Performance
In terms of handling speed, a S5500’s Quick Start duty boots adult a rug in a second and a menu cursor responds immediately to remote commands. Turn off Quick Start and startup is around 15 seconds, though a rug uses reduction energy in standby.
Blu-ray front loading is also rapid – it took 30 seconds to start personification Sony’s possess Terminator Salvation and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 discs, while Thor: The Dark World and Star Trek both took 15 seconds.
Picture peculiarity is superb. Star Trek looks remarkably punchy and cinematic via interjection to a low blacks, razor-sharp fact and rich, healthy colours.
Wide shots of a Starfleet hangar containing rows of finely minute CG spacecrafts demeanour stunning, as do shots of Kirk bombing along a dry highway – a fields of wheat and hard banks are unenlightened and textured.
We’re also fans of a deck’s precise, fluid-motion tracking and convincing colours. Dark settings, such as a overpass of Nero’s ship, don’t get mislaid in a sea of blackness; fact and tonal gamut sojourn visible, ensuing in a punchy picture no matter how most light is flaring adult JJ Abrams’ lens.
We also attempted out a S5500’s DVD upscaling with a 2006 recover of Star Wars, and we’re mightily tender by how purify and pointy a iconic scenes look. Edges are strongly defined, butterfly and retard sound are expertly suppressed, and a interiors of a Imperial Star Cruisers are surprisingly detailed.
Should we buy a Sony BDP-S5500?
The 2015 Blu-ray players we’ve seen so distant – Panasonic’s DMP-BDT370 and LG’s BP550 – have been impressive, though we consider a likewise labelled Sony BDP-S5500 steals a impetus on both.
Picture peculiarity is excellent, while a revamped menu complement and quick operation – quite with online and DLNA calm – make a rug easier to use than a peers and a predecessors. There’s a softened operation of intelligent calm than a above players, too, that creates adult for a miss of 4K upscaling and multiroom support – conjunction of that is a deal-breaker.
For these reasons a BDP-S5500 stakes a explain as a best Blu-ray actor during this cost point, nonetheless Samsung’s likewise labelled BD-J5500 competence only give a Sony a run for a money.
SEE ALSO: Sony BDP S1200
Sony BDP-S5500 – Verdict
A inexhaustible preference of apps, softened menu complement and eye-popping cinema make a BDP-S5500 one of a best bill Blu-ray players on a market.