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.
- Small footprint.
- Generally fast load times.
- Good detail/resolution. Player passed both DVD and HD still resolution tests without issue.
- No fan!
- 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.
Edited by ADU - 7/20/12 at 9:52pm