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Sony BDP-S590

*Est. $120
Reviewed
September 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Sony BDP-S590

Pros
  • Great Blu-ray playback
  • Attractive design
  • Extensive features and streaming apps
Cons
  • Slow to load discs
  • Somewhat flimsy feeling
  • Less impressive DVD upscaling

Reviewers say the Sony BDP-S590's eye-catching design and even more dazzling Blu-ray video playback quality make it one of the best Blu-ray players available, bolstered by a strong feature set. A couple of issues hold it back from being best-in-class, however.

Picture quality

Great Blu-ray images, mostly great DVD conversion. As with virtually all modern Blu-ray players, the Sony BDP-S590 displays stunning imagery during Blu-ray playback. The player's DVD upscaling isn't quite as impressive, however. Reviewers report seeing conversion blemishes artifacts and say the player's noise-reduction abilities are subpar. On the plus side, the same reviewers note that those upscaling image issues are only really noticeable when you're looking for them.

Performance

Slow and steady finishes the race, but won't win it. Critics report that the Sony BDP-S590 boots up and move through menus much more methodically (read: slowly) than its competitors. In some cases, it's almost twice as long, CNET reports. Java-heavy menus slow things down even more.

Usability

A mixed bag. While the Sony BDP-S590 doesn't suffer from any major flaws, testers note that the player's PlayStation-esque menus aren't quite as intuitive and seamless as the menus in other top Blu-ray players, with even some apps having poorly laid-out designs.

Frequent firmware updates are another minor headache. "During my brief time with this player, it required two separate software updates," Rachel Cericola writes at BigPictureBigSound.com. "Both took just a few minutes and were pain-free, but worth mentioning." The sleek remote is top-notch, however.

Features

Packed with value-adding extras. Reviewers love the bells and whistles stuffed into the Sony BDP-S590. It includes Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, 3D video capabilities, a web browser, a wide selection of streaming Internet apps -- including apps for Facebook, Twitter, and lesser-known services like Crackle -- and a useful companion app for smartphones. SACD support is another feature, and one that's a relative rarity in Blu-ray players in this price range. It doesn't, however, include onboard storage for BD-Live content (you'll need to plug in a USB thumb drive for that), and users report that the player's DLNA streaming is very spotty, refusing to display subtitles or even work with many file types, especially .MKV and .AVI files.

Value

Great bang for your buck. The Sony BDP-S590 delivers outstanding Blu-ray performance and a deep selection of Internet apps in an attractive package that would have cost much, much more even a year ago.

The Bottom Line

Though the Sony BDP-S590's DVD upscaling isn't quite as impressive as the technology powering the Panasonic DMP-BDT220 (*Est. $115) or the Best Reviewed LG BP620 (*Est. $120) -- and it loads disc much slower, to boot -- experts say Sony's Blu-ray player won't leave you wanting. Hundreds of users agree.

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Our Sources

1. CNET

The Sony BDP-S590 lands on CNET's list of the best Blu-ray players despite achieving only a 3.5 (out of 5) rating. The design, Blu-ray performance and deep app selection particularly impress Matthew Moskovciak; the pokey disc loading times and quirky interface do not.

Review: Sony BDP-S590 Review, Matthew Moskovciak, April 24, 2012

2. BigPictureBigSound.com

The lengthy review at this enthusiast website is far more detailed than the critiques from more mainstream sources. The rating (3.5 out of 4 stars), the discussion, and a list of pros and cons leave no doubt as to whether or not a particular product is recommended -- which the Sony BDP-S590 is. "This player offers a lot of bang for the buck," Rachael Cericola writes. "Consider it money well spent."

Review: Sony BDP-S590 Blu-ray 3D Player Review, Rachel Cericola, June 20, 2012

3. Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity is another enthusiast site that delivers an in-depth review of the Sony BDP-S590. All aspects of the player -- from design to setup to performance -- are considered and extensive benchmark testing is performed. Chris Heinonen found some player freezes and had some interface troubles, but he says "There is a whole lot to like overall about the Sony BDP-S590."

Review: Sony BDP-S590 Blu-ray Player, Chris Heinonen, June 5, 2012

4. PCMag.com

The Sony BDP-S590 receives a Very Good rating from PCMag.com, compared to the Excellent ratings doled out to the LG BP620 and the Panasonic DMP-BDT220. Will Greenwald says it's a very competent Blu-ray player, but interface issues and poor DVD upscaling knock it down a few pegs.

Review: Sony BDP-S590, Will Greenwald, Aug. 6, 2012

5. Amazon.com

More than 160 users have left feedback on the Sony BDP-S590 and the vast majority is pretty pleased, with more than two-thirds issuing ratings of 4 or 5 stars. Most gripes concern the unit's flimsy build quality, spotty DLNA support and occasionally weak Wi-Fi signal reception.

Review: Sony BDP-S590 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi (Black), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Sept. 2012

6. BestBuy.com

The Sony BDP-S590 enjoys an even stronger reputation among BestBuy.com users, carrying a high overall rating after more than 60 reviews. Impressively, nearly 90 percent of buyers say they would recommend the Blu-ray player to their friends.

Review: Sony - 3D Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of Sept. 2012

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