Sony BDP-SX1 portable Blu-ray player
Take your discs out for a spin
Review Just as DVD players inevitably shrank to become portable, so have the Blu-ray successors. Whether this actually makes difference to you depends on how many Blu-ray discs you have and how much you might want to watch them away from home.
Worth the disc? Sony's BDP-SX1
The BDP-SX1 is not the first portable Blu-ray player but it is the first by Sony. It looks like a bloated netbook in that it’s not very wide but fairly chunky. The feel is much sturdier than the often cheap and flimsy DVD portables, though with that comes a hefty weight – more than 1.5kg.
Its 10.1in LCD screen has a 180 degree swivel and hinge movement, turning it into a rather fat tablet if you want to use it that way. At 1024 x 600 pixels, the display is less than basic HD resolution, not that you’d really notice much difference at this scale.
Arguably, the benefit of Blu-ray support comes from the HDMI output for full 1080p HD so you can use it as a living room player, or attach it easily to a TV at a friend’s house or a hotel. The downsides are that when spinning discs it’s quite noisy and it won’t play 3D Blu-ray films, if you were hoping to view them on any compatible TVs.
A pretty much full-sized remote control for living room use
Like any BD player it also handles DVDs (with upscaling) and CDs. There’s a USB port for flash memory and portable hard disks; it handles most of the usual digital audio and video formats very effectively, as well as JPEG images.
Next page: Making connections
Dead before birth
Who the hell cares about portable disc players?
Blu-ray uptake is pretty appalling really - partly due to content saturation (have a DVD, why buy the same content again?), the greed when it comes to pricing but also the supposed "benefits"... an extra hour or two of extras that (almost) nobody watches and improved quality that while distinctly better than DVD, the majority of jo-public don't care to even notice. Hell, half of the Blu-Ray players I've seen are connected to the TV using Scart cables or worse.
And this is before you take into account Internet downloads...
Not that you need Peppa Pig on BD, hence why I have a vanilla DVD version from Sony but sure does give you that 15/20 mins of concentration time when doing something urgently with the child in tow.
Pimp my pushchair I've dubbed it, fits in the car too & worked a treat on a recent flight in all.
There is a market for these things, despite being able to replicate its functionality on a laptop / pokeslab.
Makes sense from Sony's standpoint
After all this device allows you to use Blu-ray disks without breaking the DRM. And from the standpoint of Sony everybody likes DRM. That's why people buy Sony. (oh wait, how did the market share go after the switch to DVD?)
So you buy a movie, and obviously it's in Blu-ray because of it's much better (=stricter) DRM. An added bonus is the better quality in your living room.
Obviously any sane person will just rip a Blu-ray the moment it comes in the mail. After all nobody knows if you will still be able to play those disks in a few years. 30 gigs isn't a lot of space these days anyhow.
"yes there is life beyond apple when i said memory sticks"
Surely you're not advocating people use the defunct Sony format?
Joking aside, I think ripping a disk (especially a Blu-Ray, it being so much larger than a DVD) is a bit of a pain (encoding time and storage costs) and a lot of people can't be bothered with it, even if they are people that "understand technology". A little gadget to do this would be useful though - the transcoding could be done in hardware and hopefully be faster and more idiot-proof than it is on a PC.
That said there's a difference between the law turning a blind eye to you ripping disks for personal use and the law turning a blind eye to a company making a gadget to allow you to do so en-masse. I suspect the law is somewhat less forgiving in the latter case.