So the Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray standalone player was finally released. But how does it perform? Well, if all you care about is image quality, then it's pretty great. HDGuru says:
All images appeared razor sharp and artifact free. Particularly appreciated was the absence of edge enhancement within Enemy Of The State disc. It has been seen on some earlier BD disc releases, and appears as a faint white outline around people and objects. Colors were completely free of noise and fine detail was superb.
So what's the downside?
Although the BDP-S1 can play just about all Blu-ray discs, regular DVDs and DVD-RW/Rs, anything other than that meets with a mechanical grunt as it spits out your disc at you.
What the player will not accept are "all types of CDs (CD-ROMSs/CD-R/CD-RW, or the CD layer of hybrid discs etc.; VCDs/Super VCDs; DVD audio discs; Super Audio CDs; DVD-RAMs; HD DVDs" (duh!) "BDs with cartridge; BD-REs/BD-Rs" (rats); "DVD-RWs/DVD-Rs; and DVD-Rs of VR mode" It goes on "Some DVD-RWs/DVD-Rs cannot be played on this player due to the recording quality or physical condition of the disc, or the characteristics of the recording device and authoring software"
You can't exactly get rid of your old players just yet. Also, pressing the remote took the player 2-3 seconds to respond. That's pretty ridiculous. All in all, a decent player in terms of image quality that may be upstaged by the PlayStation 3's Blu-ray abilities and cheaper price.
The funny part? The BDP-S1 doesn't come with an HDMI cable either.