Sony BDP-S7200 Blu-Ray Player Review
The flagship Sony BDP-S7200 Blu-ray player has taken all the good qualities of its predecessors, improved upon them and introduced new features. The device has a robust albeit plastic appearance that may put off some but overall is a great product and worth every dollar.
Distinctive features of the device include:
- Full HD 2D & 3D, Triluminos Colour, built-in Wi-Fi, online streaming, USB playback, TV Side View
- See the latest 3D movies in Full HD 3D
- Stream on-demand movies, music and games
- Watch crystal-clear Full HD images with pure colors.
- I/O : HDMI output (one back), coaxial audio output (1 rear), Ethernet (1 back), USB (1 front, 1 back)
From the moment you connect you average 4K TV to the Sony BDP-S7200 Blur-ray Player, you will be immediately introduced to a whole new world in picture quality. The sharp focus is almost difficult to describe-insanely detailed and incredibly realistic.
The Sony BDP-S7200 4K up-scaling is much better than that of most TVs and there are no artefacts which are visible. Such image quality is to be expected only from genuine native 4K devices.
The player also reads data very quickly. Unlike many devices, the Sony BDP-S7200 Blu-ray player has an almost inaudible drive. The housing has a quality look and feel to it with the quartz design that has now become common with Sony Blu-ray players.
However, the disc tray of the player looks cheap and I would have expected a better design given the overall quality of the device. Apps like Amazon Instant Video run smoothly with the device though the image quality of the SD material is no longer acceptable for me.
I am now addicted to the crystal clear Blu-ray images but was surprised by the DVD quality at 4K. I had expected not to be able to enjoy DVD but the opposite is the case. The pictures are very good even when extrapolated at medium quality.
HD sound quality from a 7.1 system is very dynamic and detailed. Unlike in the past when high-end players were quite expensive, nowadays you can get a high-flyer like the Sony for a decent price.
The menu navigation on the screen is just like the PS4 and if you own one there is very little learning needed to use the Sony BDP-S7200.
There are a few things you will need to note about the BDP-S7200:
- The unit has no TOS-Link audio output. I cannot believe that this has been omitted in such an expensive device.
- Adult movies from internet streaming services such as Max Cathedral cannot be played on this device. Whether this also applies to thriller, horror or similar movies from Max-Cathedral or Amazon is yet to be seen.
It appears Sony does not want any adult content reproduction on their hardware. I mention this because I think it is very surprising how Sony is limiting the rights of the purchaser to play content of their choice. It is also surprising that there is no evidence of this as an official Sony policy.
This is the quietest Blu-ray player I have ever used. It beats other players in terms of speed, image quality and the number of formats (MKV, MOV, MPG, FLC, FLV, AVI, TS, MPEGS and even Full HD). The Sony BDP-S7200 Blu-ray player is a very well-built and stable universal player.
My main criticism is the forced conversion to 1080/60 of all content that does not come in DVD or Blu-ray. It is disappointing because streaming such content as Amazon Prime Video or Sony’s own Entertainment Network has now attained very good quality. But streamed movies at 24 frames per second or series titles at 25 fps are generally converted to 60Hz with the corresponding jerky movement of the camera and moving objects.
Sony does not offer any solution to get around this and apparently the frame rate of the source material is simply ignored. But from what I gather from other reviews is that this is a well-known problem which Sony has not adequately responded to.
The built-in Wi-Fi is unfortunately not the very latest standard compared to the LAN connection via WLAN. However, this is sufficient for playing the content if the wireless connection is good.
I like the fact that even discs with scratches or fingerprints still play properly with the device.
The device also consumes less power than other devices at 16 Watts, which is pretty low.
This device meets my expectations of a Blu-ray player and is a good upgrade to my Panasonic which was beginning to lag behind in terms of capabilities. You will be able to take full advantage a wide range of apps that Sony has been well-known as well as apps from other companies such as Samsung.
Like other reviewers, I did find the remote to be a little inconsistent with the overall high quality of the device. However, it is something that one can live with as there is really not much disadvantage in terms of functionality.
It is a shame that the SACD format has never really been fully implemented because when tested it was awesome to say the least. It is a shame that the audio player cannot be used without a remote- Sony should have put buttons for play, pause, stop and skip to enable this.
Again, the quite drive is one of the most obvious improvements in this iteration of Sony Blu-ray players. Many of the reviews I have read have noted this fact and it appears that removal of the fan appears to have been the trick in this improvement.
Also, the quality of the picture and sound is beyond any doubt the best so far. A minor drawback is when downloading material from the internet, there appears to be unnecessary delay and it can take a good 1-2 minutes to complete.
Many people have bought the device in order to use it with Amazon Prime. If that is your intention for purchasing it, you would rather go for Fire Tv whose download speeds are a zillion times faster than that of the Sony BDP-S7200.
Quality-wise, both devices are very good in terms of image, audio and general appearance. But the Fire wins when it comes to overall performance. In the front area there is a hidden USB for external media.
When it comes to network operation, the Sony BDP-S7200 also displays media via DLNA and works well with Miracast for content from a tablet or smartphone. This works great- I tested it using a HTC One without any problems at all.
Intensive games can be played using the Blu-ray player and streamed to the big screen. Sony has finally brought a lot of the functionality of its players to speed with current developments in the gaming sector.