Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player; Like a Home Movie Theater in My Basement
Nov 20, 2012 (Updated Nov 21, 2012)
Review by DeRango
Rated a Very Helpful Review
After upgrading my television in the basement to a Pioneer Plasma 60” flat screen, we decided to purchase the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player. Now the last DVD player I purchased had a combination DVD-VHS Player. I tend to wait on technology, usually because the cost and fear of getting something that would be outdone within the day after the return policy expires. Of course this logic is heavily flawed as we all know technology is ever evolving and changing. The Blu-ray technology has been around for a couple years, but I held off till I researched and found something that would be worth the investment.
Recommend this product?
Out of the Box
The box contained everything I needed to hook up the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player to my Television, which included a power cable, remote, batteries, and even some output/input cables. Now the one addition I invested in was a AudioQuest Forest 1.5m HDMI cable, which I ended up spending some extra money on. If you invest in a higher quality Blu-ray player, why not maximize the experience and utilize the HDMI technology to its potential? So setting up the Blu-ray player itself wasn’t much of an operation more of a plug and play proposition. The operational setup for streaming media, remote settings, and firmware updates tended to be a bit more time consuming. The design and size of is sleek, compact, and modern the buttons are located in similar fashion to other Sony players where the power and eject buttons are opposite one another. Light, sleek, and shiny black the player gives off a cool blue LCD light to let you know when it is on.
If using the WI-FI connection I actually recommend connecting with the RJ-45 network cable directly to the hub/router. This allowed me to circumvent several of the issues regarding the internal firmware and updates requested by the operational system. Additionally the software information for Skype and Netflicks requested some updates and downloads as well. The software was provided by the vendors at no cost and it took me about 15 minutes to get everything to where it seemed comfortable to move forward. Once the information was downloaded and updated, I turned to the remote, where I programmed my master remote to avoid using the one provided by the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player. I also noticed that when loading movies it does tend to take longer than other players. I’m not sure if this is a result of the Wi-Fi connection trying to do something unintended with the film or just the Blu-ray DVD having additional items and menus to load.
I thought I’d delve right into an area of weakness and frustration, where the remote provided by the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player is similar to previous models the manufacture has come out with. I would recommend utilizing a master remote or program a different one, as the one provided is frustrating in my experience. The special functionality of the circular ring and navigation pad is typically annoying as I find myself going back to menu commands for different buttons I’ve accidentally hit. There is an inside/outside circular ring setup which again provides frustration when accessing commands and menus. Since the remote is smaller and the buttons are more difficult to correctly hit I find it overall worthless. Sony could really improve the remote in my opinion I think it may be a preference but from a personal experience I’d move to reprogramming a better remote. This would also prevent the frustration of finding several remotes for the different devices (I.E. TV, DVD Player, Receiver, and so on…)
Quantitatively Quality Queued
Aside from the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player I believe you would need to marry it with a quality flat screen high resolution capable TV and excellent HDMI cable to definitively achieve the maximum benefit and quality you so desire. However since the inception of the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player we’ve only rented Blu-ray movies and will wait for the movie to become available rather than go back to renting the regular DVDs. The picture quality is truly beautiful, both clarity and resolution is crisp deep and rich with details. I was also intrigued when I tested older DVDs where the player seemed to visibly improve upon these classics. So needless to say movie night is usually spent in the darker basement where we can enjoy the non-existent glare and high quality movie experience. My wife and I are very happy with the overall quality of the images, especially for action films where there is a good deal of explosions, CGI imaging, and variance in scenery. When I juxtapose the current quality and resolution to my previous players there really isn’t much of a contest, previously the videos seemed grainy and flat, but the Sony provides an excellent movie experience with bold rich contrast.
As I mentioned there were some setup issues that started off in the beginning, but the overall time spent was well worth the investment getting it correctly updated and current. Again using the direct RJ-45 network cable connection helped me update and setup the requested information from the manufacture without dealing with the Wi-Fi issues I was having. I do find the remote somewhat annoying and choose not to utilize it unless absolutely necessary. The setup menu and manuals provided should give users clear direction for setting up the operational experience. Some of the features such as Skype and Wi-Fi internet capabilities for streaming videos I use sparingly, I prefer my Xbox setup for such endeavors.
The quality of the picture has been unmatched in my opinion; I should admit that I tend to be bias towards spending the extra money on Sony products as previous experience has shown it is usually worth the investment. I’ve also had good experience with the warranty department and customer service. I would definitely invest in a higher quality HDMI-cable and not use the one provided from the manufacture you’ll get more out of the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player.
The sound quality is a combination of the Television, cable attached, and player which has be excellent. I don’t have the problem where dialog is soft and music is loud like my previous DVD players. The components seem to work together to give you an overall great visual and audio experience.
I did "over-buy"and go above the capabilities I required, which is mainly watching Blu-ray movies. I however have found that getting more than what you need is the way to go rather than having to upgrade in a few months. This is usually when you realize that you did want those additional features thus end up spending the money anyway. There will be a few quirks to get things started, but the system should be up and running within 15-20 minutes. My wife and I watch movies at least once a week on the player, usually coupled with popcorn, so the Blu-ray experience is truly a great addition to this tradition. I’m overall very satisfied with the movie experience and can easily recommend the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player to users looking for great features, Wi-Fi capabilities, and an excellent overall picture quality. I ended up spending just under $200 (with the upgraded cable) at Best Buy , and had a few coupons and reward points to hellp discount the item. Don't forget to upgrade your HDMI cable and go with the AudioQuest Forest 1.5m HDMI cable to increase your overall Blu-ray quality and experience.
Sony BDP-S790 Wishing you could stream movies, TV shows, music and more without putting up with obnoxious, unsightly wires See how built-in Wi-Fi and a dual core processor work together for a super smooth delivery of all the media you love, minus the wires you hate. Play your favorite Blu-ray Disc movies, take conventional 2D to another dimension by converting it to 3D, or make the resolution even higher by upscaling to 4K. Two backwards compatible HDMI outputs provide excellent audio support for legacy audio products. Connect a compatible camera and Skype the day away with friends and family on the big screen. Enjoy stellar picture quality thanks to 16 bit video processing and Super Bit Mapping video functionality. Get crisp, clear images watching things from the internet on your TV with IP Noise Reduction Pro.
4K Upscale for HD resolution up to four times higher than Full HD
3D Blu-ray Disc Full HD 1080p playback
-Skype capability with optional cameraPower Requirements (frequency): 60Hz
Power Requirements (voltage) 120V
Power Consumption (in Operation): 22W
Outputs: Composite x 1, Analog Audio x 2, Digital Audio Coaxial x 1, Digital Audio Optical x 1, RJ-45, HDMI x 2
Inputs: Composite x 1
*More details can be found at www.Sony.com
Amount Paid (US$): 179.99
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