Blu-ray Players

Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player


Design and Setup of the Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player

The key difference in the S790 and the S590 from the exterior is the presence of two HDMI outputs. While overkill for many users, for those that want to keep the HDMI signal perfect it is incredibly useful. There is also the ability to send 4K upscaled video over one of these outputs, but as I have no 4K display to test with, I can't comment on how this performs at all. It is worth noting that 4K over HDMI is limited to 24p at this moment, so you can't upscale anything beyond film content and keep the frame rate the same, or upscale 3D.

Touch-sensitive buttons grace the top of the case making them invisible when not powered on. The remote is similar to their previous Blu-ray remotes, though there is the dedicated Netflix button on there that wasn't before. The interface also remains the same from every other Sony Blu-ray player the past few years, so anyone that has used one of those or a PS3 will have no issues navigating it at all.

One additional feature added into the BDP-S790 is the ability to output all content at its native resolution. For those using an external scalar this is a big deal, as you avoid virtually all image processing before the scalar, leading to the best possible image. The dual HDMI outputs also help here as you can send the audio over one output to your processor or receiver, and send the video straight to the scalar. Typically you'd have to spend more on a player to get this feature, so it is nice to see it on a player that sells for close to $250.

The only feature really missing from the BDP-S790 that I can see wanting is a multichannel audio output. At this point most people have a processor or receiver that can process HDMI audio, but those that need multichannel analog outputs will need to look elsewhere.