Sony BDV-N590

Tested at £400

Best cinema system, Awards 2012. A hugely competitive system that looks and sounds every bit the all-in-one answer to home cinema on a budget


My old denon av500 went bang and I was forced into a quick purchase of a replacement. What HiFi recommendations have not failed me so far so I purchased the Sony BNV-N590.

Firstly the good. The sound is pretty OK for an all in one cinema system and the picture from even ordinary DVDs is fabulous. It found my Logitech squeezebox and streamed music perfectly. Unlike the Denon, the setup is easy and idiot proof.

What you shouldn't do is compare the sound to a proper separate hi fi system as you will find it somewhat lacking. The sound is distinctly brighter and less rounded. That said, for a cinema system, it is very good and sounds excellent with my Panasonic TV.

The worst part about the system is the proprietory speaker connections. I am sure that I am not the only person who has sunk speaker cable into the wall and decorated over it!!  Even without this consideration, I doubt whether the cable length on the surround sound speakers would be sufficient for my living room. The only answer is to cut the speaker cable and splice the Sony connectors onto your own cable. Not the easiest of jobs when the Sony cable is very thin (poor quality) and not marked at all (you have to trace it back from the marked connection on the connector). I used standard electric block connectors and the end result is fine. It just took some time doing it. At least Sony provide some decent sound diagnostics to ensure that your speaker set up is OK.

Unfortunately a lot of manufacturers (Samsung , Panasonic) have now gone down this proprietory connection route so an alternative product may also have this fault. It would be useful for What HIFi to highlight this so readers know.

The other word of warning is that  Amazon only sell region 2 DVD players and not all region DVD players. I purchased an all region DVD player from the Amazon marketplace at the same cost as directly from Amazon


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