Pros: Strong, reliable wireless connection, good quality upconversion of DVDs
Cons: limited streaming selection, Netflix bugs, average User interface
First of all, how does this player do with playing physical disks? Overall, I'm very happy with the BD570's performance and image quality. When I first bought it, my wife and housemates questioned whether there would really be a significant difference between DVDs and Blu-rays, but the difference was obvious from the very first tests we ran. We compared "Inception" on DVD and Blu-ray, playing through an Epson Powerlight 8350 projector. The BD570 upscaled the DVD such that the movie looked good to us, but once we put in the Blu-ray for comparison, the differences were obvious: the colors seemed much more vivid, and the motion felt smoother on the blu-ray (both were running 24fps). As a result, most of my new movie purchases have obviously been blu-ray. That being said, I'm still quite happy with the BD570's performance at upscaling DVDs. For the most part, the upconversion looks good, and I rarely notice visible artifacts in the picture. I know which I'm watching, but with only a few exceptions, I've not felt compelled to replace my DVD collection; rather the BD570 has given them a new lease on life.
My initial setup used an HDMI connecton to my projector, and analog RCA connection to my stereo receiver. The player defaulted to sending audio via the HDMI cable, so I had to go into the setup menu to change the output to analog out. This process took a bit of trial-and-error, as I don't think the setup options are very well described or documented.
I connected the player to my wireless network. It only uses the 2.4GHz band, rather than the 5GHz band, as it only support up to 802.11g. Setup was quite easy--the most tedious part was entering my wireless key, only because I have a long, complicated password that had to be typed in using the on-screen keyboard. Once configured, I rarely (if ever) had problems connecting to the network or maintaining a connection while streaming movies. My current setup uses a direct ethernet connection to my router, but I've seen little real-world performance difference between the wired and wireless setup.
After I upgraded my HT A/V Receiver, I changed the setup to simply connect a single HDMI cable from the BD570 to my Onkyo TX-NR809. Again, I had to change the audio selection to send via the HDMI cable. I had to do quite a bit of research to decide how best to send the audio, and whether to decode at the player or the receiver. Ultimately, I decided to decode at the player and send the multi-channel PCM to the receiver, which I set to "direct" mode. I wish the user's manual had given better information about the choices available and subtleties between them, but I'm thankful to the AVS forum for the information provided.
The BD 570 offers integrated streaming functionality for several major services. The main ones I've used are Netflix and Youtube, though I've also spent some time with Pandora and AccuWeather.com. It also has Vudu, MLB.com, and a few others. Notably absent are Hulu and Amazon Prime streaming. At the time I purchased it, I was hopeful that a firmware upgrade might add Hulu, but 2+ years later, it's clear that it's not going to happen.
Netflix functionality is straightforward. Activating the unit and linking it to my Netflix account was extremely easy, and my instant Queue immediately appeared on the main screen. It is possible to browse other categories and search for movies, but the interface is not particularly speedy or easy. It's usually most convenient to use my laptop to browse for movies, add them to my Instant Queue, then select them from the Queue on the player when i want to watch something new. Moving between TV shows is no problem, though, and marathon binges of TV series are quite easy.
I've observed a lip synch problem with certain Netflix shows. The audio and video can in some cases be up to a quarter second out of sync, though some shows seem much worse than others. I found a reliable workaround, though: Starting the show, immediately stopping it, then starting it again seems to fix it. It means you have to wait an extra 30-60 sec to watch each show, since the stream has to reload and buffer, but at least the lip synch won't distract you (and it *is* distracting). Some firmware updates have eliminated the issue, but the current one has it again.
The Youtube interface is so-so. If you log into your account, you can watch videos that you've saved. Audio and video quality are decent, and it often beats crowding people around a small laptop screen if you want to show people something, as long as you don't have to search too long for it. Searching for videos can be hit-and-miss. The remote allows you to use they numeric keypad to enter letters like texting on a phone number pad. Unfortunately, there's no predictive typing, and mistakes are still slow to correct.
The remote control is very well designed and easy to use. The Play button is large and easy to find in the dark, as it should be. I wish pause was a little easier to identify in the dark, but the rest of the controls, including the direction pad, are easy to navigate. The on-screen menu is similarly easy to navigate. I wish there was a faster way to go directly to Netflix rather than selecting the "streaming" menu, then choosing Netflix, but that's a minor quibble: it only adds 5-7 sec and 3 button presses to the process. As I mentioned before, I don't like the Netflix search and browse interface that much, but selecting movies already on your queue is easy, and that's all I do 90% of the time.
I don't have any other players to compare to at this point, but in my experience, the BD570 is reasonably quick and responsive. Boot-up takes only a few seconds, maybe about 5-7 sec from power-on to the home menu. loading disks can be kind of slow: DVDs are no problem, but it can take over a minute for a Blu-ray to begin playing.
All things considered, I'm still pretty satisfied with the BD570. I can see from my research that it's getting a bit long in the tooth, and I can see it's shortcomings, but at the time I bought it it was well-regarded, and it has performed well for me, aside from the bugs I've noted. If you're buying a new player, there are probably some other options with more features at this point, but if you find a deal on it used, I think it's very worth picking up. I personally expect to get a couple more years of service out of this unit, and I feel no compulsion to change it out for a newer model.