TODO alt text

Sony BDV-E870 review

We audition Sony's do-it-all home theatre system

Our Verdict

For

  • Good interface
  • Online media options
  • Solid pictures
  • Decent audio

Against

  • Mid-range not very clear
  • Budget build quality
  • No HDMI input

For those looking for a one-stop home cinema solution, affordable all-in-one systems such as the Sony BDV-E870 will always appeal.

And the new breed do much more than just squirt out Blu-ray pictures (including 3D) and 5.1 sound – this black plastic ensemble will stream your music, video and pictures from a networked PC, suck tunes from your iPod, and give you access to catch up TV content and movies-on-demand.

Unfortunately for Sony, so will many rival products, which is maybe why this system will also play Super Audio CDs...

The BDV-E870 uses Sony's XrossMediaBar interface, which should make navigating its extensive features a stress-free affair for most.

Buyers get all the benefits of Bravia Internet Video (including BBC iPlayer and LOVEFiLM) without splashing out on a Bravia TV. BD and DVD images are solid, and the 5.1 sound is far superior to anything you'll get from a flatscreen TV or low-end soundbar.

The speaker array struggles to deliver any real midrange. There's a gap between the deep-sounding and room-filling sub and the trebly-sounding surrounds. At least the diddly centre channel still manages to convey clean and clear dialogue.

It also suffers from decidedly 'budget' build quality. I found the tower speakers were prone to wobbling and the central control unit emitted an irritating hum.

While having colour-coded speaker cabling makes installation a breeze, the lack of HDMI inputs precludes hooking up additional components.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeHome Theater System
Player/Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Speaker Configuration5.1
HDMIYes
RMS Output Power1000 W
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Optical Inputs2
Sound SystemDolby Digital, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS-ES Discrete, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS Neo:6
Brand NameSony
FeaturesScreen Saver, Bonus View, BD Live
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Video FormatsBD Video, DivX, DVD Video
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Frequency BandFM
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-RW
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
ColourBlack
Video SystemNTSC, PAL
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsSACD
Product ModelBDV-E870
Product NameBDV-E870 Home Theater System
Manufacturer Part NumberBDVE870.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Enjoy more content online
Immerse yourself in the ultimate High Definition experience with Blu-ray Disc. Built-in BD-Live (Profile 2.0) gives you access to movie-specific online content including trailers, interviews and other extras to enjoy through your Blu-ray Disc Player, in sparkling digital multi-channel sound.

Enjoy your dvd collection in enhanced quality
Watch your entire collection of standard-def DVDs in enhanced HD quality. The Home Cinema system upscales DVDs all the way up to 1080p resolution - so all those movies you haven't watched in years are given a new lease of life.

Number of Channels20
Package Contents
  • BDV-E870 Home Theater System
  • AA Battery
  • Warranty Card
  • Manual
  • AV Cable
  • Remote Control
Remote ControlYes