A reliable Blu-ray deck with plenty of versatility and apps a-plenty, the BDP-S5200 does lack a little polish in terms of the user interface and the simplicity that should offer, but there's no arguing about its good value package – and for a Sony product, that's pretty rare.
There's no arguing with 2D and 3D Blu-ray playback, which is sparkling and impressive, as is the choice of file formats that the BDP-S5200 can play straight from a USB stick. I'm not sure how to quantify Sony's claim that the BDP-S5200 has Super WiFi, but the 2.4GHz connection proved stable throughout my test, which was purposely conducted a few (often troublesome) walls away from a router.
The provision of the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video is important, while connectivity (HDMI out, coaxial audio out, Ethernet LAN and a front-loading USB slot) covers the bases. The Super Quick Start feature works well, too, though it zaps more power when in standby to cut the loading time from about 25 seconds to under 10 seconds. The TV SideView is a nice option, too.
The BDP-S5200's user interface is the same as the PS3 used, which seems rather quaint now, though it's the lack of UK terrestrial on-demand TV apps – notable 4OD and ITV Player – that are of more concern.
I'm not convinced of the need for a second rung of apps from Opera, and nor am I ever going to use the slow, cumbersome built-in web browser. Buyers will have a love/hate relationship with the fairly tiny remote control's huge Netflix button … especially if you've forked out for an Amazon Prime membership.