Sony Blu-ray Player BDP-S6200 Review

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Performance

Buy From Amazon

Buy From Amazon

One of the highlighted features of this Blu-ray player is its dual core processor. For the most part, consumers have accepted long load times and a lagging responsiveness as an inherent part of the overall Blu-ray player experience. Sony’s promotion of a modern processing unit in their top tier Blu-ray player set my expectations high. Over the last two years their Blu-ray players have noticeably increased in speed but those increases have been incremental and not necessarily praise worthy.

In a head-to-head comparison with the BDP-S5100 the BDP-S6200 loaded disc about 2 seconds or about 20 percent faster.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Connectivity

Audio and Video

bdp_s6200_connection

Sony has removed all analog connections with the BDP-S6200. This is the second year where Sony has decided to discontinue the addition of analog connections on their Blu-ray players. For audio out, this model uses the HDMI and Digital jacks. These digital audio connections transmit stereo or up to 7.1 surround sound.

Wireless

It comes with Super Wi-Fi or 802.11 b/g/n, speedy enough for 1080p or 4K video streaming. If you use this connection you will want to minimize the number of walls between your WiFi router and the BDP-S6200.

LAN 100

When it comes to a consistent unhindered viewing experience, using this connection works best. The local area network or LAN port allows you to connect the Blu-ray player directly to you cable or DSL modem.

USB

There are two USB ports, one on the back and the other on the front. You will need to have a USB drive plugged in for the BDP-S6200 to store information. This is disappointing. For a device that cost nearly $200, the lack of memory seems a bit stingy on Sony’s part. I thought I had gotten use to the need for a memory stick, but this deficiency still bothers me. When you buy the device there is nothing on the box that notifies you of the need to buy a USB stick to use the prominently displayed streaming services. If you do not have one lying around and you have to take a trip to your local electronics store, that is just a poor first experience. This is a necessary step if you want to use any streaming services. The front USB port can be used to view video and images from another USB drive.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Screen Mirroring

Sony’s “Screen Mirroring” is their implementation of the Miracast standard. Currently, Android and Windows devices support Miracast. Miracast was established largely as a competitor to Apple’s Airplay. Airplay works flawlessly. This is not the case with Miracast. In practice, this standard suffers from having too many cooks in the kitchen. Every company that adopts the standard gives it a unique name and not every Android or Windows device supports Miracast. Conceptually this feature is great, however it may or may not work well for you.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Streaming channels

streaming_options_sony_bdp_s6200

To use any of the available streaming services you have to connect the player to the Internet and then download the services. Once I verified my connection to the Internet over WiFi, I proceeded to download the services to the player, but it would not connect to Sony’s servers. I tried using the LAN connection, and I still could not connect. Then I tried surfing the web using the included Opera browser and that worked. I could load WaysToWatch.com and other websites with no problems. I was frustrated. After an hour of trying, I called Sony support. I was on hold for about a minute, and the support agent eventually determined that I needed to manually configure my network settings. For those of you who run into this problem, here is a link to the instructions and settings to resolve the issue.

There are over 70 video and audio streaming services that work through the BDP-S6200. This total is roughly a third of what you can get through any Roku player, but it is a nice compliment to having the top quality viewing experience offered through Blu-ray.

The Sony Blu-ray Player BDP S6200 streaming channels:

  • Sony Entertainment Network
  • Netflix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo
  • Pandora
  • Crackle
  • Vudu
  • Cinema Now
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA Game Time
  • My Sports & Fitness
  • NHL GameCenter
  • TechCrunch
  • 3net
  • WeatherNation
  • Wild TV
  • AOL On
  • CelebTV
  • Revision3
  • Popcornflix
  • ACC Digital Network
  • SnagFilms
  • EarthCamTV
  • WealthTV
  • blinkx
  • TMZ Video
  • Break.com
  • Indaba Music
  • Billabong
  • Cult Movie Network
  • iFood.tv
  • Moviefone
  • Taylor Swift and Sony
  • The Wiggles
  • euronews
  • HuffPost Live
  • HappyKids
  • Canal a
  • Yoga for Everyone by Tara Stiles
  • YuppTV
  • XOS College Sports
  • TV Guide
  • Wired
  • LaunchPad- Fueled by Flingo
  • Epicurious.com
  • Concierge.com
  • Style.com
  • SGNL by Sony
  • Dailymotion
  • NewsLook
  • uStudio
  • GolfLink.com
  • LiveStrong.com for a Healthy Life
  • eHow.com
  • Flixster
  • SingingFool
  • 27 Podcast Channels
  • MUZU.TV
  • Garage TV
  • Terra TV
  • elgourment
  • Cosmopolitan TV
  • Green.TV
  • DW: German Broadcaster

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Value

Blu-ray is still the best

Currently priced at $178, is a solid combination of a Blu-ray player and a streaming device. There are a few new streaming channels compared to what was initially available on last year’s model, the BDP-S5100. Although streaming movie services have greatly improved in recent years, Blu-ray disc continue to have superior image quality. Blu-ray is a home viewing experience without compromise. Video is crisp and audio has depth. With 4K upscaling, the BDP-S6200 future proofs your Blu-ray collection, so you do not have to worry about the obsolescence of your Blu-ray collection.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Design

The design of the BDP-S6200 is similar to non-conventional designs from Sony’s previous generation of Blu-ray players. The focal point on the top of the device is centered and the top side is made of a slightly translucent material. This design is unique and a nice addition to your home theater.

Blu-ray offers the most Special Features

Blu-ray still, without comparison, offers the most content when it comes to special features, bonus content and extras. iTunes and other streaming services offer extra content with their movies, but rarely do they offer a comparable amount. Blu-ray continues to be the ideal medium for movie fans who want to gain insight into the development and making of a movie.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 3D Playback

The industry is influx regarding 3D televisions. Movie studios continue to push this feature which enables them to charge a premium price both at the theater and for Blu-ray disc sets. Despite this push by movie producers and electronics makers, the format has not gotten significant traction amongst consumers.

When I connected the BDP-S6200 to Sony’s 65” XBR 4K Ultra HD TV, the 3D Blu-ray of The Amazing Spider-Man looked really impressive. I preferred this experience over that of watching 3D movies in the theater.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 4K Upscaling

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Upscaled 1080p and 4K video.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Upscaled 1080p and 4K video.

This is an interesting feature because most 4K televisions include upscaling. To check the quality of the 4K upscaling, I compared The Amazing Spider-Man on Blu-ray in 1080p to the 4K version played from the Sony 27-FMPX1 4K Ultra HD Media Player. Upscaling does not compensate for lower resolution video. When you are over 8 feet away from the XBR 4K Ultra HD TV you barely notice the difference, but the closer you move to the television the more apparent the difference in quality becomes. The BDP-S6200 does a solid job of upscaling any clear lines, such as hair or the edge of a table or a book. However, it fails when upscaling skin. Skin looks blurry and blotchy. This becomes apparent in close-up shots.

Even with its weaknesses, the BDP-S6200’s upscaling still presents a higher quality image than a normal Blu-ray player without 4K upscaling. When comparing the BDP-S6200 to Sony’s 2011 BDP-S480, the difference is immediately noticeable. The BDP-S6200 will provide an acceptable viewing experience when using Blu-ray on 4K televisions. Until the Blu-ray consortium establishes a 4K Blu-ray standard, upscaling 1080p Blu-ray disc will be the best visual experience you can get from a disc.

Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 TV Side View App

TV Side View App

TV Side View App

This app is available for Android devices, iPad and iPhone. It allows you to control the Blu-ray player through your tablet or phone. This app addresses the biggest shortcoming of this device: text input. Using a touch screen is an exponentially better experience than using the included remote to input text. There are other features available, but inputting text is the most noticeable benefit of this app.



Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 User Interface

Xross Media Bar

Xross Media Bar

Sony continues to use the XMB (Xross Media Bar) interface which was first designed for Playstation devices. The improved speed of the BDP-S6200 contributes to a better, more responsive experience. It is not quite a fluid as the experience with the interface on a Playstation 3 or 4, but it works well. You will find that your most used channels are at the top of the list, but scrolling through dozens of icons can get old fast. It would be nice if Sony allowed you to set the order of streaming channels.

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Sony Blu-ray BDP-S6200 Remote

Sony RMT-B126A

Sony RMT-B126A

The Sony RMT-B126A remote has a shorter, more condensed design. With this iteration of their Blu-ray controller, Sony has removed the numbers. This change makes the remote 30 grams lighter, about a third lighter than the previous remote. Users with smaller hands will appreciate the change, however the lack of number buttons only adds to the already annoying process of inputing information.

Wrap Up

The Sony BDP-S6200 is a great media device. It is currently the best of both worlds; it is a responsive Blu-ray player and respectable streaming device.



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