Watch out world, Sony has a new Blu-ray player line-up. The Japanese giant has been firing on all cylinders over the last year, totting up a host of five-star products across the home cinema spectrum.
The BDP-S360 is the first of its new BD players to land and it's as competitively priced as ever. So can it continue the trend?
Supreme motion handling
One thing Sony has nailed on with its latest TVs is motion. Be it 100Hz or 200Hz, the company's screens transport objects across your field of vision with an unrivalled smoothness.
This has continued into the world of Blu-ray with the BDP-S360.
Sony's 24p True Cinema technology ensures we're watching 1080p/24fps video as intended, and that the hoodlums in Gomorrah are rendered with the sort of fluidity usually reserved for less realistic picture processing modes.
Here, it works beautifully and serves as it should to add to the realism.
It's not just the pictures that are a fluid affair. Sony's menus and interface are predictably slick, with the Xross Media Bar effortlessly adding a little more flair to operation.
Impressive technical spec
All the crucial technical requirements are ticked off, too: HD audio decoding, BD-Live support and an Ethernet connection – though once again you'll find no multichannel analogue outputs.
Thankfully, we're quite happy with the way audio sounds when sent over HDMI.
The TrueHD soundtrack found on I Am Legend is fast and detailed, while we can comfortably detect emotion when Will Smith chooses to inject it into his voice. There's not quite the power and dynamics offered by the Pioneer BDP-320, but it's not far off.
Superb 1080p upscaling
Watch the DVD of Valkyrie and the transfer looks superb when upscaled to 1080p to fit our TV's resolution. Detail levels are good and there's a wide, subtle colour palette and smooth motion.
Step-up to HD – we use the same film for maximum 'would you look at that!' effect – and the leap in quality is satisfying, just as it should be.
The small but instantly noticeable changes are apparent across the board, and it's only the Pioneer BDP-320's staggering ability to uncover detail that leaves this player scrabbling at its rival's coat tails.
Regardless, this is a supremely persuasive piece of kit and simply one of the finest adverts for Blu-ray players we've seen at this sort of money.