Sony BDV-E870 review

Once again a Sony system proves that it's capable of stunning pictures, but in the case of the '870, the sound doesn't match up Tested at £410

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Our Verdict

Capable of top-drawer picture quality, but sound can’t match the best

For

  • Bold, exciting sound
  • crisp, well defined images
  • great online content

Against

  • Speakers lack subtlety
  • sub struggles to integrate
  • no built-in wi-fi

There’s nothing more convenient than having someone else do all the work for you.

When it comes to home cinema systems, this ‘someone else’ usually takes the form of a speaker auto-calibration system. Of course, some systems do it with varying degrees of success, and this Sony wasn’t quite up to scratch.

But, a quick spot of tweakage brought things into line.

This system produces a punchy and exciting sound. As The Rock and Samuel L Jackson pursue the bad guys during the opening sequence of The Other Guys, the Sony conveys a great sense of drama and dynamism.

Gunfire rattles around your listening position around while the rear speakers are more than willing to make their presence felt.

More understated soundtracks
The Sony BDV-E870 could handle the switch from all-out action to more understated soundtracks with greater style.

It isn’t the most subtle-sounding system, nor does the speaker arrangement produce quite the same cohesion as others – the sub sounds a little disjointed, for example.

Picture quality, though, is exemplary. In keeping with the stellar quality of the company’s 3D Blu-ray players, the E870 produces one of the sharpest, most pristine pictures in its class. It’s also wonderfully adept at tracking fast motion and keeping edges intact.

A spin of Avatar shows that 3D images are rendered superbly too. Colours are judged to perfection, as are contrast and low-light detail.

Impressive online services
Feature-wise, Sony can’t find space for a few features offered by rivals. For example, an iPod dock costs extra, as does the wi-fi dongle – and surprisingly, there are no HDMI inputs for PS3 owners.

On the plus side, Bravia Internet Video offers one of the most enjoyable online experiences of the bunch, with ultra-quick access to services such as BBC iPlayer, Five Demand and Sony’s own Qriocity service.

If you’ve a large room to fill the Sony will do it without any problems, although rival systems have a sonic edge. Picture quality is mightily impressive and it’s competitively priced. All-in-all, it’s a worthwhile audition.

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Specifications

View All

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Coaxial Inputs1
Number of Digital Optical Inputs1
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Audio

RMS Output Power108 W
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:6, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS HD
Speaker Configuration5.1

Video

Upscale Scan Format1080p
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Video FormatsDVD Video, BD Video

General Information

Product NameSony BDV-E870
Product ModelBDV-E870
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Brand NameSony
Product TypeHome Theater System
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberBDVE870

Technical Information

3D Type3D Ready
Player-Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Media FormatsDVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD-RW, BD-RE

Network and Communication

Wireless LANYes

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate23 kg - Main Unit
Width51.4 cm
Depth123.9 cm
Height35.8 cm
ColourBlack
Dimensions35.8 cm (H): 51.4 cm (W): 123.9 cm (D)

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • BDV-E870 Home Theater System
  • Remote Control
  • 3m Subwoofer Cable
  • 4m Front Speaker Cable

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year