Sony BDP-S5100 review
|Review: July 2013|
Last updated November 2013
In a nutshell: The Sony BDP-S5100 is a very capable Blu-Ray player with 3D playback, built-in Wi-Fi and Smart TV.
The Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-Ray player is the only model from Sony's 2013 range that includes both 3D playback and Wi-Fi. The S3100 model omits the 3D capability and the S4100 omits Wi-Fi, so if you want both, you'll want the S5100.
Design & looks
Sony's 2013 Blu-Ray players cannot possibly be described as boring. They all feature distinctive angular designs, and the S5100 has a particularly striking asymmetric top surface. It's designed to match Sony's "Sense of Quartz" aesthetic as featured in its W905A TV range.
The BDP-S5100 can handle both 2D and 3D Blu-Ray disks, as well as DVDs (with upscaling to 1080p) and audio CDs. It will also convert 2D content into 3D.
The player supports the 16 bit deep colour standard and 24p True Cinema. It's also one of the first to support Sony's Triluminos LED backlighting system, and you should definitely choose a Triluminos Blu-Ray player if you plan to buy a Triluminos television such as the new Sony 40W905A.
BD-Live 2.0 enables you to download additional content via an internet connection.
Sony Entertainment Network
The Sony Entertainment Network gives you internet access to online movies, catch-up TV, music and YouTube videos. Apps include the BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Sky News, LoveFilm, Netflix, Crackle and Video Unlimited.
The player connects to a HD Ready TV via HDMI and there's a coaxial audio output for connecting to an external speaker system. Network access is via the wired ethernet port or making use of the built-in Wi-Fi.
There are two USB connections - one in the font and one at the rear - which allow you to plug in a USB drive or device and access music, photos or videos on your TV. DLNA is supported, so you can easily stream content from PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc.
A new smartphone app called TV Side View is available for use with the S5100. This allows you to use an iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet as a remote control or mouse for browsing the web. View tweets about the programme you're watching, and find related content.
Conclusion - excellent, but not cheap
It costs a bit more than the other Sony Blu-Ray players, but not enough to break the bank. If you're buying this is conjunction with a new TV you won't even notice the price difference. Since the BDP-S5100 includes 3D playback and built-in Wi-Fi, we'd recommend that you choose this one instead of one of the cheaper models. It's always a good policy to future-proof yourself as much as possible when buying tech.
As for the question of whether to choose this Sony player or perhaps the Samsung BD-F6500 or Panasonic DMP-BDT230, these are all 5 star products, and they cost about the same. If you have a Sony Triluminos TV, or might buy one in the future then you should definitely choose Sony. Otherwise, choose Sony for design appeal and all-round performance, Samsung for greater Smart TV functionality and Panasonic for top picture and audio quality.
Sony BDP-S5100 features include:
- Playable disks: Blu-Ray (including 3D), DVD, CD
- BD-Live (Profile 2.0)
- Triluminos Color
- Audio: DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD
- Connectivity: HDMI, ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB x2, digital audio output (coaxial), DLNA
- Standard remote
- Power consumption 14W
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