Sony BDV-E880 review

Supports high-def movie streaming but sound is disorganised Tested at £450

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Our Verdict

A fair effort, but the smaller BDV-E380 is the superior Sony, while the Panasonic SC-BTT775 is considerably better balanced

For

  • Good picture
  • excellent streaming services, including HD films
  • easy to set-up

Against

  • Disorganised sound is a considerable disappointment
  • no wi-fi as standard

Sony’s BDV-E880 certainly has looks on its side: there’s an elegance to the speakers and gently swept-back main unit that compares well with the more bluff looks of the company’s outgoing BDV-E870.

It’s also competitively priced, which, given the proportions of its front tower speakers seems to suggest it represents considerable value for money.

The good news continues when you peer at the specs. You get twin HDMI inputs as part of the deal – which makes huge sense given Sony’s status as a maker of games consoles and TV recorders.

You also get automatic speaker calibration, carried out in Sony’s typically fast and efficient manner using a supplied mic.

Extraordinary online features
Online provision is first-rate, too: Sony’s Bravia Internet Video portal is among the best, offering a terrific range of catch-up TV and other entertainment.

Most usefully of all, this system supports high-definition movie streaming, thanks to its Movies Unlimited platform, and for many, that’ll be a compelling advantage.

It all works slickly (at a cost, of course) although it seems churlish of Sony to insist that you should pay extra for a wi-fi USB dongle. We’d use a wired connection if possible.

Lack of sonic integration
That’s not our biggest complaint, though: its true weakness lies in its lack of sonic integration. The diminutive centre and rear speakers sound lean; the taller fronts more burly, and the result is a soundfield that’s far too distinct, its elements failing to form the cohesive whole generated by most test rivals.

You’ll notice that in rapid front-to-back flypasts, in swirling space battles and in most other test-scene classics from your favourite action or sci-fi movies – but it’s also apparent with subtler effects, too. There’s just too much of a disconnect between the front and the back.

Picture quality compensates
Excellent picture quality in 2D and 3D provides considerable compensation: effects have great depth in 3D, adding considerably the fun, while motion and DVD upscaling are well up to par.

For all that – and the attractions of its price – we’d say this isn’t the best Sony home cinema system (the smaller BDV-E380 is better balanced), and nor is it anything other than an also-ran.

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Specifications

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Physical Characteristics

Total System Weight Approximate14.80 kg
Center Speaker Depth5.3 cm
Subwoofer Height33 cm
Front Speaker Width9.6 cm
Front Speaker Depth7.2 cm
Rear Speaker Height24.5 cm
Weight Approximate4.10 kg - Main Unit, 1.40 kg - Front Speaker, 400 g - Centre Speaker, 600 g - Rear Speaker, 6.30 kg - Subwoofer
Subwoofer Width38 cm
Center Speaker Height5.9 cm
Subwoofer Depth19.1 cm
Rear Speaker Depth9.6 cm
Center Speaker Width31.5 cm
Front Speaker Height77.5 cm
Width43 cm
Rear Speaker Width9.6 cm
Depth32 cm
Height7.5 cm
Dimensions7.5 cm (H): 43 cm (W): 32 cm (D)

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Coaxial Inputs1
Number of HDMI Inputs2
Number of Digital Optical Inputs1
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Audio

RMS Output Power1000 W
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS HD, DTS Neo:6
Speaker Configuration5.1

Video

Upscale Scan Format1080p
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, BDAV, BDMV

General Information

Product NameSony BDV-E880
Product ModelBDV-E880
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Brand NameSony
Product TypeHome Theater System
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberBDVE880

Technical Information

3D Type3D
Player-Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Internet StreamingYes
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD-RW

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Package Contents
  • BDV-E880 Home Theater System
  • Remote Control

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year