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Sony BDP-S550

Blu-ray Disc™ high-definition player

42 Reviews

Item # 158BDPS550

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Overview

Our take on the Sony BDP-S550

Sony continues to drive Blu-ray technology forward with the BDP-S550. This powerful player is one of the first to support BD-Live, which lets you enjoy a variety of interactive features with compatible discs. While these features vary from disc to disc, they typically range from behind-the-scenes videos to additional bonus content and online games you can download via your broadband Internet connection. And you can save downloaded content to the 'S550's memory, so you can access it whenever you want.

Sony continues to drive Blu-ray technology forward with the BDP-S550. This powerful player is one of the first to support BD-Live, which lets you enjoy a variety of interactive features with compatible discs. While these features vary from disc to disc, they typically range from behind-the-scenes videos to additional bonus content and online games you can download via your broadband Internet connection. And you can save downloaded content to the 'S550's memory, so you can access it whenever you want.

The 'S550 can play Blu-ray Discs in 1080p, the highest HD resolution available. Just hook this player up to your TV's HDMI input to enjoy exceptional high-res detail. The 'S550 can also output Blu-ray video at a film-faithful rate of 24 frames per second, for ultra-smooth, cinematic images with compatible HDTVs. You'll get top-notch audio, too, thanks to built-in decoding for all of the newest surround sound formats. This includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio — two formats that accurately reproduce the movie studio's original master.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at the Crutchfield Learning Center.
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I bought this player cheaper from the "scratched & dented" expecting nothing less than perfection from both Sony and Crutchfield and that's exactly what I got.

Daniel, Corona, NY

What's in the Box:

  • Single-disc Blu-ray disc player
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • RMT-B103A wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 1GB MicroVault Tiny Flash Drive
  • 4' Audio/Video cable with a composite video and stereo RCA connections on each end
  • Operating Instructions
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited Warranty
  • Online Product Registration

Product Highlights:

  • plays Blu-ray high-definition discs (selectable output resolution: 1080p signals available through HDMI output only; 720p/1080i signals available through HDMI or component video)
  • plays BD-ROM, and BD-R & BD-RE
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R & DVD-RW, and DVD+R & DVD+RW
  • plays high-def AVCHD files on home-burned DVDs
  • plays audio CD, and CD-R & CD-RW
  • selectable 720p/1080i/1080p video upconversion for DVD
    (upconverted video available through HDMI output only)
  • built-in audio decoding for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • multichannnel PCM output via HDMI
  • bitstream audio output for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • BD-Java interactive capability
  • BD-Live (BD Profile 2.0) with 1GB local storage
  • HDMI digital output (combines video and multichannel audio with HDCP copy protection)
  • BRAVIA Sync™ for control of compatible Sony TVs and components via HDMI
  • x.v.Color™ support
  • 1 set of A/V outputs (composite video, S-video, component video, and HDMI)
  • stereo and 7.1-channel audio outputs
  • coaxial and optical digital audio outputs
  • Ethernet port for possible future upgrades
  • remote control
  • 16-15/16"W x 2-3/4"H x 10-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • viewing high-definition Blu-ray content requires an HDTV or HD-ready TV
  • plays "Region 1" DVDs and "Region A" Blu-ray Discs only
Reviews

Sony BDP-S550 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(42 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Surround Sound Decoding Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby TrueHD
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio
4K Ultra HD
3D Capable
Internet Movie Streaming ---
Built-in Wi-Fi N/A
DLNA Certified ---
Smartphone App Control No
DVD Video Upconversion 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Multibrand Remote Yes
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Compatibility
CD-R Capable Yes
CD-R/W Capable Yes
SACD Playback No
DVD-Audio Playback No
Outputs
Digital Optical Output 1
Digital Coaxial Output 1
HDMI Outputs 1
HDMI Version 1.3
Ethernet Ports Yes
Analog Audio Outputs Stereo + 7.1 ch
1080p Video Output Yes
Component Video Outputs 1
RS-232C Port None

Product Research

Features
Remote Control
Input and Output Notes

Features

Blu-ray Disc Overview: Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a new high-definition disc format designed to take advantage of today's high quality HDTVs. The resolution is up to 1920 x 1080 (1080p) and the data transfer rate is up to 54 mbps. Blu-ray Disc discs and players offer several advantages over the standard DVD format:

  • Better picture quality: Blu-ray Disc is a true high-definition format offering video at 720p, 1080i, or 1080p resolution. While standard DVDs look very good on an HDTV, they don't provide a high-definition signal (not even when you use an up-converting DVD player). Blu-ray Disc delivers an extraordinarily sharp, clean, detailed picture, with deeper, richer colors.
  • Better sound quality: In addition to the same multi-channel sound formats you're accustomed to with DVD (Dolby Digital and DTS), Blu-ray Disc offers Dolby Digital Plus and uncompressed 7.1 channel PCM.
  • Much greater storage capacity: What makes Blu-ray Disc's superior picture and sound possible is the much higher storage capacity of Blu-ray Disc discs. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25 gigabytes of data, over five times the amount a standard DVD can hold. Dual-layer Blu-ray Discs hold 50 gigabytes, which equates to nine hours of High Definition or 23 hours of Standard Definition video, plus high-resolution multi-channel audio and the added features and material that require multiple discs with standard DVD.
  • Compatibility with your current disc collections: To ensure backward-compatibility with your existing library of discs, Blu-ray Disc players use a dual-laser mechanism: a blue laser for playing high-definition Blu-ray Discs, and a conventional red laser for playing DVDs and audio CDs.

Surround Sound Decoders: The BDP-S550 has built-in Dolby Digital and DTS surround processors. Multi-channel PCM Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD are output through the HDMI jack (when encoded on the Blu-ray Disc).

  • Dolby Digital Plus: Dolby Digital Plus was developed as an extension to Dolby Digital. The audio coding technology supports 7.1 channel surround sound. Dolby Digital Plus also includes the standard Dolby Digital bit stream and is compatible with all current Dolby Digital processors using the optical or coaxial digital output.
  • Dolby TrueHD: Dolby TrueHD is a lossless coding technology that supports up to 8 channels of multi-channel surround sound for the next generation optical discs. The reproduced sound is true to the original source bit-for-bit.
  • DTS-HD High Resolution Audio: DTS-HD High Resolution Audio supports a maximum sampling frequency of 96 kHz, and 7.1 multi-channel surround. DTS-HD High Resolution Audio has a maximum transmission rate of 6 Mbps, with a lossy compression.
  • DTS-HD Master Audio: DTS-HD Mater Audio has a maximum transmission rate of 24.5 Mbps and used lossless compression (Lossless), and DTS-HD Mater Audio corresponds to a maximum sampling frequency of 192 kHz, and maximum of 7.1ch.

Audio Output: The audio output differs as follows, depending on the source, output jack and the selected settings.

Disc/Source + Jacks/Settings Digital Analog
HDMI Out Jack Digital Out (Optical/Coaxial) Jacks Multi-Channel Output Jacks Stereo Output Jacks
Auto 2ch PCM Bitstream PCM
BD LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 2ch 2ch
LPCM 5.1ch LPCM 5.1ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch
LPCM 7.1ch LPCM 7.1ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 7.1ch 2ch
Dolby Digital Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch
Dolby Digital Plus Dolby Digital Plus LPCM 2ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch 7.1ch 2ch
Dolby TrueHD Dolby TrueHD LPCM 2ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch 7.1ch 2ch
DTS DTS LPCM 2ch DTS LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio DTS-HD High Resolution Audio LPCM 2ch DTS LPCM 2ch 7.1ch 2ch
DTS-HD Master Audio DTS-HD Master Audio LPCM 2ch DTS LPCM 2ch 7.1ch 2ch
DVD LPCM LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 2ch 2ch
Dolby Digital Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch Dolby Digital LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch
DTS DTS LPCM 2ch DTS LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch
CD LPCM LPCM LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch LPCM 2ch 2ch 2ch
DTS 5.1 Music CD DTS LPCM 2ch DTS LPCM 2ch 5.1ch 2ch

x.v.Color: The BDP-S550 supports x.v.Color, meaning it's ready for x.v.Color discs when they become available in the future.

24p True Cinema: Movies are typically recorded on film with a frame rate of 24 frames per second. When a movie is transferred to Blu-ray Disc at 24 frames per second the BDP-S550 will output that signal to the TV (if the TV will accept the 1080p/24 format) with no need for conversion.

1080p Output: Through the HDMI output, BDP-S550 has a 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) output option, at either the 60 Hz video or 24 Hz film frame rates.

Precision Cinema HD Upscaling: Precision Cinema HD Upscale circuitry uses high bandwidth digital-to-analog conversion and processing to detect image changes at the pixel level, rather than at the level of whole scan lines. Additionally, separate algorithms are used to process the moving and still parts of an image, resulting in sharper backgrounds with moving objects that are nearly free from motion artifacts. The BDP-S550 Blu-ray disc player is capable of upscaling your standard 480i DVD disc to 1080p via HDMI.

HDMI Control ('Bravia' Theatre Sync): Sony components compatible with the HDMI Control function can be controlled via the HDMI connection. This includes convenient features like One-Touch Play and System Power-Off.

Disc Compatibility: The BDP-S550 is compatible with many disc types:

  • BD-ROM: pre-recorded Blu-ray Discs (including DL)
  • BD-RE/BD-R: recordable Blu-ray Discs (including DL)
  • DVD-Video: pre-recorded DVD
  • DVD-R: record once DVD
  • DVD-RW: rewritable DVD
  • DVD+R: record once DVD (including DL)
  • DVD+RW: rewritable DVD
  • CD: pre-recorded CD
  • CD-R: record once CD-DA (music CD format only)
  • CD-RW: rewritable CD CD-DA (music CD format only)

Precision Drive System: Precision Drive system for BD allows you to play back some Blu-ray Disc media or DVDs that may have been damaged or warped with minimal degradation of picture quality.

Future Compatibility: As Blu-Ray technology continues to evolve, new disc types with enhanced functionality will become available. In order for you to enjoy this new functionality, you will likely be required to update the firmware in your player. These firmware updates will become available for downloading from the Internet.

Region Code: Like DVD, BD uses region codes. The region code on your disc must match the region code on your player, otherwise the disc will not play. The BDP-S550 is Blu-ray region A and DVD region 1.

Copy Protection: Blu-ray Disc uses the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) to prevent unauthorized recording of copyrighted material.

Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J): The BD-ROM format supports Java for interactive functions. BD-J offers content providers almost unlimited functionality when creating interactive BD-ROM titles. Note: In order to enjoy these interactive features, you may need to update your player with the latest firmware.

AVCHD: AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) is a high definition digital video camera format used to record in high definition or standard definition on DVD, using an efficient data compression coding technology. The  format is designed to compress video and audio (Dolby Digital or Linear PCM) data, enabling a high definition video signal shot on a digital video camera recorder to be recorded on DVD discs, in the same way as it would be for a standard definition signal.

JPEG Playback: This unit will play JPEG still picture files recorded onto the following discs BD-RE, BD-R, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-R, and CD-RW. Still images on your disc can be viewed in a Slide-Show as well as rotated 90-degrees left or right.

Movie Files: The BDP-S550 can play MPEG2 movie files recorded on DVD-R/RW discs (Video and VR mode) and  DVD+R/RW discs (VR mode only). Movie title information is displayed on screen. You can search for a title directly using the on screen keyboard or sort titles alphabetically or by date.

Resume Play: Resume play allows you to resume playback of a disc from the point where you last stopped. The stopping point is cleared when the Stop button is pressed more than once, the disc tray is opened, the player is turned off, or any of the settings on the player are changed.

BD-Live: BD-Live technology allows you to download and stream bonus content such as additional scenes, shorts, trailers, movie-based games, and more from a broadband internet and home network connections (fees may apply). The BDP-S550 features an Ethernet port to connect to your home network and features a USB type-A port, as well as comes with a 1GB MicroVault Tiny Flash Drive to download these bonus features.

Bonus View: Bonus View feature provides "picture-in-picture" capability with select Blu-ray Disc titles.

Video Settings: The Sony BDP-S550 features the following video settings.

  • TV Type: You can select a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio for the unit's video output to match your connected Television's screen aspect ratio.
  • Screen Format: You can select the display configuration for a 4:3 screen picture on a 16:9 wide screen television. You can select from the following.
    • Original: select this when connect to a TV with a wide mode function; displays a 4:3 screen picture in 16:9 aspect ratio even on a wide-screen TV
    • Fixed Aspect Ratio: changes the picture size to fit the screen size with the original picture aspect ratio
  • DVD Aspect Ratio: You can select the display configuration for playback of 16:9 screen pictures on a 4:3 screen TV. You can select from Letter Box or Pan & Scan.

Picture Settings: The BDP-S550 offers the following picture adjustments.

  • Picture Quality: You can choose from three picture quality settings.
    • Brighter Room: use when the room is brighter than normal
    • Theater Room: use when the room is dark
    • Standard: use in a typical room
    • Memory: allows you to manually adjust contrast, brightness, chroma, hue, sharpness, and gamma
  • Noise Reduction: This function reduces the noise in the picture.
  • FNR: This feature can be activated to reduce random noise appearing in the picture.
  • BNR: This function can be activated to reduce the mosaic-like block noise in the picture.
  • MNR: This feature can be activated to reduce minor noise around the picture outlines (mosquito noise).

Audio Settings: The BDP-S550 allows you to adjust the following audio settings.

  • AV SYNC: This feature adjusts the gap between picture and sound by delaying the sound output in relation to the picture output from 0 to 120 milliseconds.
  • Audio Filter: You can select between two audio filters for analog audio signals.
    • Sharp: provides a wide frequency range and spatial feeling
    • Slow: provides smooth and warm sound
  • Audio DRC: The player offers four dynamic range compression levels - Auto, Standard, TV Mode, and Wide Range.

Speaker Settings: The BDP-S550 offers the following speaker settings when you have connected the Blu-ray player to your receiver via the unit's multi-channel analog outputs.

  • Speaker Size: Front (large or small), Center (large, small, or none), Surround (large, small, or none), Surround Back (large, small, none) Subwoofer (yes, no)
  • Speaker Distance: The distance of each speaker and the subwoofer can be adjusted from 0 to 50 feet to match the physical distance of the speakers and subwoofer from the listening position.
  • Level: Each speaker's and subwoofer's level can be adjusted from -12 to 0 dB in 0.5 dB increments.

Parental Control: The Sony BDP-S550 offers three Parental Control settings protected by a custom user 4-digit password.

  • BD Parental Control: Playback of some BD-ROMs can be limited according to the age of the users. Scenes may be blocked or replaced with different scenes.
  • DVD Parental Control: Playback of some DVD Videos can be limited according to the age of the users. Scenes may be blocked or replaced with different scenes.
  • Parental Control Region Code: Playback of some BD-ROMs or DVD Videos can be limited according to the geographic area. Scenes may be blocked or replaced with different scenes.

Quick Start: This feature shortens the startup time from standby mode. You can operate the player quickly after turning it on.

Dimmer: You can adjust the lighting of the unit's front panel display from Bright, Dark or Off.

Cooling Fan: A fan on the back of the BDP-S550 keeps the unit cool.

Remote Control

Multi-brand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on multiple brand TVs. Once programmed, the remote controls the TV's power on/off, input select, volume up/down, channel up/down, and mute.

Input and Output Notes

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface): The BDP-S550's HDMI output simplifies A/V connections by carrying video and digital audio in one cable. This unit features HDCP copyright protection technology, and must be connected to an HDCP-compliant device. If your TV has a DVI input instead of an HDMI input, you can connect this unit to your TV using an HDMI-to-DVI adapter. You will also need to connect audio cables to the player because DVI is a video only cable. The HDMI resolution can be fixed at 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p, or set to Auto, which selects the highest resolution accepted by your television. The video format can be set to component or RGB.

Component Video: The component video resolution can be set to 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i. If the HDMI output is set to 1080p, the component video output is fixed at 480i. When a DVD is played, the maximum component video output resolution is 480p.

Composite Video and S-Video: The composite and S-video outputs are always live and fixed at 480i. They can output video when playing a Blu-ray Disc.

Digital Audio Output: The Audio menu allows you to select the digital audio format that is passed through the optical and coaxial outputs. Settings allow you to transfer Dolby Digital or DTS sound tracks, or down-mix surround bitstreams to 2-channel PCM audio.

Analog Audio: There is a pair of stereo RCA outputs plus 7.1 channel outputs for utilizing the built-in surround decoders.

USB Extension Port: The BDP-S550 features a rear panel USB Type-A port which allows you to enjoy additional content (such as BonusView) on certain Blue-ray Disc titles. Some BD-ROMs have bonus content and other data which can be downloaded to an inserted USB Flash Drive (sold separately).

Note: The BDP-S550 includes a 1GB Sony MicroVault Tiny Flash Drive and does not guarantee compatibility with all other manufacture's USB flash drives.

LAN (100) Port: You can connect the player's LAN (100) terminal of the player to your Internet source using a network cable (Ethernet cable sold separately) to update the unit's software using the network. Visit http://www.sony.net/ for information about firmware updates.

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