It has been a while since I have done a review so it is good to get back on the saddle again and add some products to our Super-Dad Utility Belt.
This is going to be part 1 of a 4 part series. We noticed that our kids remember the activities, adventures, and the things we do more then the things we buy for them. So we figured we would start trying to do things more for special occasions instead of buying them more stuff that will soon be forgotten. Since the boys birthdays are 14 days apart and we celebrate their birthdays together (for now), we thought what can we do to make it memorable. We decided that since our family loves movies so much but hates going to the theatre because it costs a fortune and our kids cannot sit through a movie to save their lives we would create our own drive in theatre in our backyard. This review is going to be about the first part of the setup, The Blu-ray player. Part 2 will be about the sound, Part 3 will focus on the projector and Part 4 will be all about the most important part, the screen. So without further ado, on with the show.
Sony – Smart 3D Wi-Fi Built-In Blu-ray Player
I really like our first Sony Blu-ray player so I decided to upgrade for our new one and get the 3D version with built-in Wi-Fi. Now, we don’t own any 3D movies or glasses yet, but I thought that I would go the 3D route incase we did want some.
Now if you have used Sony products before, not much has changed as the set up and information screens are very similar to what we have on our Blu-ray player which is about 6 years old, so using it, and the remote was simple. Set-up is a snap and the only issue I had was getting it to connect to the Wi-Fi. It works almost perfectly now. Although, it does freeze up on occasion and I have to unplug it from the power strip and plug it back in to get it to respond. This is something our older Sony Blu-ray player has never done.
As for the Smart aspect, it does have all the normally players. Netflix, Hulu+, Pandora, YouTube among numerous others are included. Since we do not have cable (post coming up on cord-cutting in the future) having all of these services is important to us.
It also has 3D playback if you have a compatible television or projector. It is a good feature to have as price isn’t too much more then blu-ray players without it. It also has 3D conversion which means you can watch 2D disks in 3D if you want. Pretty cool feature although I have yet to test it out.
It does have an Ethernet port so you can use this to stream your content instead of using the Wi-Fi if you need to, which we had to do for a while when the Wi-Fi wasn’t working properly.
A couple of cool features that my older model doesn’t have is Miracast which is a fancy way of saying that you can mirror the content you have on your smartphone onto your big screen. Good for sharing the funny videos you found online so everyone doesn’t have to crowd around your 4 inch screen. Sorry Apple fanboys, it only works with Android operating systems. The other cool feature is the TV Sideview app which you can download onto your android device and control the blu-ray player with your smartphone. I have done that before when I couldn’t find the remote after moving the blu-ray player from outside to inside the house. It also has voice recognition so you can easily search for content along with a viewing guide so you can see what shows are on now in your area. I don’t use that, because we don’t have any regular television.
+ Easy set-up
+ Similar remote and configuration of other Sony products
+ Good price for a 3D blu-ray player
– Freezes occasionally and cannot do anything to fix, something my older model has never done in 6+ years.
-Wi-Fi does not have great range and could not get it to connect at first.
A definite add to your utility belt. It starts up quick, easy to use, great content through multiple apps, and good price for a 3D blu-ray player. Even if you don’t know if you are going to use it for 3D movies or not, I suggest this one over the model without because it isn’t a huge price increase and prices for the glasses keep dropping as well.