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Sony BDP-S480 review

The BDP-S480 offers so much on-tap entertainment, you may never spin a disc

Our Verdict

For

  • Rich, detailed picture quality
  • SACD compatibility

Against

  • Slower disc loading
  • No downloadable apps

Sony's BDP-S570 player was a runaway hit during 2010, hoovering up more awards than the clean-up crew at the BAFTAs – so the closely related BDP-S480 follow-up has a lot to live up to.

Cosmetically, it's only marginally different from its forebear. The player is extremely thin with a cute curvy front fascia and a stumpy little remote. The latter doesn't look particularly natty, but it feels fine in the hand. Don't lose it – the buttons on the BDP-S480's front panel are so small you may never find them.

Speed demon

Last year's Sony players offered the fastest disc-loading times in their class. This year's models are bit more ponderous, although our Tech Labs recorded a boot-up time of only two seconds.

The player also speeds ahead with its online connectivity. The familiar Sony XrossMediaBar seamlessly integrates with the brand's Bravia Internet Video portal, offering up a long list of Video on Demand TV services.

Unlike many of its rivals, Sony hasn't really embraced the concept of downloadable apps. Instead its virtual shelves are stocked with copious amounts of IPTV content – and for telly addicts and AVholics this is really good news.

Once connected to the 'net, there's a massive choice of stuff to peruse. BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 provide catch-up TV, there's news bites from Sky News and Eurosport, while general entertainment comes via LOVEFiLM, YouTube, Daily Motion, and Sony Entertainment Television. That's a whole night's viewing entertainment before you've even loaded a disc.

And, amazingly, it doesn't end there. You can also stream movies in either SD or HD from Sony's Qriocity Video on Demand service, or listen to music if you subscribe to a Qriocity Music Unlimited package (good luck with those credit card details!).

For extra net functions there's a web browser on board. While this lacks Flash support, it's nice to have to option for a quick Google.

Unlike the Samsung BD-D7500 and Philips BDP-7600 decks, Wi-Fi isn't integrated. For that you'll need to step up to Sony's BDP-S580 model. However, the brand will happily sell you a dongle. For £70. Or you could just use the Ethernet port.

One area where the BDP-S480 shines over last year's Sony BD players is file support. Media streaming has been given a big boost with the ability to play MKVs from a networked NAS, as well as AVCHD and AVIs.

Audio file compatibility covers MP3, AAC, WAV and WMA. Media support via USB is much the same, although you do get access to SRT subtitles. The deck failed to pull album art from our music server. However, if you spin a CD, it will go online and retrieve the sleeve from the Gracenote database, which is kind of smart.

Tech Labs

Tech labs

Power consumption: Watts
Idle: 6 Watts
Playing: 7 Watts

The low idle figure means your bills won't soar if you leave it on. Nor does power use rocket when the S480 is in full flight.

Audio jitter: ps
Analogue: 167

167ps is a good analogue jitter measurement, but we also recorded a below-par video jitter figure of 80ns.

Loading: Boot/Java
Boot speed and tray eject: 2 seconds
Tray in to main BD menu: 43 seconds

The quickest booting deck we've tested.

Super sonic

Picture quality from the BDP-S480 is predictably terrific. Blu-rays drip with fine detail and colour fidelity is gorgeous.

The player is also a great choice for music fans, being the only model here able to play hi-res Super Audio CDs. This multichannel music playback is stunning, easily giving this player an audible edge over others.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Scan Format1080p
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, WEEE
EthernetYes
USBYes
HDMIYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-RW
Digital Audio Optical OutYes
Sound SystemDolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, DTS
Number of Discs1
Brand NameSony
Audio FormatsCD-DA, MP3, WMA, SACD, AAC, M4A, WAV
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, AVCHD, MPEG-4, DivX HD, WMV, MPEG, TS, MPEG-4 AVC, MKV, MPEG-1, M4V, ASF, MPEG-2, AVI, MTS, M2TS
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Green CompliantYes
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Operating Power Consumption20 W
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Digital to Analog Video Converter12-bit - 148.50 MHz
Digital Audio Coaxial OutYes
Height36 mm
Width430 mm
Depth199 mm
ColourBlack
Picture ControlZoom, Brightness
Image FormatsJPEG, GIF, PNG
Features1080p Upscaling, BD Live, Bonus View, Screen Saver
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelBDP-S480
Product NameBDP-S480 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Aspect Ratio16:9
Input Voltage220 V AC
Manufacturer Part NumberBDPS480B.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Watch Full HD 1080p Blu-ray Disc movies even in 3D. Connect to your home network and instantly stream movies, TV shows, videos and music from Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus and many more. You can also download the free Media Remote app and turn your iPhone, iPad or compatible Android phone into a versatile remote control. This free app lets you search for additional information about the movie you're watching you're watching on YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter and many BRAVIA Internet Video services. Add compatible HomeShare network speakers and instantly enjoy multi-room wireless audio streaming throughout your home.

Package Contents
  • BDP-S480 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
  • 1 x Remote Control
  • 2 x R6 (AA) Batteries
Remote ControlYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)1.70 kg