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Sony BDP-S6700 Blu-ray player review

Can 'upscaling 4K' still cut it in the era of true Ultra HD?

Sony BDP-S6700 Blu-ray player
Sony BDP-S6700 Blu-ray player

Although the BDP-S6700 comes hot on the heels of the UHP-H1, this 4K upscaling Blu-ray player will find it very hard to compete among home cinema aficionados, most of whom will have already found an Ultra HD Blu-ray player in either the Samsung UBD-K8500 or the Panasonic DMP-UB900.

Does the BDP-S6700 risk being rendered obsolete? Since the BDP-S6700 is going for just a quarter of the price of those natively Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray players, I think not.

We liked

As well as the relatively low price compared to Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray players, the BDP-S6700 boasts plenty of smart stuff. Blu-ray players almost always use a stripped-down version of the brand's TV's user interface, and that's the case here, with Sony's Android TV system junked in favour of a stripped-down version of an older Sony smart TV OS.

As usual with smart apps, less is more, and the BDP-S6700 is nothing if not easy to use. Wireless streaming from an Android phone works fine, and sounds great, while digital file support over DLNA and from a USB thumb drive are extraordinarily comprehensive.

But the real victory for the BDP-S6700 is with its image not only from Blu-ray, which are faultless, but also from lesser sources of video, which are nicely cleaned-up.

We disliked

The bias towards Android devices for both Bluetooth music streaming and for screen mirroring (over Miracast) is irritating, though for iPhone users with a Spotify Premium subscription, this is a non-issue thanks to the BDP-S6700 including a Spotify Connect app.

When powering-up the BBC iPlayer app, I got a 'we do not support your device' message, then the same for the BBC News app. UK viewers will also note the absence of key catch-up apps 4OD and ITV Hub.

Final verdict

Does anyone need a 4K upscaler? After all, those with 4K TV already own one. As we enter the HDR era, the argument for a proper Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player will become louder, but for now the BDP-S6700 does an excellent job for the money.

Its build quality is average and it favours Android devices, but for those who want Netflix et al on their TV without upgrading – and sparkling images from all sources, including Blu-ray – the BDP-S6700 is a solid choice.