Remember the days when you were content with a DVD player doing nothing
more than playing back DVDs? Those days are long gone. Now, Blu-ray decks
aren't even considered worthwhile against rivals unless they can
do a whole mess of other things, including stream Web content, check
Twitter feeds and enable users to access BD-Live material.
And that's why Sony
has made sure that it's new BDP-N460 is well
connected, ready to take on whatever the Internet can throw at it.
Introduced at CEDIA Expo this past week alongside the gorgeous JVC HDTV
we spotted earlier, this Blu-ray Disc player also handles DVD playback
(upscaled to "near HD") and streaming Internet video. Owners simply
plug in a live Ethernet cable and, like magic, they have access to a
vast library of premium and free on-demand content from the BRAVIA
Internet Video platform. Said portal features thousands of movies, TV
programs, and music from YouTube, Slacker, and, later this fall,
On the BD front, this one delivers Full HD (1080p) playback and 24p
True Cinema output, and it also decodes the latest audio formats
internally. Naturally, it's also Profile 2.0-compliant, meaning that
BD-Live discs are welcome here so long as you can provide your own 1GB
USB stick for holding the additional content. Also of note, this unit
includes built-in software specially designed for use with the Linksys
by Cisco Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band (WET610N, sold
separately); the bridge helps ease the connection between the
Ethernet-enabled player and a wireless router in either the 2.4GHz or
5GHz radio band for optimal streaming.
Finally, the heck includes a feature that frequent Netflix renters will
live: Sony's Precision Drive technology. This addition helps it to
etect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, supporting
stabilization of warped or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs during
playback. Those interested can pick one up this October for around $250.