OK... I think I've narrowed it down to the Sony BDP-S3700 or S6700 or a refurb PS3 slim.
- Our BD player and streamer is a Gen 1, "Fat" PS3. We are not huge gamers. That may change as our youngest approaches her teens, but we’ll cross that bridge.
- We currently need only 1080p, at most. For more on this, you can read my argument against 4K for our living room after my question to you here, if you're interested.
- We also have no interest in 3D at this time. Therefore we have no concerns that the PS3 can't do 3D and advanced audio codecs simultaneously.
- We do a fair amount of wi-fi streaming and the signal to the entertainment center is plenty strong enough for the PS3. The router is about 25’ away and just around a corner. Virtually never have issues. Only brief moments of picture degradation while buffering on rare occasion.
- I don’t ever want to hear the player’s fan running during a movie. For this, I would gladly take a lesser UI and responsiveness. This may sew it up against game consoles right here.
From what I gather, it sounds as though we may be somewhat spoiled by the UI, responsiveness, place saving features, etc... and sheer reliability of our PS3. But, even after taking mitigating steps to correct it... and despite some degree of success... daddy can no longer take the fan noise... and I don't feel like spending money on a 19 blade fan for a 9 year old machine and my time is too valuable to spend the time on the install... especially with no full assurance that the results will be satisfactory enough for me.
1. $75 Option - I already bought a 3700 locally, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm sure it will be acceptable for BD A/V. Will it likely be responsive enough for BD and smooth enough for streaming?
2. $118 Option - With the dual core processor, will the 6700 be noticeably better at streaming and noticeably more responsive over the 3700?
3. $150 Option - Despite my preference for new products… since the Slim PS3s were known to be much less noisy, do I need to buy a refurb PS3 slim and get the $20 2-year warranty… because we are so spoiled?
4. $250 - $275 Option - PS4 and X-BOX ONE S are not out of the question, but not really on the radar either. At least the ONE S can do 4K for when we ARE ready to make that move. I can't stinkin' believe Sony dropped the ball on this one.
Argument against 4K for our living room anytime soon:
I don't envision us going 4K anytime soon, so I would hate to buy a nice 4K player... only to have it die of old age by the time we upgrade to a 4K screen. Our old, 50", 720p plasma is still kicking strong and... despite imperfect contrast... it really does have a nice picture .And even if we bought a 4K display fairly soon, a hundred bucks or so spent today wouldn't be a total loss for a 1080p player that we could relocate in another room.
See... our living room has a substantial, built-in entertainment center that dictates only 1 place for a TV of a size no more than 50". Daddy's (my) chair allows for a viewing distance of about 12', while the nearest possible seating location (cheap far right seat) is about 9'.
According to the good ol', trusty, 20/20 vision chart below, 720p is adequate for anyone but the occasional kid who sits on the floor up front. AND... the WAF generally calls for a broken item before a new one can be purchased... and it's tough to make a reasonable argument against that which would hold up in court.