Sony S590 3D Blu-ray Disc Player Price: $139.99 Rating: *Recommend Sony's latest line of Blu-ray disc players are designed to offer consumers the content they want with a variety of options available at the touch of a button. Sony has announced three new models in this year's line up, including one model capable of upscaling to the new emerging 4K resolution, the BDP-790. I got some trial time with one of their more affordable models, the well-equipped S590 player… The S590, which features a brushed metal finish and three front panel buttons, feels light in the hand but is definitely punching above its weight class. Not only does the slim device playback Blu-ray discs in full HD 1080p, it also offers 2D to 3D conversion and can be controlled by a tablet or smartphone using its Sony Media Remote app. The player has integrated Wi-Fi which allows you to easily connect to the internet and stream any number of online services, including Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora, YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Instant and many, many more.
There are also ports for both HDMI and USB inputs so you can also play videos from other devices. The S590 is able to playback a variety of digital files including DivX, Xvid and MKV and is also able to wirelessly stream photos, videos, and music with DLNA. It will also wirelessly stream music throughout your house to wireless speakers, and if you have a Sony tablet, you can "throw" music and photos to the S590. There is also the obligatory Socialize option for those of you who like to share or review what you're watching. Setting up the player was as simple as plugging it in, switching the input on my TV, and syncing the player to my wireless router. The whole process was completed in roughly ten minutes, including the firmware download, and was a pleasantly straightforward experience. Likewise, the menu and user interface on the S590 were both direct and fairly easy to navigate. I was able to find everything I was looking for, eventually, although not always where I was looking for it. A recommendation to view using the Sony Entertainment layout worked better for me, however, this is a set up that requires an extra step to access. Regardless, if you've ever handled a PS3, the S590 is similar enough so that you shouldn't have any problems familiarizing yourself.
The list of streaming media apps is immense and although one of my Netflix viewings did quite a bit of buffering, is a fairly flawless experience. The S590, in addition the services already mentioned, also offers Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited services from the Sony Entertainment Network, and services from Slacker Internet Radio, Crackle, Amazon Video on Demand and a DVD Upconversion feature which improves the visual quality of your DVD movies. Both the included remote control and the free app, which I used on an iPhone, worked intuitively and without issue. While playing a Blu-ray movie, I was initially taken aback by how long it took to load the disc, however, once the playback started, I was consistently impressed by the stunning clear picture. The Dolby True HD Audio wasn't bad either. Overall, a great player for the price, the S590 can handle almost any entertainment need you might have... except for maybe making the popcorn.
Pros: Extensive selection of streaming services, superb picture and sound. Cons: Discs are fairly slow to load, wireless connection doesn't always work well. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend *Recommend Weak Recommend Don't RecommendApartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes. (Images: Sony, Amber Bouman)