Sony BDP-S185 BDP-BX18 Blu-ray Disc player - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 111 Old 01-04-2012, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I wonder why no one has started a thread dedicated to this player yet. It can be found for $80 at brick and mortar stores or even for less online. It plays BDs, DVDs with AVCHD content, plays 1080p60 from newer consumer camcorders, streams from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other services, plays MP3. Does nearly all of it for just one third of the PS3 price. It does not allow playing games though ;-)

See my evaluation video with detailed screen capture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbYfjiN6fqk

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post #2 of 111 Old 01-05-2012, 06:13 AM
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Yes, I'm a little surprised that it has not gotten some attention here as well.

I think the price point at $80 without Wi-Fi is still a little high. I did see it during December for $59 and was very tempted to pick one up. Looks like full featured, sub $49 Blu-ray players will be available in the coming months.
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post #3 of 111 Old 01-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Just picked one up from Amazon, for a bedroom system. This box is tiny! Seems to do a nice job in my very limited testing so far.

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post #4 of 111 Old 01-21-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindamood View Post

Just picked one up from Amazon, for a bedroom system. This box is tiny! Seems to do a nice job in my very limited testing so far.

BD players went a long way in the last 3-4 years. The box is small, light, turns on almost instantly.

Support for USB devices is spotty, the player is very picky. I was able to use a Buffalo 500GB USB-powered NTFS drive, but the WD drive did not work, and another Buffalo drive with external power did not work too.
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post #5 of 111 Old 01-22-2012, 07:40 PM
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Hi,

I'm interested in this player but I read an online review that said the player automatically shut downs after 30 mins if there is no remote activity. That seems kind of silly. Can anyone confirm or deny this behavior.

Also, can anyone comment on Amazon Prime streaming with this player.

Thanks,

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post #6 of 111 Old 02-04-2012, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_N View Post

Hi,

I'm interested in this player but I read an online review that said the player automatically shut downs after 30 mins if there is no remote activity. That seems kind of silly. Can anyone confirm or deny this behavior.

You mean, when something is being watched? No, of course not. It keeps playing. I haven't checked what happens if nothing is being watched.
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post #7 of 111 Old 02-07-2012, 07:32 AM
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No, actually, the review said even if something was being watched. This was a review talking about NetFlix streaming. It sounded too silly to be true.

I'm actually more interested in Amazon Prime streaming as well as Blue Ray playback.
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post #8 of 111 Old 02-20-2012, 02:51 PM
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Hi everyone, I'm looking for a very specific feature. On my LG BD550 I can change the image size without affecting the size or position of the subtitles. This might sound like an odd feature, but it's a killer one for me, as I'm planning to use this player in a bedroom setup with a 27 inch display, and I'd prefer to use the full 16:9 image instead of the 1:2.35 aspect ratio. Could anyone check if this functionality exists on Sony's player?
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post #9 of 111 Old 02-22-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endre View Post

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a very specific feature. On my LG BD550 I can change the image size without affecting the size or position of the subtitles. This might sound like an odd feature, but it's a killer one for me, as I'm planning to use this player in a bedroom setup with a 27 inch display, and I'd prefer to use the full 16:9 image instead of the 1:2.35 aspect ratio. Could anyone check if this functionality exists on Sony's player?

I actually tried to test this for you yesterday, but could not even see an obvious way to change the picture size....

Brad
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post #10 of 111 Old 02-22-2012, 05:29 PM
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I just picked up a BDP-BX18 at Sam's Club this week... basically the same as the S185 but it comes with an HDMI cable.

I searched around, and honestly couldn't find a player that had more features I wanted even at higher prices. I know it isn't 3D or WiFi, but I don't care about 3D and have ethernet convenient at the install location... so this suits my needs quite nicely.

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post #11 of 111 Old 02-28-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, the USB socket indeed seems to be underpowered. I just bought a 1TB Buffalo Metro drive, it is an USB2 drive, so it should work on any USB2-compliant connection. It did not start on the S185, it was clicking, trying to spin, but could not start. A 500GB Buffalo Metro drive (same model lineup, only lower capacity) starts without problems. I suppose the particular 1TB drive needs more power. This sucks, Sony. This is not even a USB3 drive.
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post #12 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 12:13 AM
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This is a cheap player primarily meant for secondary/bedroom use. Really shouldn't expect much more from it beyond disc spinning.

Denon X4000: Yamaha AS500;TS500;CDS300: Pioneer BDP62FD;BDP23FD;DV58AV;DV610: Panasonic DMP-BDT500; Sony BDP-S790; Samsung PS60E6500
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post #13 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 01:06 AM
 
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Yes, it is inexpensive, but that doesn't mean it's low quality. BR's look great on this player--first rate PQ. It works very well as a streamer: 720p on netflix looks great. It includes what appears to be a near comprehensive list of internet streaming sites. It's also very quiet during playback, although it makes a lot of mechanical noise when it first spins up. The compact size is a big plus, IMO.

The main drawback, relatively speaking, is that it will take a while, much longer actually, to start compared to the panasonic DMP series, which earns praise and rightfully so, for starting playback quickly. Also, the UI is not very pretty; quite barebones, actually. It works perfectly, actually, but it's just not very pretty to look at.

If you can deal with the slower speed to start playback and don't want or need wi fi and 3d, this is a terrific value. I may pick one up just for sacd playback.
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post #14 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio/videoman View Post

Yes, it is inexpensive, but that doesn't mean it's low quality. BR's look great on this player--first rate PQ. It works very well as a streamer: 720p on netflix looks great. It includes what appears to be a near comprehensive list of internet streaming sites. It's also very quiet during playback, although it makes a lot of mechanical noise when it first spins up. The compact size is a big plus, IMO.

The main drawback, relatively speaking, is that it will take a while, much longer actually, to start compared to the panasonic DMP series, which earns praise and rightfully so, for starting playback quickly. Also, the UI is not very pretty; quite barebones, actually. It works perfectly, actually, but it's just not very pretty to look at.

If you can deal with the slower speed to start playback and don't want or need wi fi and 3d, this is a terrific value. I may pick one up just for sacd playback.

+1

Got one from the UK as a Region B player. Don't use it for anything else beyond playing discs and I'm perfectly satisfied.

Denon X4000: Yamaha AS500;TS500;CDS300: Pioneer BDP62FD;BDP23FD;DV58AV;DV610: Panasonic DMP-BDT500; Sony BDP-S790; Samsung PS60E6500
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post #15 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklion View Post

This is a cheap player primarily meant for secondary/bedroom use. Really shouldn't expect much more from it beyond disc spinning.

I highly disagree. This player does MUCH more than "disc spinning". Its a very solid streamer (from home network as well as VOD services) .... if you can get over the quirky Sony user interface, which some love ... and some hate.
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post #16 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I wonder why no one has started a thread dedicated to this player yet. It can be found for $80 at brick and mortar stores or even for less online. It plays BDs, DVDs with AVCHD content, plays 1080p60 from newer consumer camcorders, streams from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other services, plays MP3. Does nearly all of it for just one third of the PS3 price. It does not allow playing games though ;-)

See my evaluation video with detailed screen capture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbYfjiN6fqk

The S185 is a bit of a odd beast ..... it came late in 2011, and as far as I can tell, didn't offer anything above the S380 offered earlier in the year ? Both of which could be purchased very cheaply.

The S390 is around the corner, and we're about to see a improved Sony User interface for Apps ..... Doubtful if these older players will see the update ...
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post #17 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post

I highly disagree. This player does MUCH more than "disc spinning". Its a very solid streamer (from home network as well as VOD services) .... if you can get over the quirky Sony user interface, which some love ... and some hate.

For the price, anything beyond disc spinning is a bonus

Denon X4000: Yamaha AS500;TS500;CDS300: Pioneer BDP62FD;BDP23FD;DV58AV;DV610: Panasonic DMP-BDT500; Sony BDP-S790; Samsung PS60E6500
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post #18 of 111 Old 02-29-2012, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Well, the USB socket indeed seems to be underpowered. I just bought a 1TB Buffalo Metro drive, it is an USB2 drive, so it should work on any USB2-compliant connection. It did not start on the S185, it was clicking, trying to spin, but could not start. A 500GB Buffalo Metro drive (same model lineup, only lower capacity) starts without problems. I suppose the particular 1TB drive needs more power. This sucks, Sony. This is not even a USB3 drive.

Are you trying to power the external drive via USB or its own power supply? I wouldn't expect this player to power a 1TB drive... but I would expect it to operate one IF the external drive has its own power supply.

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post #19 of 111 Old 03-06-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

Are you trying to power the external drive via USB or its own power supply? I wouldn't expect this player to power a 1TB drive... but I would expect it to operate one IF the external drive has its own power supply.

I would expect to have enough power from a USB socket to power a USB2-compliant drive. This 1TB drive is a USB2 one. The player does power earlier 500GB drive from the same company, but it does not power a 500GB WD Passport drive. And it does not recognize an older 500GB drive having its own power.
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post #20 of 111 Old 03-06-2012, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I would expect to have enough power from a USB socket to power a USB2-compliant drive. This 1TB drive is a USB2 one. The player does power earlier 500GB drive from the same company, but it does not power a 500GB WD Passport drive. And it does not recognize an older 500GB drive having its own power.

There are some computers that do not power external drives... especially larger ones. I'm not saying they can't of course... just that often they don't. No idea why the self-powered one wouldn't have worked though.

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post #21 of 111 Old 03-18-2012, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

There are some computers that do not power external drives... especially larger ones. I'm not saying they can't of course... just that often they don't. No idea why the self-powered one wouldn't have worked though.

This is what I am saying. The S185 is not just low on power, it is quite picky about drives it wants to accept. Does not matter whether it is powered from an AC adapter of whether it is a low-power 4200 RPM drive.
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post #22 of 111 Old 03-27-2012, 07:11 PM
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My BDP-BX18 (same as BDP-S185) plus a HDMI cable is included) was working fine but I can no longer get it to stream Netflix. It connects and authenticates but then it just hangs waiting to see the content. Another Netflix player I have works, so the server is operating. Does anyone else see this?

Edit: It worked fine today. Go figure.

Bob
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post #23 of 111 Old 03-30-2012, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio/videoman View Post

I may pick one up just for sacd playback.

No SACD playback on this player. I just tried one of my single-layer SACDs and it says this disc format is not supported, or something to that effect. This doesn't matter to me as I have a couple of Pioneer Elite universal players for SACD/DVD-A.

I got mine on a whim. My girlfriend has an Amazon Prime account and this player streams HD just fine on my 10meg cable (although I really get 12+meg most of the time). All of my streaming devices are wired so I didn't feel the need to pay for wi-fi that I don't use anyway.
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post #24 of 111 Old 04-01-2012, 11:58 AM
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Is there a way to use the internet features on this without updating my firmware? Whenever I try to access something, I get prompted to update, and say no, and then it doesn't let me do whatever. I would prefer not updating, after reading about cinavia. Currently I'm on firmware 25 which as far as I understand does not have cinavia, but if I update I'll be stuck with it.

Thanks
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post #25 of 111 Old 04-01-2012, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sievers View Post

Is there a way to use the internet features on this without updating my firmware? Whenever I try to access something, I get prompted to update, and say no, and then it doesn't let me do whatever. I would prefer not updating, after reading about cinavia. Currently I'm on firmware 25 which as far as I understand does not have cinavia, but if I update I'll be stuck with it.

Thanks

Do you have firmware update notification turned on? If it's on, try again with it turned off.
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post #26 of 111 Old 04-01-2012, 12:58 PM
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It was off. Not sure what happened, maybe it was just the first time but now all the internet apps popped up. But now, when I try to use them, it's wants me to register the device with a code to use netflix, fine, go to the site and there's no where to enter my code, but it wants me to create an account... what the hell.
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post #27 of 111 Old 04-03-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sievers View Post

Is there a way to use the internet features on this without updating my firmware? Whenever I try to access something, I get prompted to update, and say no, and then it doesn't let me do whatever. I would prefer not updating, after reading about cinavia. Currently I'm on firmware 25 which as far as I understand does not have cinavia, but if I update I'll be stuck with it.

Thanks

I believe there is an auto update setting buried in the menu somewhere. I think if you switch that to manual, you shouldn't be prompted to update.
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post #28 of 111 Old 04-04-2012, 08:18 AM
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Just bought one of these last night as a secondary player for my bedroom (replacing a Sony BDP-S350). Got it mainly for Netflix and Amazon streaming. Impressed at what this little machine can do, for the price. Was also surprised with how quickly a BD loads and reaches the main menu. It was nearly as fast as my PS3 and night & day from the BDP-S350!
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post #29 of 111 Old 04-10-2012, 02:34 PM
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I don't have a BD calibration disc yet, and have not done any streaming, but these are my basic impressions of the BDP-S185 from playing Blu-rays, DVDs, and viewing stills. Many of the cons are sort of specific to my own tastes and video setup, with the possible exception of the lockups and green push.

PROS:

  • Small footprint.
  • Generally fast load times.
  • Good detail/resolution. Player passed both DVD and HD still resolution tests without issue.
  • No fan!

CONS:

  • Plastic case cover (I prefer all metal).
  • More frequent lockups than I'd like, esp. when scanning forward or backward on Blu-rays.
  • HDMI port is too close to the RCA stereo audio jacks. The 2012 models (S390/S590) are like this as well. Not a problem if you're only using HDMI for both video and audio, but my older TV only has DVI, which doesn't support audio, so I need to use both the HDMI (with a DVI adapter) and RCA audio outputs.
  • Remote is a bit sluggish.
  • "Green push" in the RGB HDMI mode (and possibly also the YCbCr mode*). IOW, the player is mapping the green output values more brightly than red and blue. Consequently grass and greenish colored imagery will appear somewhat over-saturated (which some may like, and some not). I was able to eliminate the green push using the color decoder controls in the service menu on my TV. But the decoder controls are "global" on my TV, so they influence color on all other inputs. Since I only use the TV for BD/DVD playback via DVI, this doesn't really present a problem in my case. It may not be a practical solution though on other TVs where multiple sources/inputs are in use, because it could potentially distort the accuracy of the color on the other sources.
  • Green values are also clipped above 92-93% stimulus in the RGB HDMI mode only. I've attached a test pattern that can be use to verify this. The clipping is evident both on DVDs and still picture files, so my guess is it applies to all media, including probably Blu-rays when using the RGB mode. Consequently, I recommend using one of the YCbCr modes instead. If you try the attached PNG pattern, don't leave it on screen too long, or it may cause burn-in on some displays (mainly plasma). Also do not convert the pattern to JPEG, because that may change some of the color values.
  • There also seems to be some funkiness in the shadow detail/black levels (in the RGB HDMI mode at least). This is probably related to the corrections I made on the TV to compensate for the player's green push.

 

It may be my imagination, but it seems like the player may have gotten a bit flakier and more prone to lockups after installing the most recent firmware, even though I don't use it for streaming/internet access.

My "solution" to lockups btw is to try the Return or Home buttons on the remote. If that doesn't work, then I hold down the power button on the player till it goes off. I don't know if those are the recommended procedures, but they usually seemed to work.

If you don't mind some green push  (in RGB mode) and can pick this unit up cheap (say, less than $50), it's probably not a bad deal. My two other Sony (DVD) players have worn like iron, in spite of being used about 12 hours a day on a regular basis. So this brand has a pretty good track record in my book.

All of the 2011 Sony BD players I tested (S185, S380 & S580) exhibited the same type of green push (in RGB mode) as this unit btw. The one possible exception was the S580. The fan on that player was a deal-breaker for me though.

The green push and green clipping also means that this player cannot be used as an accurate/reliable tool for displaying test patterns for general display calibration purposes (in RGB HDMI mode anyway).

 

*Edit: Please see subsequent note about green push here in Post #34.

 

LL


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post #30 of 111 Old 04-10-2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADU View Post

CONS:
  • More frequent lockups than I'd like, esp. when scanning forward or backward on Blu-rays.

I can't recall having any lockups with mine. I wonder if you got a glitchy OR if I've just been lucky?



Quote:
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  • Remote is a bit sluggish.

The funny part, for me, is that I find the remote to be more responsive than my Samsung remote had been... so it might be sluggish but it actually has been a welcome improvement from what I had been using so I don't notice.

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