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Considering how much effort sony invested in the blu-ray format, it was a weirdly long time getting players on o the market - players that weren't globe straddling games consoles, anyhow. And having finally got its finger out, the resulting BDP-300 is not quite the format-war-winning lap of honour you might expect. Though sturdily and attractivly built, up to sony's usual standards, loads discs relatively quickly and is simple to use, its not without compromises.
It decodes hi-def audio on board, but cant send it via HDMI. It's missing BD 1.1 ability and has no ethernet port for future firmware upgrades. And picture quality, where you might expect it to claw back some credibility, raises a few more doubts. Any blu-ray disc feauring fast, unpredictable motion can flummox the BDP-300 - it doesnt judder , but theres less solidity than from other machines.
It goes short of the detail other players serve up, too. Bright, natural colours and whites aren't enough to make it up. Mind you, its a decent dvd machine and not a disgrace as a CD player, so there a case to be made of it as a all rounder. ut for what you really buy this sony for - playing blu-ray discs - it leaves a surprising amount to be desired.
How it was for me?
FIRST THOUGHTS. Sony never disappoints where pride of ownership is concerned - when you pull it from its packaging, the BDP-300 looks and feels the most covetable player I've seen.
SETUP The menus are'nt quite as swish as those you'll find on the ps3, but Sony can still teach the opposition a thing or two about how to make a player simple to setup.
ERGONOMICS More good work: the remote control isn't backlit, but every button is were you'd expect it to be. The controls on the fascia are a welcome feature. As easy to use as a pedal-bin.
PERFORMANCE Strangely, this is where it all comes apart - there are too many gaps in the specification, and too little detail in the pictures for sony to claim any honours among its over rivals